Monday, December 2, 2013

The Devil Is A Sissy (Act 2, Scene 2: Barroom)

“Why don’t you go ahead and call yourself a cab?”

“Okay. I’m a cab.”

“Holy Christ without a even a crutch. Come on. You’re better than that. Really.”

“No I’m not. I’m worse.”

“You want it straight?”

“No. Give it to me crooked.”

“Either way it’s this or not that or even maybe some other way too. And the greasy capitalists lie at the steps of The Grand Old Lady Of California, choking on their cigars and furnishing their otherwise empty souls with stock offerings. The Corinthian columns like bored sentinels guarding whatever’s left of all this nothing we’ve helped make this world into, the colossal colonnade surrounding the guts of the place, all that empty space, and that’s all we are anyway, any old fucking how.”

“Pour me a reason and I’ll spill out a few more whys and why-nots. That’s all I got stopping for me.”
“Don’t mention it. I’m acting out the scenes from somebody else’s life story today. Tomorrow? Tomorrow knows not or wherefore about it. Shit. I’m all done for, here at least.”

“This is me not mentioning it.”

“Going in for that reluctant taker act again, I see. Well, pop a boner over yourself and get on with it already, will you? I’m exhausted with waiting for the show not to go off.”

“Things we’re too dumb to know follow us to our graves, that and the morose silence of our deepest appetites, never whetted properly or given the distinction they deserve. My baby does the hokey pokey, but she don’t look back as often as she should. And, sure as hell’s ire steams out of the street grills, probable cause doesn’t care. Hell, you know what? God was trying to teach me a lesson, but I was too dumb to know. That’s about that.”   

“Don’t not mention it. I’m getting odd, singing your alibis to the trashcan: ‘He looked like Robert Mitchum, with a hobbled gait’s hitch tied to his stride and a nail dangling from his lip like a toothpick. He’d had a few too many cups of The Joyful Woman. Death was on his side.’  

“The devil’s in the big picture stuff too. I got my eye on the ramifications, the steps down and out and cracked in the worst of luck. Things wear out, you know. They get old and we move on to other things. Doesn’t stop you from wanting them worn-out things back, though. Hell, all the I’ll-have-anothers in the world don’t cut it. Not for this sad sack. I’m drawing up restructured clauses on cocktail napkins with a borrowed pen. Hell. I’ll have another.”

“Unsubstantiated claims. All of it.”

“Mind me. Go ahead. Mind away.”

“It’s all a gimmick of misunderstandings. Piss-stained marble tiles lining the pissoir in our least cherished thoughts.”

“Here comes the devil. All dressed in plaid. No mistakes made but for the right to make them makes clearer the ways not to, yes?”

“The devil’s a sissy. He takes way too many prisoners.”

“Perhaps we’ll never not come to some misunderstanding about the whole skedaddle.”

“To err is our affair.”

“Or, air out our affairs. Like some bona fide turkey licked and sobbing, knocked to the canvas by some unaware jerk. I always, always want something less. You?”

“Sure. Always a bit too ripe to not be picked, and still, not, ever in any-old never, picked.”

“Or picked last. Or worse.”

“Things we’re all too dumb to know.”

“Well, all I know is these here drinks are not going to just keep pouring themselves. We all need that great bartender in the sky sometimes, don’t we?”

“Sure. Sure. All He knows is that He doesn’t. And that, that my old bro, is all there is.”

“My spirit’s so light, but still nobody can lift the damn thing.”

“So we lift a glass, we raise our right hand and cuss before we swear. It’s all so easy to have, and so hard to know. It’s all we’ve got, given, or had. Lots and little of it is all we’ll swim around with before it’s easily lost.”

“By the way, by chance, are you a spy on the retreat from his classified inner struggles? You seem testy yet dour.”

“By the way, go fuck a tree trunk.”

“Oh, that explains it. I’m getting on the horn. I’m phoning this whole thing in.”

“Don’t worry. This is just the planning stages. Buy me one or another? The devil won’t care. Trust me. To smaller and better things to come.”

“Ok. To laugh. To sky’s a bit less blue. To wrong-of-way times and the crookedest boulevards in all of Hades. You, me, and the bottle makes…well, something out of something.”

“That’s about it, huh?”

“Away from the world. Away from it. And I’m calling the devil names. I’m ruining my own. Forget about it. I own this fucking place, from this lopsided stool in my head to the chipped paint in my eyebrows. Borrow another tomorrow and own whatever yesterday it suits you to make up. The policy on loose women here is vague at worst.”

“Tight men, though. You’ve got to admit.”

“Tying it on the tightest, as always. And it’s just another Monday morning in the universe. So fuck it. I’m not as mad as hell as I might let on.”

“None of us are…or is.”

“Would I were a worm to worm the worry away, but the worried worm still wins. The worry will always win.”

“In the middle there were us. Family gatherings be damned. We just wanted a little later last supper; that’s all and that’s none. So go be one with your childish teething, your coddled and muddled damnation of all that’s realer than below. I cannot stand tears, sir. And of this? Of this I will have pretty much none.”

“Pour it on thin. Lay it on slow. I get it. I don’t. There’s something less that I need, and it gets less and less all the time. Pour me another. Please? Help a low mucketymucker out. Please?”

“There ain’t enough pleases left in all the thin red hells to hide out in now. I bet you’re not on to something there, but I won’t bet much.”

“All not in. As you will. As I won’t. As my drinks are stirred with woe’s wreck. Appealing, though, isn’t it? All this trouble we find?”

“It’ll do until it finds us, I guess.”

“Firstly, I’ve got a habit of getting to them first. How about another? And another too?”

“Also’s just another alas. It’s all the difference’s same. Okay. Pour ‘em out. See? I’m gazing downward, not up.”

“That’ll do. That’ll don’t. That’ll really do, and that’ll really don’t.”