[lit-ideas] late again?

  • From: Scribe1865@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 09:59:25 EDT

Apocalypse at Work
(repeat as often as needed)
You wake up late or linger over an extra banana.
The shower feels good or the music hasn't ended
or you can't release the bed-warm embrace or the
telephone distracts you. The train or the bus or 
the car or your walk is impeded by lightning or rain 
or snow or a hurried driver's distant misfortune.
The elevator is broken, a bomb scare is believed,
or a rush meeting is called to discuss the executive's
toe surgery. You have too many emails or memos or
a co-worker has pictures of her Nashville trip that
you must see. From this sequence, a few minutes
drop from your morning, minutes to respond to the
urgent issue, the pressing deadline, the final due date,
the task at hand. You are late for the morning and
late for tasks and too late to be proactive, responsive,
compliant, prepared, closed. The opportunity is lost 
and the contract is voided and an option is forfeited:
the glaring red button flickers warnings that a
process was undermined and an enterprise dashed 
and safeguards expire so the project is in meltdown
as the failure cascades and the emergency gates close, 
the steel gates now close and lock, then the alarm 
falls silent as the power is shut off and the terminal 
disconnects and the lights wink off in tandem
as everyone exits and you are through, they are
through, the whole mechanism has imploded, and
the hated, yearned-for void of extended free time
opens about you like lips of an all-consuming giant,
opens about you to spit you out into the world,
breech shot and dripping your amniotic misery,
as you are alone with only your imagination for
routine, you weep and choke and pule and
you wake up late or linger over an extra banana.

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