Art by Norman E. Masters
I am turning end over end like a bright silver coin flashing in the sunlight. It's rugged! Twenty three years spinning above the earth. Am I heads or am I tails ? I don't know yet. It's so embarrassing to be alive ! We wear our doubts like overcoats even though it's eighty degrees in the shade. Our rationalizations have a sour taste and begin to reek of inverted jealousies. "It must be the heat." Forgive him, senorita for desiring you. His heart was in his mouth all afternoon. He felt warm & cool all at the same time. In his head first it was yes then it was no. He did not possess enough confidence in his charm. So he resorted to cunning. He decided to flip a coin. Heads yes, tails no. Regrettably, it came up heads. "I guess I came on too strong." You didn't even know her name yet. But then again you don't know the name of your mailman either. Is this really any less of a crime ? Why any day now he might deliver a draft summons, and off you'd go into the foreign legion. Just like that. ( snap! ) One can't be too careful these days. The IRS may not-so-secretly decide they really hate your poetic guts and that you could use a little shaking up. Just to let you know they're watching. If you knew your mailman by name you could say " Hold it, Elijah! No way on God's green earth I want this here letter. Five dollars sez I've moved to Siberia. I want to live to be a thousand ! " I'm not a coward, I'm merely practical. There is a pendulum in my heart swaying to and fro between the cynical and the ideal. I'd much rather smash this grandfather clock And get it over with, but I can't. ( Or I won't. ) What's more I don't know how... ...and perhaps the shock would kill me. Yes, yes I confess, let my great crime be known ! I need love. Living scares me to death. But life is no novel no matter how good. It is life ! Fiction arrives second hand from existence. Not the other way around. Don't let me become the page you left white in your diary, my dearest stranger. Forgive me life for desiring you. I did not possess enough confidence in my charm. So I resorted to cunning. Twenty three years! It's rugged!