Old Dogs

ESCALATOR


I stared down
at the moving metal
containing a certain death
singing its
siren's song

"ascend with me
and leave your fears
below"

but
my unsteady legs
froze at the bottom
and my mind reeled
as I tried to fix
upon that first
fleeting footfall
of doom

the restroom
would have to be
on the upper level
as good as a million
impossible miles away
in this hangover state
what was I doing
trapped in a mall
in this wretched
condition?

I couldn't
even remember
why I was here
but now
this was my hell
frozen forever in fear
terrified at the prospect
of climbing aboard
that necromancer's
staircase
emerging
as it seemed
from the very bowels
of an ancient
underworld

I watched
as other people
stepped around me
mounted the conveyance
and began
to smoothly rise

I listened
for their screams
as they vanished
out of sight
on the waiting floor above
but no warning cries
or pleas of rescue
floated down to me

I was apparently
its only intended victim
probably to be harmlessly
transported to the top and
lulled into false sense
of ludicrous security
only then
to be pulled under
by the disappearing
path of peril
and mercilessly
ground to hamburger
by the macabre
machinery
below

I desperately
needed some relief
from my alcoholic distress
whether it be by
urination
defecation
or regurgitation
but that conveyor
of catastrophe
blocked my way
and finally
I turned
humiliated in defeat
to weave my way
toward the exit
to a hopefully
stationary
parking lot

technology
had blocked
my way to refuge
so I returned again
to the welcoming arms
of society's
wilderness