Monday, January 21, 2013

White hat' stained black

I’m always doing the wrong thing,
Hanks always told me
Like the time I gave the finger
To that asshole with Florida plates
For cutting me off as I changed lanes
And he pulled a gun

Or the time I cut off
That Paterson mobster by accident
And had to drive the wrong way
Down a one way street
To keep him from killing me.

Or worse that time I walked
Down Hollywood Boulevard
With my hippie chick girl friend
And told a pack of bikers to buzz off
When they tried to take her,
My back bleeding for a week
From the chains they hit me with

Hank said I never think about what I’m doing
Before I actually do it,
But sometimes I actually do,
Seeing myself as doing the right thing
When time proves I was wrong.
Painting myself as the cowboy in the white hat
Riding to someone’s rescue when often
The only person I manage to rescue is myself

Like that time the sixth street prostitute
Robbed her own pusher to get the drugs
To bring me down from my bad trip,
I still love her for that even though
I couldn’t save her when she flipped out
And threw scalding water in her pusher’s face
When he refused to give her a fix,
He burning down her apartment building
With her in it for revenge.

Or that aging go go dance in Passaic
Who used to buy me drinks
Because I laughed at her comedy act
When nobody else would,
A lone laugh track in a bar full of raging hormone

Or the barmaid with terminal cancer
I would sit up with after hours
Because we both loved Thurmond Munson
And she needed someone to see her off
Someone who meant more than a big tip
When she knew nobody else but me
Someone to cry over her at her funeral
But could not stand watching her put into the grave

Or the host of other lost causes who have
Left their indelible finger prints on my once white hat
Staining it so thoroughly that it becomes difficult
To tell if I am a good guy or a bad guy
Or just one more lonely rider from some cheap spaghetti western
Riding off into some Arizona sunset hoping for the best.

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