Brain on Caffeine

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Contributor: Mark Tulin

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The man is hard at work
in his private office
that has free internet;
the first available table
in a coffee shop.

He doesn’t have a home,
roams around in a clunky van
with his canine sidekick
and expired license plates.

He wears a short sleeve shirt,
a pair of bifocals put together
with homemade pins,
and the same PF Flyers
from when he was sixteen.

He slurps his coffee
between agitated scribbles;
dots and dashes
on a sputtering laptop
from the Middle Ages.

He scatters his mess
on the little square table.
Pages and pages
full of random numbers,
scratch outs, and erasures.

He seems busy
in an odd sort of way
with a furrowed brow,
a high forehead
and a brain on caffeine.

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Mark Tulin is a former family therapist who lives in Santa Barbara. He has an upcoming book of short stories entitled, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories.


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