MY BLUE SHIRT
The funny man, in the red shirt, was saying,
'I made money the old fashioned way, I stole
it.' Those near him were laughing. At the piano,
on the little riser nearby, Charles Folds was
plating his Thursday afternoon tunes. I had
stopped by to listen, and say hello. He plays
there most days of the week, a few hours softly
at the piano while people informally lunch. I get
coffee, and we say a few words. This is the enclosed
plaza of something, I forget - across from the Lever
Building, up the street a bit from the Seagrams Building,
on the other side of Park. Just things I like to do.
I never have money to do things like these others, and I
guess I stand out for that, but no one ever seems to mind.
I probably look like a bum to them anyway, small, hairy
and gross - they all seem to have stature and bearing. A
30 dollar lunch would put me down for good. I get along
OK with the guards too, but that's probably just because
that way they have me in their sights, that's why.
I often feel out of place, but do not care. I'm better than
them. They're dull. I am an artist who's not. An old uncle
I had used to just say : 'screw 'em all; walk in there like you
own the place.' On the other hand, another uncle would say,
'What are you doing? You don't fit in? Here?' My two conflicting
family poles of matter - I had to deal with both before I fled.
Whatever clothes I have, if and when I buy, I usually buy at
the Salvation Army store in Newark. Interesting place : poor
fat blacks, some hipsters looking for retro, in their weird-frame
glasses and tattooed dicks. Two dollar shirts and two dollar pants.
These people here are wearing two-hundred dollar button-down
Oxfords and deck-boy shoes. I shrug. And then I remember, the
shirt I'm wearing from that cast-off store, it's a Botany 500!
Some high-class light blue Summer shirt. Glad I put that
on this morning now.
I forget to remember to walk in owning the place though
the guards' stares made me soon remember I didn't.