Monthly Archives: June 2014

Anchors

Awake closer to dawn today

without the requisite optimism

but with a checklist that is decent, so that will do.

I walked by a chalkboard and misread a name

as Danielle Anyway, and I thought that would be

the surrogate surname to have this summer, so feel free

to use it when you think of me.

It suggests persistence,

which has been lacking for quite some time.

 

Moments of success don’t count as much as the final victory.

 

One week in, the only thing to know is that time doesn’t

matter much now. I think I’ve realized this before, and I’m guessing

I’ll do the same again.

I get a little tired of refilling meters, and I’m

thinking maybe I’ll stop doing that.

My timelines aren’t matching up

with too many others these days,

which is open for consideration.

 

The weight is exquisite at this depth.

 

Sooner than later, we lie to ourselves,

and I keep reading these stories of those who

broke the patterns, but my interminable

tolerance of failure to fly is remarkable and damning.

 

A pause and a sigh later, let’s remember that deal we made,

even though we didn’t shake on it:

I don’t see any other way out of this place.

 

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Summer, but to what effect?

I have come to realize that life has become a series of “survival” sequences

but without the gravity of the actual danger of death.

One crisis after another, but all they really amount to are hassles that get in the way,

causing anxiety. Then the same old fears. This repeats over and over.

What will happen next?

How do I overcome this?

When really, most of it doesn’t matter,

yet I can’t find my way out of these scenarios. I can’t turn the corner.

Obstacles breed obstacles, and suddenly, I feel like I haven’t achieved anything at all.

I haven’t gone anywhere at all, but time has passed.

Summer arrives, and nothing changes.

I’m close to what it will take to turn the corner, but I can’t quite get there.

June, after all

I picked up an extra shift this weekend, which meant little down time.

Not that it was anything new.

I drank a strong coffee at the beginning of the day and did my best to pass the time

with laughs, but the day wore me down. First of the month, you can only be so cheerful for so long.

By late afternoon, I felt my cheeks sag from forced smiles and

“Have a nice Day” over and over.

But it was beautiful enough outside, and we close early on Sundays, so no complaints.

Near the end of the day, I got a free ticket to a sold-out concert, and I decided to go.

I was tired of being lonely in the house, waiting for the next day to start.

I bought a black t-shirt at Target, put it on in the parking lot and drove into the city, thinking about

how it was always so strange that the streets emptied around eight o’ clock.

Bastille was supposed to go on just after nine, so I bought two tall boys

and made my way to my seat, which was a box just to the left of the sound booth.

Everybody was tan and smiling, and right before the music started, a long-haired guy

with a gray Sub Pop shirt sat down at the table. I held out my hand and introduced myself

with a warm smile as he sat. He returned the warmth, and said his name was Dave.

I complimented his shirt and said, “Sub Pop–that’s cool. I haven’t seen that shit in a while.”

A few minutes later the band started, and I sent a Thank You text for the ticket, then enjoyed

my beer and the happiness of the crowd around me.

The performance was nice, and the closing song was the poppy one for which everyone was waiting.

It didn’t disappoint. I drank the rest of my beer and didn’t pretend not to eavesdrop as Dave talked to a few people

who had sat next to him.

I heard a few words like “tour” and “flight” before I asked what band he was in.

He said, “Tesla?” with a kind of head tilt.

I said, “No shit? That’s pretty cool. Where are you flying?”

“Europe for a few weeks, to start.”

“They’re playing here in August,” chimed in the nice lady with whom Dave had been sitting.

“That’s awesome. I’ll have to check that out. Great tunes.”

I finished my beer, shook Dave’s hand again and wished him well Over the Pond, bid goodnight to his company,

then walked to my car in a nearby parking garage. The traffic was slow to move, so I put the windows down

and cycled a bunch of songs from a playlist to pass the time.

When the cars from Level Four thinned, I pulled into the line and left the North Shore.

On the drive home, I opened up the moonroof, watched the little dipper guide me home, and thought about

what kind of summer this could be.