Morning alarm pierced my skull.
As I groaned to silence it,
I locked eyes with Wifey.
Words needn’t pass between us,
but they did, as microbursts
of shorthand dialog tends to form
invisible webs between vessels.
“I think I’m staying home,”
my mouth and eyes said.
My head pounding,
the weight of my own body
collapsing my bones
into the lush comfort of our bed,
the covers embracing me,
bracing me for non-stop cartoons
and marathon Texas hold ‘em drawls.
Wifey peered through my marrow,
doing the math in her head.
“You had too much Irish Death last night,”
“and now you’re waiting to die.”
I am wounded,
but I never shy away
from a game of cat
I pivot and counter, declaring,
we’re all waiting to die.
It’s all a matter of degrees.”
Score one point for the good guys.
I elucidate some concessions,
hoping to persuade her to my side.
“But my head is pounding,
possibly from too much Irish Death
but mainly from spring allergies,”
I sniffle unnecessarily,
“and I didn’t drink enough water last night,”
because I’m no lush with self-control issues;
this is biology’s fault, dammit!
“And my body aches from
too much young man work,”
c’mon and pity my
I know you’ve seen it!
“And I’m depressed,”
“and so yes, I am lying here, waiting to die,”
which was the truth; I mean I was lying there,
Wifey’s eyes smiled
the way they did
when we use to play Texas hold ‘em together
before I gave up on playing with her
because it was no fun
playing against someone
who didn’t have a poker-face.
Then she began;
“Well while you’re lying there waiting to die,
take a look at our bank statement
and weigh it against our mortgage,
our utility bills, and our
ballooning credit card statement, including,
the very comfortable bed
you hide from the world in
as you lie there waiting for death;
“Yes, please lie in your holy sanctuary
that we have yet to pay for.”
wasn’t quite as comfy as it was earlier,
but I still had the river card to turn.
“One day of my waiting to die won’t kill us!”
I counter, in vain.
Suddenly, my day of rehydrating while
feels further from my grasp.
Her smile widens. I can hear
the poker analyst in my head yelling,
“No help on the river for this groggy
her pair of aces
staring daggers through
“True, I cannot refute that,” she begins,
“but while you lie there waiting to die,
consider my role in management.”
“I would love to curl up next to you
and wait for you to… well, not die…
I kinda like having you around…”
She’s setting me up…
“…but I cannot indulge my wants…”
I don’t like where this is going…
“…because I need to go to the place
that pays me to make decisions…”
IT’S A GODDAMNED GUILT-TRIP!
GROAN! PLAY DEAD! DO ANYTHING!
“…like the ones I have to make today
to set the apparatus in motion to sanction
a few troublemakers
for not being team-players
and setting all I built aflame
just so they can rule over the ashes.
I guess in their own way,
they’re waiting for death too.
Sadly, I don’t have that luxury.”
The poker analyst in my head bellows,
“He’ll be spending the next few hours
on the bus
wondering where it all went wrong…”
With the microburst of
unspoken conversation ended,
where seconds felt like minutes,
I drag my undead carcass
from the world’s most comfortable
and shuffle to the bathroom
to brush my teeth.
That foolish woman!
She actually thought she’d bested me,
but unknown to her,
I can still lie and wait to die,
even on company time.
Written for dVerse’ Meeting the Bar: Irony hosted by Frank Hubeny. I’m a sarcastic a-hole by nature, but irony is a wee bit subtler than that. Still, get me started on irony and suddenly I need an editor. I know it’s a long one, and I’m sorry. Hopefully, you were entertained by it a bit.
And since you’ve made it this far, why not head over and read other poets’ contributions to this prompt.