I took two of my mates to the vet the other day.
The Jack Russel came too.
Three of us were on valium.
All except me. I was the designated driver.
Do you mind taking the dog for a walk, I asked, in case he pees in the car?
They shuffled along the street like zombies, Les had taken three, Dave four with a few beers, but the dog’s eyes lit up when he came to a bush on the verge and he lifted his leg the way dogs too —- I tried it once and made a mess — but he was too doped to pee,
He managed in the car though but Les had a pee blanket under him so that was alright.
As we drove Eddie, the Jack Russell, put his head out the window, his ears flapping in the breeze.
That’s so cool, I said. I did that once but the cop who pulled me over told me to pull my head in, it was dangerous.
Dogs have all the fun, Les said, but he was slurring his words.
It was only five minutes into the trip.
It was going to be a doozie.
It all began a few years ago while waiting in a long queue at the ANZ Bank.
A well-dressed employee would come up to us randomly and thank us for our patience.
I’d say, at the flick of a switch, “I’m a patient man. Just ask my three ex-wives”.
I don’t know where that came from but he chuckled and I chuckled. It was a good line.
Then one day there was a bit of a queue at the library — a glitch in the system or something — and I thought as a spot of entertainment I’d add to the line. I had it all worked out.
I ended up with a relatively new staff member, a sour-faced woman who I’d only met once before, but I wasn’t going to be put off. It was my time.
“Thanks for your patience,” she said blankly’
“That’s okay,” I said. I think she knew what was coming. “I’m a patient man. Just ask my three ex-wives” then I added the new bit, “But you don’t want to listen to them, They’re biased.”
Then she looked me in the face. “Don’t you think, “ she said, “if all three said it independently, there may be some truth in it? You should go away and have a ponder”.
She saw to my request and I went off to have a ponder, unsure who was having who on.”
I’m staying in with a friend today.
Like me he doesn’t look for other company.
We’ll probably lounge around, watch Netflix, maybe go out the back for a spot of sun if it’s shining then back inside.
Telly, sleep, periodic caffeine hits.
Don’t answer the door if someone knocks.
Maybe check out this post to see if it’s got any likes or comments.
Think about food a little later.
More caffeine so we can stay awake long enough to eat it.
Not enough to bust any moves. No, No, No dancing today.
Oh and more meds to fight off this fucking cold — sorry, buddy —
which as the Kinks say, ‘has really got a hold on me.’
Cue Dave Davies. And The Two Ronnies.
So it’s goodnight from me, and goodnight from him.
Emily Dickinson composed her poems while wearing a simple white dress with pockets for pencils and scraps of paper. She wrote in a large, airy bedroom, with two big windows facing south and two facing west at a small table 18 inches square with a drawer deep enough to take in her ink bottle, paper and pen. They overlooked her family’s large property containing a large Italianate mansion among tall pines.
I hover around in my hoodie and tracky dacks, biro on the go in a cramped cell of a room at a desk sprawled with papers, magazines and bills, one narrow window overlooking a block of grimy units towered over by power lines which is why my poems are nothing like those of Emily Dickinson.
I try writing a serious poem about a relationship break-up
About how gutted I feel
I even get in a few good metaphors
But then it starts going off the rails
The clown in the closet wants to come out and play.
I try to shut him out
But he plants his foot in the door
And before I know it
He’s taken over
pouring out puns, profanities,
double and triple entendres
A real word-acrobat.
The poem’s a mess but he’s having fun.
and so am I.
What the heck!
We horse around a little then get into it.
I just can’t help myself.
She hands me the change.
The two coins bounce off the rubbery counter.
I catch them mid-flight.
You should be in a circus, she says.
I am, I say. I mingle with clowns every day, drive around in an old jalopy, juggle my bills, keep the customers satisfied, pop popcorn at night; get up in the morning, put on my face paint and start all over again. What a performance!
She smiles at me nervously.
Anyhow, have a good day! I say.
You too, she says, as I walk away, honking my clown nose.
You wanted time on your own.
It’s time you put a stop to that.
We’re more nuanced together.
Good writers know this.
We’re a team.
Like Bernie and Elton.
So won’t you come back?
You steady me.
Climb on top.