harnessing the disenchantment

harnessing the disenchantment

A Story by Philip Gaber

Sitting on the edge of my bed at three o'clock in the morning, rubbing my face anxiously, smoking a cigarette, thinking about that conversation I had with T the other night.
 
T:  "They warned me about getting involved with a poet."
 
Me:  "Who's they?"
 
T:  "My friends. My family. Strangers I'd meet on the subway."
 
Me:  "You told strangers on the subway I was a poet?"
 
T:  "Only when they'd ask."
 
Me:  "Which was how often?"
 
T:  "Every time I brought it up."
 
Me:  "Which was pretty much every time you sat or stood next to a stranger on the subway."
 
T:  [beat or two]  "Pretty much."
 
Me:  "And how would this conversation typically unfold?"
 
T:  "I'd start talking about you, what a fabulous, talented guy you are, and they'd ask me what you did for a living, and I'd tell them you're a poet."
 
Me:  "Which, I assume, always went over really well."
 
T:  "Some take it in stride. Others are, like, he's a what?  Who cares?  It's my choice. I love you.  I think the fact that you're a poet is sexy. It makes me moist."

Me:  "Moist like Duncan Hines."
 
T:  "Moist like a porn star."

Me:  "So what did these strangers say after you told them I was a poet?"
 
T:  "The usual.  You're broke, you're hyper sensitive, too dramatic, living too much in your head, afraid of the Real World, hiding from Reality, suicide."
 
Me:  "Suicide?"
 
T:  [dismissive]  "Ya'll are supposed to be suicidal or something, I don't know.  You know how people are."
 
I go to the typewriter, finger the home row keys, type:
 
"Shaven-headed hipster with his middle finger hovering on the self-destruction button sees many problems and rolls his eyes.
 
He opens a book of inaccessible poetry and reads…
 
'Yeah, so what if I drank away my success and contracted alcoholic hepatitis and I have problems with intimacy and I appropriate words from Samuel Fuller, old blues songs, and the Torah, so what if I'm fragile and vanquished or I'm bored and stoned or I've developed hostile feelings toward my parents and the world or I react to my life with a shrug of the shoulders and a smirk or I'm wandering through a landscape where idealistic young troubadours, struggling to retain relevance and hoping to remake the world, whisper Happiness is Love to disenfranchised urbanites who disappear into the noise of the city.'"
 
I light another cigarette and pour another drink.
 
As I've aged, I've started to recycle myself, I think, and I leave my typewriter at quarter after four in the morning, lie down, and recall a quote on T's Facebook page.
 
"Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop deciding with our minds what we want our hearts to feel, sometimes we just have to go with…. whatever happens happens…"
 
When I finally fall asleep, the blue hour arrives, pouring into my eyes, and I dream, once again, of trying to master the art of the telling detail.
 

© 2024 Philip Gaber


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Featured Review

I think you’ve it on some thing here, holy book and blues lyrics… now all we need is to get Eddie Cantor and leadbelly together….
This is a good example of storytelling/anecdote/communication… which isn’t short or long form literature… it’s also like jazz improvisation. Freedom to change up structure. Keep it coming, man.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Gaber

1 Week Ago

That would be a great band, man. They could call Gospel Jew. That's what I'm all about...playing wit.. read more



Reviews

I think you’ve it on some thing here, holy book and blues lyrics… now all we need is to get Eddie Cantor and leadbelly together….
This is a good example of storytelling/anecdote/communication… which isn’t short or long form literature… it’s also like jazz improvisation. Freedom to change up structure. Keep it coming, man.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Gaber

1 Week Ago

That would be a great band, man. They could call Gospel Jew. That's what I'm all about...playing wit.. read more

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Added on June 10, 2024
Last Updated on June 10, 2024

Author

Philip Gaber
Philip Gaber

Charlotte, NC



About
I hate writing biographies. I was one of those kids who rode a banana seat bike and watched Saturday morning cartoons and Soul Train. But my mother would never buy any of those sugary cereals for us k.. more..

Writing
comfort comfort

A Poem by Philip Gaber