Archive for February 27th, 2009


Another Reason I Don’t Do As I’m Told

Press ‘rinse’, read the coffee-machine.
In a rare burst of obedience I pressed the button.
Press ‘tall’ then press ‘start’.
Feeling less confident in the instructions,
Nevertheless doing as I was told.
A woman in a violet suit walked up to me and the machine.
She was carrying a mug; She was smiling with anticipation,
She looked at the whirring machine; She looked at her mug.
The smile was gone.
“It’s rinsing,” I said.
The smile was back.
The machine went quiet and we waited,
Waited together in the silence to see what would happen next.
Waited and watched as the machine peed twelve ounces of hot water onto the floor.
“This,” I said, “is why I don’t follow instructions.”
The woman went to find someone in charge, someone with a mop.
I just waited.
Waited to warn people so they wouldn’t fall.
Waited, with a sheepish look on my face, beside the puddle of dirty water.
People came to browse the selection of energy drinks and granola bars.
They looked at the light brown puddle on the floor;
They looked at me.
They looked disgusted and went away without buying anything.
A woman in a denim shirt walked up to me carrying a mop.
“Maybe,” I said, “they should write clearer instructions.”
She didn’t answer; She just set to work cleaning up my mess.