At the conclusion of our recent family reunion, my twin brother Bruce was within moments of jumping into his car and heading home. Everything was packed for his drive halfway across the country. Only his computer remained on the countertop, ready for checking the weather, looking at maps, and sending a few last - minute messages. No sooner had he completed these tasks than the computer started updating itself. Surprise!
"What do you think?" my brother asked me. "Do you really think any harm will come to my computer if I shut it down and hit the road? Or should I wait?"
Luckily, I knew precisely how to answer his questions. I picked up the latest book of poetry by my friend Len and read aloud the following:
I can do something unexpected, even
a little wild and risky; I could leave my
back - up travel alarm clock home next time
I go on a trip. I could get rid of my emergency
hairbrush that I keep in my office desk
in case violent winds, the hot simoom,
come roaring down the river as I cross
the parking lot, I might just get rid of it.
When someone asks for a volunteer
from the audience, why, I might go onstage,
just to picture your wide-eyed expression
when they lock me in one of those boxes
they run through with four - foot swords.
I might try the calamari, the kim chi,
order that Thai dish with five peppers
printed next to it in the menu. I could
leave my car in a loading zone when
I am not actually loading, and I could
enter the crosswalk after the red hand
has started blinking. When the screen says
Please wait until the computer shuts down,
I might not wait. Anything's possible.
by Leonard Orr
from A Floating Woman