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November 27, 2023

A Flattering Question

By Brian Rihlmann

A Flattering Question

I've often been asked:
Where did you go to school?
And by this, they mean university.
Well ... here is my unabridged answer --
I didn't ... at least,
not in the way you think.
I wasted my college years
in spectacular fashion,
working a series of dead end jobs ...
construction, warehousing, bartending ...
I played guitar in metal bands.
I drank in dive bars.
I snorted speed off toilet tank porcelain.
I shacked up with a married woman
and then a prostitute.
I played bar skank roulette.
I fell for them all,
shattered my glass
against their concrete.
I self-destructed, went mad,
and then I ran ...
I lived on the road, in a tent,
in my car, for months.
I got lost on trails through
the mountains, forests, and deserts.
I looked back into the bear's eyes
when he stood on his hind legs,
and looked into mine.
I sat on lonely beaches, listened
as the sea told its story.
When I was tired of all this,
I returned to the city.
I began to read ...
I read everything in the library.
Later, I bought a notebook,
and began to scribble ...
that was 20 years ago,
and the words keep coming,
to fool us all.

Article © Brian Rihlmann. All rights reserved.
Published on 2020-11-02
Image(s) are public domain.
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