The rugsucker dream—always
the same, differently, this time,
as always, had woken him at 4,
just before he’d intended to
awaken, and demanded to be
………………Always the same
elements: always the truck
parked too far from the house,
always the rug not ready to be
sucked, always the specific
inevitable mechanical problem,
unfixable; this time the steam tank
leaking and sloshing,
the steam lines’ couplings corroded
and crumbling in his hands.
He hadn’t had the rugsucking job
for almost thirty years. What ancient
unresolved issue could spell itself out
so long, using images so far distant
he had only the faintest memory
of their antecedents? What last little bit
of chaos lurked, still, a quarter century later,
that he hadn’t already disposed of?
And why the rugsucker job—not the
fishpicker job or the bathing of the geriatrics?
He opened the journal before it slipped away.