He conceded

that he’d failed at adulting

though he had no debt,

no criminal record,

and no addictions

other than snack cakes,

insipid sitcoms

and a Rubik’s cube

he still hadn’t resolved.

Five weeks from his fiftieth birthday,

he still slept in the same twin bed

that had sheltered his itchy, sweating limbs

after he’d contracted chicken pox

at New Year’s 1984.

He clung to his octogenarian progenitors

for fish fingers, fresh fluffy laundry and

chauffeuring-on-demand,

too anxious for a driving license

and too cloudy-headed for a job since

his diligent daydreaming had got him

sacked from shelf-reading

at the community library.

And when he craved companionship,

he copied the mobile numbers

of grinning realtors advertised

on weather-beaten bus-stops

and typed “howdy, buddy”

under an invented nom de texto

and an imaginary reason

just to receive a response.


Adrian Slonaker works as a copywriter and copy editor in Urbandale, Iowa. USA. Adrian’s work has appeared in The Bohemyth, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Pangolin Review, Five on the Fifth, Picaroon Poetry, and others.

June 8, 2018

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