The Cell

I suppose compared with the high-powered types you know, I'm pretty lame. Old man living in a van all alone for years, no accomplishments, no education, no money, few friends, no gal. A loser by any definition. A nut really. Never owned a piece of property in his life. And thinks he can write. How I must look to you. I admit that I can see it, but I can't believe it. How can anyone so yet full of desire and curiosity be worth so little? Am I whining again? I don't know. But they can bomb women and children, too. What am I?

I protest my aging body, the betrayer. What a burden a body is finally. It's only good for getting around in, unless it was born broken. For all of my life my body, sleek and firm, has been the vehicle of a tortured mind, and vale of a caged sexual appetite. Every nerve in my body is on fire from something. My mind is whirling with images and concepts and longing--for another body beside me. Thoughts and desires rip through my days and nights like little tornadoes, wreaking ruin on things that were ruined before. Everything is a distraction from a previous distraction, and, "everything is broken."

I want only to find a center where I can rest from this interior tumult. A safe place under a tree in a forest so deep and silent no one can find or disturb me. Is it too late to formalize my monk-hood? Can I get a cell, a stipend, a meal, a hooded robe? Make mine black. I already fasted and took the vow of silence so long ago. O, is this it? This stingy bare room with the cold lumpy bed and one thin blanket? No thanks. I'll stay in my van. More blankets out there. An air mattress too.

Then leave me. I want to rest.

Alone I guess. Here in my cell of iron and glass.


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