Todd Czapski


Latter-Day Coleridge

     I had just formulated a theory that was sure to topple the foundations of the West. I envisioned long clung-to paradigms melting like polar ice caps under Greenhouse-Effected skies. I imagined the accolades and laudations of my colleagues, the heralding of a new genius, even nomination for a Nobel Prize.

     I had begun to record this immense idea of mine, but as the nib of my pen descended upon my notebook, my reverie was shattered in the cruelest fashion.

     Beneath my window, strains of "Turkey in the Straw" looped endlessly through a tinny loudspeaker as an ice cream truck crawled by. My train of thought disintegrated like a dry-rotten beam. I scrambled to regain my alpha state. It was no use. I had become a latter-day Coleridge, my grandest achievement annihilated just as that poet's epic had been foiled by a person from Porlock.

     Defeated and forlorn, I crumpled the paper, threw down my pen, and gathered change for a sno-cone.