Changing states

October 14, 2014

There are times when
I'm in the car barreling down the parkway,
and the music coming through on the radio is really clicking,
the sun is up, the sky is blue.
It's a grand performance,
everything seems all right.

Today I had those good vibes going,
until the thought of driving to work tomorrow
crept through the shadows backstage,
slipped around the curtain,
and stood still, center stage.
I changed the station on the radio,
shooed him away,
and I felt okay again.

I kept my attention on the road for a while,
but something reminded me of my last breakup
and I started to feel down.
The bad feeling, that old villain,
made his way back up and began singing
his own defiant aria.
I flipped through the radio presets and eventually
plugged in my iPod.
It started with an old Zeppelin song --
a good one --
and I let it play.

Soon I started to wonder if anyone could
ever love me.
The old marauder commandeered the orchestra pit
and was directing the whole band in a tune
I knew too well,
one that gave me an ugly feeling in my gut.
I skipped to the next song.
"You're being dramatic," I told myself,
"you're not unlovable."
"I guess so.  Yeah, I'm not a bad guy."

Then I began to wonder how in the world
I might even find someone who might even like me
in a new town
with few friends
(and all of them in relationships; 
they've lost touch with my plight).
By now the rest of the cast had broken character
and dropped the act.
The orchestra was braying caustic noise,
rockin' and rollin'
and jazzin'
and cocaine-in';
the audience was churning in a full-fledged frenzy,
howling and doing a devil's dance;
the floor lights never came on,
the crew had fled the scene,
and the ushers had given up entirely by
this point
in keeping any semblance of order.

I turned the car's sound system
and pressed the pedal
a little closer to the floor.


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