As she straddled across the room,
Tagged in: poetry
Carrier of man’s problems, pervasive and persuasive
A place of peace in the midst of insanity and noise
For a breather where none exists
To wallow in life’s problems and listen to one’s own conscience
To plan and pan, to feel alive
To stare at the barman
Or at the one woman who will serve a pint without throwing a fit
The bar Stool
Raised, higher than all other seats
A place where the lone wolf can sit and wish he had friends
Where he can make new friends and pay his own bill
Some sit on it because it makes them taller
For the first time in a whole day, they feel bigger than they really are
Because hot girls seem to sit there when they are lonely
Because unlike the noise in the background
The drugs, the ruined lives, and liver cirrhosis
The gout and throat cancer
The addictions and pervasions in the background
The happiness in the midst of ruin
Unlike the riches burnt in the background
The school fees not paid and battered spouses
The abandoned families and lost jobs
The choking and yet tempting cigarette smoke
The death and despair, the dance floor
The madness that seems like hell
Where people of different world’s can meet and meat
Where deals have been made and governments brought down
Where independence has been won and history made
Where Prohibition and taxation can do no harm
Where everyone is here to enjoy and make merry
Some to make a living
Some to steal it
Some to forget the problems that life has blessed them with
To forget if only for an hour
Sacrifice for a moment of happiness they will want to enjoy on the morrow
To meet new people
Dance away life’s problems and scream like the voice box has no knob
To kiss and love away at strangers
People life would never have brought them close to
To run away from the darkness that is their lives
And yet, a different man and woman sit on the bar stool
A man who would readily give up his high sit to be on the background with friends
A woman waiting for someone, or waiting to forget another
An old man on the prowl, for women or for amnesia
A young man waiting for his meal
An old maid staring at the barman’s abs
A little high chair, staring at the pints in their bottles
Wondering whether everyone else has a story of their own
Some sit on it to run away from the madness, to ponder, stare, glare
Some sit on the bar stool, alone, because it is the only place quiet enough
Quiet enough to read the paper, noisy enough to be in on all of it.
Walking in the streets today, something weird happened
Two weird things happened
A little girl, two little girls
Walked up to me as I hurried away
They each held on to one of my hands
And prayed that I give them a coin
I looked around, and saw
The mother’s menacing look
Like a pimp with a camera in the hotel room
Daring me to hurt their little children.
So I hurried away.
One let go, but the other little girl
The other little girl did not
She was not so little
Maybe seven, eight years old
She held on and walked at my pace
Half jogged even, as much as her little strides could.
I ignored her, or tried to, and walked even faster.
Twenty metres, she still did not let go.
Thirty metres, fourty, fifty…
I knew that at some point she would have to let go….
I was looking ahead, at something else…
On the road a few metres away, a young boy sat on the back of his mother’s wheelchair
A not so young boy
He sat there, his legs swinging away as his crippled mother
Manouvered her way through the midday traffic.
Unfair, I thought..
Why would he burden his mother even further than she was.
How unfair could a child be, I thought
So unfair as to not see his mother’s plight
Just add weight to he already burdened life
Just sitting at the back, on the big box
Maybe she was a hawker, and the box bore her wares
So, it was even heavy without the little boy.
But then I saw something beautiful,
A balance of nature between mother and son..
When the road started uphill
The not so young boy disembarked
And pushed his mother’s wheelchair,
Helping her negotiate the traffic…
Back to the little girl who would not let go
I ignored her because she was clean
And I knew one of the women looking at me was the mother
I ignored her because
She should have been in school
Because she has a future ahead of her, whether bright or not
I walked away because I saw in her eyes (when I did steal a glance)
A desperation for something more…
Then she did something I did not expect.
When she saw that it was all futile
She stopped, causing me to slow down because she still held my hand
She pinched me really hard.