Walk of Shame


The path is all too familiar.
Every landmark
Pumps shame
Into my blood.
It’s a conditioned response.
Like Pavlov’s dogs.
If somebody showed me a photo
Of any of those places
I would feel the shame.

It ruined the Charles River for me
Or at least that part of the Charles.
Or maybe just
That
Specific
Bridge.

First, it’s the mechanic’s garage.
Some sort of rack with tires on it.
The sounds of drilling
Tire pressure sssssssstttttssss.
Ratchets.
Each sound pumps more shame
Into the veins.

Then the bridge is next.
The Charles water’s flowing
The ducks floating
Birds chirping
All happy to start a new day.
I envy their enthusiasm.
And the innocence.
Nothing to regret from the previous night.

The traffic whizzes by me
And I’m still wearing my clothes
From last night.
All wrinkled.
My hair matted and parted
In all the wrong ways.
Alfafa
Bed-head.
Crumbs of eye crust.

The drivers may be able to see
The blemishes.
Or maybe I’m far enough away
To still look normal.

But I feel and look like a zombie.
Dehydrated.
Head so fuzzy
Not present
Not even on earth
My brain cells all currently dysfunctional
My skull feels hollow.
The booze burned up
All the intelligence.
Like somebody had poured
Acid into my ear.

After the bridge comes a weird
Industrial-type-road.
Blue-collar workers
Pulling up to their places of employment
In pick-up trucks
Extra-large Dunkins coffees in hand.
Fresh
Energized
Ready to work.

And then there’s me.
The zombie suffering the consequences
Of a thirsty-Thursday night.
They glance over
And see that something’s off.
The attire isn’t right…it’s for nighttime
Not day
And it’s wrinkled.
Cleary suspicious.

Thank God they can’t smell me.
There would be odorous acid burps.
Sour vagina.
Stale deodorant.
Stale Natural Ice.

Finally I arrive at my car
Start the engine
And drive off.
Zombie driver
So dangerous
Hung over
But sober
So totally legal…

Legal, yes…
But everything is so very wrong
Not just me behind the wheel of the car
But me behind the wheel of life.

 


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