Another Anything for a Little Attention Man

It’s true that a plastic rimmed hat

That cost me ten cents at a thrift store

Is sitting on my head;

And it’s true that they gave me

A free plastic trash bag

To covers some  of my

Old five and dime store clothing display;

And it’s true I might have taken the bus;

When it didn’t look like rain this morning;

And it’s true that it would have been

Ten miles home, or four miles to the mall

By the time the skies opened

And dogs and cats nailed down upon my face;

It’s true that already have an interview suit

In another state

That my father wouldn’t send to me

When we fought on the phone earlier today;

And it’s true I have an interview on Friday

And it’s true that I have the money

On my card to pay;

And it’s true that I don’t have enough money

To pay four more months’ rent stay;

And it’s true my family

Seem to say that they won’t even pray

Long as I stay

Unmedicated in this town;

And it’s true that I lost my last job

Suddenly, without explanation;

And it’s true that just a few years ago

I put myself through a Master’s program

For which I still must pay;

And it’s true I filled out

Forty-three applications for minimum wage work

Just in one week

So, I’m thinking going professional is the way;

And it’s true that my one nefarious reference

Told me that no employer bothered to call;

And it’s true that I didn’t pursue

The job down the street

He hinted at to keep me at bay

During the latest veiled threat;

And it’s true that his first direct threat

Happened just four months ago

Before I ran for the border

Before the police stopped me

Then tracked me to put me away.

And it’s true I hadn’t committed a crime

And it’s true that at least when I arrived

At the mall at ten thirty on a week day

That there were ten other derelict types

Looking just like me,

Soaking wet along the mall awnings;

And it’s true some of us once were

Drug smugglers, pimps, and other business types

And it’s true that our daily suffering

Or desperate need to run away

Got up caught up in institutions

And led us into catastrophic loss;

And it’s true that I locked my bike twice

Before I left it

And it’s true that I took a Greyhound

From another middle of nowhere stay

Just to try to get away;

And it’s true that every middle of nowhere

Ends up being the middle of everywhere

Wherever I stray!

And it’s true that after I leave the mall

My latest locked bicycle

Will be missing from its space.

And it’s true the police

Will refuse to file a report

Citing coincidence as the likely play;

And it’s true I will look strange on the bus

Shivering, back hurting too much to remove

The incriminating garb.

And it’s true that I will decide to rent a car

To drive dry to pick up the suit

And to get to the interview on Friday;

As it will also be true

That the interview will be cancelled;

As it will also be true

That you will never see me again;

As will also be true

That I will get a call the minute I get home

From my father

Informing me that my suit is now on the way.

 

But I am only going to tell you

The truth that really matters:

That is,

I have taken off

The plastic hat and the trash bag

And that I am asking you to size me up

Praying that you are not noticing

That my jeans are wet,

Praying,

That when you are measuring my arms

For the suit,

That you aren’t noticing

That the dye from my boots

Has bled onto my sweat socks;

And I’ll be praying that you believe me

When I tell you

That I will be spending my holiday

With my sister

Who lives down on G street,

Praying that I will be

Just another stranger

Walking through

The shadow of your day,

Praying that you will not

Take advantage of my situation

And charge me extra money

Or ensure that I get robbed

In some other way

In the end, maybe you will never know

How important it is

That I get to an interview

As soon as I can

And I mean today!

Author: Tim Dreby

I am an award-winning author and practicing psychotherapist

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