01  Jun

i don’t mean to be offensive
but there’s no better phrase to sum up or describe
the following anecdote
everywordofwhich i swear is true

i was having a run of uncharacteristic misfortune

a root canal
during the final stages of which
the tooth cracked
causing eighthundredollars worth of work
to swirl down the drain along with the expectorant
and the news of thousands more for the replacement and bridge
spewing forth like unsolicited omens from an oracle

a production of one of my plays
which i was directing
and had completely cast
with rehearsals scheduled to start ten days hence
falling through at the last minute
because the funding wasn’t in place
causing a major disruption of plans
nottomention wreaking havoc with my bank account

writing on another project not going well
and a presentation of it crashing and burning
a couple of hours after the first root canal work
which bytheway i vastly preferred

and finally
(not to beat a dead horse but rather to explicate why
the droppings of a live one became a major metaphor
for this period in my life)
dizzy spells when i turned to onesideortheother in bed
causing not the room to spin so much as the inside of my head
which my doctor attributed
to a virus of the inner ear then making the rounds
ohtherelief that it wasn’t a tumor
or a rumor of some other deadly brain disorder

this is all in the way of context
background for the nottoonicely titled incident
suffice it to say in summary
i was depressed
eating drinking and sleeping the blues
and finding them impossible to shake

my baby and i decided to go to the annual gay pride parade
which i always find inspiring and fun and indeeditwas
and after the parade we’d arranged to meet a friend
for dinner and the theater
activities which usually lift my spirits

we took a train up to columbus circle
and we’re walking along the edge of central park
where the horse-drawn carriages either ply their trade or wait to

a recent rain
left certain potholes in the street quite full of water
and wouldn’tyouknow a cab comes speeding around the corner
hits a pothole
and splashes mud all over us
i call it mud not out of politeness to you
dear reader
and your possibly delicate sensibilities
which have surely been offended by the title
if they are so inclined
but because mud’s what we thought it was at first
and we were covered with specks of it literally fromheadtotoe

as we’re walking to the restaurant to meet our friend
we gradually and horrifyingly become aware
that the mud consists toalargedegree of horse manure
(i gag just writing this)
but in our generally optimistic way we think
we’ll be able to wash it off
and go on with the rest of our day

we discreetly slip into the restaurant’s very small
andmayiadd unventilated men’s room
and start trying to clean ourselves up
with soap and paper towels and water
but applying moisture only unleashed the hideous odors
which weren’t as noticeable when the substance was dry
and that stifling restroom became unihabitable very quickly
and feeling doubly terrible about being covered in horseshit
and spreading the aroma of our curse
throughout the confines of that tiny room
we fled outside where we met our friend
and explained how we could hardly have dinner
or attend the theater in our unfortunate condition
and that all we wanted to do was go home and die

we wanted to die on the subway there
because even though we tried
keeping our distance from everyone else
wouldn’tyouknow the car inevitably filled up
and we became more and more self-concious
about how we were reeking like barnyard scum of the earth

we fell into our apartment and out of our repellant attire
tossing it into the washer like it was on fire
and though we hardly wished to advertise the incident
we did relate it to our friend anita
who noted that her grandmother always said
“dirt is lucky”

and though i don’t remember fortune changing overnight
maybe that grandmother’s adage was right
because now everything is going swimmingly

the root canal tragedy led to the discovery of a dental plan
which saved me a lot of money on the bridge
and the benefits continue on every visit to the dentist

the dizzy spells went away within a couple weeks
as the doctor had predicted

the project which crashed and burned
at that particular presentation
is on its way to broadway

which is not to say
fortune will not change its course again

but for now
we can look back and laugh a little bit
at a period which can only adequately be summed up as

posted by admin on June 1, 2004, at 1:00 am | filed under poetry | no comments »

Leave a Comment

Your comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.