Observation at a Party

Eloquence leaves me alone to die a silent social death.
Incapable of expressing myself aloud,
I shuffle off into a corner to watch the world pass.
Loud and laughable, the images of life circle around the room,
mindless banter erupting where two or more converge.
Genocide sips her Molotov cocktail slowly,
careful to remain unnoticed –
she arrived uninvited.
Nearby, Justice and Righteousness chat loudly
about their long weekend together last year.
They have not seen each other since.
Famine, a portly and pasty faced man,
stands at the end of the buffet snatching food from plates as they go by.
Intolerance scowls at him as he takes an hors d’oeuvre from Indifference,
who seems not to notice.
Carelessness dances about the room,
swaying to the music of Harmony and Accord,
oblivious that she is making others jump out of her dizzying path.
Behind the stage, Discord fiddles with the electronic equipment
hoping to short circuit the wiring.
When he is unsuccessful, he sneaks around the room
whispering corruption into the ears of guests.
Ignoring the music,
Intelligence begins a lofty discussion with Reason and Faith.
They are at odds again.
Competition shouts above the rest, attempting to be heard.
No one but Ignorance is listening.
Two large watery lamps,
the eyes of Fear,
peer around the door frame to survey the scene
before retreating to a hiding place in the hall.
I tire of the party early in the evening,
but stand rooted in place unable to move.
Knowing that it will be hours
before Vitality, Youth and Stamina stop drinking
and pour themselves into bed,
I begin to wonder how I will record the evening.
Eloquence returns to me with a few drinks,
and we sit chatting about how to describe the evening.
She suggests wild turns of phrase and witty criticisms.
These things are not my forte, and so we share the work.
I pull out my notebook and relate what I have seen.
She quickly transforms the work of Observation into art.


    1. J. Patrick Hanley

      Thanks Miriam! I wrote this a long, long time ago, and was working on getting things transferred over to my blog as a kind of repository for my writing. It’s one of the few things that I’ve ever written that I don’t look back on and cringe. (Isn’t that always the way? We love what we’re doing while we’re doing it, and then we grow and change and learn and look back on our previous selves in judgment…) I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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