geoffrey nel thomas

The Crutch

If something went wrong, he had

a plan to make it right.

If he needed to celebrate,

he knew how,

and he knew where to get it.

When he needed to escape, for an hour,

for a night,

he knew how to get there.

If he needed more time to travel,

there was always that option.

He had plans and over decades

produced enough of a schedule to

work around whatever was disruptive

to himself and his own conscience.

Once, he told a friend about his

solution, while he was, in fact, on

vacation, as he was in the midst of

his solution, and the reaction he

received was unexpected.

That is to say, before he revealed his

plans he had never questioned or

second-guessed his process as being

extraordinary, strange, or harmful.

You have to slow down,

You have to stop,

Have you got any idea

How this could


Your family?  Me?  Your friends - not

to mention your job, the people who rely

on you?

She called it a crutch,

that he was lucky to be alive

after all of his plans

spilled from last decade

into this last one.

It’s not humanly possible to survive

when you schedule

your life this way, she said.

He was on vacation, on a strict

timetable of intricate balance.  The

transfer was coming soon,

and he could not be delayed - not

by beauty or malice,

guilt or tension.

If anything was delayed,

the consequences would ultimately be



but he did not want

to consider the options

of never having

the choice

available at all


of the day.

This was his right, it seemed,

and it was his alone

to devour how he saw.