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Emotiomal Baggage

I was late
and overweight
had trouble finding the check-in counter
quite unprepared for a new encounter
then, just when deciding this day wasn’t mine
I discerned the Emotional Airways sign


“Only one item may be taken aboard”
said the squiddy flight desk attendant looking bored
and going through her tentacle waving routine.
The wispy blonde standing behind me smiled at the scene
”Could I carry something of your’s in my bag?”, she meant me
I looked her over, sized her up, one two three

She looked like an undernourished goldfish
barely capable of carrying her own meager baggage
”Flight’s closing now”, glared Miss Cold Fish
smoothing her lapels which drooped like boiled cabbage
”It’s her or dump it”, she snapped in a cold Freudian voice
leering through psychoanalytical spectacles, “take your choice”.
I decided to chance it, the blonde did look young and supple
so we proceeded on board, quite an unsuitable couple.


Blondie chatted persistently throughout the flight
and we didn’t get much sleep that night
she described her anxieties glad to be free of them
caused by a row of husbands
it seems she’d had three of them
and although my red lamp didn’t stop flashing
I felt my defenses crumbling and crashing


I couldn’t believe such exciting women existed
full of new fashioned beliefs that to me seemed quite twisted
quite the reverse of the older ladies I’d gotten used to
each word and action designed just to boost you
it didn’t seem right that her marriages had been unsuccessful
why had her relationships been so stressful?
her sincerity and sweetness plucked my curiosity
somehow caused my ego to spin with increased velocity

It was after the aircraft began its descent
that I began to realize what she meant
those flowery compliments she showered on me
were designed to convince me that I and she
were soul mates made in heaven, that cupid had seen us
despite the twenty five years difference between us
so I took her home feeling strangely young again
despite my feeling that this ballad could not be sung again
and that night led to another and another and another
as my diminishing resistance she continued to smother


She steeped into my life like a gently dipped infusion
dispelling my doubts, my protests, my confusion
a blonde color wash seeping into my dreams
wherever I turned there were blonde bottles and creams
blonde toothpaste blonde underwear blonde emails
and my wardrobe needed about three extra rails
she rearranged my paintings, moved tables and chairs
and the bathroom drain became clogged with her hairs

One day a few blissful months later
she suddenly erupted like an extinct volcano’s crater
for no reason I could see she turned angry and tearful
and day by day she grew less and less cheerful
she said it was better that we stopped ‘seeing one another’

And that she was going home to her mother
I took her to the airport, waved her goodbye
and when her plane took off, went back home to cry
feeling older, sadder, wiser and in pain
yet hoping someday it would happen again

She only left one item behind her
a discarded old suitcase to serve as a reminder
that while I continued to lug emotional baggage to each flight
her generation preferred to travel light.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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