Rachmaninov and the dog

by @michaelvitaly

Rachmaninoff and the dog.

I sort of wrestle Jake to the comforter where I had been pointing

And I guess he understood because the next thing I know he was
burrowing and scraping away nesting and plopping himself down
starting to pant joyously, only to rise, circle around, pant, and land once more.

He wanted a mother hen to plant herself for the night.

I was so nervous for tomorrow that I barely let myself concentrate on the material too long
lest it lose its virility in the first few times and first instincts.

There rests a stress ball from my day’s misadventures.

I wandered in off the street, early to meet my friend at the corner of 42nd and Lexington,
and went right upstairs to which ever escalator or colored hallway would lead me.
I finally stumbled into a long hall-like ballroom flanked with pillars,
like guards against the line to see Princess Catherine.

I walked right up to the table where name tags lay resting before me.
I sort of hummed and notice the girl behind the table set up as some welcome booth.

I said hello and she asked me if I saw my name or who I was with,
I offered my name as well as that of my friend of some legitimacy in the world.

Rachmaninoff still plays on, who knows; this could be anybody by now.
Those keys fall in place along the sinews of my heart,
fibers of my being, lasting muscle walls attached to eyelids
keeping me up and wondering at this dwindling hour of the night.

The dog still rests by my side, his breathing seems faster than it should be
and I’m afraid it’s from the part of the stress ball he ate this afternoon.
Jason had given him the stress ball I had gotten for him, it was a baseball.
Of course he ate it. He’s an animal.

Today I felt like an animal. Rounding the corners of tall buildings I wasn’t familiar with,
like a stray picking up scents in the air. I stumbled upon the public library
and got a few things. Correspondence by Sylvia Plath, for J____.
A book by Zola, called GERMINAL… and still this music plays on.

A plaintive melody adding flourishes as it progresses.
Like a scene coming to you in memory one breath at a time,
a featureless landscape coming through the mesh of morning;
Where did I sleep tonight? Ah yes, I remember.

So, I was early to meet a friend and I walked in to this Hemophilia awareness conference.
It was very interesting to say the least.
I suppose everyone was doctors or people with the disease in the field.
At one point a woman assumed I had the disease
and asked me who provided me with home care.

I think doggie is sick. It seems he’s still panting and I can tell his thicker undercoat is a little sweaty.

Damnit.

This piano that fills my blood. With drops like moonshine on odorless sidewalks
flanking sidewalks and steel barricades. Along apartments and stooped fences.
Dancing on, this night rears its ugly head and I know too well I can go to her.
I know too well how good it is in her unassuming arms. To really belong.

But damnit if this plays on within me like bubbling hot water lava.

Black asphalt metal rusty tracks brown with age

Pits so black electric currents call to you through the night.

Goodnight!

At one point just as I was considering leaving,
after rounding all the tables with their swag and information:
free stuff, candies, back slings, pens and stressballs.
I picked up two stress balls and a couple of snickers bars
along with a children’s picture book on a healthy diet.

I saw the doctor who was giving the talk when I came in.

“Thank you so much Doctor,”
“oh,” he interrupts, “thanks.”
“It’s nice to know we’re all in the same boat.”
“Just so long as it’s not a sinking boat!” he chimes in
“oh no, not with all these people around!” I retort,
for I thought the whole thing absurd.
Medicine. What did they know but the way to more problems?

So what? Shine a light on anything long enough,
look at something deep enough, observe truly, openly
and really see all there is to see and you shall see
the cracks.

For nothing is perfect as it first seems –
The dog seems a little calmer
Zola stands marked off at page 10 and a half.
And that piano twinkles wickedly on.

Falling like stars in sewers
Rushing Carriages horse hooves over cobble stones.
Crashing into a turning troika .
And it is finished.

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