Saturday, January 23, 2010

Drake's Equation

(N = R* x fp x ne x f l x fi x fc x L)

So I’m drunk;
and I’m headed into this bar I frequent;
and there’s this guy there
who’s pretty much always there—
it’s like he lives there—
and he’s outside screaming at this woman,
telling her, “I’ve got an artistic temperament, goddmanit!
I mean, for fuck’s sake. My sensibilities are fucking delicate, okay?
You fucking knuckleheaded squirrel!”
It was funny,
that phrase of his.
I liked it.
It reminded me of an old Humphrey Bogart movie.
He was really laying into her,
you know,
giving her the business;
and she was taking it too,
just smoking her cigarette unfazed,
like her face didn’t even know what an expression was.
That guy is always hanging out around there,
screaming at people like that.
It’s kind of unnerving sometimes,
and I often find myself wishing for his death.
But this time
I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
Maybe it was all the liquor running its way through me,
but I wanted him to keep it up.
Unfortunately, people rarely do
what you want them to,
and he relented and went back in the bar—
leaving the woman alone to smoke her cigarette.
She seemed not to have a care in the world;
and the moon was up there wrinkling its nose;
and the traffic skidded by;
and countries were ravaged by natural disasters;
and presidents slept;
and stars imploded;
and the sandwich shop across the street put up its closed sign
and turned out its green sparkling neon lights.
I went back into the bar to sit on a stool.
The guy was in there.
I heard him say to the bartender,
“You’ve got to get to the root of the thing.
It’s like no matter how many times you wipe your ass
it’s still going to go back to being dirty again.
You’ve got to take care of what’s making it dirty in the first place.”
It’s this kind of talk that makes me think of high windows
and razor blades and handfuls of sleeping pills.
I put down a twenty and told the bartender,
“That guy’s next one is on me.”
You can only save the world
one life at a time;
and sometimes,
even though it doesn’t make any sense,
you’ve got to start with your own.