“Let’s Talk This Over,” by Luke Poling

Feb 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Prose

I consider myself a man of my word. Someone you can count on. Someone who will be there for you. So, when I heard that some of you had taken my words and actions out of context and misunderstood my original intentions, well, I was crestfallen. It was never my intention to slander, defame, or sadden any of you. To think that any of my comments were taken like that shakes me to my core. I would like to offer the following apologies:

To my mailman, for remembering that while cash was an unacceptable holiday gift, a large bottle of single malt scotch probably wasn’t the best idea. Stay strong, my friend, your thirty day chip is only 27 days away. I know you can make it.

To my milkman, for using the term ‘milkman,’ even though, my milkman has breasts, an ass that doesn’t quit and three children under the age of 6.

To the newspaper boy, who isn’t a boy, but actually a twenty-something Mexican who always forgets to bag the paper when it’s raining and who has the type of arm that I’m sure would make some double-A baseball team proud. I apologize for calling you ‘Taco Bell,’ when, in actuality, you name is ‘Pedro.’ I was in a hurry and I confused you with the woman who vacuums my office. That was wrong.

I also owe an apology to my next door neighbors. I didn’t realize how strong the smell of polyurethane would be when I refinished my living room floor and walls. I also was unaware of the fact that it was your birthday. I apologize for not getting you a gift and for making you and your family nauseous on what should have been a happy occasion.

To my co-workers, I am sorry for jamming the copier. I don’t know what I was thinking and, while it seemed funny at the time, trying to put a slice of pizza in the manual feed tray was really stupid. I am sorry that there is still the smell of pepperoni every time you try to enlarge something.

However, my most sincere apology is saved for my wife, Becky. I didn’t mean to shower with the next door neighbor, it just happened. And I am sorry for yelling, ‘close the door,’ which was quickly followed by ‘you aren’t supposed to be home for another forty-five minutes.’ That was wrong. I focused my anger at you which, according to my anger management counselor, I should have focused at me.

To my two children, Sam and Liza, I am sorry for wishing out loud that you had never been born. Sometimes the things Daddy drinks makes him say things that he really doesn’t mean. Also, Sam, that time I helped you study for your history exam and I said that the book was wrong and that Gerry Ford was never really president because he was never elected by the popular majority, well, that was sour grapes. And I apologize for my breath, which, in an odd turn of fate, also smelt like sour grapes.

And my wife Linda. I love you with all my heart. I know I haven’t been the best husband you could have asked for, but I promise to try. It has not been a fairytale relationship, and I’m sorry for getting your brother involved in the white slave trade. I have done many wrong things and there is no reason you should have taken me back, but I thank you for doing so. You and the kids are the center of my being. The light of my life. I promise to try to do better for both you and them. I love you Linda…. Becky. I’m sorry, I mean Becky. My wife Becky. I love you with all my heart.

Thank you.


Luke Poling lives in Boston. He has written for film, TV and money. A six-goal polo player, his other hobbies include free-diving and appreciating fine art.

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