Poetry: Christopher Titus Save Me!

The following is an embellished account based on a real experience. Inspired by the poem “the 12 hour night” by Charlies Bukowski from his book “what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”

 

Christopher Titus Save Me!

By Shannon Laws

“…our bodies were worn, our spirits whipped. there was a sense of unreality.”
the 12 hour night, Charles Bukowski

 

I found myself in middle age working the graveyard shift as a deep cleaner at a casino, and somehow there seemed to be no way out.

I was smothered by
Waist-less woman
in high heels
butts in the ashtrays
butts in the seats
baseball hats on empty heads
guts spilling over large buckles
Work boots, flip flops
bring in an endless
amount of pine needles
and waffle-mud cakes
Everything looks too tight
especially the Tuesday Tweakers.

I am drained here
my life is ending
but Christopher Titus is coming
in February. He smiles at me from the poster’s place
on each side of each four-sided pillar and near the door.
“As seen on Comedy Central!” “Get your tickets now!”

Christopher is coming!  His spiky blonde hair and blue eyes hold life.  He is my savior in an ash covered world. As I sweep up pieces of paper, fingernails, toothpicks, squeezed out limes from the casino’s clown colored floor, I imagine sweet Christopher busting through the main entrance on a white steed
shining
he is shining
glowing with a bright future
a future he offers me if only
I wash off my Cinderella ashes
take his hand and leave this place
Oh, how he glows!

He talks to me—
Why are you here? C’mon, you can do better
You’re wiping up blood and vomit from slot machines.  Your new skill is how to reach into the bathroom garbage to avoid a hidden syringe,
-and the SHRIMP on Friday Fish Day! All that half-chewed shrimp clogging up your vacuum!  C’mon!
look at ME
look how happy I am
join me in this happiness

I was so tired, so dazed, my anguished mixed with hopelessness.  I saw myself fifteen years from now, hunched over the sweeper, being called darlin’ and sugar, taking empty glasses once full of spirits, offering clean ashtrays.

I talked sense to my Titan
This isn’t so bad.
I’ve learned much more than biohazard clean up.
I’ve studied this species of human
that gambles.  You can learn a lot from the way they put out their cigarettes. Like footprints in the snow, you know what animal walked by

The Texan—punches the butt straight down, it stands erect
The Cowboy— rolled and smashed, falls to the side
The Camper—sits at the same machine for hours, same butt brand overfills ashtray
The Britney— pink lipstick on the butt, usually a camper
Ladybird— smokes the very thin lady cigarette, flutters around from machine to machine
Still, my Titan smiles

Then one night I stood up for myself and left
My last day is this Friday, I told my shift manager on Thursday.
You found something else?
Yes
yes, I did.
Fresh air and dignity
It pays nothing

On my last day I hand in my badge, I returned my uniforms, left my locker unlocked,
Christopher Titus had come and gone
A new act was plastered on the pillars
I turned and walked away
into the night
and my life was touched by
magic.

and it still
is.

 


Want to learn more about Christopher Titus? Of course, you do.

https://www.christophertitus.com/

Christopher Titus, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfulness Event & Adele

You’re invited  

Concert of thankfulness and poetry event

Wednesday, November 25 – 7:30 PM

St. James Presbyterian, 910 14th St, Bellingham

Music presented by the St. James Bell Choir and Chancel Choir.

Thanksgiving poetry & memoir provided by local writing community poets and writers: Susan Chase-Foster, Luther Allen, Darrell Hillaire, Janet Oakley, Shannon Laws, and Carla Shafer.

“Join us to pause and reflect on our blessings and give thanks for all that we have been given. The evening’s monetary offering will go to the Bellingham Food Bank.”

“Looks like a warm evening of reflection and music.  Here is what I’m reading.” -SPL

bethankful

Walking with Family

            -by Shannon Laws

In the 1980’s I was a kid growing up in South King County.  Two of my mother’s sisters lived nearby.  These three sisters kept the family together by organizing the parties for holidays and birthdays.  The aunts and my mother rotated the hosting chores, added new recipes to the menus, brought out the best china, crystal and extra tables for Thanksgiving.

My father and uncles seemed reluctant to dress up for it, after all, their football or baseball game was “always” interrupted by invading house guests, but they reacted kindly by adding “color” to every event.  These were hard working men, they were a construction foremen, an owner of a plumbing company, a city building inspector and a mailman. They had plenty of jokes and stories to amaze the crowd of child and parent alike.

By the mid 90’s the two sisters moved away and family gatherings all but ceased.  One family moved back to the mid-west for work, the other to Arizona for retirement.

When my two kids where toddlers, however they were able to enjoy a few of these events before everyone moved away.  Returning home from an Easter dinner my son shared in his cute little five year voice, “Wow, we have a BIG family!”

Somehow after my family dispersed, I found the kindness of new friends comforting.  My path has provided me with new aunties, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers, sisters and brothers.  Friends walk with me a bit on the path of life.  Company is always welcome, whether there’s a Seahawks game on or not.  Life changes.

People, even family, come and go in our world.  Some people stay longer than others.  It brings tears to my eyes as I type these words; tears of joy & happiness and most importantly—thankfulness.

heart leaf
“The Heart of a Leaf and My Feet”

This video made me laugh!  I wish we had Adele back in day.

“A Thanksgiving Miracle”

mqdefaulthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2zyjbH9zzA

Published on Nov 22, 2015

There’s only one thing that can keep a family (Beck Bennett, Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Matthew McConaughey, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer) from fighting at Thanksgiving: Adele.

#