Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Liquid Life (installment thirty-four)


After she was gone there were some calls, but no openings to tender red insides. And they were abrupt and dagger-like and I hung up on her and hung up on her always waiting for it to ring again and then it stopped.

Trevor predicts that love will live forever, but her drug had truly worn off. I had ripped the little black beret off her head and found nothing but clouds there. All that tossing over her was simply a case of not wanting to let go.

“Like a crutch,” posits Cortez, “because you know what you got and you don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s crazy out there. So many wounded people. So many poorly formed people.”

I went on with my life, which got better. I stopped considering churches and their value to the urban landscape. I stopped smoking too much Maria.

I decided I could go for a more calm thing and night-timed it with a liver specialist I met at work. A doctor. Someone with her head on. Someone who wasn’t going to play the kind of games the pretty queen of caprices played.

But she knew so much about livers, I couldn’t get her to tip even some champagne with me. She was so focused, so accomplished, she never relented in anything. We traveled just a short one-way street together and then were done.

“What you need to do,” Trevor chimes over a distraughtful dinner, “is to meet somebody through somebody.”

So he takes me out to a place called the Kremlin and I meet a sweet she boxed and wrapped for me by himself. A tight thing with an Irishness to her smile, a quietness to all her noise. She buys me a couple of drinks, and then invites me to a play unfolding at her house evening next.

I’m doing my preparation ritual, shaving, looking at the front view and side profile, finding everything well fashion-formed.

But when I got there, they’re all on something called adam&eve and looking at me as if I were crazy for being me. Miss Irish suddenly doesn’t know me, and after two hours of pure ignoring, my sweetness leaves with a 49-year old beard on a screaming cycle, as the sun begins to rise over the city’s endless palm tree luck charms.

Next up, a nice-looking bartender girl. Two dates. On the second one we stop after a movie for chili cheese dog because I’m hungry. She doesn’t want one, but says she wouldn’t mind a bite of mine. I say sure, but forget to give her one after waiting too long for the order to be filled. Through a friend I learned the truth: the error was fatal.

“You’re looking for love in the wrong places,” directs Trever, but I’m not heeding his creed any longer. I go back to the Kremlin where I run into Gina Night’s friend, Eufemia in her Easter hat and her gummy sunglasses, which she even wears inside the club.

“Want to go out with me?” I cast away, a now fearless flayer, up-to-date and lady slayer.

“Sure,”sings Eufemia, “give me a pen.”

“Eufemia?” I query into the phone at the number she wrote out for me a few days later. “Who?”comes the live-wire transmission.

“Is Eufemia there?” flies my doubtful reconfirmation.

“I’m sorry. You must have the wrong number,”she spurts before the big uphanging.

I wanted to cry. Not for myself, but for all the homely girls there had ever been.

For all their lovesickness, whish is a terrible thing. Blessed things. In what fold of the soul could such enormities be sequestered?

But that’s me. I’m a bit of an anachronism.

I finally give up on forever loves and settle for scratching simple itches. I go on a trip to the Virgin Islands with the young and lavish wife of a producer who will no longer make love to her. The problems of people. She props me up and spruces my sagging kingdom.

Civility was proving difficult on the emotional tundra and was turning out to be expensive, too. After all, I had begun lifting weights, buying cologne in department stores. She takes me out to eat in restaurants on the tops of buildings.

I think of what’s-her-name only once in a while, and less after a year passes. I work well, stick to a regular schedule, exercise, read books and enter the lands of dream and sleep easily.

I ride no waves, take no spills...

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