inBetween

“It’s like evolution.” Sandra said just before she frantically shoved a huge wad of purple chewing gum into the side of her mouth. She was quitting nicotine. Her left cheek budged in the reflection of the window. It was the amount of gum that made a fantastic smacking sound with each cycle of tooth depress and release.

She almost needed to take a breath between each word as she spoke.

“You see- it’s like,- species need to adapt to their world to survive.- It’s millions of years of eating, -fucking-, and being eaten until some shmuck realizes- that they’re the product of all that fucking -and eating- working out in the safe gaps between danger. Between the predators’s abilities and between the berserk forces of nature. Everything alive has lived and still lives in those gaps. Everything that can live is alive you know?”

I saw her in the reflection: a sort of enormous ghostly being that floated over the street cars and sidewalk people. She picked up her iced coffee and held her gum aside to let the stream of cold mocha caffeine down her throat. Her cheek strained. Her permed and tightly curled hair floated around her face. The frazzled strands fell over the back of her white leather jacket which I knew had THE CLASH emblazoned on the back with the picture from “Give em’ enough rope” behind the curtain of wavy hair.

I spun the chair to turn towards her and leaned my elbow on the thin bar of wood that was bolted to the thick glass paneled window of the shop.

“What the fuck are you talking about Sandra?” I said.

She halted the stream of iced coffee and placed the plastic cup down. She took a spiteful chew of gum and, after the sucking sound, swiveled the stool to face me.

“What the hell I beensayingyoulisten!?” She said, her gum smacking between her words and gesturing with her free hand.

“What I’m saying is that everything alive is adapting to people. Adapting to us.Things that live in the gaps of our perception. Things we don’t have a clue about…or at least most regular people. not germs or shit neither. I mean like …on our level. Making sounds at pitches we cant hear , evolved enough to move right where and when no one can notice. Did you know that if you hold up your pointer fingers and look from one to the other, your brain makes up everything else around you?”

She leaned forward. The gum between her teeth silent as she expected me to say something.

“…Okay, so… it’s possible. Things can be sneaky.”

“No, it’s like they have always lived there, right where we could never find them….like. If you see a spider and you kill it. That spider will never appear ever again, but it’s sister that ‘s been in the radiators, she’ll be around forever.”

“Okay, I don’t care.” I said, looking back to the bustle of the sidewalk and traffic. A helicopter zoomed just over the buildings in the sky.

Sandra sipped her coffee in frustration. there was a few moments where she was quiet before the smack of her gum came quickly.

“Alright” she said “People can only look frontwards, and only if it’s light enough to see right?

“Yea” I said, lifting my hand from the table for a moment.

“So lets say that there is some being who lived out of sight and in the dark all the time. Like if it was just as intelligent as us. Only there is a whole society of them living between our gaps. Like the “inbetween people” or something. That they are just as much a being as us only-”

“Well” i said cutting her off “well, there would be know way to know would there?”

She thought a moment. Her gum gave a sucking chew in thought.

“Nah, I guess not.” she replied and resumed her iced coffee and aimlessly watching the city outside.

I looked down the street from the window. There were hundreds of people around and I thought for a moment what it would be like to slip between them.

For a moment I thought I heard someone in the cafe call my name.

I looked around and everyone inside was going about their lunch.

I must have misheard.

That night I made it back from work and put my keys down on the end table by the front door. They clattered into the glass dish filled with pennies and loose change.

 

 

 

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“So what?”

“So what should I care?” Kalzin said with a trail of cool shesha smoke trailing from his nose and mouth into the air of the coffee shop.

The place was nothing more than an outcropping of a small alleyway nestled between two buildings. The colonnade supported a high ceiling with roman arches. Small notches in the centers of the arches lent beams of smokey daylight down to the tables and palm plants which were in the throws of the quiet midday. Light conversations and puffs of smoke were rising up in slow wafting bursts which mingled with the smell of chocolate mocha and coffee.

Kalzin brought his coffee cup up and pressed it to his lips below a waxy black mustache with the slightest of tilts. Placing it back down he took another pull from the large hooka on the table. The hooka bubbled. In another wisp of smoke he continued:

“…So the government changes hands and instead of the Ottoman Empire it becomes the Republic of Turks or the Federation of Ottoman states. Calling it The Great Ottoman Pineapple, for that matter, would serve the same purpose. ”

Kalzin took another bubbly pull from the hooka.

“or perhaps the state is split into a thousand new countries with new governments. it does not change that people will still be living here even long after we are dead…And you can expect that we will outlive the last days of the empire now.”

He took another sip of coffee.

“Even if war and turmoil are brought here , it’s nothing that has not been seen before. The government is only made up of people who care enough to participate in it. It is after all only the draw of a card which state we are born under in life. By those same cards are we born in one that has power. It can all change. And I assure you anywhere else, the same people that cling to the illusion that their government is the best for the security it offers exist in other lands.  Just as there are those who rebel against their government’s brand of atrocities, deemed necessary for everyone’s betterment. ”

Kalzin took another puff from the hooka, his eyes scanning the colonnade arches above.

