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 The Streak
We all have a destructive streak
in us.
But, for some, that streak
runs far and wide and long.
There is a long list of luminaries who've
vanished from the planet,
left the earth unquietly,
well nigh before they finished composing
their own swan songs.
I've known many of them
and learned from the best
of the wild ones,
the destructive ones
standing out from the madding crowd.
They lived life loud.
And were fiendishly proud of it
wore it like a finely tattered suit
and a pair of elevator shoes.
Living life how they choose,
is how they educated me along the way.
I have to say, it was a lesson
we all could learn.
It's interesting to me
how some of us, maybe all,
make the same mistakes over and over,
sometimes, every day.
We must be tough walnuts,
our shells compromised,  brains exposed to the
smoggish air of our lofty dreams.
I remember in particular, a blonde young woman,
my college roommate,so very charismatic,
with much to say. She was a fortress of knowlege,
an encyclopedia sprung to life.
All quarter long she never opened a book,
until a few days shy of the final examination.
She drank prodigiously every night,
and there seemed no explanation for her inclination
except that her Father was a tenured professor
and she possessed an anti-Oedipal complex.
Every eve a different bar, every morn she
awoke to retouch the makeup of the night before.
Adding layer upon layer of mascara and ebony liner
until at week's end she shed her face, starting all over.
But there was some place in her,
that couldn't start over, she had a record skipping
in the middle of her chest.
Her sister had jumped from a high bridge.
She confessed
they were much alike
in predisposition.
Each morning a new composition
She followed them with precison.
Each song was a direction, a mantra, a manual
for her grief stricken soul.
And it took walking pneumonia, friends and eventually
her family to retrieve her,
to break the destructive streak
that runs stubbornly through
all of our lives.
The very next Fall,
I met a new person,
not the old "m" at all.
The streak had ended. She was temporarily mended.
But, I could see the stitches fraying from time to time.
Like they fray in us all.

Copyright October 7, 2011  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY AUTHOR
Dedicated to M.S. wherever you are, I will forever love you.

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