Old Dogs

SMALL CHANGE


I wake up
this morning
on the couch
fully clothed
glasses at a tilt
but not quite
to the point
of falling
off
onto the floor

every few minutes
another car starts
out
in the parking lot
to take
some miserable soul
to some miserable
job

thank God
I had
no place
to go

I right myself
to a seated
position
and survey
the damage

a pyramid
of empty beer cans
rising above the trash
on the coffee table
gives me a fairly
accurate account
of last night's
consumption
although
the vacant feeling
in my reeling head
is probably
indication
enough

now my mind
makes that panicked
leap of perception
necessary
to attend
to a more pending
and vital concern

MONEY

this is always
the most painful
of the many realizations
acquired
the wretched morning after
a night of inebriation
which is practically
every morning
these days

I reach deep
into my pants pockets
thankfully
coming in contact
with the wadded remains
of yesterdays
"bankroll"

I retrieve and separate
the crumpled bills
there's a five
six...
seven...
eight...
nine dollars
and
twenty five...
thirty five...
forty...
forty one...
forty two cents
in change
I had blown
nearly a hundred bucks
in a forgettable evening
with nothing more
to show
for the disgusting effort
other than beer cans
and a greasy
pizza box

the rent's due
in a couple of days
there's nothing to eat
in the filthy kitchen
and of course
no job
or hope
of timely
inheritance

just $9.42
which I guess
is slightly better
than nothing
at all

my problem is
that it's just
enough cash
to give me a chance
of surviving another day
in the mindless manner
to which I have grown
so lazily accustomed
but not really enough
to make a change
toward a more
rewarding
future

$9.42
was enough
for a cold case
of cheap beer
and maybe
a couple of bags
of peanuts or chips
to get me through
another hopeless
waking period
of despair

tomorrow
I'll get serious
about my pointless life
unless
of course
I can come up
with another
ten dollars
or so