Thursday, May 5, 2011

These Things Will Change

(here's another ditty I've been altering)

No one uses telephone booths these days. Every man and his dog has blue tooth in his ear and cyber-space in his pocket. I walk the streets, airing out my summer shorts from their winter-closet mothball encasement, and watch the telephone booths forget communication; but they remember something else.

I'm not schooled in superheroes and comic books, but if memory serves I believe it was one such as Superman who used a phone booth for a rushed changing station, entering as Clark Kent, emerging as a flying mascot for whom America is now too small.

In spite of the phone booths' lack of placed calls, it seems to me they're still quite popular. The accountant enters, successful in his business, surfacing as a tattered, shadowed drunk. A young woman walks in, her smile and eyes bright, returning with scabbed wrists and tear-stains.

I've stopped on the bench across the street from a phone booth, watching the costumes change. Clark Kent, I believe, was an honest, just man, but was only unrelentlessly so in a spandex suit. The phone booths around town allow people who choose to strip off the facades of their lives and take their true, raw form.

Imperfection, unfortunately. That's what the booths reveal; as if all with facades have weighty faults. They know it; they hide it. Adults emerge as children with lollipops and propeller hats, or bruised knuckles and stiff jaws. Young doll-faced angels reappear with tense, sunken eyes. Good becomes bad. Bad becomes worse.

Was Clark Kent perfect? I wonder, crossing my legs. He left the booth a fearless man. He left the booth with victory.

All I see leaving are mistakes.

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