waiters, waitresses, and everyone else
that i have to talk to
i told her
“the teller at the bank can’t say the word
librarian. she calls them lie-barians.”
“why were you talking about being a librarian
with a teller in a bank?” she asked.
“it came up.”
“well, i was taking the six-hundred out
for vacation, and i felt odd. she kept giving me
a look and i didn’t want her to think i was using
it for drugs or something.”
“you always do that,” she said.
“you give out too much information.”
“waiters, waitresses, and everyone else
that you have to talk to.”
“they make me nervous,” i said. “i don’t like
people having to wait on me. so i get nervous
and i make conversation.”
then we walked down the street. we went to the grocery
store for some cheese, and i started telling the clerk
it was for pizza that night.
“you did it again in there,” she said, once we were out
of the store.
“yes, why did that grocery clerk need to know
about your dinner tonight.”
i thought about it. “christ, i don’t know.
what in the hell has gotten into me?”
“i can’t believe you’re just noticing this now.”
“i am. this isn’t good,” i said. “i don’t like
talking to anybody. hell, i’ve written poems
about how i don’t like to talk to anyone.”
“yet there you are with the waiters, waitress,
and bank tellers, telling them your life story.”
we walked on up the avenue. we went into
the bar and took two stools at the end, where
one of the drunks was reading a paperback novel
with a magnifying glass. the bartender came over
“how’s it going?” he asked.
“fine,” i said.
he went and got the beers. “so how’re things?’
i just looked at him
and didn’t say anything.
i was done spilling my guts for the day.
i let her do the talking.
that way i could come back here
and write this poem
and not feel like an absolute fraud.