The Concerned Man
by Kathleen Hart



Maybe one fine day your computer will stop
and there goes virtually your whole life. As luck
would have it, the concerned man with the accent
you can’t quite place will be happy to assist you.
He calls to warn you that it’s slowing down. All you’d need
to do would be to give him control of your hard drive
for the fewest of moments . And it would be so simple,
to recite your credit card number to him. He’d give you
a new life in return.

The concerned man has the best patter. And eventually
he’ll catch you as you sit in your easy chair, trying to
paint over your racing thoughts by channel surfing,
making images jump-and-jumble-with-volume-blaring
as the characters speak only to you. Everyone longs
to be made whole,

like the woman who’d steal half hours from her straitjacket
schedule to sit down in front of her Jackson Pollock painting in
the best light. She’d lift her eyes up into its swirling
blacks-cobalts-reds-whites-in-spins-and-drifts-and-fractals-and-specks
all detached from a focal point, open to interpretation, beckoning to her
in a language without words except the signature which even her friends
would misread: P-o-l-o-c-k.

But even after the forger was exposed, no one could snatch
those afternoons away from her. The concerned man knows:
his job is to almost persuade you. You’ll do the rest.





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