Tuesday, June 25, 2013

poem of the day 06.25.13


he sits behind the wheel of the car
that’s going to take my wife and i to the airport

he says he knows us but i don’t remember him

from the bar, he says, from rooney’s

right, right, i say, but i still can’t place his face
i check his cabbie license and it says his name is connor

the connor

the connor of fucking lisa and breaking the bathroom sink
the connor of friday fistfights with strangers if the mets lost
the connor forever mentioned with reverence by those in the know

that connor

it’s strange being driven to the airport by a guy who used
to drink in the same hole that kept me greased for five years

to be chauffeured by a barroom legend

when did the dichotomy shift in my life?

then i think of the taped up kitchen floor
the living room window that’s been busted for two years
a perpetually stained toilet
dining room light bulbs that i haven’t changed in years

and i know that nothing is really that different

just connor doing his job and me doing mine
as we head toward the downslope of this life

man, that place was great, he says

it had some characters, i say, watching coney island breeze by us

and hoping that my wife doesn’t mention lisa
and the bathroom fucking incident
because i don’t think she knows who connor is

but then the conversation dies

connor listens to an afternoon mets game
loud enough so that we can’t talk
as he weaves us in and out of traffic on the belt parkway

while my wife sits dazed with daydreams of europe
and i wonder whether or not i unplugged everything
and shut off the lights

i know people who are doing it much worse
with the hours and days that they’ve been given

and connor seems just fine navigating this leather interior

he seems almost regal
a king again
like it doesn’t matter who the fuck i am
or where i’m going

i’m no legend to him, i think

and when we get to the airport i give him a ten dollar tip
on top of the cab fare

but connor seems unfazed

he folds the money and pulls away
before my wife and i are even in the terminal

probably heading to froth’s, i tell her
which is where some of us rooney’s guys drink now

i still don’t know him, she says
and like that another legend is shattered

it just as well.

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