mere words make no poem…

“how to become a philosopher”

When I don’t recognize
the number,
I usually don’t bother answering.
In most cases,
they just want money,
either donations or past due
bills destined to remain
past due.

Sometimes,
devoid of anything
better to do,
I’ll answer the call,
hoping for a bill
collector. because
when you want an
argument, they’ll
usually oblige. Of course,
I’m still broke, so all
they get are words,
never dollars.
Words are free.

Yesterday, I was prepped
for battle with
ridiculous stories about terrorists
and bank robbers.
As these things usually go,
it wasn’t a bill collector,
just a scared undergraduate
collecting names,
addresses,
occupations,
children,
that kind of garbage.

I gave her a fake address,
no sense giving that
up for free. The bill collectors
find their way here just
fine without advertising
my residence.

As for occupation,
I told her I was a philosopher.
It seemed fair enough.
There wouldn’t be any
requests for donations,
philosophers draw no paycheck,
and this philosopher pays
no dues.

So she hung up the phone.
I looked around the room,
and tried to remember the
funny story I’d come up
to tell the bill collectors
and the credit card company
customer service representatives.
It was gone,
and I was a philosopher.

Ironically enough,
it was easier
than being a deadbeat.

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