Hustle

I break into a sweat by the time I transfer to the Green line.

Like clockwork, my legs sway with the train. I tighten my grip on the bar and count the stops with my eyes closed.

Dizzy, dizzy.

The left side of the escalator is for walking.
I repeat it to myself as someone stands still one step ahead of me.

At the third stop, it's an eight minute walk to my apartment (if I jaywalk). I do.

I have twelve minutes to log in before the round closes.

Texas Hold 'Em.

I win $200 during my lunch, my legs curled up under me. The office door closed. Four potato chips, I can keep down. Five, I vomit. A science.

There's something just as effective. Costs more. But less symptoms. Make it through the day longer. Insurance doesn't cover it.

Dive bar across town. I tell nobody. Grab my uke. Paid in 20s.

Stacks of 20s, hidden in the drawer under the record player.

Hair starts falling out in the shower again. I look up short styles for curly hair.

Two pairs. Bluff. Fifty bucks.

Single dad from chemo tells me stimulants help.

He pulls a small bag of white from his bag and I shake my head. Say I promised someone I wouldn't. But anything else is fair game.

I search the aisles for Bronchaid.

Go to the bar.
Pretend I don't know how to play pool.
Forty bucks.

Five-thirty a.m., I row. The water splashes as I tug. Keep your core tight. Lean back first, then pull in your arms.

Half hour of coherence after every workout.

Read dissertations for two hours.

Button down. Pencil skirt. Real job.

I break into a sweat as I transfer to the Green line.

Repeat. Hustle. Repeat.




Poetry by MsImaginary
Read 31 times
Written on 2018-07-03 at 00:24

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