Sometimes a Poem is just a Poem

by G.T.

A bottle of Dog ‘n Suds root beer for a dollar. I bought two and it has put me in better spirits. Yesterday evening at work, my supervisor asked for my phone number, because apparently the store had tried calling me. She said that the powers that be wanted me start earlier last evening. I gave her my number, and now I was called and told not to come in tonight. A mere four hour shift is all I get these days, and even that is too much. Four hours. An international corporation. Honestly, I could at the very least show up and do what I did yesterday: stand in front of an open gate and guard it so wildlife and crooks don’t sneak in while the other guy is hauling merchandise in on the forklift. Security measures, or as I like to call it, the forty-five minute smoke break. Find solace in the little things, like Dog ‘n Suds.

Eiljah S. (720) – A fraternity brother. I should probably add that I had joined an exceptionally large fraternity, boasting somewhere in the forties or fifties. That was ’07, though. Times have changed.
Elijah, or Eli, I wasn’t all that close too, but he was a really fine fellow. During one of my first dinners at the fraternity, we found ourselves discussing the origins of our surnames. His is Hebrew for stone setter or stone mason. Something along those lines. Me, somebody of swarthy complexion, or somebody who lives in a swamp. At 7:50am.

“Stone setters on
the urban flats
brought it up for
us to tilt our
heads to the once
uninhibited
sky. Taller they
are, we ignore
the ground. Our
origin.”

I was fairly lukewarm about that poem. More of a warm-up and something that I could’ve improved. I brewed more coffee and splashed cold water on my face. Eli never responded. Frankly, it may not even be his number anymore. I don’t even know where he lives after graduation. I may try that number again sometime.

Eric G. (708) – Here’s an odd number to have in my cell phone. Never met this kid before in my life. Flashback to 2007. My friend Jason and I are walking onto college campuses for the first time. He at University of Illinois and I at IIT. Jason’s Resident Advisor is this kid, Eric. My friend Jason thought it would be humorous if I friend requested this kid on Facebook. I did. Jason and I expected more interesting dialogue as to why I requested a friendship. Eric didn’t offer much. Yes, I agree. A stupid joke. Well, we’ve matured since.
However, I’m still “friends” with this Eric on Facebook. And being so has totally altered my perception of the word “friend”. I don’t know this kid, and given his Facebook status bombing every hour of the fucking day, and given their content, I doubt we would ever be friends in “reality”. He’s one of those people with approximately 700,000 friends which is increasing at a rate of about five requests per twenty minutes.
The subject of a typical Facebook status from Eric usually regards comic book culture and such. Good for him. To each their own. When I began this poetry project, I asked Jason for Eric’s phone number. I may as well take our “friendship” to the next level. At 8:53am.

“Comic book villains
sent him hiding
behind screen names.
Reality had no masked
heroes. Imaginary
seclusion and a diet
of microwaveables.
Save him from himself.”

Indirectly offensive. That happened to cross my mind after I submitted it. Always after for some reason. The point of no return gives rise to insight.
Eric wasn’t responding. I must’ve been interrupting his lunch of Easy Mac and Mountain Dew. Around noon, I was about to take my afternoon nap. And it occured to me. Are there racist overtones in Star Wars? I knew who to ask.

11:49am, Me: “Why does Mace Windu have a purple lightsaber, and not a blue or green one? Can you answer that question for me?”

No response.

12:22pm, Me: “Listen Eric, the only reason I ask is because I thought you were an authority on Star Wars. Do I have to “force” you to respond?”

Calling him an authority on Star Wars, in my mind, would’ve triggered some kind of response. I tried stroking his ego. I still don’t know how to do one of those jedi mind tricks via texting yet.

No response. Wasn’t there some new Halo video game that came out? Bad timing on my part.

Erik H. (651) – Pledge brother, psychology major, music buff, and last I spoke to him, was thinking of becoming a wine connoisseur. At 11:27am.

“Lost in a cloud of a
Freudian cigar’s smoke
“phallacy”.
Trying to find that
silver lining of
whichever
Kierkegaardian
sphere that we find
ourselves within.”

Some of you may wonder why I misspelled fallacy. “Sometime a cigar is just a cigar.” If you don’t get it, maybe a cigar just isn’t simply a cigar to you.

11:43am, Erik: “That’s pretty awesome, you write it?”

11:44am, Me: “Yes, I did. I’m pleased that you like it.”

Personally, I’ve been a bit critical about my most recent posts. I feel as though my commentary has fallen a bit flat. But the responses have been minimal, too. Part of this project depends on the recipient. Tomorrow, there will be responses.