Thursday, January 5, 2006

real good time

who's the third man?

It takes years to answer the question. A decade, even. Or, to be completely accurate, a full twelve years. Who's the third man? It takes a lot of waiting to answer the question. Waiting for the shift. Waiting for the collapse. Waiting for the man to cease being a boy. The elders wait.

"He'll tire himself out," they say.

"How long can one hold onto such romantic notions?" one asks.

"Until he turns thirty," declares another. "At thirty it's no longer fashionable to be angry. No longer in vogue to have unfocused passion. And certainly one should no longer be chasing dreams at thirty-"

"Of course not!" shouts an elder from the corner. "The dreams should already be reality by such an age."

"He'll tire himself out," they say. "There will be the sudden shift to adulthood. The inevitable collapse. And only then will we discover the identity of the third man."

The third man. No centre, no direction. Always at the peripheral, always a satellite figure. Never a true part of any whole. Formless, shapeless, roaming, lost, he will tire himself out and ultimately be spun free.

The elders will not be happy when they are proven right.

for a good time call

He'll take that collapse and give it a name, naming it after all the people he used to be. It'll be scrawled on brick walls everywhere with Sharpie markers, with Bic pens in bathroom stalls, and sprayed with paint on the sides of subway cars. He'll scrawl the name as an admission that he has absolutely nothing to say, that he is truly devoid of any creativity, and that all he has is but a single word to repeatedly scribble.

And even this can not last. Time wears, and the weather comes, wearing away any evidence of his existence, until all that is left is a dried up Bic and an empty, crumpled spray can lying in an alley. Years later, the Sharpie will be used to mark boxes as he prepares for a move out of downtown into the suburbs, where dreams are trapped in the analog recordings of Dylan's voice, and reflected back off of the foil tacked to Warhol's walls. Everything will be as it should be.

found poetry

Flash to scenes cut from a popular American sitcom where everyone dresses just right, and sits around discussing the best alternative to hardwood flooring. There are bottles of wine open, complicated hors d'oeuvres served by the hostess, and a healthy dash of sexual innuendo. Music plays, and his ears perk up as someone asks: "Are lyrics poetry?"

"No," he's quick to say. But as he does so,his ears quickly capture three lines from the song on the stereo, and his mind is changed. "Not always," he adds.


It's quiet now
And what it brings
Is everything

-M. Stipe

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