XIX – The Moon

Whatever happened here has long since blown off in the wind, like the smell of smoke that fades over time. The moon called on the ocean to wash it all away.

An awful realization that I have been fooling myself all my life thinking there was a next thing to do to keep the show going and actually I’m just a sick clown and so is everyone else. -Jack Kerouac, king of the beats.

Another night at the Blue Moon jazz club, standing around with the band, smoking cigarettes on the sidewalk. They were on break from the stage but I’m always on break when I’m there.

I’m not much for the discussion of morals. If you want something, just go get it. The problem is not how to get what you want, it’s how to get away with what you want. I’m not hung up on morals but I understand the concept of a balanced scale.

We all stood around just outside the door. Smoking trolls under the bridge, keeping an eye out for radio listening skid row sages and making slanderous remarks about the baby girls dressed as whores out on a winter night. Some of the guys took Carl to the parking garage to get high with them in a truck. Only Dean stayed behind with me in the street light shadow of a rootless tree. This land has different rules. Eye contact and a quiet conversation, a meeting of the minds. We flicked our cigarettes against the tree and went inside.

Lights fell like a meteor shower over the dining room and quiet instruments rested on the stage. My friends sat in our booth, having no idea what kind of place they had come to. They sipped at their beers and wondered why I walked right past them and down the hall to the men’s room. Actually, they didn’t see me but they surely started to wonder where I was. Dean followed me in and locked the door to the stall behind us.

The band was on break, like I said. The drummer was busy with his hands up my shirt and the music trickling out from the house speakers was not quite loud enough to conceal the sounds of my tree huggy shoes, clippity cloppity, must stand still. High on adrenaline, both hands in Dean’s hair and the rest of me dissolving in his mouth, I was already starting to cum. Dean unbuckled his belt and pushed me to my knees. Someone stood at the sink washing their hands and in between splashes I could make out the voice of Damien Rice mumbling in the ambiance. Though Irish, he follows me around: on TV, in my car, at the bar. What I want from us is empty our minds. We fake the thoughts, and fracture the times. Fucking poetry. We go blind when we’ve needed to see…

I stopped listening to the sink and the music and looked up at Dean while running my tongue along his cock. I reached up to grab his hands while taking in as much of him as I could. I can feel his heartbeat in his fingers and against my tongue. Like a doctor checking his pulse, “yes sir, you seem to be in tip top condition.” We have to hurry, this isn’t Motel 6 after all and someone is probably waiting to take a shit. His swelling has increased, almost too much. He grabs me up and bends me over. Clip clop, shhhh. I’m so wet and stifling a loud orgasm while he pushes all the way in with one stroke. He’s pushing me hard and I’m pushing back against the hand rail by the toilet to keep my head from bouncing off the tiled wall. His hands are on my hips, holding me still for this bathroom fucking, hard and intense, scandalous. Yes? Yesss. I’ve felt his penetration since the beginning of time. Only we know our history.

Dean grabs a handful of my hair, forcing my head back and exploding inside me at the same time. So hard to be quiet. I’m a screamer, you know. We stay the way we are for a moment, breathing hard, gotta switch dimensions and return to the world of the living. I’m looking back between all four of our feet and can see Carl’s shoes, slightly flawed and sold at a discount, standing in front of the sink. That song is still on and no one likes it but me. Killers re-invent and believe, and this leans on me, like a rootless…

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you and all we’ve been through.

Carl’s shoes exit the men’s room followed shortly by Dean’s shoes. I, however, am stuck.

Leave it, leave it, leave it, there’s nothing in you.

Men keep coming and going and Carl is hovering around the door. The pull of the moon has driven him mad and he’s looking for a place to hide.

And if you hate me, hate me, hate me, then hate me so good…

Texts from Carl and Dean are lighting up my phone.

Where are you???”

Stay in there, he’s by the door.”

More shoes and sink water, rattles from the paper towel dispenser. I need an exit strategy.
… let me out, let me out, let me out…

*song lyrics in italics by Damien Rice

Whose Hair Is That?

