Saturday, May 4, 2013

Burdens Between Two Friends

"While we're here and while we sit," said I,
"Let me start, my friend, by speaking candidly:
Do you feel this... - encumbrance, that's the word -
of all this luxury we call our own?
All the bills and all the hours of long work
have caused me burdensome anxiety.
My wife wants to leave me - bitter and hopeless;
She says I love work more than commitment."

He turned to me, my friend, the listener.
His eyes expressed a wave of empathy
rippling through space by means of reality.
This friend, my friend, was a wise one indeed.

"People work and are yearning to consume.
Most people - they seem to act on instinct,
Implored, by others, to reap their harvest
of every item of status and vogue."

His eyes met mine, abound with attention.
I hoped he could provide masterly council
I hoped he could prescribe life's medicine -
for the fate of my life rests in his hands.
I thought of my safe, my keeper of stuff,
and the pistol within that tempted me.

But he went on, my friend, applying the salve:

"Life is hard and life is ever fleeting;
It does not make sense to live it in vain.
Freedom is the vict'ry we seek to gain.
All our burdens that we experience
Are faults of no one but ourselves... it's true."

I felt the sting of his frank reaction,
even though his judgement seemed tenable.

Outside, the daylight dissipated slowly,
occluded by the excess of moisture.
The world seemed to progress - unaffected -
whether I questioned my own bleak demise
or sat in ease - satisfied with existence.

Even so, I praise my tolerant friend.
I recalled Epicurus - that fine soul
who saw the positivity of friends.

Good thing he, my friend, stood by - awaited.
Without him, the trigger could boldly tempt
and draw me close to the fatal embrace.


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