Every shelf is stacked with books I’ve read and reread, or so it seems. This depleted room, these spine-cracked volumes rubbed of their wishes, cannot detain me long. If only the wider world offered something new instead of cheap diversions and bloodless familiars. I need a future. I would settle for a present. In the parking lot, the woman on her cell phone, the cop, the two nuns pushing carts are the same nuns, same cop, same woman I know from the last time, the same shopping carts, the same wobbly wheel. You say I’ve never been here but I remember it all and this argument. This is not the first time we’ve talked about coincidence and memory in this parking lot. Things recur, I understand. Weekends follow workweeks; people order the usual; we do the same thing every New Year’s fucking Eve, for Christ’s sake, I get it. Why don’t you admit that this is more than the seasons repeating and my subconscious? Everything has happened already. Pork loin is on sale again. This song is on the radio just like last time and you want to argue. Why do you keep asking me what will happen next? Whatever happened last time! You give me that look? The nuns roll by loaded with pork? The cop knocks on the window and asks if I’m all right. I back out into the nuns. Take your pick. You snatch the keys from the ignition. Like last time. I leave the car and stride halfway across that busy highway and wake up in the hospital again to your helpless fucking face. Don’t touch me. Don’t pity me. Don’t try to talk me down. You’re no help at all. I’ve never been hit by a car, you say? We’ll see about that.

Copyright © January 01, 2009 David Hodges

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