Synthetic Citrus by Scott Redmond

Coffee shop toilet,

A distinct smell of lemons,

Mingling and twisting and flirting with the before and after smell of a nice latte

‘Yum,’ I think, wiping a lemon juice looking liquid from the seat in front of me,

‘Just what I wanted right now: lemons.’

I search high and low for that bowl of sour fruit to put that screwed up smile on my face,

But no lemons, not even a lime in drag to be found.

Nope, just plugged into the wall at ankle level

Is an air freshener, pretending to be that which I seek.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,

When life gives you lemon scented glade, make lemon scented glade-ade

Or just cry into the toilet.

And isn’t that all life is now,

All that is life is synthetic citrus,

And synthetic citrus is all that is life.

 ..

I walk out of the toilet, as empty and angry

As an editorial in the Daily Mail.

My innocence in fruit related stenches gone forever, now

Looking to replace that else which I lost,

Liquid life, an IV line straight to my soul,

The thing these buildings used to provide before wifi and urinals became their priority,

Coffee.

The first sip doesn’t taste bad.

Although, it is so scaldingly hot as not to taste of anything, really.

Second sip, four minutes and thirty four frantic blows across the top later,

Is the one that really lets the wind out of my sails.

More water than bean, frothing brown nothingness,

There is proportionately more plastic in the ocean than caffeine in my cup.

My wake-me-up has become a let me down,

And my nose can still just about pick up on the tropical betrayal.

And isn’t that all life is now,

All that is life is synthetic citrus,

And synthetic citrus is all that is life.

 ..

Life is just watered down coffee and synthetic citrus,

And love is a neurochemical con-job.

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