I speak as an old man in the Twenty-First
Century when I want people to ignore me.
I find their cultivated dismissiveness
reassuring. It means I’ve done my job.
I had one last thing to say, and for the life
of me, I couldn’t remember what it was,
and that’s a good thing because they
don’t give a shit one way or the other.
But sometimes one will stare directly at
my face and lie, just to see what I
will do. It took me years to learn to lie
back at them, and I don’t have that many
years left. They will smile at me and say,
Hello there. They used to just say, Hello.