Sunday, April 5, 2009

Snatches; an essay

I often entertain myself by creating poems and prose pieces out of bits of real-life conversation I hear during mealtime in my favorite cafe. I live in a little town where the average age is near sixty or has pushed past. Sometimes the conversations are just too awful to hear or to weave into a tale or poem. I'll give you an example.

This morning, at a self-provisioned celebration over a big steak, medium-well, no blood, please, I read the papers and overheard, “I can't breathe through my nose!” The breakfast conversation segued to a mutual friend that had to have his jaw bone scraped because his screw-in tooth didn't osseointegrate after the implant. The four elders, bent over their utensils, eggs and noodles, pondered how much air they should put in their Posturepedic for a good night's sleep, and the group realization that they had ordered stir fry for breakfast. Oh my gawd.

The littlest and frailest lady remarked how she had missed a question on the driver's test because she hadn't noticed the tiny hand sticking out the window in the illustration indicating a right turn.This woman has been seen driving a three-ton SUV through town, with a pet Llapso under her chin as she maneuvered through mid-day traffic with a double latte in her good hand.

Yesterday, I ate my soup while listening to some geezer describe his eye surgery and the more graphic story about his friend that had his eye removed from the socket while they scraped the malignant cells out of the void.

I dreamed of the days that people kept their intimate conversation to themselves, and excused themselves if they belched or made wind fiercely enough to make the silverware on my table rattle.

I retrieved more of the lean meat from the bone and finished my meal – happy to be healthy and able to leave conversations if I find myself in one that begins with description of a visit to the doctor or a mattress salesman.

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