Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How States Marvell Fell In and Out Of Love With A Lusty Lady Dancer

All of my dillies are dallied. Take it difficult. Most of my time’s spent. Tell me what not to do and I’ll most likely already have crossed it off my To-Do list.  

This is the thing. I didn’t have much spending money at the time. See? At the time, hell, I was broke for most of it. My time, that is. And what I didn’t spend on spinach and...and…and what I did? Causes. Always looking for causes. The boys down by Washington Square Park’d tell you that much. Never a slow-asleep carcass-looking guy on a bench covered with pigeon shit. You get distracted. In somebody else’s words you get made and then tumble over into that somebody’s car door. I was shooting for noon most days, to get myself hobblingly aware of whatever rank or foul situation was going to present itself to me, that day, or any, in the overcast moods of those days, those afternoons that stunk of wet dog and musk. I am horrible at keeping track of what day of the week it is. I mosey through flag raisings with my ears shut and my eyes in the fog. Imagining things, too, I’d creep around and lurk and loom, pretty much keeping to myself, without a thought or even a cigarette to spare mostly. The shakes’d come around, but they wouldn’t stick, and if I was loopy I at least was something, and that was at least, well, something. Don’t ask me to recall the ways I rummaged through the thoughts that’d plaster me like radio ads, or slats of sunlight through tree branches. Something heavy, you know. Something trialed and erred through. It meets with most expectant glances and swipes the looks you get so scared to return that you finally in the end of it know for certain that you are never, even in the bottom-most dwelling of cut-and-dry thinking, never going to not be able to remember well. The tourists stroll through, spotted and taken, got the better of, plastic spoons in their fanny packs, blistered and sweaty and out of breath. Ignoring things isn’t difficult for a guy like me. I’m no fancy motorist dressed in animal fur. I bleed maple syrup when it rains. My sweat’s gasoline. My hand’s never raised.
This is not the thing. I got around to sweethearting it with a few ladies down on Broadway. The types you usually try not to know. This is the part where my letters might get less swell. Just a warning, I guess.

Now I’m enthusiastic. I’m not rubbing shoulders or hips with ghosts anymore. I make plans to break the law, but I break them. Go what-with, oh Lord. Go. It pets itself, for one. Now? Now I’m easier on myself. I’ve got to be, or else, or else, or else, or else, or else…what’s all this been for? I can convince myself of sure things. I can. In the ever that’s never after, I get split faster than I get tired. Going swimming in pools with my shoes on. Rasping my voice to clinger-ons who won’t leave me be, ever, and still I go it alone for the most, somehow.

People starting cars with the door swung open. The temperature drilled out of them, countenance slung with drool. I can pick ‘em. Sure. I know what I’m not doing.

Crass was a girl who danced with her top off for cash. She was cagey, rundown, a showoff for business’s pleasure. With purple streaks in her hair and a heart to match, she kept her enchantments to herself, thinking, ‘If it’s the first thing I ever don’t do.’ That was enough of a lot to get her through and through. Besides, there were manners to consider. Tow-away zones and stuff. I got to seeing her more than every so often, and then it was just easier to stay a bit longer. All gyrating aside, I was considerate and didn’t have leisurely standoffs with the barking doormen or anything. I told her, “Love’s the only things I’ve ever known.” Crass didn’t flip about it or anything. She just lip-synced along with the current lap-dance song while she writhed on top of me. I counted the blocks there and back in my head. Little Darlings some nights, or I’d patch my way down to the Century or Mitchell Brothers if I didn’t feel like being harangued by the Belchers Of Broadway. The smell of the Tenderloin always brought tears to my eyes. There’s really nothing like the pungent sidewalk stink of sun-baked urine to lift your spirits. Crass? Hell. I guess you could say I followed wherever she’d go. And go is what she’d do for the most. I could prelate my spirits to lower ground than they should’ve been on, while succubused to a dour dream yet to go sour on me, and then play chess with my privates for the remainder of the evening’s pull. Drinks on the house, you know? That got me through. That got me eager for less, too. And awful, I’m not. So the pickings were dangerously set aside, for me, and then Crass’d come through with some botched reminiscences of whole-sale doting while slamming her heels into the stage floor and flipping her hair and slapping her ass and ribald-like fox-trotting about the pole and all that-- the works. Me? I wasn’t pie-eyed about any of it. You better bet or believe it. I could hold my own and not let on. I could roll God’s dice for sevens every time. But in matters of strictly concupiscent business, well, let’s just say I was corrupt on any level you might get to knowing somebody on. Wished weller than that, too. I was hankying all the pankying I could afford, and then putting what was left on my forever endlessly inflatable tab. I prayed with my fingers crossed.
Look. I don’t mean to pry or nothing. I know that aroma all too well. The perfumed allure and the inveigling soft touch of it too. Let’s not delve where we don’t got to. Ever the gutless sacks, we crop and paste and stick things where we ought to not stick ‘em. Sometimes I ask the lord for a little something extra. He comes through when he thinks it suitable for the occasion, like always. Don’t roll your eyes over it. I’ve been punched enough to know the difference between love that’s given freely and the stuff that’s prepaid. Hello. Hello. Is it a cheap-shit moron you’re looking for? Well, I’ve been signed up and certified and crumbling to pieces for longer than any angel could possibly sing about. Well, it’s life and life around here, that’s for sure.

