Not Tonight

Here I sit on my couch,
Legs stretch out on the floor,
Surrounded only by the
Murmurs from tonight’s news,
The air conditioner, and the
Loud music from my neighbors.

It’s Friday night, and my apartment
Complex becomes Deep Ellum.
Hip hop in the next building,
Tejano upstairs, dance and pop
Three doors down.

And here I sit. Guarded by these
Lifeless, white walls, and I can’t
Sleep.

They won’t allow me to sleep.

I can feel them – the walls, sitting
On my chest, and blood rushes to
My head. My temples throb, my
Heart pounds wanting to escape
From me.

And I can’t sleep.
They won’t allow me to sleep.

And I say to myself,
“I don’t want to be alone.
Not tonight.”

But where can I go?
Who do I see?

I would have to face questions
I have no answer to such as
“What’s wrong?” And emotions
I’m afraid exists will pour out
Due to my drunken state.

I would have to talk when I
Don’t feel like saying a word.

And I say to myself,
“I don’t want to be bothered.
Not tonight.”

So I drive. I drive to flee from
Those white, lifeless walls.

And here I sit. On this chair
Legs stretch out to the floor
As a half-naked stranger sits
On my nap grinding to
Reggaeton.

This is costing me $10 a
Song. And though she
Now knows me by name
I know to her, I’m just
A means to an end. A cell
Phone payment, a half-tank
Of gas or a manicure.

But the feel of soft skin and
The smell of baby powder
Is what I need.

Because, I don’t want
To be alone,
And I don’t
Want to be bothered.

Not tonight.

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