I was sitting on the toilet at Motel 6; going pee and wondering whose hair is that? There, stuck to the wall, right in front of my face; whose. hair. is.
THAT? Gross. Oh look, there’s another one stuck to the door. Normally this would be a rhetorical question because my own hair is always stuck to everything but I just got there so it can’t be mine. I was, of course, waiting for Dean. We’ve been coming to this same Motel 6 for about 8 months now and I’m pretty sure we’ve stayed in every room. More often than not there is something amiss: wet soap in the tub, hair tangled up in the bath towels, Dean pulling the towel rack right out the of the wall because it wasn’t attached, the room phone ringing incessantly, dysfunctional wall lamps and space heaters but I know I can always count on the housekeeper to fold the toilet paper over into a little point because this is, after all, a respectable establishment. The ladies at the front desk must either have me pegged for an exceptionally well spoken hooker or else they’re on to me. I mean no one stays at a motel in the same city they live in this frequently. Right? To wit, if I were one of them, I would be curious about this women who checks in roughly once a week with has a local driver’s license, always pays with cash, says please and thank you and is long gone before check out at 11:00. Seriously, I would send a housekeeper to watch the room and see what else transpired and we would have an ongoing bet as to the various possible scenarios which, naturally, I would win because my mind is predisposed to conjuring evil theories.

I always arrive first so this gives me an opportunity to get caught up on my reading before Dean shows up. Lately I’ve been enjoying some selected works
by David Sedaris. I feel a kinship with him and the dead pan style of his self effacing narrative. If I were a gay man, we would be twinsies. He, like me, is
one of those people who, lucky for us, is really skilled at one thing, two at the most, and otherwise inept at living like a responsible adult. We both need baby sitters because we can’t cook, clean, organize, fix things, figure out what to wear, open the mail, navigate the road or deal with the public at large yet we are both the primary breadwinner in our household and, of course, we both like men. There is one major difference though and that is our views regarding monogamy. David is a homebody; remaining faithful to Hugh, not only because he fears group sex, AIDS and nipple rings but also because he thinks more than one man is just too much trouble. By comparison, I’ve rarely been without more than one man; Dean usually being one of them. I just imagine David reading my blog, holding on to the sins he hasn’t yet committed and jotting down conversation topics to bring up over dinner the next time Hugh drags him out to a restaurant; “I read the most bothersome blog today. The author is a long winded paranoiac who thinks we’re twinsies.”

As I’m writing this, I notice that my hair still smells like Dean, chances are the inside of my knees do too. I also hear his voice “who the fuck are you DATING???” That’s him, mocking me in his endearing way for spontaneously hammering him with this question; pointing out the obvious inconsistency he inferred from my tone, but that’s not exactly what I said. Ok, it kind of is, but I wasn’t indignant about it, well maybe just a little. Yes, it’s true that I
don’t view hypocrisy as a handicap and if that makes me a good ole’ boy then so be it, go fetch me a cigar. Some people are just born with certain things. Eddie Van Halen was born with the name of a band and I was born with the fragile heart of a hypocrite. What I really meant was is this going to be a problem? More than once in the recent past I have written about things that have coincidentally and magically transpired, like, the next day. So I had just posted that Ernesto story to the blog when, let’s just say, there was a disturbance on my radar. Naturally, being a paranoid, self indulgent type, I thought to myself “there is no fucking way I’m going to relive this story that I just wrote!” Yep, that’s exactly what I thought, that the wind changes direction based on my musings. Well doesn’t it? Dean, to his credit, thought this was funny and suggested that “out of sensitivity to the married woman that I’m banging, I shall refrain from making reference to my other social interactions.” That’s why I love him; he’s the only person I know capable of being both thoughtful and sarcastic simultaneously. A little later, while trying to save face, like I hadn’t just gone a little bit fucknutz crazy and had a thinly masked paranoid break, I said “for the record, I don’t care as long as we’re cool.” To which he replied ” Why wouldn’t we be cool? I’m always cool, you’re the one who disappears and shit. I’m consistent.” Admittedly, that did make me feel better though I was loath to say it at the time as that would mean admitting he was right.

Motel 6

I’m a regular at Motel 6. My dad likes to go there, too.

I’ve spent years scrutinizing my dad, looking for any sign that we are the same species of creature. To date, there is little evidence except our shared affinity for seedy motels. When I go to Motel 6 I park in the back because I don’t want my husband – or anyone else for that matter – to catch me fucking the guy who, coincidentally, is my mentor in all things considered socially taboo and just plain wicked… While I’m there I coerce the girls at the front desk into admitting that they steal towels and get told stuff like “you know when check out is…” When my dad goes to Motel 6 he makes a thermos of instant coffee with hot water from the sink. No, we’re not hardly the same kind of creature.

