21 March 2011

Steeltown

It is possible to drive past this place to somewhere green.  This place where a tired, disappointed man sweats and works and starts talking at age thirty of retirement to Florida at age sixty five.  Drive past this place, weekly, pay cheque in hand and return home to the woman who is not a porn star. A woman you frequently scream at and sometimes hit.  Give her the pay cheque, the part you haven't drunk at the bar, so she can go buy white fake French Provincial furniture to put in the powder blue living room no one is allowed to enter.  Marie Antoinette would love it in here with its crystal chandelier and china dancing ladies. It looks like fake fucking Versailles except no one in this house knows what Versailles is.  Who has time to read a damn book when there are so many diapers to change and so much vacuuming  to do?  When the kitchen curtains and wallpaper have to be changed every two years?  Who knows?  Maybe looking at that ugly sofa, off of which the plastic never comes, standing in the unused room in the house no one ever visits, makes it easier to bear when getting an elbow to the face.  Drive past this place every few months returning to Mother when the shouting gets to be too much, the silent babies bundled into the back seat.  She'll accept you and the bundles in the middle of the night and let you stay for a couple of days before sending you back home to lay in the bed you made.
Now drive way past this place, forty years past, on buses and trains and taxis and airplanes.  Drive through universities and theatres, hospital wards and cafes.  Drive through religious fervour and casual sex, bulimia and bad marriage. Drive until you land in a small space in the middle of an urban landscape, where there is no man, disappointed or otherwise, and barely any pay cheque.  There is no plastic on the discounted floor model sofa, only teen aged children who laugh and spill food while playing the music too loud and petting the cats who shed and scratch the carpet.  Paper crafts are being made and no one is vacuuming up the bits.  A friend stops by to quote Ginsberg.  Another emails from the coast to say good night. Look outside the window.  There's a great big tree.
And now you can stop driving because you've travelled far enough, for a while at least.  

Besides, you don't even own a car.


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