Even though the waitress has a crush on him
and the pop star in the overhead speakers
declares her unquenchable desire,
he can’t seem to focus on anything
except the screams still ringing in his ears
and the likelihood of further screaming
and nightmarish raving
despite the endless administration of
sedatives and anti-psychotics.

Back at the office, his colleagues
are having a festive little pot-luck
lunch party, counting down the days 
until their clients head out for
a couple weeks of summer camp,
freeing up their calendars 

for even longer pot-luck lunches,
even more festive parties.

Most of them
have problem clients too,
but they all duck into their offices
and close their doors
when they see his screamer in the lobby.

He wishes he could do the same;
wishes he didn’t cringe every time
his phone rings or his beeper buzzes.

Even when he steps outside
into the sunlight
there’s plenty of darkness to go around.


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