Your last vacation involved a counter top
The usual white interior and dark carpet
To hide what scurrilous members made their mark
In strange quarters in a strange place.
You left a perfectly comfortable house
To go somewhere that required a new tube of toothpaste
And you didn’t dare touch those cups
That the housekeeper washed and covered
With a French fry wrapper
As if the cup was new.
And what about the bed spread?
That’s a good word for it.
Every naked sod waited for his girlfriend
While she took a shower
His legs open and his butt
Crack peeling with the scent of a long hard day.
I like how they throw it all together.
Every room is the same,
Can you imagine that for the help?
They can’t tell if they’ve been there before.
They have to leave the cleaning cart outside
In case there are more towels to get.
It is like a life preserver.
They hold on to it
Cause their heads spin
Pulling the covers over the last
Where every room
Houses the same act
Of the delusion of escape.
I watch you smile
As if we are having fun,
But I see the germ of disappointment
In the fact that we are blue collar
Enjoying something that is not meant for us.
Why is it that this room is so cheap?
I could do a better job appointing it
With knick-knacks from Ikea.
This whole fricken place is an insult
More of the same corporate America
That I thought we were leaving?
But, there’s no escaping any of it?
How am I supposed to rest?
I don’t want to be reminded of why I can’t marry you!
Why we can’t take a reasonable vacation?
I make minimum wage and how in the hell can I plan for retirement
If I take three days off and it sets us back another year?
Our vacations are the days off we get in a week,
If we are lucky,
And when we do
We just sit there and look at each other.
The last time I took a two-week vacation was in ’95.
I went to Europe. I only spent $2000 for everything.
I stayed in a youth hostel.
I was a grown man.
I was single.
I can’t imagine marrying you.
We met on a dating site
And you are crazy.
Why is it that I always end up with the molested ones?
Do I look like a psychologist?
Does it look like I care?
How can I afford you?
The world is upside down.
I’ll be single after this vacation.
We’ll fight because screaming is something you’ve learned.
Everything is knee-jerk.
There is something inside of you that is angry.
You are a ferocious naked animal
Fragile and sad
And I know that you are damaged.
You can’t rest with one eye open.
You are worried about the pit bull in the blanket.
You can leave it only for 6-hour increments
Or it sleeps with us and gets just as excited, and
I can’t take it anymore.
I don’t want that kind of a three-some.
Stop taking pictures.
This is not a family outing.
It’s my need for intimacy and your need for safety,
But the world has made that impossible.
I know we haven’t spoken for a long time,
But I was thinking about you.
You are really a sweet person
Though I can’t trust you.
Your life is beyond the law of averages.
Every day you live on the edge.
You are going to LVN school but
It is across the bay and across the city from that
And you have no car.
Your friends are invalids and
Your dates are after the same thing that I am.
And you’ll do what it takes if that’s what it takes,
And that’s why you are so lovable, and indestructible,
Or so I would like to think.
Sometimes you call me when you are drunk
Or when you’ve butt called me
And I listen to you talk to some other man,
Who is usually driving you to school?
No, there is nothing graceful about us.
You are on the edge and I am on the edge,
But we are making it and I love you for that.
Knowing you are out there makes me smile.
Just like the other guys, we don’t want to have sex anymore.
We just want you to make it.
We love you. You earned it. You make us proud.
And we know that women are stronger than men
And we worship you for it.
We wish we could help you, but we’re lost.
We are struggling ourselves.
So, stop taking pictures.
There’s nothing to see.