Both Sides Now

It was either a really bad TV reality show or
a New Orleans honeymoon at Mardi Gras,
but either way it was chaotic and fragmented and,
even as he dreamed it, he recognized himself
as both lead character and outside spectator,
as if carrying out his own actions in reality
while simultaneously viewing them on a screen,
screaming a harsh and mocking critique
as the show unfolded.
……………………………………..This went on
through the absurd scene of the drunken lurches
on the tourist boat, his drinks inevitably spilling
into her cleavage and the tirades that followed
(which, of course, as his own voyeur,
he roundly and vociferously supported);
went on through the scene of the aimless and
costly ramble through the casino,
ostensibly searching for her, in which he
pissed away nearly every penny of their wedding
bounty and, although his TV self occasionally
attempted to show some restraint
(though admittedly not much), his voyeur/viewer self,
drooling avariciously, just kept screaming for him to
double down, try the slots, let it ride.
…………………………………………………It all came to an
incongruous end when, back in their hotel room,
he opened the bureau and, finding only
someone else’s clothes there—neither his
nor hers—he turned to her to announce
his discovery, saw someone else standing there
instead, smiling and brandishing
what at first appeared to be just small silver
flask, and then the screen simply went black
and his voyeur self was left alone, bolt upright
in bed, jolted into consciousness,
to figure it out for himself.

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