The Notary - Poem by Morgan Michaels
As I sat at the word processor, M shot me a printed form- something I had to sign, he said. The form lighted on the keyboard, squelching further use.
'Get this notarized', he chirped. 'Today, please. You must'.
M had mastered the art of wrapping a command in a plea.
'Ok', I said, setting down my cup, 'later'.
The closely printed form had vaguely to do with distributions-allocation. I am not a financial genius but I knew the Asian market had collapsed. To say the American one had slumped, in suite, was maybe an understatement. During the Asian melee, a friend in Weehawken panicked, sold and lost big. It was time to re-allocate. That's where the notary entered.
'Before the day's out', I replied, or something like that. I had no intentions of doing it soon. There was a deadline, after all. So I worked all day till four, taking only a short break to surf the web. At four, I stood up, stretched, took a shower and went out. The visit to the notary topped my to-do list.
It had snowed the week-end before and the landscape was lunar- full of craggy, waist-high peaks of dirty drift, standing like battlements between me and the street. In the warmth of subsequent days the peaks underwent partial meltdown, filling the gutters with slushy run-off. Mountain and lake made traveling rough- the distance ever so short. In the early evening light, amid flocks of school children, I picked a way to the notary, across the street, taking in turn each mountain and stream.
The notary had only a minor life as a notary. Most of the time he was a CPA, as noted by a sign above the locked door. The office appeared closed. But, peering through the window into the dimness, I spotted him greatly nodding on a couch behind the counter, his chin almost touching his chest. Loath to wake him, I remembered M's enjoinder, whereupon, waiving all reluctance, I rapped sharply at the door. He jumped up guiltily and hurried over, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, for he'd been out cold. Bells jingled false merriment as I opened and closed the door, lock notwithstanding.
'Can I help you', he asked, as if he'd been awake the whole time.
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