My dad’s not a bad person but he’s got damaged goods. He fancies himself to be a highway man, traveling the country as a character in a Tom Waits song, eating in truck stops and making small talk with guys named Big Joe. The problem is that Big Joe has no idea what they’re talking about because my dad speaks in riddles. If my dad asks you a question/statement and you don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about, the answer is most likely one of the following things: Ford Motor Company, Michigan State University, or if the riddle contained the reference “smokey bear” then it’s about the police. Once, when my dad was visiting me in Boulder City, we somehow got shafted into going to some time share interview bullshit so’s that we could get free tickets to see Splash at The Riviera. During the interview I kept my sunglasses on in hopes that if I ever ran into the interviewer again she would not recognize me. The poor lady asked my dad if he had flown in to Vegas, he said “no” and so she asked “well then, how did you get here?” He tells her the turn for turn driving directions all the way from Bowling Green, OH. She gave him the praying mantis stare and I pushed my sunglasses further up my nose to better conceal my identity.

My dad’s wife’s name is Deborah. I call her “Pissed Off Deb” cause she’s always pissed off, plus she apparently has Tourette’s. She will say any ole’ rude shit that pops into her little midwestern head. Not that I entirely blame her. My dad, he’s an irritating guy. Every couple of months he decides to pack up the car and take the poor, reluctant, Pissed Off Deb on a road trip across the United States which will no doubt include stays at Motel 6, thermoses of bathroom sink water instant coffee and awkward riddle ridden dinners at truck stops. His other hobby is taking pictures of Pissed Off Deb in front of iconic national treasures and then sending them to me. I have pictures of Pissed Off Deb in front of Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls and the Lincoln Memorial.

On another memorable occasion I was visiting my dad at my grandpa’s place in El Rito. I’m not sure where Pissed Off Deb was but I think she begged off and stayed at home for this hurrah. My grandpa’s accountant had alerted my dad to the fact that my grandpa was losing his grip on reality and that if he didn’t take immediate action, the state was gonna step in and seize the assets we were all counting on inheriting. My dad jumps on a plane and calls me up to inform me that my that my plans for the weekend have been replaced with mission Save The Family Fortune. I drop my plans for drinking jager and writing pointless shit and drive my ass to El Rito. When I get there my dad is talking a blue streak and I am left speechless and staring just trying to solve the riddles fast enough to keep up. One minute he’s talking about a lazy union janitor at Ford Motor Company and the next he’s saying “when mom died, everyone was consoling pops, but she was my mom too”. That made me sad but my empathy is trumped by the need to suppress my gag reflex because while he’s regaling me with this hours long monologue he is also slurping Psyllium fiber mixed with not enough water from a coffee cup and it has congealed into a wildly disgusting gelatinous slop that is dripping from his mouth back into the cup every time he takes a swig. The next day I was in my room, having just got out of the shower and sitting on the floor in front of my suitcase. I was naked and looking for clothes when my dad just walks right in, doesn’t knock or anything. We were both mortified, and in keeping with family tradition this instance was never to be spoken of again. Later that day I drove my dad to Wal-Mart to buy silk flowers to put on on my grandmother’s grave. At the cemetery transpires the weirdest shit, ever. Ever.

We’re at the cemetery observing all the family grave sites. I see the headstone of my dad’s brother, Harold, and note that there are fresh flowers in the flower cup. My dad, tipped off by the flowers, starts to sarcastically speculate that Harry is conducting an affair with the living from beyond the grave. He always loathed his brother. I am feeling brave so I say “didn’t Harry die of some kind overdose?” and my dad replies “somethin’ like that.” No remorse, no emotion, no nothing, just “somethin’ like that”. Maybe now would be a good time to bring up the fact that, when he was a young man, my dad was the primary suspect in a murder investigation involving the deaths of three of his family members. A couple years later Harry was found dead in his car having overdosed on a prescription epilepsy medicine that no one knew he was taking.

We locate my grandmother’s headstone and deposit the silk flowers from Wal-Mart. While we’re doing this my dad starts to tell me that he has a pre-paid plot in this cemetery but doesn’t want to use it because he intends to be buried in Ohio next to Pissed Off Deb. For some reason this issue has grown to be a point of contention between he and my grandpa. My dad tells me that he would concede to my grandpa’s wishes and be buried in this cemetery only if my grandpa agrees to pay the shipping charges associated with transporting a corpse across state lines. Then he tells me that I should write a song, because he thinks I’m a musician, about a funny scenario that could unfold upon his death and playing upon the fact that both my grandpa and Pissed Off Deb hate to spend money. The song, he tells me, should tell the story of how, after he dies, Deb will send his body C.O.D. to El Rito and my grandpa, being just as big of a cheap skate, will refuse the charges thus sending him back to Ohio where Pissed Off Deb will also refuse the shipment and this will go on indefinitely leaving his body traveling the highways of America in a big black hearse with shiny black windows for all eternity.

I imagine one day I’ll meet up with my dad at the great Motel 6 in the sky. Reckon he’ll leave the light on for me.