living vicariously…

For what its worth,
which probably ain’t all that much,
at one point,
I thought it was really important
to understand
as much as possible
about everything having to do with

You can easily share the
apprehension that comes
with thinking about why,
much too much
for the sake of sanity
and getting something
useful done.

Moreso than any
chemical elixir
is the seduction of vanity
that comes with
thinking too long
about all the why’s.

Meanwhile the world moves on;
people have babies
that grow up to be more people
who act just as mysteriously
as their parents used to
before they got boring
and predictable.

All the while I lose afternoons,
and the last part
of a good many mornings,
and some all nights,
thinking about all those

Like why does it matter
if I choose to disregard
some arcane aspect
of a dress code?
Why do people settle
for certainty when
uncertainty comprises
so much more of the world?

Before I knew what happened
to all the time that hadn’t
happened yet,
it went and happened
and all the time that’s
still waiting
will probably creep by;
but it won’t be
because I’m thinking
about the why’s.

Passive wonder will
have to be enough,
there are probably things to do,
things like buying sweaters
and ties, mowing the lawn,
and of course having babies.

It sure seems like a lot of work;
there’s not enough hours
in a day or even a week
to do all that and still
think about the why’s.

Practice trumps theory again.
a fact that there’s no need
to wonder about;
the same holds true
for the babies and ties
and lawnmowers
and department store sales
on all of ’em.

Yet most everyone makes the same choice,
or maybe they just compromise;
thinking to themselves,
“it’s not as good as knowing why
but I’m getting laid more often,
and my car is shiny and fast,
and my house is huge,
and filled with stuff,
and all that’s gotta be worth
something, right?”

But what about the why’s?
Someone has to think about them,
and what is it exactly
all those University approved
do with their day?
I suspect they spend very little time
on the why’s.
A drug like that isn’t allowed
at work.

All of this curls back on itself,
with the gravity of everything
tugging on everything,
nothing moves except
when everything moves,
and why is that?
and does it have to be the
way it is?

Only when another afternoon
is lost on all those why’s
do I remember why I
decided not to think about
all those why’s in the first place,
saying to myself
“remember potted plants, and
settling down for a few decades,
and coaching little league,
and all the other shit you
thought you were supposed to do.”

With shaky confidence in my judgment;
is there any other kind? (strike that.
we’re not thinking about that right now.)
but confidence nonetheless,
I’m gonna settle in
for the long haul,
maybe get an office plant or two;
brag to everyone ’bout how good
it is when my car is the
right color, without so many
stickers and dents.
maybe even a baby seat
clinging to the seat belt
for dear life.

In the midst of all the
gonna be’s,
it seems too much; for one thing,
who’s going to trust me
with all the trappings of
this high class life?
Not me, that’s for sure.

Not to mention,
it still feels like
too much work without
adequate reward.
Call me foolish anytime,
but that much work
demands much more,
why sell out so cheap when
the money’s just paper
and the car needs gas,
and a trustworthy mechanic;
and the grass is growing too high,
and it’s not the good kind of grass
or the good kind of high.

Suspended between everything
with no desire to choose
seems to piss off those
around me, but none of them
know why it has to be
a decision in the first place;
so why should I trust their judgment
over my own?

Nothing resolved,
but another evening and morning
sacrificed to thinking
too much about all the things
I keep promising myself
I won’t think about any more.
Does it say something about
my infidelity to myself;
or simply my lazy ambivalence
to anything but thinking
about the why’s,
and do they have rehab
for this sort of thing?

I walked 12 steps to the kitchen
and drank some soda
and ate some leftover spaghetti
with cold sauce and no meatballs
and wondered why I hadn’t cared
enough to make some
earlier this afternoon.
Tomorrow I’ll go to the store
and get all the stuff to make chilli.
It’ll be progress.
It’ll be fun.


With all this on my plate,
for later, I feel fine;
fine enough for omphaloskepsis;
babies and chilli are the farthest things
from my mind. What’s a few
more hours, anyway?

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