YOU GOT TO LEARN THE LESSON IN ORDER TO KNOW THE LESSON
He snuggles up to his wood burning stove, stretches his legs out in front of him and falls asleep. Unknowingly to him, one of his legs has slipped in front of the other one and is baking at room temperature. It’s not until a couple hours later he awakes that he thinks it’s time to throw another log on the fire. Looking on the floor beside him, he notices what looks like a log and saying out loud to himself, This should keep the fire going for a little while longer, stoking the fire with his dissevered leg.
I’m your romantic dream, he mumbled to her.
The leftovers at 2 a.m. in the bars he frequented rarely bothered to respond.
He was getting older now, slower.
His throat constricted, pallid, anemic.
He delivered stilted lines,
Pickup lines found on the Internet.
He had nothing original to offer.
Most of the time, men outnumbered women at closing time.
Nonetheless, he played the percentages,
Optimistically, Hopefully. Trustingly.
Always staking his luck on intuition, like he was shooting at an invisible target in the dark.
He was nothing more than a robot, a modern day R2D2.
The more he believed he was in their romantic dreams
The more women moved away from him.
Like he was a pariah. A malignant cancer. A genome loser.
He’d grown up believing opposites attract.
Now, standing in front of him, a woman, not just talking to him,
But carrying on a conversation he could understand. Actually listening to him, he to her.
He smiled that smile he’d practiced in the bathroom mirror a thousand times.
She took note his eyes sparkled.
He told her she laughed like a gambler.
She said he looked like her father.
Later, at closing time, he’d snagged her phone number,
A series of hieroglyphs scrawled on a soiled napkin.
The next evening they met at his apartment.
In the dark they collided like two distant galaxies passing through one another,
Embracing one another, freely, without form or function,
He sits down at the end of the bar, orders a Tequila Slammer.
Tells her, I believe in reincarnation. Where have you been all my past lives.
Emma. Emma Bovary. My name is Emma Bovary.
Somewhere in the back of his mind
He remembers seeing the film.
He says, Didn’t she die of arsenic poisoning?
I have no idea who you’re talking about, she says.
You must have me confused with someone else,
Someone you met at an outdoor party or at corporate picnic.
Regardless of who she is,
Tonight this Emma Bovary
is ready for seduction,
for forbidden love.
Ready after the next Cosmopolitan,
The next Margarita
The next Pear Martini.
Ready for what she’s always wanted,
What she’s lived her whole life for.
In the distance,
Beyond the bonds of love and hate,
More remote than the future,
Waiting and marking time,
Is her impassioned, tempestuous affaire de coeur.