(And It Ain’t Pretty!)
by Joe Buonfiglio
At this point in my life, I am fully cooked; I am who I am. Oh sure, a few changes here and there to sand down some of the shaper edges might be possible in the time remaining to me, my steps yet left to traverse the mortal coil. However, for the most part, I’m pretty much all in and playing the hand I’ve been dealt.
So, who — or what — is it I think I see looking back at me when I gaze into the mirror?
I have become an obscene thing; a vulgar ghost floating across the Earth giving the living the middle finger even though I know they can’t see me.
I am the last taco shell into which the overly greasy end-of-the-day meat has been placed and handed to some unsuspecting stoner through the roach coach window; both of us blissfully unaware of the emergency room visit that awaits us a scant hour or so from now.
I am the makeup upon the serial-killer clown’s face, unable to scream to the children, “Run! Do not accept his offer to take you to his funhouse just a little bit deeper into the woods!”
I am the night terror that was meant to be a premonition of what to avoid in the new day, but forgotten as the sun rises… and you board the plane uneasy, but trusting.
I am the wisp of flatulence camouflaged by the on-screen explosion that you hoped would render me unnoticed in the crowded movie theater, but which betrays you by silently screaming out with a stench to all in close proximity that you have once again fallen prey to your concession-stand chili-nacho fries addiction.
I am the ’65 pop-top Mustang that once drew every eye as it slowly cruised down the beachside boulevard on a steamy summer’s night, but now just slowly rusts into the earth nothing more than a nest for a few rats and one slowly dying rabid raccoon.
I am a malted milkshake ordered, delivered ice cold and delicious, but never consumed as the voice on the smartphone says, “I’ve got some bad news.”
I am the only barstool that no one is allowed to sit upon out of respect in memoriam for the one who virtually owned it years before, a tab now never to be paid.
I am the flypaper hanging in the old gas station that the interstate bypassed years ago, clinging to the illusion of purpose with the same futile tenacity of the station’s aged, sole proprietor.
I am the water theme park closed for the winter, eagerly awaiting the return of the children, unaware that the beachfront property on which I stand is far more valuable to the condominium developer’s 55+ plans than the laughter of children.
I am the cold beer opened, forgotten, and left to go warm and stale.
I am the paper graded with an “A” turned in the day before by the normally failing student, but never picked up as a sign of a potential turning point thanks to the lead foot of a teenager now part of a tapestry of wreckage down a ravine where his body won’t be discovered for days.
I am popcorn regrettably ordered without extra butter; a good idea not nearly as satisfying as it could have been.
I am the joke that was once funny, but over time lost its context and now barely makes sense.
However, I am a writer. I have hope. Every blank page makes me feel as if God to the universe I am about to create. That is why…
© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.