Victorious in a Social Situation

Through the sprawl of Fernwood he walked
through the land of free shit he strolled
smoking a victory Pall Mall
and thinking about how well everything had gone.

With deftness he had handled that awful series of questions:
“So what do you do?”
“Oh, what do you write?”
“Do you make any money doing that?”

With a series of brilliant answers:
“I’m a writer.”
“Poetry, prose, and some journalism.”
“Enough to get in a cab, and say I can’t pay anymore than the base zone fee.”

He had waded through conversations about adult topics
he spoke of kids he didn’t want to have
serious jobs with clients and normal working hours
he talked about wine and scotch and a variety of learned topics
and he did all of this
without making any jokes about his dick.

He didn’t get drunk
he sipped
he kept things normal
all the while wanting to scream at the top of his lungs
and bolt from this palace of normal
of walls lined with Urban Barn décor
and nice throw pillows
and comfy chairs that weren’t found beside a dumpster.

People laughed at his jokes
and didn’t talk about his long hair
or the holes in his jeans
and he handled himself well
safely
like one who works through a minefield.

As he looked at the clock
for the right time to say,
“Well, I’ve had a lovely evening, thank you for the wine,”
he felt as though this had gone better than he had hoped
and if only his hands would stop shaking
he’d be able to say the words and take his victory march.
The words were said
and the temptation to sit forever, until everyone went to bed
was resisted and cast aside
and so he put on his shoes
and walked out into the street
to see a pack of skateboard punks roll down late night roads
chugging cans of beer.

He smiled and turned to home
with a quickness in his step
for home was where the records were
and nobody else.

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