Thursday, December 13, 2007

Street Sweeper

Most of the time I would have remembered, but somehow I found myself holed up in Richmond with the Hawaiian Schefelera and a pile of bologna wrappers. I think there was an after hours club somewhere, going out a bit before the clubs shut was ok and I could sleep through afternoon. The lesbian down the hall would knock on my door sometimes, and I think some of my early flip book drawings were passed under her door in jest.

Most days had me lonely lonely lonely. My face was plastered on me then. I think the flying gate was the only bike I had, before I put the old Super Record on it, I rode with some guys from UofR who were trying to start a velo team. They thought I was in much better shape than I was. The bike only got out one or two days a week anyway, so there was more time in the room.

My old friend Cindy wanted to know why the girl down the hall plead to come out with us, sounded incredulous when I told her, maybe excited. She winked towards my bed on the floor.

The brownstone was high-ceilinged and had nice breezes, passing out in the kitchen or den bothered no one. One couple downstairs was shooting and the lesbian told me she wanted to try. I asked her not to and she didn’t, came to listen to my radio one night.

I had a police scanner with two shortbands as well. There was an Israeli show at five in the morning, European House that we enjoyed. Not wanting the lesbian felt fine, she slept nicely in my arms: had been abused by her father and carried a gun in her purse for that.

The police were always at our door. That was still the South then, in the 70's, crew cutted good old boys not much for our sort of abandon, some things coming to us just a little to easy. They were waiting.

Once the door in the room opened to a patio but now it is gone. A summer day the lesbian and I pryed its painted jam and sat in our underwear legs dangling the alley. The sun was beating the needles down the hall into a plan.

The lesbian said no so I left for Israel myself. Cindy tried to take care of her but she finally stepped onto the lanai.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The stewardess turned mid word and caught herself saying Sir, realized that I didn’t intend to appear belligerent, wouldn’t want to ask me to disembark for that. Smiling askew I fumbled my bags overhead reaching inside for the vile, elsewhere everyone settled in. The fitted polyester uniform swaying the isle, finally looking down to Her smile.

I felt her looking and didn’t want to. Three pills came from my pocket and a tiny bottle of bourbon. Then, as our plane taxied we came to rest at the runway with brakes locked and engines revving. “This is the best part”, her eyes held my flashing glee. Smiling in acceleration I opened the bottle to find her hand grasping mine, opening the palm. The plane tilted upwards as she nodded, indicating two pills be returned to the vile.

In the white silence of Pratt and Whitneys, succumbing to the give of flex and fold brushing whispers back into me. Then hours later, just another unexpected landing.