The Play

Blue Angel 2

By Joe Gardner

This Season of the Recluse
Has to stop
She tells me
My hands betray me
With a slight tremor
That I like to blame on the booze
I know I respond

She helps me button the cuffs and collar
On my dress shirt.
My fingers are too big and clumsy and the buttons
Are small and delicate
And I have to be careful with my dress shirts
It’s hard to find them that fit right
I’m 5’9 with a 17 ½ inch neck
A short monkey barrel torso
And long arms hang almost to my knee
Capped off with Frankenstein freak hands
Scars and tattoos sew the meat suit together
Over a broken skeleton of experience
Held together with metal pins and arthritis

She helps me straighten out my tie
Reaches up her hand to my cheek
Tells me it’s going to be all right
We go to the play

It’s hard to breathe
To see to hear
Mass of flesh impressed into every free space
Congeal together like breakfast grease
Suffocation of over stimulation
Quit touching me wannaleavemovemovemovegetoutgetoutImfuckingdrowingmoveleavemeALONEQUIETTOOMUCHTOOMUCHTOOMUCH…

Her hand finds my hand through the turbulence
Slows down a little
She guides me away
To a little sphere of quiet peace
That is just big enough to fit her and me
It’s all right she tells me

We gently make our way through the crowd
I shake hands
And try to hear what is being said
Everything is getting loud again
Sweat beads roll down forehead
Hands tremble with no booze in sight to blame

I keep looking to the door
Just twenty feet away
16 people between me and escape

Her hand finds mine
Her hand tells me
It’s all right

Shake hands again
Say goodnight

Twenty steps
Big glass door a million tons
Grinds slow motion bionic man run to freedom
Tie and collar undone
Suit jacket off
Sleeves rolled up

Christ I wished I still smoked

She guides me to the car
Her hand in mine

I’m walking it out
Long strides trying to create distance

She understands
She knows I’m not seeing anything anymore
It’s just forward movement now

We get to the car
Out into the
Of the LA freeway traffic obscurity

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