hitting bottom on my second glass of wine
hearing laser sharp, vision glazing
crumpled paper menu and sleuthing pen
seated at table
situated near bar
and men wearing baseball caps
she’s a wanderer
always wants to walk back to Florida
…like a two year old
yea, my mom went through that
got her in a place now
thought she was back in high school
said she was prom queen
that’s when we knew
God bless ’em, when you can keep ’em
better sometimes forgettin’
don’t wanna remember mine
maybe we’ll see grandma dancin’ on a pole
she did think she was prom queen
My body sweats like a cornered animal–
one in full knowledge of its doom.
Are you mocking me from up there?
Maybe you know, I’m not supposed to be here anymore.
There is a need to escape.
Cross the land bridge before it sinks into oblivion–
like the cornered animal with its inedible bones.
Nothing of value produced, save a pair of usable offspring, one must not appear completely heartless.
I do thank you for calming me this evening.
The wine bottle has poured dry and empty.
Closets are bulging at the seams with meaningless feathers.
The single-bulb, reading lamp is casting shadows longer than my pen.
Whatever my scrawl is this time of night, it is difficult to interpret.
And you, up there mocking me–
allowing me to fantasize over hope and comfort and dreams.
In denial you are, the sureness of a life’s work–
round and round and dumbly satisfied.
Well, how does this move you;
Your starburst shadow against the ceiling, long and lean–spinning, always spinning–
begs for mercy and a final escape it will never realize.
The portent outside Bell’s glass is reflected here in the doorway–
where the welcome mat is soiled glum grey
Dead leaves mimic the worn out bar’s foot traffic–
they blow in lost but looking
There is a staleness to the light that no one seems to notice
I’m either special or nor drunk enough
“…you’re just too good to be true…”
Background mocks everyone in the damn place
The only thing too good to be true–
matching Powerball numbers or getting free refills
I opt for the latter
They tell me the kind of money that frees you from worries–
never alters the conversation an earthworm might whisper into your blue ear
Pour me another and double the double
The barmaid’s hair shines like the missing sun
My hair lost its luster when I lost other things
Three stools over, a shapely glass hits the mahogany
I’m watching cream liqueur swirl into a “Lady Luck”
I might just be observing someone who is worse off than me
I don’t need luck
I need a break
Don’t you, I mean when does the shit part end and the good crap start hitting the fan
That’s all I’m waiting for
Nothing too complicated
Like pouring a drink, or two, or three
I hear someone chatting up, Billy Eckstine
Maybe this poor soul is more lost in time than me
Well, something has just cheered me up, inexplicably so
There on the wall–
a seascape, its lighthouse back-illuminated, and I see him–
he’s behind the window–
a dark, handsome man wearing a sea captain’s hat
He’s waving to me
Finally, someone I can talk to who will listen
“…don’t you know that I gotta get outta here, ’cause New York’s not my home” –Jim Croce
mind not with me for quite some time
body went out though
knee-high grass parking
set back in dark pasture land, maybe once a cornfield
my nose like a basset hound’s
I catch grape bouquets
imagine sweet dark berry assortments to be offered
the tiny sample glasses make me feel more giant
this makes me giggle
got wedges on, I’m flirtin’ with six feet but not the moon
paper lights strung around blowing in the delicious breeze
yellow hair walking everywhere looks white in the fading light
bright spots like sparkles on the ocean
my friend–one of my best, we’re out for a chat and a drink
I’m thinking about a decadent red, only one
I’m designated this eve
we made a pledge to get together more often
and sample different places
what a blast driving the Explorer through the long grass faster than I should
sparkly sandals and tight white pants aplenty
relaxed postures not worried about making first impressions
most are comfortable in their own skin by now
love that benefit
this is a relaxed crowd
laughter filtering off wine bottles on wooden tables
it’s a gorgeous night
all night spots should be outdoors
you can look at the stars when you don’t want to look at faces
the band starts blowing
this is going to be thick brass
four horns at a winery
and there goes the music
these folks are jammin’ more than I thought they would
a giant ball bounces into the air
it takes out one of the stage microphones
that’s as rowdy as it gets
these types of cover bands usually play, Brown Eyed Girl
most caramel irises believe the song was written for them
it calls them in droves to the dirt floor dance area
not too many songs pine over brown, it’s usually crystal blue or sea green
but always red lips
the wine does not disappoint
we chuckle something fierce at the wide breadsticks
yes, sometimes we get a little dirty-minded
the indoor bar area has a copper surface
I can’t take my eyes off the gorgeous reflections
we get our wine to go, adult-size plastic for our walk back out
it was a wonderful night
I don’t have a pen but I’m punching phone buttons
so I remember this
“Well, things were spinning round me
And all my thoughts were cloudy
And I had begun to doubt all the things that were me
Been in so many places
You know I’ve run so many races
And looked into the empty faces of the people of the night
And something is just not right” –Jim Croce
A leisurely stroll on a cool morning. Anastasia Lane is tree-lined with bodacious curves like his wife’s. He is not quite sure where the road will take him. This is a new neighborhood. His heavy patrician brows, salt and peppered over time speak to old-school character. Harder working, forthright decades. Maybe. Broad shoulders once home to a leather holster a bit concave now. With a surgically fixed hip, he perseveres upright and true. A firmness beneath those size fourteens beats the pavement, nothing aged in that step. He’s thinking about life. He’s a thinker. His brain will never stop cycling. Unlike the right arm that sometimes gives him bother.
He is passing a grand home on Anastasia Lane, a compound with ornate gates around its perimeter. Behind the black iron rods–in stark contrast–a large, white German Shepherd paces. The walking man’s flecked grey eyes shift. Having owned several of the black and tan variety, he admires the GSD a moment then continues on. His mind wanders back in time–a bleaker part of NYC. Two murderers hiding out on the ninth floor. Blocking the hall’s entrance, a hulking Shepherd with raised fur and glistening canines. In the stairwell, two agents plan a regroup, when the grey-eyed agent comes up from behind. He moves to the front and simply growls more loudly than the dog. The next moments complete another story–one that becomes legendary at retiree gatherings.
Continuing along Anastasia, the grey-eyed man is passing the expansive lawn’s last wrought iron post when from behind, silent teeth sink into his upper thigh. He reacts immediately whacking the white GSD’s head with his good arm and his large hand. His trousers are torn and blood is trickling down the back of his leg. Charging across the monstrous lawn, the GSD’s owner bellows, “RELEASE, RELEASE!” The dog owner’s voice quickly turns contrite. Sweat trickles down his ample exposed chest onto his jogging suit. His combed back hair is shoe-polish black and his endlessly dark, Sicilian eyes remind the old agent of someone.
The bite only broke surface skin. Within minutes the two are sipping Sambuca together in a flamboyant Mediterranean room. Above the gilded mantel, looming larger than life hangs an oil portrait. The old agent stares through the intense frozen eyes. He’d remember that gaze anywhere. Decades ago, Enzo Rozzoni was painted into a nice jail cell with canvas bedding. The grey-eyed man helped put him there.
The old agent and the Sicilian empty their shot glasses. Then the grey-eyed man points to himself and states with a grin, “Franco Rozzoni, I knew your father. FBI–”
Smiling equally as wide, Franco Rozzoni parlays, “No wonder my dog bit you in the ass.”
The old world neighbors share a laugh over another round of Sambuca.
I’d like to extend a very Happy Birthday to my father, Vito, newly minted 85 today and by far, still the most intimidating man I’ve ever met.
In the photo above he was just entering the FBI.