I have to wonder about the man.
When I tell you about him, you’ll wonder too.
Wonder about a very old man who spends afternoons in
the library. But why? The man is so old. Even I am here
less for the books and more for the chance of getting laid. Like college
boys. Like most college boys. Like every single single person at a bar. And now I’m just assuming. It’s animalistic. It would be a lie if I said I loved books more than men. I love my fellow man. And what he can do for me.
The man is so old I expect to see his caregiver trailing him. Helping him up and down. I immediately fall in love with the man of course. I try to make eye contact and smile but he is ignoring me. Playing hard-to-get. Disinterseted. I rarely know which is which.
The man is so old I know I can finish this poem no problem before he goes. The rate at which he moves across the room. Earlier in the morning, I saw a lady so old as well and while passing her on the sidewalk I slowed down so she wouldn’t get whiplash or feel bad. He is so old that even now I am afraid my sudden movements might scare him and send him home. He reads a magazine. Last I looked he was literally reading a crossword puzzle. No pen in hand. Can he even see? As he turned the page I saw a big ad for Walt Disney World.
He wears a knap-sack crossed over his chest (which I imagine has boy snacks in it) and a bright blue and orange knit winter hat. He wears a gray, lined wind breaker and dark blue jeans, the soft kind, and I do not make this shit up. I keep stealing glances but again, I don’t want to scare the dying man away so I’m not gonna look, I’m just gonna guess:
dark gray Velcro shoes.
For all I know, I’m dying at a quicker rate than the man.
I wonder if he can hear the scrape of my pen on paper.
It is loud.
I wonder if it scares him.
I am guessing he is a man and he can take it.
But sometimes men are such delicate things.
Like the men who break and shoot.
His shoes are hiding behind the table with his feet.
He has a red face and is reading People.
He should be remembered for more than that.
But again, who said he was dying?
Someone in the library screams out in pain.
Everybody hears it and looks but him.