Sunday, July 15, 2012

 Dark Warrants
Ralph was afraid of the dark.
This goes without saying for
as soon as the lights went out,
he was up, through the door
  and gone.
He, a grown man-
so many years my senior.
I, a boy, still sitting there,
acknowledging the unmistakable
absence of illumination.
The foibled failure of photons
  to rain, chicane and
      flood a room with light.
And hey,    I'm okay with that.

So what's up with Ralph?
How can two share a windowless room,
one man see nothing more
than the lack of light,
   and the other,
absolute     terror?

To see nothing but darkness...
To see darkness.
Not darkness as mere absence of light,
but darkness as some tangible substance.
That of such heavy enveloping presence
as to suffocate both mind, body, and soul.
And I'm almost certain
this has to do with love or
  some lack thereof.

Ralph had been to Viet Nam.
And this was when Viet Nam
  became     Viet Nam.  
Sure, I suppose those people
  and    that nation existed
sometime prior to the 1960s,
but    not for us.
Prior to the 60s,
it was some sprawling jungle
that took up the space
between India and Japan.
This before that period we
decided to administer
tough-love by way of    napalm.
And yes, this has to do with love
  or some lack thereof.

Ralph was there in Saigon not as soldier
   but civilian contractor.
One of those greasy cogs in our
mechanized machine du war amour.
And there, one night in a dark alley,
Ralph had a gun put in his face,
and   he    did not    love it.
Every effort
his American brethren had done
to win hearts and minds
by way of jacketed lumps o' lead,
had somehow tarnished an
otherwise amiable back-alley romance.

Looking for love in all the wrong places.
The American foreign policy
   in a nutshell.
Of course every wrong place sells
   some sort of love if you're
        willing to pay the price.
Not that that's really love.
Not that Ralph was looking for true love.
Rather just some salacious
pseudo-swoon and
spoon at the moon, plastic
made-in-the-orient version
  of the real deal.
Flesh to flesh without all that
valentine heart and
monogamy o' mind crap.
Someone to fulfill his needs.
If not love, then some surrogate of love.
I.e. "Me love you long time."
Or, that is, until Ralph tells you
  ya gotta go.
And this has to do with love,
or the lack thereof.

For two weeks straight
Ralph sat in the hotel's bar
and never ventured out the front door.
And there came a point
when the Vietnamese bartender
  asked him why.
Seems Ralph feared for his life.
Seems someone out there
  wanted to kill him.
Seems his jilted ex-girlfriend
had put out a hit on him.
Seems her un-dying love for him
still had some dying in there
and she was ever so willing to share.
"Me no love you long time, no more."
And the dark outside
got a little bit darker.

Heads or tails.
Love or hate.
How can you toss a coin
called "adoration"   
up into the air, have it
there land in the street
and come up "murder"?

Grabbing a towel,
the bartender commences to
wiping the length
of the counter before him
and without looking up states,
"You know,
the answer to your problem is easy."
"How's that?"
replies an attentive Ralph.

And here, the bartender
looks him in the eye
and bluntly states,
"You hire someone to kill her."

"Kill her?!"
exclaims a bewildered Ralph.
"Well," continues the bartender.
"You put out a contract on her life,
   with the stipulation
that if you die,   she dies."
And the way Ralph tells it,
it didn't cost too much.
In fact, it seemed
rather a bargain.

It was shortly after this
that the girlfriend
let it be known to Ralph
that she had cancelled her hit.
This with the understanding that
Ralph cancel his as well.

'Cause you know,
it would sorta suck if
Ralph accidentally got
run over by a bus.
What with money
having changed hands,
  and a contract being
      a contract.

And all of this...
All of this has to do with
that thing called "love"

or the lack thereof.

Oh, I find myself
pondering the benefits
of instilling
a Mafioso mindset
into our myriad  
interpersonal relationships.
For with this,
we might actually have
a little extra incentive to
be civil with one another.

I love you ‘til death do us part.


dark thoughts


c 2012 Jack Hubbell

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