0032 Conman

Silver-bronze…that was the beauty of your voice,
deep and rich and flexible,
as you sat yourself down on the bench
in the waiting-room on Kensington High Street Station
almost deserted on a dull afternoon
not long before Christmas

and spun your almost convincing tale
of the African Union scholarship, was it,
of which the monthly payout was late this month…

and I watched myself,
hypnotized by that voice which should be singing
Porgy and Bess up there on the stage,
and felt good, dammit, that I was
trusting a stranger to borrow more than I’d given –
let alone lent – any Christmas up to then…

yes, it felt really good, as if
I’d paid for a lesson in how
to stop thinking of myself as mean, uncharitable –
an hour with a psychotherapist
who knew exactly what to relieve me of…
at about the standard rate

by Michael Shepherd

Comments (5)

Well, remember, it felt good when you 'helped' him. I figure, if you do the right thing (at least what you believe is right) , the rest is on them. It reminds me of my recent ''helping'' episode. At the ballpark the girls play at there is a homeless man that is normally hanging around. One of the nights we left due to a rain-out. I felt horrible when I heard him talking about getting behind the store quickly to have a spot. I slept very little that night thinking of him outside in a thunderstorm. SO, I found a tent I had in the garage that I intended to sell at our rummage sale. It was 8 X 8 but rolled up to fit nicely into a very small bag (he could easily carry on his bicycle..which is how he travelled) . Anyway, I made my brother offer him this tent at the next game (I didn't want him to think I was attached to him) and he was sooooo.... happy! He thanked us and I felt so good! I slept great knowing he was no longer out in the rain. Well, the very next day we saw him riding his bike (of course with all his belongings in tow as usual) and just as everyone told me to expect....he had no tent! I'm guessing he sold it for a couple bucks to buy a beer. Oh well, at least now I don't feel bad if he's out in the rain because I know he had the chance to be warm and dry! (sorry this is so long!) I just had to share this with you. Sincerely, Mary
Once bitten twice shy! Thank you for so eloquently sharing your experience. I loved the opening line. Someone said to me recently “I have never met a conman who I didn’t like”. And when you think about it, it’s true. Best regards Gyp’s
reminded me of a south african dilemma e-mailed recently to me and how with my help 9 million US dollars could be liberated. great subject. excellent piece. -Tailor
This has an undertone of self-recrimination to it as the narrative stretches to fing a silver lining. This is a great piece Michael, well paced and well delivered.
lol It is all relative Michael! Nice touch, smiling at you, Tai