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
Wrapped in a white T-shirt, placed in a black canvas duffel–
a travel-size Adorini humidor and his hopes.
The flirty Spanish cedar box urges him onward.
Thirteen rolled soldiers guard this carrier’s hard on with dutiful vigilance.
Bulleit Bourbon, the Frontier Whiskey sloshes beneath his crisp North Face.
Before boarding the train east, he shreds the “please” off the bottle with his Kershaw Blur.
No time for “drinking responsibly.”
The 2 am train dumps him without mercy. He lands on the stained cement.
It’s The Wild West where screaming yellow mustangs and sleek horny stallions run free. Almost.
Mile after mile of the concrete mix is near unbearable and longer running than any field he’s ever slept in.
A dusty, ten-gallon hat sits on his brain and a mass of thick dark curls protects his scalp.
While smelling out the October air for her familiar city-built skin, he maneuvers across The Great Divide.
Right now, he’s so far removed from everything he knows. Everything. Except her.
He tugs protectively at his coat making sure the chest-liner is wrapped tight.
She nearly massacred his raw heart once. Damn near killed him.
Now he is The Magnificent Seven minus six–returning for more.
But, the olive branch she extended had roots. He still believes this.
He is willing to buck the bronco one last time. One more try.
Crazy wilding thoughts move his feet too fast. Before he can check the time or look at her Upper West Side address again,
looming across the avenue–her gilded monolith of speckled granite, insurmountable steel and shatter-proof glass.
The pungent city grit reddens his green eyes. With the quick wipe of a sleeve, he makes fast business of these renegade tears.
Almost there, he strolls into a nearby shop and ducks into the restroom–like Superman before the change.
He takes a long secret tug of amber confidence and chases it back with a fistful of mint Altoids.
Returned to Almost, he’s at Her building. He closes his eyes and sucks hard at the floating air. Dreaming. Remembering.
The thought of her wet vermilion lips around a Melanio is almost too much.
But he dares not go in unprotected. Not this time. He gently removes the Adorini from the duffel.
Thirteen pricey cigars gift wrapped in a fine humidor–a peace offering.
A capital start.
She absolutely adores a fine stogie–Gran Reserva Limitada.
This, he knows for certain.
What he does not know–
Is she capable of adoring him as much as her beloved decadent tobacco.
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
ponytails and night stars
a guy in a panama shirt singing old southern rock
bamboo tables and blue icy drinks
I’m only swallowin’ red
it did cross my mine to switch to a clear beverage
but wine has been a decent friend lately
the counter is soaked in the last round
it’s sparkling like the sky
amazing how the moon hangs up there
while we’re below waiting for it to do something
there are girls walking around in shorts
that make me blush
there are guys watching them
I blush more
what the hell
I don’t belong here, I’m too old for this shit
that’s how I talked the bartender into giving me receipt paper
and a pen
to write this
I’m leaning on a bar with a clock that looks like it could be in my kitchen
one of my gal pals is searching for me
(I learn this later)
doesn’t know what happened
I told them all, I only think of words now
a verbal disease on the brain until something else real gets me
my mind is a boring trap of oxymorons and merlot
maybe they’ll believe me now
singing in the background, a man with hair color in between middle-age and a few extra whiskeys
but still respectable enough to be strummin’ a guitar ’cause he does it really well
the bartender is sweet, a young girl with long dark hair like I remember being long ago
she’s laughing ’cause she’s not sure what to believe
the other bartender guy is quite certain I’m writing my phone number
like I said, I’m too old for this shit
I’m only writing words
capturing this night
struggling because I forgot my glasses
I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to read this later
if I get it down
I’ll write it here when I return home and everyone else is sleeping
’cause I’ll still be wide awake
thought this sort of worked since there were many eyes at happy hour, wonder if they were all happy eyes:), sketched so very long ago-thank you
Eternal damnation. Eternally. Catholic school hit the point pretty hard. Don’t be pretty. Don’t get hard. You’ll surely float up with the saints as they go marching by, blowing no heralding trumpets. Damn, I want trumpets. If you’re not planning to burn at the stake anytime soon, better make sure you’re not gonna burn in hell. It’s fucking hot down there. I just got back. Can’t keep a drink on ice, but Lucifer can throw a jam–had a rompin’ time with that cherry-faced son of a bitch.
We laughed about all the crap upstairs. All the nasty junk people hide–toil over in the chasms of their suggestive inside-voice minds. That’s why they teach “use your inside voice” in preschool. Start ’em early so their dance cards don’t get Eternally punched. I know a few folks who don’t think much, other than what the weather is going to be like next week in Poughkeepsie. They don’t want to get wet leaving the grocery store with their Cheetos and ice cream. But when the ground looks all wavy from a distance and the steam doesn’t break, they say the devil is just warming up. Francois uttered it best when he prophetically cast, “Dat Buck two devils-” Dat’s why Jack London be in heaven now.
We’re going to burn in round two. Dat’s what the little blue pamphlet with Jesus on the cover says. Too bad as I’m not really a big fan of burning. Tried it once during spring break in Fort Lauderdale. I day baked all kinds of warm ruddy shades. But night drinks were free, cooling and many. Big Red, that hot demon likes a drink. I watched those confidant curving lips of his suck a liter down like nobody’s business. Now on the burning, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than death-by-water. Considering the ark can only accommodate so many comfortably and the chef isn’t Anthony Bourdain, I’m not all that interested. No culinary orgasm, no boarding. And the chef is an author too. So you know his chops must be fucking creative.
In the end it’s pretty simple, enjoy your life because no one knows what the ‘hell’ is going to happen. If they say they know, don’t believe them unless Jack London has returned their calls. (Now that would really be something) Oh yes, let us all put forth our best efforts to be kind and human-like. xo
just a fun little sketch done last year while on a subbing break-oh, what being back in school does to me, thank you