In the spirit of #NationalPoetryDay I’m submitting one of the poems of the great late Alden Nowlan. @AldenNowlan.
He Attempts to Love His Neighbours
My neighbours do not wish to be loved. They have made it clear that they prefer to go peacefully about their business and want me to do the same. This ought not to surprise me as it does; I ought to know by now that most people have a hundred things they would rather do than have me love them.
There is television, for instance; the truth is that almost everybody, given the choice between being loved and watching TV, would choose the latter. Love interrupts dinner, interferes with mowing the lawn, washing the car, or walking the dog. Love is a telephone ringing or a doorbell waking you moments after you’ve finally succeeded in getting to sleep.
So we must be careful, those of us who were born with the wrong number of fingers or the gift of loving; we must do our best to behave like normal members of society and not make nuisances of ourselves; otherwise it could go hard with us. It is better to bite back your tears, swallow your laughter, and learn to fake the mildly self-deprecating titter favoured by the bourgeoisie than to be left entirely alone, as you will be, if your disconformity embarrasses your neighbours;
I wish I didn’t keep forgetting that.