Instrument

“hey @here,
because of the dismal conditions I’m working from home today. Desk is free if you want it.”
They will assume I’m talking about the downpour
Which isn’t entirely untrue.
I scoff at my own inner dramatism
“It’s fucking weird that you care so much. Stop writing these things.”
Whatever.
Swap a character and a detail or two and write the story again
As I’m sure to do next month
Or the month after
As the screeching notes of chance hum into tune again
Then diverge, again, into stomach-churning oscillations.
Putting it all on mute seems like sound advice
But I am just an instrument
And these knobs and switches are just for show.

(In/a)ttention

“We might make music together,” you offer
Although I didn’t ask who it was, I’m certain now
Having heard the same on two occasions prior.

I won’t hold my breath.
I’m happy I didn’t say that (oh, he of little faith!)
As it’s uncouth. Though realizing you don’t remember our conversations, quips just pouring nervously forth unbound by attention, strikes me too as a sign of unwitting ill intention — or at least a waste.

It leaves a stale incense taste, and I’m thankful for my timely-retrieved toothbrush.

Cyclical

Pay closer attention.
Watch the way she moves, she speaks,
Listen. Give yourself to the moment,
The “vibe”
(A douchey term, but apt to describe it.)
And
That, surely, will…

Don’t pay such close attention.
Feel the blurring of bulleted list items
This time, that time,
Slurred speech, cut lines
Don’t encode anecdotes
Except as tools for future use.

You cynical bastard.
Pay closer attention.

Phone

Plug it in and turn the ringer off
Because I don’t want to hear that fucking buzzing sound
Or even see the little flashing bulb
Someone wants something, probably,
Or an event has just been updated.
I can’t turn it off because it wakes me,
Whether I like it or not,
Each morning
Or my mom might call, permitted to bypass the silence — just in case.
At least barring emergency, I can sleep
Hopefully soundly
Before the sound marked Default brings me back around
To rise and repeat.

Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts

The kettle snaps to the off position,
I reach to pour my tea water.
My fingers removed from the fretboard, my mind finds its mean streak.
“Ah, but here’s the fun part…
The only fun part,” I add, despondent.
My friend looks up.
“Take a bet — how long will it last?”
He chuckles and pauses. Not invested, but game.
“Two months.”
My fingers have found the frets again.
“I mean, I wouldn’t put money on this, but 2 months.”
He heads for the doorway and mounts the stairs.
A minute passes. I fumble a transition.
“Oh!” I call out. “One month.”
“What?”
“One month. That’s my bet.”
It feels hollow. I laugh, because it seems like the thing to do.
“Bad thoughts rot your meat,” I think to myself, wondering if I might be so fortunate.