Friday, May 08, 2009

The Cost of Living

On the other side of the dream, where you’ve found yourself, you know which of those two cheeses you would rather eat, but you buy the mixed Variety slices because the days of triple-fat, stinky French, are long gone. The smell of real leather upholstery is still ripe in your memory but the sticky plastic of your 97 Toyota is where you sit every other morning when you squeeze out of your alternate-side parking place and slip across the street where your car will stay, free of charge, for another two days. It’s only your time you spend now because that’s the only thing you have to waste. You don’t run the engine any longer than you must because a tank of gas takes a hurting chunk of your unemployment check and you don’t argue with yourself or your wife anymore about how much safer or easier it is to park in the garage, that passed from the realm of the justifiable a week or two after you switched from those slender, subtle Rhone Valley Reds to full-bodied and a bit too sweet wine-in-a-box from Chile.

And that silly old song from Camelot, you can’t get out of your head. You were once King Arthur or so your Guenevere said.

What do the simple folk do
To help them escape when they're blue?
The shepard who is ailing, the milkmaid who is glum
The cobbler who is wailing from nailing his thumb
When they're beset and besieged
The folk not noblessly obliged
However do they manage to shed their weary lot?
Oh, what do simple folk do we do not?


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