Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Am, Therefore I Loiter

All cripples have a superpower. It’s our ability to loiter.

The one thing cripples do better than anybody is loiter. There are two reasons for this. First, loitering is just hanging around. You just sit there. You don’t have to do anything else. Cripples are good at that.

But hanging around only becomes loitering when you start hanging around places where you’re not welcome. So that’s another reason cripples are natural born loiterers. It’s always been easy for us to find plenty of places where we’re not welcome. And the most crippled up cripples make the best loiterers of all because the more crippled up you are the more places you’re not welcome. Take, for example, the comatose. They’re the most crippled up of all and so everybody feels awkward around them. Even me. I admit it. Some people say if you talk to the comatose they can hear you but I don’t want to talk to them because I have no idea what to say to them. I don’t want to offend. I’m afraid to ask an innocuous question like, “How has your day been?” It might come off as stupid and insensitive.

Thus, since the comatose make conscious people feel so uncomfortable, they’re unwelcome pretty much everywhere beyond their sickrooms. So it’s easy as hell for them to loiter. If you don’t believe it, try an experiment. Take a comatose person out to lunch. Or take them to a movie or a ballgame or to church or wherever. Everyone around you will soon be on edge. It won’t be long before security comes around.

The cripples of yore were big time loiterers because there were a whole lot of places they weren’t welcome. But some of them decided to use their superpower as a force for good. They started hanging around wherever they damn well pleased, whether cripples were welcome or not. And they endured all the crap you’re put through when you do that. They loitered so future cripples wouldn’t have to.

So now there are a lot less places where cripples are unwelcome. But their work is not finished. There’s still plenty of loitering that needs to be done. So it’s good to know that the more crippled up I become the more subversive and powerful I’ll become. It makes me feel as though I’ll always be of use. I’ll be able to loiter even if I’m in a coma, though I’ll need the help of accomplices to pull it off. I’ll need my conscious allies to take me to places where I’m not welcome.

And if I’m in a coma on the day the peaceful revolution begins, somebody please come get me and put me at the front of the march. It will render all the evil bastards in charge powerless. What are they going to do, turn their water cannons on a guy in a coma?

I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I helped revolutionize human society and usher in a new era of peace and cooperation, just by loitering.


  1. Mike,
    This is great. I'd like to ask permission to reprint this blog in the March next issue of Wordgathering (www.wordgathering.com). You can contact me at poetry@wordgathering.com Thanks. Mike Northen

  2. >> ... put me at the front of the march. It will render all the evil bastards in charge powerless. What are they going to do, turn their water cannons on a guy in a coma? <<

    This is brilliant!