The English Professor Reflects on Career Choices

Posted on 04 November 2009

“He not busy being born is busy dying.”
- Bob Dylan

My friend Matthew stuffs figs with goat cheese and bakes
delicacies from countries whose name I can’t pronounce.
We are having a party. I laugh as I drink gin and say
to no one in particular, “It doesn’t get any better that this.”
I heard that cliché an hour before I got here. A truck driver
said those exact words to some indifferent waitress
I was trying to impress with my erudite air as he handed
her a dollar bill for his burnt coffee and then vanished
into the diesel-driven night, his shadow limping after.
Now, I wonder which of us is sincere or if irony even matters
since we’ve both spent our lives hauling someone else’s freight
over miles of chopped up highways, hopped up on caffeine
and loneliness, and hungry at the wrong times.
Sometimes life smells like gasoline and cheap perfume.
What does it matter if the road is paved with asphalt or ideas?

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