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40000

by
 at the track today,
Father's Day,
each paid admission was
entitled to a wallet
and each contained a
little surprise.
most of the men seemed between 30 and 55, going to fat, many of them in walking shorts, they had gone stale in life, flattened out.
.
.
.
in fact, damn it, they aren't even worth writing about! why am I doing this? these don't even deserve a death bed, these little walking whales, only there are so many of them, in the urinals, in the food lines, they have managed to survive in a most limited sense but when you see so many of them like that, there and not there, breathing, farting, commenting, waiting for a thunder that will not arrive, waiting for the charging white horse of Glory, waiting for the lovely female that is not there, waiting to WIN, waiting for the great dream to engulf them but they do nothing, they clomp in their sandals, gnaw at hot dogs dog style, gulping at the meat, they complain about losing, blame the jocks, drink green beer, the parking lot is jammed with their unpaid for cars, the jocks mount again for another race, the men press toward the betting windows mesmerized, fathers and non-fathers Monday is waiting for them, this is the last big lark.
and the horses are totally beautiful.
it is shocking how beautiful they are at that time, at that place, their life shines through; miracles happen, even in hell.
I decide to stay for one more race.
from Transit magazine, 1994

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