Open Mic Night At The iHop On East Beltline: Cricket PT 3

If you missed the 1st two installments, you can read them here: #1 Open Mic Night 

#2 Open Mic NIght: Carl

 

-----

 

CONNIE: Thank you, Carl. That was…inspiring? Now, if we could quickly move on and…I have to ask…is there anyone who’s brought something that isn’t, uhm, of a…

 

She leans in and whispers

 

CONNIE: “sexual” nature? You know, something that’s a little more suited to this fine family establishment?

 

Silence

 

CONNIE: Surely there’s someone who has a poem that isn’t…licentious? Cricket, do you have something you’d like to share?

 

CRICKET: Me? Well, golly beans. Okay.

 

Cricket slowly makes her way to the stage. She is carrying a journal with a bedazzled cross on it. She is very petite, fragile almost, and wearing a sack. On closer inspection one can see that it isn’t a sack at all, but a homemade dress, one probably sewn without a pattern.

 

CRICKET: First of all, I’d like to thank all of you wonderful people out there and all the support you’ve given me over the years. You’re like my second church. And secondly, I’d like to thank my personal savior, Jesus Christ, and the love he shows me every single day.

She pulls a handerkerchief from a voluminous pocket and dabs at her eyes.

 

 

CRICKET: You know sometimes I think, God…why do you have to put me, your faithful servant through so much? I mean, there have been times where I have wondered. I have wondered! I’ve thought, oh, yoooouuu!

 

She shakes her fist.

 

CRICKET: But then I pray about it and I realize that God has chosen to make me incredibly lonely and poor and plain because that is part of His plan and I will find glory soon. Hopefully before I’m dead. But God is good! God is great! And so I’d like to share my poem with you about the love of my life. Not Jesus. Though he is the LOVE of my life. No. This is a poem about my cat. Actually this whole book is filled with poems about my cat and I’m just going to let God’s hand guide me and choose one randomly.

 

She closes her eyes and flips through the pages.

 

CRICKET: Here we go.

 

She looks for Connie who is sitting in the back with her disgruntled granddaughter.

 

CRICKET: It’s family friendly, I assure you!

CONNIE: That’s great, Cricket. You just go ahead.

 

Cricket leans in super close to the mic, as if she’s eating it, and her voice deepens and resonates in the iHop.

 

CRICKET: My poem. To My Pussy.

 

My Pussy is always with me.

Wherever I go, there she is.

She keeps loneliness and sorrow at bay

Away.

Away!

When she is hungry, I feed her.

I feed her with love.

 

My Pussy is covered in silky dark

Fur

And I stroke her up and down

And sometimes in circles

Because God is infinite,

God is good.

 

My Pussy has teeth and sometimes

If you make her angry

She will bite! But that’s okay, because I forgive her.

And to forgive is divine.

 

My Pussy and I share

Everything

But especially the love of God

Because what is more divine

Than a creature who only

Needs to be stroked and loved

To love you back?

 

My Pussy. I love you.

 

MELODY, the goth-like teenager in the back row giggles and says “Amen!”

 

 

CRICKET: That’s it. Can I go now?

 

Connie covers her face with her hands 

Bud, the manager of iHop, quickly steps in front of the mic, allowing Cricket to slip away silently in the shadows.

 

BUD: Now, that’s enough folks! That’s all the Open Mic we can handle. Do you people want to get me fired? Do you? We’re ending this session, now, and I want you all to think long and hard about your poetry. It’s just not decent. Where’s the decent poetry? Huh? What happened to poetry about good, fine things like our country, and the flag, and pancakes? Jesus Crimminy, where are the poems about pancakes?

 

CARL: I have a haiku about pancakes!

 

BUD: No. You don’t. We’re done here tonight. Eat your bacon and your Senior Specials and then get out. Just…get out. But come back and buy food, but just come back separately. And don’t write anymore. Just stop it.

 

He pulls the cord on the mic and turns the house lights back onto full. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” plays over the sound system.

 

MELODY: Grandma, that was awesome. You’re right. Poetry readings are so much better than drugs.

 

***

Will there be more "Open Mic Night" or is this the end of the world for the Women's Writing Group? I don't know. I do know some regular blogs are coming...but I think it's highly likely Open Mic night will be back.