by John Grochalski
i’m at my desk
in this semi-private office they’ve given to me
i listened to brahm’s fist symphony
as i walked to work this morning
forcing myself not to think about the job.
i’m reading the new york times
on the computer
and thinking that it can’t get much
worse in the world
she walks in the office
she startles me.
she says, here this came for you in the mail
she throws a book on my desk
i look up from the new york times and i thank her
she lingers in the office.
she has on a red zip-up sweater
that has the word disney emblazoned across it
there is a picture of mickey mouse in a top hat.
he’s waving to me.
i hate disney and i hate mickey mouse.
she looks at me and i look at her.
she looks down at the book.
ezra pound, she says.
i never would’ve took you for an ezra pound fan.
oh no, i say.
nah, you just don’t seem like that kinda person.
this book doesn’t seem like you.
then she walks out of the office before i get a chance
to ask her what seems like me
i want to know what impression i’ve made on her
in the month that i’ve been there.
i follow her out into the work room.
she’s standing with a bunch of my other co-workers
they are laughing and drinking coffee
she’s doing clerical work and telling everyone
how funny the alvin and the chipmunks movie was.
they all suddenly want to see the movie
alvin and the chipmunks has become the height
of american cinema at this place.
i go back in the office
i look down at ezra pound and he stares
maddeningly back up at me.
i think, well ez, we truly are alone in this.
i sit back down at the computer.
i open up the new york times online
and start to read it again.
the world has really gone to shit, i say quietly.
and now i know what kind of a person i am.