I’m a stand-up fabulist; it’s a living. Once upon a time I was young, Imagining how bad it would be When my father got home, How life would be different If I just bought that thing. The fantasies and nightmares piled up - There weren’t enough closets, And I forgot most of them. The craziest ones I had no problem retelling Until I felt ready to go on tour. I drove into town after town, Walked on the stages of a hundred motels, Eager to begin talking to myself again. I applauded myself from the usual table, Breathing in that applause on stage like air. Why it took so many years I don’t know. But I discovered the motels Were all owned by the same person - Someone who looked enough like me To arouse my suspicion. And always just me at the one table – Glancing restless at my watch, Staring embarrassed into a gin and tonic. I was bombing every night, My fables trailing off Into a grocery list of lies. One night, I stopped talking and listened. For the first time, I heard things: The clink of ice in a glass at the table Where I sat watching me, My own breathing in the nearly empty room, The clatter of the central air system. I walked off that stage, Went to my dressing room, Looked in the mirror. I saw only everything there was to see.