• Nick Pecucci

Wicker Park, 11:11 P.M. // Nick Pecucci

The entirety of the human race

has escaped to the streets I walk

tonight.

I wear my work uniform

as an imperfect shield.

The maroon shirt is unbuttoned

untucked;

I am still attempting to hatch

from the temporary egg

housing my afterwork self.

I attempt to avoid cracks in the sidewalk

while still feigning a natural pace.

This is impossible.

I hear the conversations of shadowed passerby

accumulating from several feet away.

I try not to eavesdrop

as I (we) walk under rusted construction ducts.

I find myself lost

again

on the wrong side of the street,

seeing odd numbers instead of evens,

heading north instead of south.

Street signs do not point me in the right direction.

Lights dissolve from shop windows,

owners lock their doors for the evening

and I search their faces;

for they too

are part of this population

tonight,

despite the fact that they reside on the inside.

They watch me through windows.

I watch them through windows.

I watch myself through windows.

The street glows in bedsheets of old rain.

Intermission:

if only there was an intermission.

I locate my destination eventually,

arriving late.

I am asked for my ID...

I produce my ID...

I am handed back my ID...

I am granted entry with my ID...

Meanwhile–

I resume becoming I

and push a door meant to be pulled.

I enter.

The room sparkles orange

as if illuminated by an unseen fire.

The bar is half empty or half full

depending on my (your) perspective.

I wait to be seated

before a sign that says

Please wait to be seated.

I wait for someone to seat me

even though my seat has already been reserved.

A hand waves to (at) me

from the back of the bar.

I am expected.

I see only a hand and not a face,

but I assume I am the focus of the gesture.

I do not wait to be seated.

My feet fail to touch the floor

from the high chair in which I sit.

I am the third in a party of three.

I reach into my pocket

and my ID falls to the floor

face down.

I turn it face up

before I pick it up

and return it to my tattered wallet

with other pieces of myself.

Five different televisions play five different programs.

I attempt to watch them all.

This is impossible.

//

Nick Pecucci is a part-time bookstore clerk and a full-time nervous wreck residing in the suburbs of Chicago. Nick received a BA in English from Northeastern Illinois University; his poetry and fiction has previously appeared in Former People, Mochila Review, and SEEDS Literary & Visual Arts Journal. You can meet Nick at a public transportation stop near you.

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