Old Dogs

RECOGNITION


I'm standing
upon
what appears
to be ground
but it's an unsubstantial surface
with little definition
although more solid
and stable
than what hangs above

my perception clouded
by swirling masses of gray
not lending much in the way
of helpful illumination
a low but powerful
persistent machine-like hum
permeates the maelstrom

I can't seem to focus
upon anything but
a distant figure
in the ethereal mist
moving slowly toward
my own
dim form

"hey man!
wake up!
time to go home!"

"huh?"

"you passed out here
hours ago
so thought
we'd let you
sleep it off

you really downed
a lot of brew
tonight"
"I wasn't passed out

I was...
somewhere else"

"Sure
whatever
let's get the hell
outta here"

"OK"

I crawl slowly
out of the corner booth
gather my coat
and remaining
money from the table
and follow him
outta there
wondering
where I had been

the figure
gets closer
and now I can see
there are more following
all clad
in similar
dark hooded cloaks
the same
apparently
as I

we are all
monks
in some second-rate
horror flick
of Purgatory

I come around
on my own
this time
as if
from a daydream
sitting behind my desk
in the midst
of hectic
workday activity

no one seems
to have noticed
my absence
and I listlessly return
to the boring task
in front of me

I've long since
stopped trying
to explain
these displaced realities
to my concerned friends
and curious strangers
all who tell me
simply
to ease up
on my heavy drinking
confusing effect
with cause

I know
that it's
useless

the days
for me
coming rapidly
to a close

when I finally see
that horrible hooded face
approaching in my own
alternate universe
the enveloping grayness
will become
my world
leaving the daylight
to those
who know
only
the sun