Old Dogs

SIDEWALK KARMA


heading
into town
on a mail run
glad of any diversion
away from the station
the workday drags
like slow death
and it's only
10am

a beautiful
summer morning
air sweet and aromatic
sun shining around
a few high
fluffy clouds
sharp in contrast
against the dazzling
blue

it reminds us
that we've spent
the day
thus far
under fluorescent lighting
breathing in an
overconditioned
atmosphere

the usual
midweek activity
bustles busily about
the downtown streets
and we pick up
our packages
feeling that we're
maybe
moving a bit
too quickly

both of us
loathe to hasten
our return
to the routine

one more
loop through town
to delay the trip back
cruising at 20 mph
taking in the scenery
and the vibrations
of life

he's up
on our right
strolling casually
no purpose
no rush
ratty jeans and sandals
Motley Crue tee shirt
long hair blowing
in the buffeting
breeze

Bryan's incensed

"hippy bastard"

he says
and I nod my head
in understanding
as we roll slowly past
our reverie broken
ready now
to return
to the job

we had
work
to do

a year gone by
and I still remember
that silent drive
back
to the station

"hippy bastard"

he had said
but what he meant
and what I heard
was "lucky bastard"
walking in the sunshine
breathing in the air
of noncomformity

I remember
this now
as I walk aimlessly
along the city streets
heavy traffic passing by
an occasional shaking head
or disgusted stare
cast in my
direction

somehow
I don't feel
quite as free
as I had
always
expected