Brünnhilde and the Ring of Nerds
Encouraged by her ready smile,
large bosom and mounting
blood-alcohol level, the young nerds of
Effie’s form a ring around Cecily.
(You are so beautiful!)
She is a Rubik’s cube, a bank vault.
Make the right moves, guess the
right numbers and you’re in.
(Yeah, I bet you do!)
But Cecily’s lameness radar is
not hampered by cocktails.
She slices the innuendo like
Brünnhilde through packing peanuts.
(Haha! Blow harder!)
I am at a high school party with
Sue Miller and her dozen suitors.
The ring begins to form.
When it reaches seven, I opt out.
At the time, it felt like cowardice.
Now, it looks like wisdom.
Because sometimes the only way to
distinguish yourself is to leave.
This will not get you laid.
But it will save you time,
energy and embarrassment.
Because Sue has already made up her mind.
Sometime during the party,
she will give some lucky boy a look,
and he will be halfway there.
If you are operating without that look,
you are shooting in the dark.
If you’re standing in a ring,
you’re shooting each other.
Thirty years later, I was sitting in a
karaoke bar when Cecily’s mother
walked in and gave me that look.
That’s why I’m here at three in the
morning, a weary Wotan,
waiting for the nerds to fall like
ducks in a gallery,
so I can drive Brünnhilde
home and get some sleep.
From the collection Fields of Satchmo
Photo by MJV