There's a blue
Maverick down the block from my job that beckons to me each time I pass
it. Lew almost bought it, and took it for a test drive; but she rented a
U-Haul instead and drove it to Little Rock.
This Maverick probably can't even get me across the Brooklyn Bridge, let alone down the east coast to Flagler County. But lately it doesn't look quite as dusty; its owner doesn't look quite as delinquent.
So before I can stop to think, weigh, consider, analyze, and foresee all possible problems and criticisms, I walk up to Mr. Creepy and ask,
"Wanna test her out?"
"Soon as you tell me how much."
And even as I hear my father scolding me and asking me why in the hell I'm wasting my money on such an ugly piece of shit that will break down in under five minutes, I'm in the car, driving down 8th avenue, welcoming the delicious sensation of recklessness, and bidding my old neurotic, anal-retentive, control-freak self farewell.
UNTIED: A RESIGNATION
The constant frenzy of crowded subways,
And long, unbearable hours of tedium
Behind a desk, pretending to employ skills I don't have,
While those I do possess atrophy
Chips away at me.
Today is Friday morning
And I'm painfully arched to the right
Wedged between someone's laptop case
And another's armpit, running precisely
15 minutes behind allotted schedule,
Suddenly nostalgic for that flexibility
That we were able to get away with more often than not.
Every subway ride to and from work becomes an
Olympic event that drains me. A late train, a slow-moving
Crowd spreading out on the staircase not letting those of us that can
Run, run through; Doesn't anyone walk to their right anymore?
Instead of questioning why such little inevitable things piss me
Off so much, maybe you ought to just keep your judgments and
Assumptions to yourself and leave me the hell alone and read a
Psych book. I'm miserably bitter at how much life unfolds before
Me. It's bigger than these petty little nuisances; the petty
Nuisances merely eat away at what little is left.
Today is still Friday and the train just stopped at West 4th--police tape
Decorates the length of the station and the MTA folks have jus t decided
That this is as far as we'll all go. So I step off. And out.
Every day in this office, I watch myself buckle beneath piles and
Piles of paper. I don't understand how you say I'm so great at what I do.
It worries me that nearly a year and a half later I don't know what it is I do,
What it is I'm doing here, and whether I'll ever convince anyone to believe
That I can be more than a pathetic secretary. Four years of university
Studying English and American literature prepared me for far more than filing
And photocopying and hand-holding, and ordering office supplies.
I am 27 fucking years old.
I'm outside on the corner of West 8th. And instead of walking toward 9th Avenue,
Toward 20th Street, I'm heading toward the Brooklyn Bridge, toward Brooklyn,
Toward home, toward my car, where I turn the radio on and laugh hysterically
When Free's ALL RIGHT NOW begins to play as I pull off without calling work,
Without calling home, my parents, my friends, the boyfriend of seven years that I just left, and drive toward Jersey and I-95 South, sweet South dripping
With promise, not enough money, tranquility, and the water I need so I can flail My limbs until they burn, and wash away the responsibility and reliability that Has marked me as a
Doormat, as a sucker, and as a lackey.
VIVIAN GOMEZ pounds out short fiction and poetry in both English and Spanish. You can find her in the subway avoiding direct eye contact, while muttering incantations against the obnoxious straphangers and wondering why no one will offer her seat.