Bob Chapel

(January 28,1929 / Oakland, California)

Reader's Digest


Who am I? I am an invisible man.
Down to the last day, even the last hour now,
I'm an old man, lonely and unloved,
sick and hurting and tired of living.
The time of my end approaches.
Hot dog! Heaven be praised for that!

Shall I begin in the beginning?
Ours is essentially a tragic age,
so we refuse to take it tragically.
The World had teeth, and it could bite
you with them any time it wanted.
It happens to millions.
If you want to know the truth -
it just about kills me
to go over the whole thing.
Glory, as anyone knows, is bitter stuff.

I saw him for the first time at the funeral.
Poor child. It was love at first sight.
But what will come out of it?

I am an American.
Traffic pisses me off.
That means no sleep for me tonight.
Night is generally my time for walking.

Maybe it's not so bad.
Nobody could sleep. None of them knew
the color of the sky.
Outside, the snow was higher than the window.
The street lamp flickering opposite
shone on a quiet and deserted road.
The visitors had left long ago.

Now I'll stop. That's all there is to it.
It is a far, far better rest that I go to
than I have ever known.
Surely we will meet someday, and until that day,
I pray that you will live happily.

Segue into silence, fade-out
and fast iron curtain.
In pace requiescat!

Submitted: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Edited: Friday, October 12, 2012

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