Dogs 2006

DINNER CONVERSATION
(11/14/06)


we sit
around the table
of a Chinese buffet
"restaurant"
my father
and his wife
in for a weekend visit
my ex-fiancée
whom they like better
than most of my other
ex-relationships
and me
the four of us
eat and talk
ad nauseam

Day Three
of their stay
and I am dry
of ideas and concepts
that may be of interest
which is why the ex is here
she forges ahead verbally
over chasms
of awkward silences
through mine fields
of veiled references
and around obtuse obstacles
with an endless chatter
of needed niceties
nonetheless questionable
in their veracity

she's entertaining

I look around
for something of substance
but only catch the eye
of a knowing waiter
gazing out the window
who shrugs
his shoulders
when he sees
my searching
gaze

"what are
you gonna do?"
he seems to proffer
rhetorically

I know
what I'd like
to do
stand up silently
leave the establishment
and find the nearest clump of dirt
to hold in my hands
probe with my fingers
and bring to my face
to smell something
that hints of
reality

if a small asteroid
or large meteorite
struck the planet
the food
the building
the conversation
the people
their vehicles
et cetera
all gone
but the dirt
would still
be here

I like that

I wave
at my savior
and he sweeps in
with the check
which I have to swiftly
swipe from my
father's
reaching hand

no
Dad
this bill
I will gladly
pay

let's go