Revenge…and a flight of fancy…

He left his house…and though it was raining like just before a tornado, and spikes of light particles were piercing the hearts of road ghost – his car found its way through the gloom and pale to the driveway of The Orchid Room. Alone in his car, he smoked another cigarette, and made a bet with the devil as to the precise time its ash would fall – it had extended itself like a precarious bit of gray flake at the edge of a quantum reason about love, and the reasons for loving – its falling was eminent – its precise time, unknown.

She was inside, and the light there was different – a different swallow of gray smoke, with personalities that were glowing and shimmering like halos, and her Ben was not her Ben anymore – he is not even a memory of the Ben she had known (to her now, there had never been a Ben..). Her smile – the natural one she wore for special occasions is radiate – as if she were a widow over the mourning of wool, and entitled to the white silk of an evening out, and the attentions she is getting.

…a produce truck leaves a warehouse on its way into the city…the drivers eyes peer over the dash, straining and looking for signs of a road that is familiar, one that has been driven daily or a thousand times or more – and sheets of water fall like walls of glass, and the spark drops of oncoming headlights roll from the bottom of the windshield trailing up and over the truck in a shower of sparkles, and then dissipate into the dark wet air.

Ben turns the heater up, his cold bones aching, and the line between what is right, and what is wrong blurs like the rained upon world around him. In his hand he fingers a trigger manufactured in Italy – a Barretta 9 mm, made to settle disputes with lead joined to brass like a lover – and then exploding. And though it is wet wet and dreary wet outside – inside he feels like a tinder box looking to be wood in a chimney.

She has already misplaced him- turned him like a case over to an attorney – forgotten him like a 25 year to life felon. Her shoes hold her feet lovely, and her nylons are intimate with her thrilled and wild womaness, and her dress reminds a prince at the bar of a princess lost in a poker game a long time ago; and she is scintillating like breathing and laughter and the rudeness of the man in the car will never be a dull ache in her underwear again.

…a produce truck closes in on the city, the driver wondering how he has managed to navigate through a wet world, the world of the submerged, on its roads through a deluge like a blind man on his way to a shelter. His cargo is dry and a swarm of gnats in the trailer are delirious trying to figure out which cantaloupe to eat next. He barely reads a sign almost past and exits up a ramp into the city – turning left towards Main.

And here is a mini movie: a climax without exhilaration.

Ben rubs away tears and then the tension of tears from his face, forming his hands into fist and rubbing his eyes until colors form kaleidoscopes at the back end of his head and he is reminded of a picture of himself as a child winning a race – crossing a finish line into the arms of his mother. This picture is back home on an upstairs mantle and near it is a letter written by her a long time ago, and he wonders, lips moving and now sounds coming out – “What was in that letter – what did she say?” His curiosity builds a dam in the puddle of his despair and he releases his finger from the trigger, starts his car and slowly drives out of the parking lot passing a produce truck making a delivery to The Orchid Rooms kitchen.

She clinks a glass with the prince at the bar, snuggles with a baron holding court in a corner, and dances with a drug lord, a musician and a comedienne all in rapid succession. And she does this like a movie star – everyone wanting to know her name and an address where flowers and gifts could be sent as adoration and affection.

Blood is in her body and it is circulating through the lithe strength lines of her legs and up and into her upper body as her respiration slowly returns to normal – she is hungry and sits down and orders a compote of fruit and smells the tables flower and winks at the candle there, like it was an old friend.

When the waiter brings the compote and lifts the steel dome of its fancy presentation a swarm of gnats spiral up from the bowl, hover around the flower like frenzied lovers and then they find the womans white dress irresistibly attractive and that is where each of them lands as if they had found a new home.

