Select Napping as a Hobby by Gabriel Ricard

Women in trench coats do not ask me for favors.

And, hey,
hey, hey,
take my word for it.

I’m pretty sure the old Chinese guy
on the 11:30 to East Falls could win every single
argument in favor of religion,
you could ever hope to throw at him.

It’s not that the Chinese are godless people.
A Chinese priest brushed fire off my left arm once,
and he didn’t quote a single line of literature to me.

Not godless.
I just have a terrible feeling
that he’s lost so much that he might just have no choice
but to live forever with everything he’s seen.

I try not to run into people like that.
If I’m traveling by foot, going out dancing on Monday morning
or hoping I learn to steer that big bastard of a car
before it crashes into an emerald field of fire hydrants.

If I’m going nowhere fast with constantly changing scenery.

Bad luck is the punch line of thinking too much
and missing the train
that’s supposed to pass through walls.
Maybe even things like vanity
and living memoirs that chatter like rain on the horizon.

I’ll head into that rain, you know.
Waking up, knowing where I am,
counting the dollar bills in my shoe
doesn’t make a woman laugh like it used to.

It doesn’t impress the fellas trying to ride
to their real jobs on riding mowers.

I have to be careful of something,
or someone ready to warn me of trouble
before they even see me coming.

Clown ties are commonplace,
amongst those who will make you the wooden nickels,
they need to get you on that 1949 bus ride to freedom.

Ridiculously clear water? Quiet beaches?
The past has those in spades.

I’m wary of what I think about
when the present needs me to wait
for the cheque to clear.

I’m guarded around people
who can hum what I was listening to
when the ice took the electricity by surprise
so many years ago.

I avoid religion,
believe it, baby,
and I fake an ongoing bout with everything
behind the sun
when someone talks politics on the long ride
in the long, wrong direction.

Three days out of the week?
I’ll bargain.
Three days out of the week,
let me be fantastically ignorant.

I’ll take your best shot the rest of the time,
and I’ll complain or outright lie my way
into a tie game.

That’s good news for somebody.
I can’t say if that somebody is close to my heart,
and yes,
that happens to include me, too.