inward jot

Mike Madigan
Mar 15, 2018 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Old man sitting at table in front of me, the long one where that group usually bases. I’m here quite early, and only from not having to take kids to school, wife needing to be at her school especially early for a meeting. Me here for meeting with self. 07:55 now, and I’m more in work and tireless mode than I was all this week. Have over an hour, ten minutes to be with self in this meeting to collect as I need. Already with one poem done. Plan on more. Leaving here with a chap book done. This morning realized, for the something-millionth time, the importance of self-publishing for me.

The old man, and I hate calling him that, looks beat, tired, surrendered. I will be there one day, or could be, might be, if I live that long. I’m not there now, and I’m not attempting to trivialize his state, reality. Meandering in my thought while remaining contained. Seeing today as ever-important, crucial to my composition and assembly of ideas, where I’m going, what I’m doing with my writings and books, chap or otherwise. The old man wakes up, perks up like a man my age or younger and starts laughing, telling jokes that I can’t hear through my current jazz track, but his figure is elated, elevated, newly-emancipated. I feel like the old man, one minute before 08:00. Time in and on my mind, where I am in it, nearing 39, students telling me yesterday that I’m not old after telling them I was recently mocked by an older family member for calling myself “old”. They told me I’m far from aged, these younger students, much younger. What is it with me and age, aging? Why do I obsess over it? Why did I elect the “old man” as my first address after finishing the poem?

Sip coffee, put tumbler back down on table, look right, out window, two men who look like painters in long white van laughing, one of them using quote-fingers as he speaks, other man laughing. Why am I not laughing. Especially at myself, how I so much put self in the aging thoughts. What if I’m younger than what the number says. What if I could be even younger by day’s end? What if I could reverse my age, by clock-out time, today? I can do anything I want. I’m still young. Now the group of “older” characters talk with each other, all laughing and caring about nothing, seemingly, but their interaction. I’m learning, learning to get there, to that sight, that scope. One of them spills a cup of what looks like milk or a vanilla-something, maybe latte, and they all joke, more chuckles and friendly jabs, jokes I can’t hear, but imagine what the man says… “Well that’ll wake ya up, huh? Huh, huh, huh….” Envying everything they do. Tempted to ask if I can sit with them, just learn and write everything they do and say. Learn more. And mimic.

Meeting over. Off to press.


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