Every time I have been 'put in a queue'
on the phone the background music plays
and every so often a recorded message
thanks me for my patience. It tells me
that my call will be answered 'Soon'.
The more often this message is played
the longer the waiting time appears to be,
Though how long the actual wait is
depends on the quality of the response
from an apparently live human being
(if you get one) when the music's over.
For the young, wanking
existed to take the wanting out of waiting.
Substitutes for real sex took away the intensity
of impatience for the fullness of companionship
which our parents said they had
through the sharing of property.
The young were part of the property of the parents,
fit to be divided by what they wanted being with-held.
But what to do in middle age when alone?
When you are no longer a catch for anyone?
And whatever people want you for,
they want less of you than they did before.
Does this leave us united in present times,
somewhat late in life? Or divided by our pasts?
Whatever happens, the future means shrinkage...