Stopgap

Chernicia and her loyal band of
roving youth choir administrators
saw no choice
other than to take up stopgap freelance work.

Due to a general malaise
and rapidly-growing apprehension
toward patronizing or participating in
the performing arts (the anti-exceptionalist
herd mentality showed absolutely no signs of
dissipation as professionals of all stripes
traversed the barren corporate landscape
(a hell to be wished upon no soul)), all hope
seemed lost on the fearful.

Interest in the once-alluring
middle and high school competitive circuit
had been waning steadily for a generation or so,
to the point where even the most stalwart
paper-shuffling masochists out there
had to admit they were licked.

In this devastating climate, Chernicia figured
that some places out there
must
still need to enlist the services
of highly-competent youth choir administrators.

They took an oath in front of the children,
for Christ’s sake!
They vowed, on bended knee,
to make themselves
available for freelance filing (and HR concerns)
at the drop of a hat, whenever duty may come calling.

So just like that, they picked up and left–
no matter what their guts happened to be
telling them (the group’s average duodenum
could paint you the idyllic picture
where they’d carved out a sort of haven
in this life of more uncertainty than trust).

Many tearful (and gut-wrenching) goodbyes
after they developed the steely resolve
to give up their past selves
(for the children, dammit),
the brave and intrepid band set out
on their first assignment: Gurnee, Illinois.

They never did look back.
And to this very day,
rental cars and hotel rooms
still serve as their only refuge
from the vast desert of abandoned office complexes.

Phourit Gharl

Triumphance rarely conquers the spirit of the wide-ranging pituitary-minded poltergeist wrangler in his heartiest of times (from the Belgian Riviera to the Spanish beer mines the proletariat sent their kids to one fine Summer evening only to find that mines aren’t as fun as they’re cracked up to be); I’ve lately found myself drawn toward the lively canary fields from my youth, where the kids and elderly alike would frolic in ways suitable to their particular stations. I would perform amateur somersaults and insist on becoming a gold-medal gymnast, knowing full well that I’d most likely have to settle for silver and a life of abject mediocrity (though producing a silver medal in and of itself is quite impressive from a layman’s standpoint).

Nevertheless, the frolicking continued into the wee hours of the afternoon, both the youths and elders needing to be put down for naps by their respective caretakers. At such a bizarre turn of events–otherwise considered contrived–the caretakers had a brief period all to themselves while their wards recharged their batteries. Seeing as how I was never awake under these circumstances, I have no idea as to what my au pair would have been doing at the time of my napping. However, I do have several theories batting around in my head (not unlike the 1927 Yankees’ unfair offensive firepower). I won’t bore you with the sheer volume of my ruminations, as those would only emphasize my madness. I will, however, provide a few of the “greatest hits”, as it were.

But not today. That’s for a different time. For you see, in the time it took me to describe my aversion to pointing out the minute details of my meandering mind, the youths and elders have already awoken from their sun-drenched siestas, relegating their caretakers to once again looking out for soiled diapers, skinned knees and broken hips.