May 24, 2002
by Michael Finley
"So what was the worst thing you
"I was in a funeral reception
line, and by the time I got to the grieving widower, all I could think to say
was 'Hey, Verne, nice to see you.' I think about it almost every day, twenty
years later. And every time, I cringe."
"Geez, I did some dumb things. The
worst -- no wait, that wasn't so bad. The worst was definitely what I did to a
girlfriend in the 70s. We were young and very hot and having a terrific time.
And I ruined it all one day by telling her the problem with us was that she
wasn't smart enough."
"I'm serious. I got her some books
to read and went hitch-hiking. I was quite sure I'd found a solution to the
age-old problem of women not being smart enough for their poet boyfriends."
"So what did she do?"
"She read about half a book, then
got really mad, and I was gone."
The wipers slap away the errant rain.
"What is it about young men poets?
I used to just show up at women's doors unannounced."
"You just dropped by?"
"I lived 1000 miles away. It was
like, I couldn’t pick up the phone and say, 'Hey, I wanna visit with
"That would have ruined
"No, it had to be like Jesus risen
from the tomb."
Silence. The headlights of another car
swerves at the end of the street, and is gone. More silence.
Finally: "God, were we the
stupidest men on the planet, or what?"
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