It is only irony and not an actual fact that Ben thinks he hears a scream as he inserts a key into the lock of his front door…

A produce truck laden with the labors of a farmers talent exits the parking lot, turning back towards the highway and the next town on its route. It is still raining outside, and fish are migrating back to the ocean hopping from puddle to pool sometimes alone and sometimes in schools. And the driver is certain that he has sent a clear message to The Orchid Room management – that he expects to be paid or next time he will bring spiders…


…after effects…

11:00pm – Impatient fingers tap invisible scales on a chrome table in the dining room,  smoke drifts like a druid in and out of time – a man checks and rechecks his watch – powder is being softened into skin, ten minutes away…

11:30pm – A wife is being forgotten while two people laugh a raspy laugh – the kind that sounds like air being forced through a throat that has smoked for too long; into and out of – because of nerves, and frustrations.

The woman wishes she had painted her lips red instead of a demure pink, cuz she is sure she will go the distance, and she wants to be certain that he will think she looks Hollywood enough to play the part of a mistress.

12:00am The wife is in a room of a big house, eating one, and then another pill of eternal damnation; cursing her husband and all of her choices to be his trophy of atrophy.

The man wonders if the woman will think he is a superman and tries to appear confident like an Olympian racing towards Athens – a pulse of sweat descends his forehead rounding his left eye and into his ear causing a sensation – but she does not notice; she is counting dresses and bow tie diamonds – and the other expensive shimmers she will receive as compensation for the fruits of her submission.

12:30am – The wife dreams of a little girl chasing a butterfly, a pink one that landed on a flower and then there are inexplicable sounds and waves of sounds crashing around her – like she is in a deep water ocean bobbing like the jettisoned (only really in her house sprawled on the floor like a fish wanting absolution).

They agree to leave, and arrive a little later at his pied-à-terre – a place with walls that have witnessed so many of his titillations that they literally now yearn for pleasurable sounds and their attendant reverberations.

1:00am – The wife, whose child by another man had been sleeping, remembers that he is thirsty and goes downstairs for a glass of water, and finds a trail of her clothing, a bottle…a few pills, and his mother sleeping in a heap of distraction. And he thinks “Is she only sleeping…?”

“This woman is like butter” he things – “soft and warm like a fantasy of opportunity” – and just after he has forgotten her name, he slips off the last of her clothing like a surgeon. For her part, and it is a part, she sighs and politely protest, before succumbing, as if she had not practiced this artifice in the mirror while applying makeup daily.

1:30am – A siren visits the wife and her son with an antidote of resuscitation and she brews the strongest pot of coffee her bitterness at living can imagine, and she drinks a cup, making plans for escape, revenge and evasion. Her son can tell that he will be making new friends in a different school or maybe this time they will move out of the country.

The man, a lover of fiction imagines him self sturdy like a farmer – a plow- that she is his fertile valley and she ask “When will this be over?” but not out loud…never out loud, for she is the perfect picture of composure.

2:00am – Back at The Orchid Room a busboy drops a tray of glasses and shatters and shards pierce and stick into the dance floor, before the sound of them can be heard or even expected…


A case for or against love…

It was to be the big night, the night of angelic questions,
and Champaign and goose bump bubbles – and dancing and
looking into her eyes and melting…

Slim Jim Moran and Kites of Katie Carlyle slipped into a booth,
each with something to say…full of pauses and affected smiles
and yearnings for the night to be completed…in just the right way.

Slim worked in a meat packing plant near the railroad tracks
and Katie was a waitress who refused to call even a known
big tipper “Honey.”

Unknown to Slim was the fact that Katie had plans of her own –
having more to do with frying big fish in mid-town apartments
than the loving of Slim the meat packing man…

Slim was not a drinking man – but he was nervous and this led
him to drink several bottles of wine, and the more he drank, the
less he remembered the words of his question…

Katie never forgot why she was there, that she had a purpose –
a thing to do; something to say – so that the rest of her life could

Slim and Katie, seized by the terrors of their agendas – opened
their mouths in slow motion, each reaching for the right words,
when The Orchid Rooms doors swing wide open…

The boys down at the precinct house having a slow night, and
with a warrant from a judge – pick that exact moment to raid and
seize everything and everyone as evidence…

By the way Slim and Katie eventually do get married and I am
told that they are as happy as might be expected from the seized,
terrorized…and dishonest…