Old Dogs


since childhood
I have always held
a certain fascination
for electronic gadgets
and equipment of any kind
it wasn't so much
what they did
or how they did it
it was all of those
marvelous knobs and controls
colorful displays
indicator lights
toggle switches
and mesmerizing

I have also had
a particular fondness
for isolated locations
poring over maps in my youth
looking for those small towns
lost in the deserts
and on jagged
ocean coastlines
dreaming of the day
when I would finally live
in such an environment
quite far removed
from the hectic
centers of

in my mind
the ideal job
would have a mix
of these two elements
electronics and isolation
tweaking knobs and controls
out in the vast reaches
of some remote region
where only a few people
might also sparingly reside
and I could spend my life
in a cloistered existence
performing some esoteric duty
no one else
would want
to do

it seems ironic
that through no plan
or prior design
that I would end up
in the Coast Guard
assigned to arcane
electronic installations
situated in sparsely populated
and harshly climated
spots about
the hemisphere

a striking
self realization
surprised me one evening
at the end of a lonely cape
on Kodiak Island
I was all alone
taking readings
and making adjustments
to an uncooperative piece
of communications gear
and as I sat back to wait
for the results of my labor
a flash of recognition
flared in my memory
and it all came back to me
those childhood hopes
and desires
to be exactly
where I had somehow
managed to land

I had achieved
almost unwittingly
my early career goal
everything that I had conjured
as the perfect incarnation
of lifelong employment
had come to pass
and the only wish
I had come to have
was to get the hell
out of the boondocks
lose myself in a city
amidst the human horde
and take whatever miserable
mundane little job
I could find
living life
on it simplest
and most profane
collection of terms

I eventually
left the service
moved to the city
and acquired employment
as a lowly sales clerk
a position in which
I last only a few months
until my sensibilities
were so offended
that I was forced
to resign

I spend my time
barricaded in a apartment
sitting at the electric typewriter
which has many lovely keys
and somehow I feel
at home