It was a hot and humid
Morning. Boys crowded the room.
We waited, shouting, throwing
Things at each other. Then like a
Boxer he ran out of his
Office and hurled his briefcase
At the lectern. It collided,
Knocking it sideways. He shouted
Louder than us that we were all
Young, naïve, undisciplined.
Then he gave a lesson on writing,
But diverged about the lives we must
Live ahead of us. He invited
Those who were interested to stay
After and tell him what we
Wanted to do with our life.
So I stayed, and I told him
That I wanted to travel the world.
He asked me ‘how’ I would do that,
And ‘what’ would I do about it later?
I put some thought into that, and when
I was eighteen years old, five years later,
By which time I had been working,
Dating, doing all those things I’d like to
Think of as ‘adult’, I found a way
To travel. And for five years I
Forayed here and there, to the central cities
And the outer reaches, only to come back
To a therapeutic hostel after getting
Arrested. So for the next
Twenty years I coped with cross-questioning
By a bank of psychiatrists, and the
Dodging excuses of the junkies,
Until I dropped my defenses and
Opened my book of blank pages and
Wrote down the story about the world
And the things I had done in it.