Monday, April 27, 2009


Where is your self-esteem? Languishing on a street corner, face reflected in a drunkard's puddle of spittle and piss. Where is your self-esteem? Lapping up a lap dancer's lap on a sawed-off stool, short changed bouncer beating a dull drum roll of out-of-control madness and primal rage. Where is your self-esteem? Left behind in a mother's womb? Abandoned like an orphan's heart? Find it in the inebriated spirits of whiskey and rum. Find it here: the last cigarette of whetted tobacco in a desert wind. Damaged nerve. Inflamed liver. Find the esteem of the dead man. Obituary of his success in pictures; two column accomplishments. Scion of a concert pianist. Progenitor of a ballerina daughter on New York stage. But where is your self esteem? Cold night with a newspaper blanket. Spittle and piss frozen, a mirror of yellow and white. Take me to the shelter, nun of the moonless sky. Blue habit, white smock. Warm blankets to my touch. Hot bath to my skin. Steaming dish of frank and beans. The rising hope of religious prayer. Whatever rises to the atheistic God who believes no more in the soul of man. Is this your self-esteem? Find it here. Find it here on street corner of broken men. Backwards, too. Saturday morning cartoons and childhood days, when esteem was Captain Crunch and Sugar Crisp. Friday nights now. Billy clubs and drunk tanks. Bear like men growling into the dank air of underground cells. Self esteem come to me in warm blankets, a prayer, a nun's gentle words that salvage an old soul.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is a fantastic post! Great writing SC. Seriously moving. I have met a few gents that have shuffled in and out of the doors of the Ottawa Mission as I volunteered there off and on through the years. There ain't much under this cold sun that they haven't been addicted to at some point. In this post, you capture the hardship of the mean, lonely streets, the even tougher battle with self-doubt and lonliness but most importantly the power of mercy given to the suffering. With this, one can rebuild again, become rejuvenated, like a phoenix....rising.