Friday, March 31, 2017

Sleeping Man



Listen, sleeping man,
Last week you were here trying to nap
as I was trying to read (I forget what, maybe Eco’s essays),
but you were angered and disturbed
by someone else’s loud conversation.
True, there’s something fairly obnoxious about the
private cell-phone conversation in a public place,
but the thing is, it’s just that: a public place,
not your private napping room.
And now, today, as there is no one speaking loudly on their cell-phone,
you sleep, snoring louder than last week’s disturbing conversation,
keeping me from reading these poems I’d looked forward to (Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island).
And listen, I don’t begrudge you your rest,
perhaps you can’t sleep at home due to
wife/child/dog,
or perhaps you work a second job,
stocking the dairy shelves from 5-10,
or delivering newspapers before the sun comes up.
I understand, I’ve been there, and I’ve napped here.
And really, I don’t even mind the snoring.
It’s almost musical, in a Phillip Glass/John Cage sort of way,
“Opus 3, Monotonal Monotony in C-minor, Lead Septal Drone: Sleeping Man”, (whatever your name is).
No, what bugs me is the impression you give of some sort of perceived ownership over this space,
A common space, shared by us all,
The attitude that others shouldn’t disturb you,
without concern for whether or not you might disturb someone else.
I won’t wake you, I won’t interrupt your sleep, you’re obviously in need.
But the next time I see you being angered when others use this space, our space, in a less than silent way, I might just read to you.
“Goodnight, Moon”, maybe.

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