Posts Tagged ‘reality tv’

She is still sitting there at the green counter top.
Her white screen is still blank. In the last 14 minutes,
I’ve seen her type and delete a few words at least nine times.
I don’t think she has ever ironed that dress she is wearing.
Oh! Look! She got up and walked to the fridge. Got out
the eggnog. Ah, and the Southern Comfort. Swirling them
together in a glass. Gosh, her shelves sure are a mess.
Oh, some nutmeg on top. Nice touch.
Must be stiff, that drink. She winced a little before she smiled.
Okay, and she’s back to sitting down at her blank screen.
Twisting her hair. Nope. Chin in her hands.
Poor thing. I’ve gotten all my laundry folded, my dishes done,
my shelves organized and my windows washed
and all she’s managed to do is delete and get a drink.
Wait, is she typing? Yes. A couple lines, a stanza break,
and she’s going into the next couple lines, no, no,
her right pinkie finger is going for the delete button again …
and she’s up. Looking for something in the cupboard.
Potato chips. The kind with ridges. Is she really going to eat
that whole bowl? She didn’t even look at the nutrition panel
to see how many calories and how much sodium there might be
in those, what, five servings? And she’s about to sit, wait, no, that’s it?
The show is over? Some eggnog, some chips and a whole
lotta blank? Dang, I can’t wait to tune in tomorrow.

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Reality TV

In this episode, we are sitting in a warm,
sunlit room with our eyes closed. The camera
pans around to show us motionless. We sit.
We don’t say anything. The only sound
is the hum of the refrigerator and the occasional
grumbling stomach. The cameraman gets bored
and starts to zoom in and out on a white ribbon,
a stray gray hair, a pimple on someone’s cheek.
Somewhere a producer is shouting, “Quick, go
to a commercial! Who’s idea was this? A bunch
of meditators?” He spills his coffee on his tie.
After a man tries to sell swabs that whiten teeth
and a wrinkle-less woman promises a spotless
germfree toilet, the show resumes and we
are still sitting here, eyes closed. All around America,
hands are fumbling for the remotes. But somewhere,
a woman with two young fighting children
and a leaking roof and thin walls in her cold apartment
is standing in front of her small screen, riveted in
disbelief, wondering just how she might
manage to find herself someday on a show like that.

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