He claimed he had long reach
But he seemed incredibly short sighted
While Steve, thought we were being blindsided
And didn’t see that this man was
Just a tad too aggressive,
To be a hippie from California.
Tom and I both saw of course,
But much to Steve’s despise, we didn’t care.
After all, we do not have future aspirations in politics
But if it ever got back, that a future mayor was hanging
In West Chester with random Rob Zombie look alikes
It would be career suicide.
His accomplice was in a weird position
In back-story he told us his brother was slapped
By this man with long reach.
He seemed totally cool with it.
This raised suspicions
But in the end only Steve vocalized this
To what he thought were his ignorant brothers.
He made the cut the throat gesture and smiled wryly
Subconsciously voicing his will to leave.
Me and Tom understood this but were more curious.
Later Steve told us that if someone hit his brother in a fight
He would fuck em up
We agreed, much to Steve’s disappointment
He wanted to lecture us on family values.
Steve started the evening by claiming to his fiancé
That it was my idea to go and drink and West Chester
She knew I had been napping but said nothing.
So in a way Karma came back to bite (or perhaps only bark)
At the conman; who ironically or coincidentally got caught up
In a con he had nothing to do with, but was on the winning side of.
It’s rare to find yourself in con situation
Both unexpectedly, and not as the victim.
But I didn’t mind drinking,
As much as Steve minded having to follow the rest of us
To the house of the man with long reach.
What Steve didn’t understand was that his hesitation fueled us
Tom and I have long figured that if someone was to ruin Steve’s plans
Of future political success, it might as well be his friends.
Upon arriving, we went to a bar to drink Fish bowls
This was a popular marketing technique
For selling watered down sweet and sour mix,
In what looked like carnival aquariums.
Filled with ice, instead of goldfish; perhaps
To symbolized the coldness of the real world.
We met a girl who sold life insurance
And brought her shots she recommended
As she ate crab tenaciously, and gave us business cards.
We all texted her, even though we sitting right next to her
But she played along, while making it perfectly clear
That she would not order drinks with chocolate,
To be courteous to Tom’s allergy.
This was a girl, who sold life,
And I think Tom’s death would disappoint her
I didn’t ask.
Each text we received was like a victory in some game
We were playing against each other.
A game for which the only audience was the girl sending them
It was rigged, like everything.
West Chester, politics, even drinking
Are all following some cosmic dance of manipulation.
This was the universe,
And as our lovely maiden left us
Telling us she would stay in touch
But failing to do so
We procrastinated as to why.
She might have wanted free drinks
Or to sell to us life insurance
Or maybe she though we were trying to con her.
The Father, son, and the holy Mayor
All texting away using Nokia and Sprint
To convey what we could have said out loud.
But in her line of business
I am sure she is familiar with free messaging.
And who says what they are thinking anymore?
That’s so retro.
This was how the universe
Perhaps as a sign of revenge
For all the schemes and scams,
Of mortal men and mayors,
Had predisposed us to run into the man with long reach.
When it comes to manipulation
Perhaps the universe plays dice with itself.
But it can’t do so, nearly as classily as men can.
It created men, who created manipulation
But when the universe tries to play the game
Her children created, it comes of as ingenuine and over the top
Like a grandmother describing something as cool,
To get her grandchildren to eat broccoli.
So as we stumbled to find my car
On the corners on High and Gay street
(God damn these liberals, with their agendas)
We were spotted and recognized.
We were told that these men had been kicked out of a bar
For having to slap people.
Person A, having slapped person B’s brother.
Person A having long reach and person B having a long board.
We played tug of war in our minds,
Trying to decide which to follow, reason or curiosity.
But the philosophical theorems being espoused
Were so revolutionary, that I am still not sure we followed either.
He explained that some people need to be slapped,
This is where he came in, with his long reach.
He was a tall dude!
“When you punch someone”, he said
Stopping inches from my face, with his fist;
“They just start crying.”
He imitated a whaaa face.
“But if you slap someone, you wake them up”
“You don’t alienate them from yourself”
“You keep them close” he finished
A whole philosophy of slapping was being espoused here
By a strange fighter who fought enemies
He wanted to keep up close,
But who he reached from far away.
This was a handicap superhero, a cripple
Blessed or cursed with an ability to slap
From a further distance then he wanted to.
But I guess, we are all sheep and shepherds
And in the end are so confused by the field,
That we take whatever skin we can find.
We are all wolves in sheep’s clothing
There was a promise made of a house
In which we would smoke a fat blunt,
While listening to the man with long reach, play guitar.
We figured if he came all the way form Cali,
He had to be good.
Meanwhile he warned us that while
He didn’t want to have to slap any of us;
But would not hesitate to do so,
If we made, what he referred to as acronyms.
Acronyms like “uhh” or “yeah” or “whoa”
He sounded each of these out on the patio of the house.
He warned us again, but not before warning us
Of the lack of toiletries that would be found in this abode.
If we had to go, we might as well leave
“I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave”
I blanked out his warning,
Regretting not having send that via text,
To the life insurance salesman.
I realized however, that I needed her
As much as I needed the bathroom in this guys house.
I could hold it in; I had schemed enough for today.
“I’ve been living here since Monday” He told us
And suddenly the evening was summarized
As I watched him open the door
He became the personification
Of all of his beliefs.
Like a jigsaw puzzle of California and slapping and blunts.
I saw him the way he wished to be seen.
He walked in the house, the four of us followed.
Inside a man got up from his couch, leaving his wife sitting
“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU” he yelled
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE”
Steve, Tom, and I hit rewind and walked backwards,
We must have looked like an old vhs tape being reviewed.
There was commotion from inside,
But we were half a block away at this point.
The last we heard from the man with the long reach
Was a faint “Monday”.
I am not sure if this was a cosmic echo,
Or whether he really was insisting he had moved in.
But his friend abandoned by all his brothers
In a twist of fate was perhaps shouting the same words
His brother shouted at him, when he left the bar earlier.
It was the “where are you going”
Only a man stabbed in the back could utter.
But we ignored it as we laughingly found my car.
We talked about brotherhood and friendship,
And decided to sent a text message to Joe
The last piece in our usual quartet, explaining what happened
I decided to add the life insurance saleswomen as a recipient.
“We accidentally broke into someone’s house” the message said.
Joe instantly responded claiming these things were always accidental.
The radio silence became broken as well.
All of a sudden we must have seemed interesting again.
I had breathed life into the women who put warranties on it.
The whole corruptness seemed fitting.
I was numb to it now.
Whatever skin I could get, even hers would suffice,
We all smell of rotting flesh,
And perhaps now that we were no longer hiding it,
She related to us.
Our stench of shenanigans,
Was at least mildly reminiscent of her own.
How absurd is it to put a warranty
On something you don’t control.
You could be shot accidentally
Breaking into someone’s home
Or you could die at 80.
This was her business.
She was no angel
But I was happy to receive her texts anyway.
If I could only get my record clean
I could cast judgment on others.
I wanted to be mayor, as much as Steve
But my city was of a different nature
We are all frail like that.
Maybe death is the only bringer of salvation
In this world on manipulation
I thought about this whilst
Excitingly sending text messages about my self.
But I had been out too long and the scheme was over
My phone died, running out of battery.
I took it as a sign from God.
It was a nod upon my musings, on the nature of death.
I drove home, with my seat reclined
And my arms reaching out far,
Grasping the steering wheel.
We all have long reach,
But we don’t know what we are reaching for.