Waiting for October

I do not like writing about where I am,
in this office with light gray walls
that I call middle ground.

Beside me sits a typewriter, covered
with dust collecting
since 1974
and a computer outdated
in 1998
no one knows how to use.

I do not like writing about a place
where Joe has been cleaning cars
since 1962
for six twenty-five per hour.
He’ll get a twenty-five cent raise
in October,
his first one in ten years.

I do like talking with James,
who once stole a Dodge Stealth
for fifteen minutes
and when he brought it back,
he said that a tarantula bit him
and he lost all his memory
so he’d take no responsibility
for stealing the car.
He got sent home for three days,
and Joe is the only one
who believed him.

I did not believe him
what would I do
if a tarantula bit me
and I took no responsibility

I’m certain I wouldn’t do
what Alex did
when he promised a free car
to a customer
in exchange for sex
and he didn’t even claim
anything bit him.

This poem was written in the late 90s.