A Few Weeks of Larry

A Few Weeks of Larry

i was a little kid
so larry seemed
big and old
but even
as a little kid
i knew
something was 
majorly wrong
with larry

he had these
giant 
thick glasses
and really fat 
and wet
lips and tongue
like raw meat 
that he talked with
like he'd just been
to the dentist

he talked
and looked
and moved
funny
it all
making me
a little bit
afraid
from the first time
i found larry
knocking
at our door

i don't recall
exactly
how or why
larry 
started coming around
knocking at our door
for a few weeks
like clockwork
on saturday mornings

my father explained
how he and his friends
when they were kids
picked on larry
for being different
and weird
he said how one time
larry 
finally went crazy
and beat the shit
out of one of them
for being
so mean

after a couple of weeks
of larry
i began to think
the reason larry
was coming around
was larry
must have ran into 
my father 
somewhere
and now
my father 
was trying
to be nice
by patronizing larry
like a child
with some chatter 
and attention
to make up
for being mean
when he was young

then
after a few more weeks
i discovered 
what i thought
was the real reason
larry 
kept coming around

the first time
at our apartment
he told my father
he was thirsty
so my father
gave him thirty-five cents
to get a pepsi
from the soda machine
at the garage
across the street

after that
larry came around
knocking
visiting
under his own 
pretense
of amity
looking for another
thirty-five cents
for another pepsi
every week

after a few more weeks
of larry
my father finally said
be quiet
and we'd let larry knock
calling my father's name
until he left
and until
he finally
quit 
coming around
at all

i remember
feeling sad
like it wasn't right
to be hiding
essentially lying to
poor old larry
who'd already
been mistreated
and was still and always
playing
with a shit hand
and only wanting
thirty-five cents
for a pepsi
in return

all these
years later
what i've learned
from larry
and my father
is that being mean
and nasty
as a kid
to somebody
who didn't deserve it
is something you ought to regret
and it's something
worth making up for
so long as
it costs less
than thirty-five cents
a week

and if you could
but just wouldn't
cough up the thirty-five cents
for a little bit of redemption
and conciliation
then redemption
and conciliation
for being a prick
or anything else
must not
mean too much

so it's probably best
to let go of the idea
of what
a helluva 
compassionate
nice guy
you 
ever
and always
were
for giving larry
thirty-five cents
for a pepsi
a coupla
times

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