Edge of Town II

When my cab pulls up
there’s one car in the lot,
with New Jersey plates.

We hug
awkwardly then look
each other over.

It’s like the last time I saw you
you weren’t all the way to yourself.

Yeah, Mike laughs. Weird thing about guys.
All the girls I went to high school with
were totally there by senior year.

I lean back in the waiting area booth.
It’s just us and the staff.
The dim light feels heavy.
A waft of green tea hits me.

It’s so… it’s like we were almost lying
about being us, you know?

He chuckles. A waiter comes
at us with menus.

Mike gestures out the window.
I took a drive around earlier: nothing
lasts. Not even the Candy Connection.

I scoff. You know, I haven’t, either.

But you’re in… Brookline now, right?
You can visit any time.

Sure, I guess I could. But it feels
like a foreign country out here.
If you don’t have a mortgage
or a College job, everyone looks at you like you’re unfit
like you’re some kind of saltwater weed
in their pond.

Frickin’ tell me about it. My old house
looks like a mansion now.
I spent two minutes trying to find
my old front door. Then this Hispanic lady
walks out from the back, and pulls out
in a ten-years-old Tercel, almost
T-boned me. There was a guy in the doorway,
watched the whole thing happen
with this real dirty look.

I almost got out and said something
but then I thought, this guy thinks I belong here
as much as the maid. And he starts
to walk over. I think, how’s this guy
different from my dad, right? I can talk to him.

He comes right up to my window,
leans over, stares at the gear shift, sighs
and says if I’m not here
to clean the windows, I can just fuck off.

And what was I supposed to say?
Hey, man, I grew up here.
I mean, I grew up in the house
you bulldozed.
So you can fuck off.

I’ve tried that.
It doesn’t work.

Added: January 26, 2013 | Last changed: January 23, 2015