The Boy Who Took Medication for His Problems

Written by: Paul Sylvester

I heard about a boy
who had lots of friends 
but most of them weren’t real:

they would sit with him 
at the restaurant and read the Times
while he decided what to order

and they came fairly complete 
with their own
clothes
and books
and combs
and thoughts
and 
baggage;
his friends had birthdays too

and it wasn’t that he made them up
(not exactly) but that he understood
the way time works

he had read 
Feynman + Einstein + Michio Kaku
and he could see what they saw:
		an inevitability:
     
3. contracted pneumonia 
at the vulnerable age of 8
and when she was brought to the hospital
the nurse administered too much potassium
and stopped her heart;
                 
the rest were never born

but he saw those people
that live in other worlds:
each one with just one tiny spin

and so he sat 
alone every morning at the breakfast table
with his friends
		his real friends
and pointed out problems in the economy
and he loved
all the interesting things they had to say
about foreign policy.

but then the boy
started choking on white pills

and soon his life started to change
things became more clear
and his friends stopped calling
and slowly, they stopped coming over 
to spend the night or to play baseball.

and so now he’s sitting 
alone every morning at the breakfast table
with his friends
                         his real friends

what a bore.