an old man screams at convenience

i drove
three hundred miles
yesterday
and a part of me
knew i needed
to gas up
but the same hurry
to go nowhere
that afflicted me
causing me to
forget my wallet
had me lost
looking out the window
instead of at
the gas gauge

i was idiotically
quite surprised
when the car
began flashing
fuel needed
as i tried to
figure if i could
make it the
twenty miles
to the end table
where my only hope lay
i sputtered into
the gas station
and went inside
a pauper begging
to paypal five bucks
in exchange for gas
to a sympathetic no
but they do
accept google pay

i smiled
the anxiety washed away
and i saw golden light
break through the
thunderstorms that
had encompassed me

momentarily

the same google pay
i use to pay bills
required the app
easy peasy
quick download
sign in
and the robot overloads
that hear whispers
about craving tacos
and inundate every
available space with
ads for mexican restaurants
had forgotten who
it was i thought i was
i filled out
screen after screen
standing by the
video poker machines
promising riches
when i just needed
the pennies i had earned
rejected page after page
of inviting friends
signing up for deals
an endless litany
trying to pry those
same few pennies
from my clawed hands
until i got to
enter my debit info
which the electronic brain
still had on file
almost done i smiled
at the nice clerk
only to be told that
my bank needed verification
of me as well
requiring a call
which was then a hold time
of thirty minutes
with the option for a callback
which came minutes later
only for them to
promptly hang up

i am rather proud
of the staggering depth
of profanity i shouted
and that i didn’t
snap my phone in two
i felt broken enough
for the two of us

eventually the clerk
remembered he did
in fact take paypal
and i only strangled him
with my eyes
as i transferred the funds

the convenience
is readily at our
eager fingertips
but the collusion of
corporate collusion
in lockstep stupidity
renders it inert

or maybe i just
need to pull my
head out of my ass

i would rather blame
the goddamned gremlins
i accept enough
unearned responsibility
for the things
i don’t do
this time those
bastards with their
unintuitive design
can take the fucking hit

i pumped the gas
as the thunder rolled
the sunshine
illusionary through
the halo of pain
feeling like an old man
yelling at the clouds again

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