My friend, Gus, carried the book Failing Up
around like it was the bible
which, in a way, it was for him.
Gus failed up like our cats threw up:
they couldn't learn not to lick
wads of fur off their soft bodies,
so they puked -- often and arrogantly.
Gus squeaked by with an odd job here,
an even odder job there. Still,
he attracted a lovely woman who spent
hours toning her body at the gym --
the gym where Gus would do a few push-ups,
some casual sit-ups, maybe a knee bend
before retiring to the snack bar
for a veggie burger and power shake.
No one was allowed to attend the wedding ceremony.
Gus said it was too sacred to pollute with witnesses,
although their affenpinscher, Acne, stood up for them
(when offered a biscuit), and a justice
of the so-called peace presided. I think a northern pine
was present. At their wedding reception
people bet on how long their marriage would last.
Immediately after the ceremony, Gus's wife began
to hound him with unreasonable demands:
"Get a job, you blowhard!" she bellowed. "Pay the bills!"
"Pick up your underwear!" That sort of thing.
It lasted one day longer than the prenup: ten terror-filled
years of drugs and booze and abuse on both sides.
There was, of course, a child who asked for none of this,
but got it all.