Many Vain Attempts At Escape

When I arrived in Mike’s under the Stillwell Avenue
subway station I spotted Abie drinking a Bud
two empty cans already on the counter
surprised to see him at eleven in the morning
usually a night person but
perhaps never went home, nor had
he shaven in a few days and now
wore a scraggly beard. I sat
next to him asking, “How you doing
today? ”
“I beat it two times before but now I
don’t know.”
No expression in his voice
like a dim hum from within a distant tunnel.
“I beat the depression two times
before but I don’t
know if I can beat it now.”
“What happened? ”
His voice flat and unemotional
as if there were no longer
any question as to it’s certainty.
“Tomorrow I’m gonna be institutionalized. You
gotta want to help yourself. I don’t
want to help myself. Anyway
it goes back to childhood, it’s an
accumulation. All these years
hiding from life and now life
caught up with me. I got
myself in a box and
there’s no way out.”
Fearing the worst I howled,
Abie made a motion with his lips, a slight
motion of putting his lips together and
blowing out a bit of air, a
which indicated
no hope, or
it didn’t matter, or
why bother, or
so what.

by Charles Chaim Wax

Comments (5)

excellent, pretty much an accumulation of several things you do right in your poems and them all happening at the same time within one very good poem.
Another great snippet. Sure would like to know what the box is.
As always, Charles, you keep the reader riveted. Brian
Charles, you're a great compassionate poet but maybe sometimes there is not a way out...
It is not an easy thing to escape, to runaway from or ignore. It is there and must be dealt with. Hopelessness and sadness all in one Charles. Patricia