He whined his way down the road of life.

Every time he had indigestion

he was convinced it was a heart attack.

A pimple was sure to be a fatal melanoma.

Falsely convinced his friends

were all smarter than him,

he memorized commentary

from “The New York Review of Books.”

He antagonized friends’ wives,

complaining their soup

was never hot enough,

and their spaghetti sauce

too tomatoey.

Buried alive under

the bric-a-brac of his days,

he struggled to change his joyless ways,

but his quest for enjoying his life

was elusive as trying to catch a fish

with bare hands.

Even his shrink fell asleep

listening to his monotonous

complaints of boredom.

He lived a life of regrets,

never realizing his dream

of fishing for swordfish

off the Florida Keys, or his fantasy

of an extramarital love affair.

He collapsed in a heap

before crossing off

his bucket list last wish:

to float through the air

in a hot air balloon,

and shout at the top of his lungs:

Wowzer! Wowzer! Wowzer!