insignificance and humility

sometimes i like to sit in a lawn chair and stare at the night sky in the summer mostly just to get cooled down before i go to bed. i stare at the sky long enough to feel very insignicant and tiny – a piece of space dust mote swirling in a dim ray of light. this helps me to realize that since i am not as important as i once imagined, then i need not worry so much about legacy or accomplishment or immortality or responsibility for solving the ills of the world. my brain case cannot hold it all…shipments of knowledge and pallets of wisdom cannot fit in such a tiny confined space. it is these times when i avail myself of the packaged published wisdom of more talented minds…

 

enemy of the king, 1935

 

I kept looking at him and thinking,

the ears don’t fit and the mouth

is foolish and the eyes are wrong.

his shoes don’t look right and his tone of

voice is an insult.

his shirt hangs from his shoulders

as if it dislikes him.

he chews his food like a dog

and look at that Adam’s apple!

and why are his favorite subjects

“money” and “work”?

why does he splash angrily

in the bathtub

when he bathes?

and why does he hate me?

and why do I hate him?

why are we enemies?

why does he look like a fool?

how can I get away from him?

 

“what the hell are you looking

at?” he screams.

“go to your room!

I’ll deal with you later!”

 

“have it your way.”

“what?”

“have it your way.”

 

“you can’t talk to me like

that!

go to your room!”

 

the room was beautiful.

I couldn’t see him anymore.

I couldn’t hear his voice.

I looked in the dresser.

the dresser was beautiful.

I looked at the rug.

the rug was beautiful.

I sat in a chair and waited.

 

hours passed.

 

it was dark.

now he was listening to the

radio

in the living room.

 

I kicked the screen open and

dropped out the window.

then I was out in the cool night,

walking.

 

I was 15 years old,

looking for something,

anything.

 

it wasn’t there.

 

-Charles Bukowski,  The Flash Of Lightening Behind The Mountain.

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