“You need to get laid, my friend.”
Peter had had enough of my wistful staring. He was not buying me drinks to have me sit out the game.
“Shit, I would if I thought it would help.”
“Sorry, Just thinky.”
“Let me guess: art stuff, right? Man, why can’t you just worry about the same stuff the rest of us do? You don’t say a word when you’re selling CDs for gas money, but heaven forbid we get a new Poet Laurette you don’t like, and you’re depressed for a fucking week.”
“It’s Poet Laureate.”
“See, who cares? I think you’re an alien from the planet Photon or something. That would explain it, except you never have goodies like lasers or anything. What good is an alien with nothing to offer the good people of earth?”
The best question I’d heard in a while. It’s not just the culture of this country, but the race of beings currently at the helm at the rock as a whole. Product is everything. Screw creation in the shadows, and forget the future. It’s production logged and measured in units available to the public. It’s black and white, over the tender shoulder head shots on double-glossy business cards. Bob Rauch – Novelist. Roberto Mist, Esq. – Poet. The thought made me queasy and the truth of it made me head for the men’s. I passed under the neon that buzzed the same whether the evening was shaping up to be a win or loss for the nighthawks at the diner, the same it had since that night Spider John got crazy after his set and nailed it with a lowball glass. He doesn’t play her anymore. Maybe he got queasy, too, fed up with the kids talking over his songs and not listening to anything an alien like him might have to offer. Maybe he’s been hiding out here in the stall. Maybe its his spaceship. No, not tonight. Nothing but errant piss and toilet tags. Post-modern literature as deemed by the Council on Reversed Baseball Caps. I find myself searching it for real bits of wisdom underneath the bogroll, like looking in the mirror for signs of a hand well played. But until they show up, I'll wait. I'm patient. Aliens are patient. I'll keep looking. And one day I'll show up and I'll have it tucked in the palm of my hand. I'll wait until the band takes a break, because aliens are considerate, then I'll buy the bar a round. Peter'll set in, and that's when I'll whip it out. He'll think it's a joke, try to knock it away, but I will hold it up and he will see it is for the good people of earth and it will be shiny and the future and I'll make sure everyone sees the look on his face. I'll make sure everyone sees the look on his face when he notices it's set to kill.