Saturday, January 12, 2013

Words : Gardening

"My adaptation to the Southern California lifestyle has been relatively easy, but not without a few bumps and scrapes.  I was able to find work as a trench digger for a plumber, but had to quit because there were too many rules.  For instance, did you know that it is considered unacceptable to fraternize with the home-for-winter-break daughter of the homeowner while she sunbathes poolside, take her for a drive up the coast in her father’s 1997 911 Porsche Turbo, and then empty the liquor cabinet of the 18-year-old Scotch?   That is, unless you’re recognized by the Lord or Lady of the Manor as the valet attendant from the restaurant they frequent with their “Business Associate”.

Another thing I’ve learned in my short time here is that you can tell a lot about a woman by the way she tends her garden.  Back home, there wasn’t much variety, and topiary designs were saved for special occasions.  Here the grooming is used as a form of self-expression, and it also speaks volumes of their emotional and mental state.  I have collected much data and am able to spot a prickly patch of bramble from a hundred paces and thus take the necessary precautionary and evasive measures.  This is not to say that I prefer “Huntington Gardens” over “Washington Square Park,” I just want to be properly outfitted as I head out on safari.

Speaking of which, the other evening I was invited to the most interesting soiree…

The invitation said “Black Tie” so I thought I was going to have to regretfully decline.  Lucky for me, I found an old tuxedo at a thrift store.  It was a little threadbare and the pants were too long, but it wasn’t half bad. I darkened the worn spots with some shoe polish and hemmed the pants, and hoped the lighting would be dim.  As for shoes, I tried to play it cool with some well-worn Jack Purcell’s.
“Nice shoes” was the first thing anybody said to me after 20 minutes of milling about the grounds trying to look as if I’d actually been invited to the event.  I think it was the blonde from Gossip Girl walking in the direction of the pool while trying to remove her dress.  The “estate” was tremendous in size and the grounds were impeccably groomed, but it seemed to lack heart.  It made me miss the old homestead, but the pool full of nude women snapped me out of my brief melancholy mood.

I plowed through six Jack Daniels before they called us to dinner.  I was seated between a lovely woman and an unmemorable gent.  The woman had lovely, dark eyes, jet-black hair, and a décolleté dress.
It took me five minutes and another Jack Daniels to place her familiar face…1999, Kentucky Derby, Millionaire’s Row…Charismatic won, the crowd climaxed with us.  She was the great granddaughter of the King of some now nonexistent eastern-block country.  We chatted and poked at the overcooked chicken and broccoli.  Dinner was a blur and before we knew it, we were being ushered to our theatre seats.

“Thank you all for coming. Tonight we are featuring the 1978 erotic classic Debbie Does Dallas, starring Bambi Woods.  The film has been painstakingly restored using cutting-edge, digital technology.  You will witness a picture of unmatched depth and clarity.  We’re excited to preview this new technology and will be open to answering any of your questions after the film.  Please enjoy.”

I looked over at my companion.  She smiled and grabbed my crotch.

It had been a long time since I had seen the movie and the “restored” version now looked as if it had been shot on an iPhone using some sort of retro filter.  It was arty and the picture was truly clear, but that much clarity is simply unnecessary for porn of any vintage.  Three important observations I made while watching the film: People in black-tie attire squirm around a lot while watching porn, people were a lot hairier in the seventies than they are now, and the actors cuddled after climax.   I wondered if we’d ever return to those sweet and innocent times.

I felt another tug at my pants, but this time it was coming from the side opposite my companion.  My leggy, blonde friend from earlier was playing tongue hockey with the unmemorable gent while groping in my general direction.  As flattered as I was, I declined the invitation and led my dinner companion out of the bowels of the castle and down the path to my waiting Schwinn. 

“I have a car waiting for me if you’d prefer,” she said.

“Nah, I’d rather get some fresh air.”

She climbed on the handlebars and we rode quietly to her home, the smell of night-blooming jasmine floating heavy in the balmy night air.  I walked her to the front door anticipating a peck on the cheek at most, but in a matter of minutes I was being worked like a rented mule. 

In the morning, I was awakened by the sound of songbirds and the smell of strong coffee.  She made brie, ham, and marmalade sandwiches that we ate a small table in her well-tended garden.
I get a bit home sick now and again, but I’ve found that the best way to get over one life is to find another…much like with women."

Words : My Son

I lay in the hotel bed watching him move across the room kicking and chopping at the air in his underwear.  He is six, and he is my son. “You are a wild little savage!”, I shouted over the music coming from the TV.  This went on for nearly twenty minutes before he stopped, announced he had to pee, and ran to the bathroom. 
When he came back he shouted , I’m hungry!

Turn down the music!  I shouted back.

I’m hungry.

What would you like for breakfast this morning?

Pancakes and sausage.

What would you like to drink?


OK.  I’ll order us some breakfast.

What are you going to have, Daddy?

I think I’m going to have some eggs benedict this morning.

And coffee?

Yes, Coffee.

You always have coffee.

You always have milk.

I like milk, he said.

Should we get the paper?

Yes.  I like the Garfield.  Does today have Garfield?

It’s Sunday, so yes.

Good.  I’m hungry.

I’ll order now.

He found another song he liked and started dancing again, this time in a more jumpy than choppy-kicky style.  He pulled the neck hole of his t-shirt over his head like a war bonnet and started the war whoop.

Words : Numb

"When he woke, the house was quiet and still. There was no music in the air. There were no birds in the garden. There was no singing.  There was no breeze moving the curtains. The sky was grey and cold and the house was still. She was gone.  He rolled over and buried his face in the pillow to smell her again.  Her earrings were on the night stand and her hair brush was by the sink. They had come here with nothing and what he had given her she left behind.

He closed his eyes and remembered the way she moved across the room on her toes in bare feet like a little gazelle.  He thought of her smile and amber eyes and how her kisses tasted like caramel.  He thought of how she made him laugh, and when she made herself small next to him on the couch.

He made strong coffee but he could not taste it. He turned on the radio but he did not hear it. He walked down the wooden steps to the beach but did not feel the cold sand under his feet. He watched the waves crash against the rocks on the shore but he did not hear them.   He sat down on the sand and waited for the feeling to return. When it was dark he walked back up the stairs to the house and lit a fire and got very drunk on what was left of the good red wine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Words : New Snow

"In the darkness of early morning he rose slowly and stiff from the bed. He poked at the remnants of last night's fire and found the still-lit embers in the fireplace. He built a new fire for the day and made black coffee and fried eggs and bacon in the skillet. Outside it was cold and dark and quiet. He sat at the table by the kitchen window eating and watching the snow coming down.  He would wait until it stopped before he set out; it would be easy to track in the new snow."