This is one of the poems which is not excerpted from upcoming The Cynglish Beat by Tim Reynolds from Cometcatcher Press, but it might be in the next one. This one is actually a true story and I don’t wish it on anyone. At the time of scheduling this post, everything is okay. If April 9th rolls around and this gets posted in abstentia, then I guess God gets the last laugh, cuz he loves irony.
Funny as a Heart Attack
Scared and alone. At home, now. It sucks. It stinks. It’s… not… good.
It started at work… with a little chest pain,
A little tingling in the left hand.
Middle two fingers, to be precise.
Alarm bells sounding resoundingly in my head.
Yes, I know the drill, dammit, the warning signs.
Excessive exhaustion? Critical caffeine ?
System-stopping stress? Anxiety, possibly?
Pinched nerve, maybe?
Or golf muscles gone unused and rebelling two days after hitting a bucket of balls?
Still scared, but I don’t want to cry ‘wolf’, don’t want to be less than a man,
But the nurse who answers my HealthLink call is reassuring but firm.
No, the ER isn’t necessary, not yet. Yes, I know where the clinic is, thank you.
I take a few deep, desperate breaths and make a second careful call.
Two minutes later the doctor’s appointment is made… for 48 hours later.
Soon enough? Urgent enough? More than enough?
Home alone — the dogs don’t count because they can’t call for help, wolf or not.
Home alone and Macaulay Culkin is notably absent.
Bastard. Kid’s never around when you need him.
Maybe if I take a nap. Take a nap and hope to wake up.
There’s always time to be scared. At 49, how worried is too worried?
How unconcerned is too unconcerned?
Too blasé and too nonchalant?
If I die before I wake, I pray my soul the Lord to take…
Can’t ask for much more than that, I suppose, I think… I hope.
There are tears waiting in the wings,
on the verge,
waiting behind the dam of faulty, faltering, self-control.
Don’t need a little Dutch boy to put his finger in it —
the French doctor will be doing that in two days.
Having a full work-up done. Valves, plugs, tire pressure and exhaust all checked.
It’s that time of year anyway. Might as well. Probably not too late.
Too late for an unwitnessed will? Will I have enough warning to call 9-1-1 myself?
Shit. Still scared, but getting sleepy. Naps cure everything.
Ciao for now,
If you want dark irony as it relates to God and man, listen to Depeche Mode’s Blasphemous Rumours.
My life has enough dark irony in it that I don’t need to punish myself by listening to Depeche Mode. Thanks, though, Paul.