Monday, November 20, 2023



The one thing I miss about the pandemic

Was always wearing the mask.

Free range to talk to myself 

Without anyone seeing my lips moving. 

Don’t judge 

It’s none of your business. 

Just listen 

Sometimes an excited whisper

Often a boring low drone 

Mostly a dinner party overcompensation. 

The best way to become less self-

Conscious is to incessantly talk to yourself 

Out loud as much as you can.

Become the mad man muttering 

On the sidewalk that everyone

Crosses the street to avoid. 

We aren’t really crazy

Just a little less self aware.

Now that I have to keep those

Conversations to myself again

I experience a certain loss

Like abandonment as a child 

Before he understands

What it means to be lonely.

I’m an adult now 

Which means all that running 

Dialogue has to stay inside my head 

Which breaks the spell. 

It’s just me staring through ghosts.

I get excited for the drive home

He rides shotgun like it’s Saturday night 

Again and we talk the whole way like

Old pals from the neighborhood catching up.

Here we don’t need a mask. 

At red lights drivers in adjacent cars

Shake their heads and smile

Younger folks assume I’m on speaker phone.

The elderly guess I’m communing

With a dead dad, projecting on to me

Hopes for their own middle aged kids.

I may as well be

By then there’s no difference

I’ve forgotten it’s just me.


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