By rote

He asked me where I was
I told him I was ten minutes away
He tched tched in disapproval
And went on to get a Chardonnay

I apologised in usual fashion
Sorrys said profusely
He dismissed it in pretend anger and
As truce, he offered a hug promptly

We spoke like old friends
About home, work, the law and love
We chinked our glasses to better times
When my rum came along

We spoke of potholed roads
Apathetic citizens and corrupt politicians
Justice and armchair activists
Ambitions and apprehensions

There we were, surrounded by
The pings and quivers
Of our modern contraptions
Trials and tribulations of vapid men
Our words slowly losing traction

Deadlines and demands by clients
Notifications of validation were still unabated
The alcohol began to tipple in triples
Our inhibitions severely attenuated

There we were, in contrasts
Callused and soft, warm and cold
Unabashed and furtive
His hand held mine, by rote

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