The strings are silent, the wind is up, the stars are hiding, but no matter the doors are shut, no one makes a sound. The Street outside is cracking, the tents have blown away, the dealers are all dreaming of the day. There is money being made in the shadows, money made in the car seats, money made in the liquor stores and car park open market connections. Money made out of misery. The girl’s are dancing in little Italy while the slimeballs shove dollars in their skimpy regulation underwear. Thin gauze between them and destruction. Them and infection. Them and impregnation. The men don’t care, it’s not them wiping up the slime, picking up the pieces, filling the spoon, loading the barrel, digging for a vein, just so you can get up the next fucking day and do it again. The men don’t care, they just rationalize. It is not them that are trapped in a vicious circle that takes them down the rabbit hole, brutalized, by a world puts men’s orgasms before women’s souls and psyche. I can almost feel Lilith before me, her claws digging into me, screech owl heaven. She sees my hatred and my fury and holds out a talon. We were always meant to be together, me and her, dragging men to the hell of their own making.
My hands are shaking more than the tree outside my window, I am shivering yet don’t care enough to get a sweater. I don’t think I have ever needed to get high more than I do right now. I could cast a line down to the corner boy and pull up relief. I knew a girl who had been in jail, when we were in some shelter that locked us in at night, not allowed into the street below, locked up like prisoners, she could cast a weighted line down to the street and hook up cigarettes, and even bottles brought to the window by her willing cast of oompaloompas. She was a gutter Dorothy, star tattoo on her cheek, handbag with a poodle appliqued onto it in sequins, she was magnificent. Click your heels together three times, throw her some cash and she could get you to the moon. The father of her youngest had pimped her out and knocked her front teeth clean out for good measure. Every time she lisped I vowed revenge for her suffering.
No, there is no relief. There is no escape. There is nothing much on the horizon tonight. A man shouts wildly to thin air.
The coroner has arrived. A hearse pulls up outside, black and heavy, long and foreboding. I look downstairs, and shudder. Surely, I think, they would send a truck. I wait and watch and see if they pull out a body on a gurney. I wonder if you can tell who is inside by the shape of the body bag? A man and a woman hold hands and run across the road together. The hearse has spooked the neighborhood. I wondered if it was a stretch limo, perhaps here to take someone to the stars, to the Hollywood Hills, that other heaven that all good Californians dream of going to. Blacked out windows, stretched bodywork. Perhaps one is as good as the other. I can’t tell between fame and destruction, death or success. I can’t tell between heaven or the Hills. I never could. That is what comes of chasing pipe dreams.
I don’t know for whom the bell tolls. It doesn’t toll for me or the Boy. We are the lucky ones. We are the survivors. We are the sweetmeat eaters. We are the winners. I get the Fear that I will lose him. I watch him sleeping. I stand close by as he breathes like a mother with a newborn baby not daring to go to sleep. He is my everything, my hope, my motivation, my reason. I am cracked at the joints. I am broken at the bones. I am ruined every day, and restored in the evening. I run through life, the water pot on my head unbalanced by a hand, and don’t spill a drop, and yet still am chastised as though I had returned with dry shards.
A light flicks on. Everyone is at their windows staring at the hearse glad it is not them. I want to wave to them, congratulating them on the fact it is not them and not us, but that seems churlish. That seems wrong. The long car with California plates is still outside. Perhaps the driver is staying the night? Some homeless mortician who doesn’t want to sleep with the corpses. I have never seen this street so deserted. I have the shivers. All of a sudden a homeless woman in a teeshirt and no pants, stumbles and falls into the road in front of the long black car. She is fucked up and carrying too much in her arms, on her back, in her life. Her burden is heavy. Everything seems to have meaning, from the man on his bicycle who is stuck on the sidewalk, trapped in seeming reverie or else exhaustion. He drops his pants, and squats on the floor, shits pulls em back up and gets back on and rides away. Man, I am going to have to walk past that in the morning. Dude. Go to Burger King. Please. Dirty protests on the street, are up my alley, and I wish they were not. I am sick of shit.
A woman in a carmen skirt and bolero tight black ballet top, heeled boots and a huge bag, swishes past fast and turns onto the road that leads away from the ‘Loin. Are uber surge pricing? Has she lost her phone? Is she mad and ran away from the SF ballet, after messing up the pas de deux? Is she broken hearted? Michael is in my ear, singing “everybody hurts….sometimes.” I want to yell after her, telling her to hold on, but Don Juan’s wreckloose daughter has already trotted away. I wish I could go with her. Grab the Boy by the arm and ask her to pirouette in return for a poem. It is easy enough for Michael to sing “don’t blow your hand” but the harsh reality is I am alone. I alone with a hearse, and a steaming pile of shit, with the ghosts in my mind and the pain in my hands. The sweet lull of the song won’t send me to sleep. It is all too much. Too much loss, too much pain, too much discomfort, too much fear, too much brutality, too many too often too much too threatening too too too too. Fuck everybody, Michael, I’m hurting and it is unbearable.
You know what Joni says, “blue songs are like tattoos, crown and anchor me”, except Joni won’t sing. I am at the mercy of a youtube play list. It could be REM, it could be Dylan. Could be just about anything. I messed up my recommendations listening to Miley Cyrus because she got a Joan Jett hairdo. It didn’t make her into Joan Jett, just a chick with a mullet and an American Idol setlist.
I am eternally disappointed.
The hearse is there, I guess the dead can wait, they ain’t going anywhere.
Extraordinary writing. Desperate situation. So sorry for the hurt and the shit and the disappointment Paltry. xxx
Keep on rockin’ Ruth! Much love!