I know I’m starting to get over my last girl because everywhere I go, pretty girls abound. I’ve been in love 3 times in my 30-some years. All three in the past 3 years, though the first of those lasted for 10 years preceding. In recent months, I’d wander through a miasma of single life, trading heated texts with her, keeping my cool to keep her on the spool, all the while searching every face I saw for a set of wonderful deep lively eyes. I saw a pair once, and they saw me, but I could tell by her garb she was too Cathy Duke for my liking. Then one day, she totally shuts me out again, but this time I let the release flow. And suddenly, women are attractive again.
Last night I’m at a show in a very small exhibition space; a dirty blues band pounded the gates of hell and among the two dozen spectators, one leaps out. Literally, she hops and rattles her solid frame around the floor, eyes smoky, relaxed in a fearless countenance. Could it really be another free spirit? Her arms splay, bangled wrists rise over her shoulders revealing a supple mid-riff that slightly ripples as she pumps her hip to the beat. Nash is fixated and begins to cough out a stuttering cry of “LAND HO!” but I interject, looking away from her, and shout “I know. I know.”
And yet I can’t delete her photographs from my phone. I can’t call her, she’ll not answer. She sent me an ultrasound proof; I know it’s mine. I predicted a girl. I had her right there with me the other night…but she’s still booting up. She’s still a self-hating little brat shitfuck 23 year old hipster-hating mirror breaking vitriol clad warrior of man hatred. “You’ll never be a part of her life so leave both of us alone!” I feel bad for the guy. She says he doesn’t even know I exist. Then again, I wonder just how deep her lies can get. Nothing makes any sense anymore.
I’m typically shy. It depends. After the show I’m shy and skipping over the phase of drunkenness where eloquence matches with sincerity; that is to say, between pints of whisky. I’m desperate, I can admit it, but to be sure: desperation stinks. So I try not to look at her, and I try to stop up that sieve of a mouth I have where whatever enters my mind comes sloshing out. I’m making some small talk, waiting to give the band props as they leave, and this girl is cutely stoned, a look of calm wonder. I catch an exchange between her and another equally queer but less disarming female.
"I think Jimmy John’s dumpster, I’m kinda hungry"
Her hair is dusty and matted. She hasn’t a trace of make-up on her noble mug. Her leggings tell me that she could kick like a mule. And she’s going foraging in back alley dumpsters for leftovers. I am about to fall in love. I think she said goodbye, I think I clasped her hand in a way that precedes a gentlemanly kiss, and I think I said something stupid like “Fare thee well.”
I started drinking heavily so that I could sleep, and also have the added benefit of not remembering dreams. After a while, my subconscious started penetrating that veil. It’s been long enough that the dreams usually don’t get me down in the morning. I actually look forward to them now; I’d love to be friends with her but she kind of divorced me after 9 years and married my ex-best friend after wrecking his marriage. So I get to see her in dreams, and I get to flip him shit. My latest ex only recently started showing up in dreams. Last night she was with me at a seedy motel. The songwriter Chris Gantry was there, too, and that was way cool. But it’s on the regular with my first ex. One night this week she was crying, she was ostensibly that happy to see me. When he asked her why she was crying, she started laughing and told him it was something funny that I did. I told her I’d go get her a Coke, she had a thing for Coke. When I got to the machine down the street, bottles were 23 cents. Then I woke up.
I savor the dreams that well adjusted people have when I’m lucky enough to go there. Such as: I’m security for a Mexican cartel. We meet with this family of Jewish/Amish farmers who are big time mobsters. We’re on their farm, and the patriarch, Abraham was probably his name, is telling us how meth is how he provides for his family, but his real passion is breeding Afghan dogs. So we go into this trailer, and Abe has some cholos working for him. There is soon some chatter between factions, and I pick up on a violent vibe. I try to relieve my cholo buddy and intervene, my hand on my nine, I’m really hoping I don’t have to waste someone. But next thing I know, there’s a box of cereal. And I’m munching. And after a few bites, I realize the corn flakes are meth-infused. I curse them for tricking me because I hate meth. We make a peaceful deal and retire to the farm yard. I perch atop a hay bale on lookout, but all I see is 12 year old boys in overalls and straw hats smoking corncob pipes, looking like Norman Rockwell paintings. And sure enough, Abe’s brought out some Afghans, and they truly are a specious achievement.
Last week I spent an afternoon making morel mushroom pizza with a Deadhead neighbor. He’s a rather high-functioning spaceman, and good friends with my patrons. Much wine, whisky, and roux-based shallot laced white sauce that was so rich I had to step out for a cigarette to keep from vomiting up. Long notes played from a clarinet in the basement where his post-grad son lives. His daughter stopped by, much to young for me, but an incredible sight of deceptive modesty. Studying Arabic. Boyfriend in the Marines. Later on I’m telling this story to my patrons, and when all I have to say is “oh and I met his daughter, she’s rad!” Within a breath, Joux Joux looks at me, raises an eyebrow and in a tone between teasing and a motherly scold, simply says “Stay Away.”