Carry On

3 Aug

Cover

Back in New Jersey for a week, riding the 6:05 bus into Manhattan, once again experiencing a feeling that I’m glad I’ve put behind me – that of being a loser crammed in with other losers, forced to share a soul-numbing commute.

Sometimes, especially lately, with one setback after another, I’ve thought of returning to New Jersey, settling into being a house owner, telecommuting to work and in general preparing for the so-called autumn of my years. I guess New Jersey occupies my mind as a relief station against the years of knocking my head against the wall.

But being in New Jersey, especially taking that morning ride into Manhattan, I’m inspired to work even harder once I return to LA. Maybe it was the guy insisting on an aisle seat, a bolt of sunshine illuminating the nest of hairs in his ear; or maybe it was the snoring man; the woman with the cane; the surly bus driver using the brake to control his speed. All the while a vent shot hot air in my face as outside, beautiful nimbus clouds raced against a blue sky. This is how the day starts for so many – in utter defeat.

I don’t want to creep back into my New Jersey home, plucking cat hair from in between my lips, stuck in with the same dull neighbors, unrelentingly white and Republican.

I don’t want to limp out of the game.

Especially if it’s the last game of the season.

I’d rather they carry me out on a stretcher.

(2006)

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