The picture’s too little. It pays and it flashes and it cools its ankles. A little dab of it’ll do, but me? I always dollop out more than I can handle. That’s just my way. Take it or take it, I guess. And then it all comes down to one question: “Where are you going to walk to then, asshole?” It seems I never know the answer to that one. It seems.

Ok, then. Back over to Columbus and Broadway. The neon’s electric grip on night: an undulating flash and pop, peppering the underbelly of carnival-prize lust with bulb-bright daggers. The only peepshow in town. Slide a few bucks in the slot. The curtain lifts. The dancers lounge about in various stages of undress. The semen-soaked confines of a small, dark booth. We will ride motorcycles into the night, and no ocean will save us as we undress and swim. Where to go? Who to be? What’s left of a view of this whole ordeal that we’ll never chance to get again? Well, let me tell you, the lord ain’t quite on my side anymore. Not for the least of this. The lazy locker-room way the dancers mosey about, chatting leisurely with each other, like nobody’s looking. It’s trepid time for me, sweating it out with my last dollar slipped into the machine already, waiting for the clock to run out. Ogling all the bare flesh that I can fit in. But, so, I’m not quite jumping for joy over the whole titillating menagerie going on on the other side of the glass there. I’m behaving. I’m not so nervous. I’m bench-pressing my luck with patience. But, really, there’s no way to bamboozle myself into mistaking boredom for courage. Cooler notes of debasement’s truck taken with have-at-its come to roost on the shingles of my love’s roof. And I’ve had it. I’m through with it. The window just gets smaller and smaller as you stand there and try to figure a way out and a way in to what’s tugging you back and forth and all the way through all of the goddamn nooks and crannies of loss and hurt and dreams gone to rubbish in the murky fishbowl of the world you’re doing your standing around in. Shyness can go to hell. Shit. I’m down and walking. Game over, you know?

Had me a girl once. Had me a way to smile that you’d never know, or believe. Shit. Had me a speckled drawl in my tone whenever she was around. Had me a girl, and she had me. Had the rights to her ways. Had the blue-eyed days and the gunmetal grays of her nights to keep me company. Had me a girl. Had me a girl in Tuscaloosa and Minneapolis and Berlin and Tangiers. Had me a girl, but only up in my head. Once, I had me a girl. And she knew all of my worries and ways by heart. But now she’s gone. But now? Now I just say, “I had me a girl,” and move on down a barstool or two to make room for another.

Ten shotguns for a nickel parade. The leaks that never get plugged in the ship of being me. I want out and in. Don’t know which’d work out better. Really, the tides tell my sorrows to the shore while I skip rocks over my sea-sunk tomb. The stilt-balanced ends of this ordeal are making my means nicer all the times. There’s a paratrooper in the moon. We’re working on other options, cruising along on some long forgotten Baja highway all out of gas stations. I am not going crazy at all. Not at all. I am not in love with anyone anymore. There.