The Neurotic, Episode 1 – A Poem by Rowe Williams

I sit on a bus.
The wheels of this bus,
I presume, 
go "round and round,"
as I have been told my whole life.
I realize I have not taken the time
to verify this phenomenon for myself.
Were I to exit the bus and 
attempt to do so at this very moment, however,
the attempt would not be successful.
We are sitting at a stoplight.
It strikes me that, even when green,
traffic lights are not called "golights".

There is a man sitting next to me.
He has the demeanor of one 
who is about to try to get my attention.
I look pointedly forward,
establishing my own demeanor
of do-not-disturb.
It is not working.
I lament that friendly people ride buses.
I desperately attempt
to get out my headphones in time,
but there it is:
open mouth, intake of breath,
and first word.
He is sheepish; this seems appropriate,
as he is disturbing the peace,
but unlikely, as he has had the nerve
to do just that.
"Oh, yes?"
I pretend I did not expect him
to speak to me.
My tone is as exasperated
as courtesy will allow.
"Sir, uhh... your fly is down."
The man has taken his vengeance.
I thank him, not profusely,
as I shrink as far as possible
into my chair.
I proceed to consider how I could shrink further.

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