But it’s all too strange, too strange, like that odd-as-hell couple with their little blackgirl at Java Vino fooling with those odd images while you sat stressed drinking Dale’s wondering what was happening, and the man was wearing a ridiculous “Poetry” t shirt and the woman was a bedonk-a-donk and her child just threaded the scene like silken spiderwebs and wondered why she couldn’t just leave but there would be no leaving, no relief from their 25 tumblr posts per 25 minutes, you wondering what could be so compelling in these images, half-drunk on Dale’s but transfixed and smacked with an odd longing for those three lives, a careless happy scene while you were the model of CAREWORN and haggard.
And you didn’t know how awful you looked. And you didn’t know how bad it was, how bad it had been or would be, only how badly you needed that Dale’s tingling at the back of your tongue, just holding on until a night you could forget but you could never forget it and didn’t you know it you did you dummy you ditz drinking Dale’s while dactyls and dicks and dolts dallied and doled advice that no one wanted to receive but receive they would because everyone knows how much advice adores being given…
…let’s give some more, bleed more blood on this tiny page, diarrhea pouring from your pen when the words can no longer be held and there’s the mystical communion of pen to paper and your head tingles like a Dale’s drunk and maybe you’re drunk but probably not, just tied up in the words, the sounds they make, their feel on your skull, the way a good word purge could make you soar for hours as if on jetstream wings, just beaming, flying like new love, like Icarus to the sun till your wings melt with the accumulated Dale’s Pale worry, the anxiety of watching weirdo coffeeshop scenes of careless lovers and “Poetry” shirts and a little girl looking and likely feeling left behind.
Left behind and wanting sunshine in the comfy, sticky air. Like a blankie or a little baby…
…doll that maybe she had as a tinygirl before the weird guy in the “Poetry” shirt began dating her mom, before it was her and her and him, back when it was only her and her and things were simpler and mama took her out for smoothies and slushies and kids’ meals and she never got fat, just full and sunshiney and content like greasetrap daydreams and skillet greasetrap smells, full and mushroomy, slimy, froggy—swampy—viscous like her mind after too much school and homework. Do your homework, girl! and she did do it but it cramped her hand and it hurt her to look out the window onto the playground and see her friends playing and laughing and even waiting, expectant for her presence on the playground—it isn’t the same, isn’t the same when you ain’t around, girl, ain’t you comin’ ain’t you comin’ out to play?—and she’d almost scream, “YES! but mama’s keeping me here she’s dating she’s on a date she says he’s a fine man but he wears a “Poetry” shirt and he smells like candles and he wants to be my daddy and he’s always not looking and he’s always not posted up not locked in he’s always keeping me here doing homework making sure mama makes sure I’m OCCUPIED. I’m WAITING for something to happen some way but till then I can’t come out to play, girls. Y’all go on, girls…I’ll be here.”
That was well enough, and enough anxious energy and posturing was expended, but then there was the problem of the haze and mist hanging over the buildings and the brick facades marred with bad graffitoes that were disrespectful of history and emotion and the continuity of pretty streets convivial like Main Streets but not with the awful graffitoes—marred and sad and hurt, smarting like half-chopped trees—
this is what worried you although much else stung and hurt you and made you grasp your chest and ask why some jerk would wear a “Poetry” shirt to a coffeeshop, what other reason but to be seen by some drunk Dale’s-drinking jerk—jerk to jerk, same for same but who’s counting?—and the shirt combined with the bad poetry of graffitoed-wall Main Street Atlanta was the dumps, a dumpy way to see this street and would boosters ever bring boosterbackers here to boost minds with caffeine poop and boast and laughing concept conversations?