Blount Street Blues
(abstract of a work in progress)
Here I am in my little cell, probably 6' x 8'; a bed, a trunk full of clothes, a stack of books, a box crammed with junk, me. I stare out window at blue sky reflecting white sand of Santa Rosa, the sainted, bejeweled Rose, symbol of love and pain; peace and death. I wash away memories of yesterday and probably the day before (etc)--my father's scowl, the words like butter knives digging at my wrist; one more time to be judged and passed over as "worthless," "a piece of shit" afraid to live in his or their reality, work-a-day, greasy, sweaty, hand picking up a screwdriver and twisting and turning until the dollar signs become real, exchangeable for the laurels of society and the ten percent to the pillared religion machine of blank, teetotaled, pillow seeking zealots; the hug at the end of talk, kiss on the cheek like saying "good luck you'll need it" and me left with the knowledge of how HE sees me and how I corrupt the values of the man that planted my sorry ass on this earth to suffer with a hidden passion, to finish this trial, to get off this trail, post-pone reality in the ever desirous state of mania and depression and need for drink; ah that need Remember just last night I said I was going to dry out. Ended up with one beer in my hand, want of another "Urge, urge, urge " --Whitman, bearded master standing over my shoulder, not with my father's scowl but his look of irony, the "I told you so when you were fifteen and you didn't--" I shut him up just to concentrate; who can have a muse with a beard that long; the things that could be living in there
But then there's last night at Fort Pickens, host to Geranimo, another evil Saint of early days. Sat on a cannon barrack with bay to back, gulf to front, near full moon to left and the dark void of empty, all-knowing SPACE surrounding. Got high and discussed sitcoms with Brian, bad relationships with Scott, God with myself, crashing like the waves unseen a few hundred yards away. I thought of my fear of loneliness but realized I am alone, desolate, misunderstood: Self-Pity 101, but no tears this time, no time to conjure up that emotion, only anger at myself, at Jen for breaking promises, throwing me to the sharks of reality while I was too drunk to swim to shelter how many years drunk now, how many days of sobriety? Almost a week in 3 years; maybe a month but I doubt it).
I fumble with thoughts of Mobile. Marshall and me sitting with coffee discussing Kierkegaard and Robinson Jeffers; struggling at my xmas gift desk, computer screen blank and me planning my next drink; Jen drifting further way, changing into something foreign "you'll never understand"; mind drifts to Baton Rogue, days and nights on the streets, being deserted, falling in love ah, Marlene of curly hair, the maternal touch of hug while my brain split in two in that tacky Days Inn on a cold Louisiana night while her finals loomed the next day and all her future rested in the proverbial balance (how can I ever repay?), of leaving, looking at my rearview mirror as that shitty place disappeared, but with it Marlene and what was left of my stability, my comfort--always fleeting--my happiness (?)
And then there's Cleveland, that big mass of snowy, working class; the blizzard in November--4 feet past my army surplus, stinking combat boots. That Saturday of my 26th birthday hiking the city with Meg of red hair, bisexuality. Dancing with her in the mist of vodka shots in the basement of her favorite dive club and spending a week in bed only getting up to go to job, holding each other while figuring out what the hell we were doing. Two crazies needing a fix of love, of hug, of sex. She ends up crying that night on my shoulder; can't forget that I cried, too. And Ama with her sweet Willow, peaceful solitude of snowy day discussions in Madison Street Hemp Store, and God I know I fell in love with her but never touched for fear of breaking down and staying there with her forever and her telling me to stay, begging me--her obvious soulmate--to keep her close as we drank hemp coffee and discussed the failings of Wicca and chaos magick and the need for a revolution of mind. I miss those dreadlocks and the motherly smile and the obvious innuendoes and I do want to go back.
Mid afternoon now; sun creeping behind trees and the guitars of infant band, Scott's plan, blare cacophonous punk beats in the room next to mine. Pensacola now. Place of rehab, only getting me drunker, more confused, beat up, frisked, ticketed, desolate. What else? The frenzy of thought, dreams whipped, enslaved by drinks. And here I need to find a job, broke and selling these books to end up on a rickety bar stool with plastic cup of watered down beer. Dry out if possible, but damn the shakes, the cells of every cell needing the ease of the down of the very essence of the present ME. Loneliness because I can't find the right pieces to the puzzle. Maybe they're missing or misplaced or thrown into some rented storage shed like my memories, my couch, my Lazy Boy, the rest of my books. Through the noise on the other side of the wall behind the sink, Scott, my brother, washes dishes I probably should wash, but he smiles that good sincere smile of possibility, potentiality, making sense of the shit and the storm but never sure exactly if his own questions have answers or even if they're worth asking.
Fuck that! Ask until your throat is sore. Someday I'll be there to answer.
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