augury doggerel

Thursday, March 13, 2003


At home, no kid, for I am feared contagious and the kid is exiled to the land of grandmothering. And no woman, for she has shuffled off this snuffle and brisks about life, demonstrates cartwheels to wondering children, gallops horses until they're tired. I am home and the cat on the floor rolls over to keep up with the sun.

But this morning, I leave the apartment for five minutes to buy food and see another human. The girl behind the counter is there every day before work, and the clock on the wall is the keeper of bus time.

Me: "Good morning. That big piece of cheese, please. And a loaf of bread. And... pea soup."
Clock: "Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick."
Girl: "Bread? Soup? The gentleman does not want rolls today?"
Me: "No, thank you. I am staying home today. I am not feeling well."
Clock: "Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick."
Girl: "For the gentleman." [putting my things on the counter]
Me: "OK, maybe five roll. [sic] Rolls."
Clock: "Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick."
Me: "Thank you."
Girl: "The gentleman is not from around here."
Me: "No."

But I am coughing now and I forget to say where it is I am from. She will never ask again. I don't ask her for synonyms to cabin fever. She might know. The clock might fall off the wall.


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