Disturbance

by Jeff Glovsky

As I write, there is a noisy, messy creature tearing agitatedly through her homeless bag.

I want to take her photograph.  I want to steal that bag and take time sifting through its contents:  How did she become this way?  Where did those belongings come from?  Apparently of enough sentiment to her (tethered to some better days?), so that she wrestles and tears through them, agitatedly.

Hopeful still, she wakes each day.  Maybe prays, finds some comfort, a warm cup of dignity…

I steal her soul, but it’s not exploitation.

Coffee Sounds

by Jeff Glovsky

Underground… feeling heat in the furious subway.  Flipping through a candy rack and trying not to deal.  I buy a pack of gum and turn to see what kind of juice there is.

I hear come up behind me, as I stare into the cooler now, a pack (or two or three, at least) of pissed off, sudden voices.  Angry voices…

Daunting voices.  Haunting, loudly overlapping voices…Countershouts in Arabic:  strong desert protestations.  “Fuck!” cuts through, then “nigger”… then the whumph of impacted, cracking flesh.  A muffled ‘pop’ next, silence, running… metal pounding to the floor.

… Go over.  Blood pools, train comes, goes… A thermos cup of coffee cools beside a stack of crackers.

 

Could … ?

by Jeff Glovsky

Will you really stare, my love?  Like you expect I’ll give my seat up?  Do you really think I’m interested in how your feet are faring?

You might contemplate removal of your eyes from off my shoulders; weight oppresses me, and I’m not moving…I’ve not finished eating yet.

My coffee’s not quite cold.

You’re cool, though…got it going on!  Aware at least of how to seem in public, what to be, and wear…Might like you.

…Do you really stare?

TGI

by Jeff Glovsky

The shouts continue.

“Extra caramel macchiato!”.  “Grande, triple latte chai!”.  “A ‘skinny’ decaf Frap, light ice!”.

“…three ‘pumps’, with extra ‘room’ please?”

And nobody’s embarrassed!

All these selfish inhalations, spoiled preferences, demands.  How do they purge themselves?  Expel such waste?

The stupid, herd-like slobs!  All waiting docilely in line for “coffee”…filling up the popcorn store (…a ‘popcorn store’!), the yogurt shops…

“Can I just…taste…the peanut butter pecan fudge?”, rude tongue and hands out.

Friday afternoons through Monday.  Most nights through the week!  I watch them preen and prate, and sate themselves…

Thank God I date alone.

Authorities

by Jeff Glovsky

“Oh, so you like that TV?” he asks…squeezing so his bad chicken breath’s tight behind her.

She whirls to face the foul offender.  Sees he’s a cop, or a guard of some sort.  “Hi,” she feels compelled to say; then leave her window shopping…

Forced to scurry away down Broadway.

At another intersection, yet another interruption:  stops and plants himself mid-sidewalk, turns and mumbles to the pair of single legs strolling behind him.  Asks her, “What you said?”

…Apparently, he ‘doesn’t hear her’.  Doesn’t hear the silence…

“Oh, I thought…”, as she bumps into him.

You thought?  C’mon man!  Costumed bozo!  What she said, be “You at work now.  You can’t talk, or hit on me!  I might pass by this way a little later, at the end of your eight or ten hour ‘beat’, who knows…

“But lose that uniform!”

Power Kicks

by Jeff Glovsky

The homeless guy’s asleep on the subway platform.  He doesn’t beg.  He doesn’t speak to anyone:  just lying there, a giant duffel bag of cans beside him, he obstructs, perhaps, the sense-pleasing aesthetic of the subway platform…otherwise, harms no one.

A cop loving his job comes over.  Gun drawn, kicks the homeless gent (though gently), yells at him to beat it.

Grinning, the homeless guy agrees.  “I was just going to,” he slurs, wanting no trouble.  “I was just going to.”

He gets up, shambling to his feet…gets kicked again for good measure, picks up his clanking cans and moves on.  “I was just going to,” the cop repeats after him.

“I was just going to,” he sneers…

Violator

by Jeff Glovsky

“Hey, what’re you doin’ in there?  Jesus Christ!”

He pounds on the door to what looks like a rest room.  “Ya’ doin’ alright in there?”

“…Occupado.”

“I know it’s ‘occupado’, I been waitin’ nearly twenty minutes!  What’re you doin’ in there, f’chrissake?”

“Just a minute (be right out)!”

“Jesus Christ!”

The holy man spins on his heel now…actually does a little dance.  “Jeez,” he sucks under his breath, shakes his head…sort of snorts and seems to stamp a little.

“You stunk up the place!” he hollers, stepping in to take his turn.

I’m Not the Monster

by Jeff Glovsky

The chair tips and the child howls…Bangs its head on the edge of a table.

“HaHaHaHaHA!”, staccato, high-pitched burst of another one.  “That was funny!”

The first child’s in tears.  “Elena!  Sssh!  That wasn’t funny,” Elena’s mother reprimands.  The girl keeps laughing…pulling on her crotch, sucking her fingers, giant, gap-toothed vacant smile…

“HaHaHaHaHA!” it goes.

The mother, afraid of becoming embarrassed, stuffs a pastry in her mouth…pulls a hot swig of her coffee-free barista “drink” and snaps again, “SShhh!  Elena!”

The girl explodes.  Dancelaughing, lapping up the air, red tongue out, clapping happily.  The first child’s mom, embarrassed too, shouts to her child – still crying from banging its head on a table – “Get up!

“What is wrong with you?”

New Season(ed)

by Jeff Glovsky

The snow in April tapers off …

He lightly brushes off his collar, shakes his hood, removes his gloves.  He’s cold still, as he pulls the zipper down on his vast jacket.

Though it’s spring now, he’s got sweaters on.  The first, with hair, and bacon smells, drips heavily above the second:  green and sleeveless, covering a red plaid woolen shirt.  He shrugs the first one off.

Sits down now in his sweater vest … Crosses polyester limbs and orders coffee, and a cup of fruit.

He lights a cigarette and puffs in peace, another morning.

Exterminator

by Jeff Glovsky

He stumbles in, excited looking.  Looking for a rest room, or acknowledgment of some sort … His walkie-talkie crackles and his uniform’s too short.

He shuffles … looking left, then to the right (his Lincoln-looking beard and eyes bright); searching for a rest room, or a consciousness to plunder, he stands shuffling, waiting, hoping for a lingered glance his way …

But look away!

The pest might leave then.