Monday, January 23, 2006

After The Party (1992)

Drunk at four in the morning
my friend Eddie and I
are sitting in this young woman’s apartment
watching a Depeche Mode video.
On the floor in front of the TV
some guy she knows
is passed out and snoring
while she sits on the sofa
telling us we should pay attention
to the lyrics being lip-synched
by a skinny English guy
with a fancy haircut.
She’s sweet, bright
and still full of the
subtle energy of youth,
and though Eddie and I are each
mad about her in
varying degrees
we realize that watching
a Depeche Mode video
with her at four a.m.
as some amateur drunk
snores on the floor
is just a bit too much to take,
so we leave.

We walk down to the 7-11
and buy some cigarettes,
some bread, and two packages
of canned meatballs with gravy.
We go back to his place,
throw the meatballs with gravy
into a pan, add some cheese,
some leftover spaghetti,
some soy sauce,
and, after a moment’s thought,
throw the bread in the pan as well.
We’re starting to sober up now,
but we’re hungry
and this weird mix is, after all,
food of some sort.

Later, after finishing
every last bit of it,
we’re sitting at the table
saying nothing.
We’re both starting to
feel sick and depressed.
I wash the meal down
with a glass of water
and light a cigarette
as Eddie stares
at his empty plate.

Suddenly Eddie stands up,
walks over to the trash can,
and pukes for a full minute
or two.
When he’s done
I walk over to the refrigerator
and grab two cans of beer.
I crack them open and
set one down in front of Eddie.
He looks up at me,
wipes his mouth
with the back of his hand,
and with the light of dawn
coming in through the window
he says, “Shit, man,
It’s a brand new day.”

So we have a toast:
to canned meatballs with gravy,
to all night parties,
to amateur drunks,
to England and its fancy haircuts,
to all the pretty young girls in the world,
and to the sun
which rises high in the sky
over us all.

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