Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Our marriage had been wonderful. At least I thought it so.
That's why the pain was so intense the day you turned to go.
I'd been with you so many years it wasn't easy to
Face the thought of going through a lifetime without you.
For months I never left the house. I lie in bed instead,
A slideshow of our life together playing in my head.
Your fingerprints upon my heart I still could not erase
So there I sat, evading that new world I couldn't face.
After a brief time I began to drive the streets at night,
Drove for hours in melancholy shades of neon light
Ate in all-night diners where the lonely people go
And watched the night unfolding over endless cups of joe.
I watched young lovers, arm in arm, with laughter in their eyes
Giggle to each other over omelettes and fries.
I saw old men in corners, trying hard to be unseen.
Young love in front - old men behind - and I sat in-between.
A parade of lonely months went by. The time had come at last
To move along and put away the heartaches of the past.
Although my thoughts were still of you I had to start anew
To put together pieces of a lifetime I once knew.
I asked a girl at work if she would like to catch a show
But she was busy so I asked another - who said no.
Diana at the diner also turned my offer down.
I just could not believe a willing girl could not be found!
I've been considered handsome. I've succeeded at my work.
My clothes are always neat. I don't come on like I'm some jerk.
Girls have always eyed me - gave me signals that said GO
But, at the point I needed someone, all I heard was no.
And then that's when it hit me. I knew what they tried to say.
The desperate need they saw in me was why they turned away.
There was a big sign LOSER on my forehead in full view.
The confidence I'd always felt has disappeared with you.
One night while I was driving….it was 4 AM or so
I saw a flashing neon sign give off a fading glow.
MASSAGE - OPEN 24 HOURS was what the message bore..
A desperate need for someone's touch propelled me through the door.
The room they led me into had a table - nothing more,
A hook to hang my clothes on and an unswept concrete floor.
I closed my eyes, took off my clothes and lay there very still
Not knowing if my shaking came from shame or evening chill.
She entered through the side door. As a beauty, she was not.
Whatever looks she might have had were fully gone to pot.
She weighed around 260 and her hair-do was a fright
And, in a string bikini, she was really quite a sight!
I kept my eyes closed very tight and felt her hands begin.
I was surprised the gentle way her fingers touched my skin.
It had been many months since I had felt another's touch
And hadn't realized that I had missed it so damn much.
Her hands went on their merry way.It didn't matter who….
Carresses I was feeling could have only come from you.
I heard the roaches scurrying across the concrete floor
But, lost in your sweet memories, I only wanted more.
I asked her to lie down with me and hold me for a while,
Pretend she cared about me - She just looked at me and smiled.
I asked her to touch me in ways to summon passion's thrill
And treat me like a lover….Here her smile grew wider still.
By this time I was pleading. I would pay! I didn't care!
My needs came pouring unrestrained as I was lying there.
With self-respect behind me, in a moment quite unproud,
I begged her to make love to me…That's when she laughed out loud.
And that was when it happened. I could feel my mind go numb.
Her laughter was a wake-up call to what I had become.
I looked at myself on the table in full nudity
And at this obese woman who was laughing down at me.
I looked at my clothes on the hook, the dirty concrete floor,
Chipped polish on her fingernails, exit sign on door.
Her head had brushed a hanging light bulb, swaying to and fro
Which gave the scene an eerie and surrealistic glow.
I got down from the table, put my feet on solid ground.
I took my clothes down from the hook and dressed without a sound.
I smiled at that old woman I'd been begging for a touch
And, in a tranquil voice, I said "I thank you very much".
The graying dawn was breaking in the cool of morning chill.
The birds were singing, sun was creeping over yonder hill.
The grass was coated with a sheet of early-morning dew.
I smiled up at the clouds and then…..began my life anew.