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The Epic Myth of Michael James Ash, College Student

I sit at my table, waiting, waiting
The people move through and through
Each coming out with their black tray
White plates
Funny-colored food

Time marches, I look at my watch
Hurry on, I say
I have to get to class
But the faceless crowd pays me no heed
They keep coming and coming

Sitting at their tables
Their friends
Their foods
Their conversations
Oblivious to my plight

I am not hungry
Yet I must eat
For if not now, when?
But this tremendous mass of people will not let me
Where did they come from?

I must go to class soon
And first I must eat
I no more wish to go to class than I wish
To poke my eyes out
But it is something that must be done

And first I must eat
Yet the flood of people prevent it
I will not stand in line for hours
For food I am not hungry for
If not now, when?

They keep coming
Where did they find so many?
How can the staff keep them fed?
So many questions
I am hungry

I think they are gone now
Though I am not sure
Regardless, something must be done
For I have to go to class, and I must eat.
If not now, when?

I am back now
I bring food
Indeed, I was hungry
And I eat
But the journey was confusing

Where was the checker?
I went to pay for my food
But there was no one there
This influx has made them change their ways
It is confusing

But what could I do
I walked out, as everyone else walked out
And did not pay
But they are not in the business
Of giving away free food

I must have done something wrong
Perhaps coming in the back to avoid
The massive line of people I did not know
But nobody told me what to do
There were no signs, no symbols

They are not in the business of giving away free food
Yet I sit here and I eat
Free food
Have I stolen?
Have they let me steal?

No matter
I am hungry
And this food is poor
Though it does feed me
I am hungry

Now I am in class
Tapping away at my ancient computer
In this silent room
Everybody waiting

If I poke my eyes out
I will not have to come
It would be a very good excuse to
Not come
Yes, it would

Ah, but there is life after class
Amazingly enough
Life where eyes might be
Nice to have
Perhaps I shall not poke them out

At least I am far away from the crowds
Of people
Many, many, many people
So bothersome

Class may be bad
But it is quiet
Except for the tapping
Of my fingers
On my keyboard

What is there to do but sit
And write
And wait for the teacher
And try to understand his words
Is there such thing as a math teacher without an accent?

Infinite series
Numbers trundling off into space, forever
Forever is a long time
It doesnÕt make sense at all
To use something we cannot know

Forever is a long time
Ask someone what forever is
Perhaps they will give you a dictionary definition
Perhaps they will look at you funny
But they will not know it

Forever is a long time
It is not something to be understood
Or experienced
It is only something to pretend to know
In math and in life

Now I am home
Back to the crowds
But they are far away
And I can sit and

This page is copyright (C) 1999 by Michael Ash

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