“These pillars have been here since before my grandfather’s grandfather. This place was once the Roman empire yet was hardly made up of Romans. This has always been a diverse city. It is an illusion now that that a government speaks for a people. I wish that they could go about their wars and movements without getting me involved.”

He took a sip of coffee.

“But what if the new government closes down this coffee shop?” I asked.

Kalzin smiled “There are plenty of coffee shops my friend.”

 

 

An ode to Black Boss Porter. (and Poland)

BBp

 

In darkened nights and winter icy chill,

Drew up from deep like earth’s blood to spill,

Adorned in yin pitch  and yang white,

Without the pageantry Sam A. or Magic H. might.

 

Brewed  within the windswept polish plain,

where foes hath fought and bodies doth lain,

Thought death take mirth and grind to sorrow,

yet then came through to fill the empty hollow

 

Liquid dark in icy chill

for our heart’s and mind’s to fill,

the essence of earth and life so full

to stave off the fear of empty pull

 

A crisp approach of midnight molasses sky,

Reminds of fresh endeavors to try,

A cremey coffee finish

Resonates life’s nectar without diminish.

 

And while some might say what is fair and true,

They fail to grasp the naked glory that is this brew,

A power deep and strong need not advocate with much fuss,
Such is true with the Porter: Black Boss.

 

 

Jacob [1]

I remembered that the kid would always say the word “emptiness”. Every other word was emptiness. It scared the shit out of his teachers and…well, the kid’s parents just seemed  bothered by it. they had two other kids and a lot of money.

I remember that first meeting with the headmaster and the kid. His name was Jacob. He sat in the office next to the headmaster’s desk in a bare bones wooden chair. He wore a puffy red vest with a blue waffle shirt underneath and a red cap. I guess it was January. He had far away blue eyes and a thin, but well rounded face. The bill of his hat showed that his focus was on the bookshelves which covered the walls surrounding the desk in the center.

The headmaster looked like a crane or a vulture. She had a long nose and short white hair that curled, parted to either side. She sat pleasantly with a suit that mimicked the uniforms most of the kids wore.

“Mr Adams” she said smiling in greeting but in the tone of grave seriousness.

“Mrs. Donnally.” I said, mimicking appropriate tone and body language. I closed the door behind me. It was an old style door with a frosted glass window. The backwards letters which spelled “Headmaster” on the other side amused me.

“I assume this is little Jacob?” I said pointing to the kid who turned to me at the sound of his name. I approached their space of the room and crouched down to look level into the kid’s eyes. He blankly met my gaze. It was the kind of look, I’d like to be able to play cards with.  I met the boy’s eyes groping for a glimmer or a sign behind them. A twitch or any kind of indication of thought.

“Yes, this is Jacob.” the Headmaster said, looking down at us. “He began last month to…well he began to disassociate with the other children.”

I broke the rules of our staring contest and asked Jacob “Why don’t you play with the other kids in school?”

Jacob blinked and looked past me. “Emptiness.” he said in his child voice.

The headmaster was about to say something stupid out of frustration like “And he only answers with that one word!” but I held up my hand to her before she could manage.

“Could you explain what you mean by that? What emptiness?”

He looked at me again with the slightest drooping of the eyebrows and pursed lips which showed sadness. So the kid wasn’t completely catatonic. He looked at me and said

“It’s everywhere, inside me, inside you, out in space, emptiness. Everything is emptiness. Emptiness.” he trailed off and looked past me again.

“Do you remember when you started to feel this way?” I asked him, trying to hold his attention away from wherever his mind was taking him.

He turned back. “In my bed, I realized I was going to die one night. Emptiness. I tried not to think about it but I took a journey. I realized that it was all empty. People think it’s full. But it’s empty.”

I looked at the headmaster, who only held a look of a confused angry fear down at the boy.

“What kind of journey did you go on?” I asked Jacob, putting my hand on his shoulder. His little round face suddenly welled up and he began to cry. His face filled with tears and he jumped off the chair and hugged me as tightly as I think he could have.

“Emptiness” he said between sobs, he repeated it over and over. It was good for him to cry. Somehow he was releasing his fear. I was certain though that there was more to it. Something made him take that journey.

“Jacob.” I said calmly. He sniffed and looked into me. “What made the journey happen?”

“An empty man” he said. “He was always smiling”

I stood up. “What did he give you?”

“He said they would keep me from being afraid of…Emptiness.”

“Thank you Jacob.” I said “And don’t worry. There is more going on than you think.”

The kid looked at me and actually smiled for a moment before his face returned to it’s blank stare from before.

“Headmaster. I said tipping my hat.”

She looked at me, astonished. “He hasn’t talked this much since this began”

“I have a way with kids” I said and left the office. Intent on finding the sico who gave him whatever psychedelic that sent him into this. I concealed the small prick which held a small dose of Bacopa monnieri extract, known to temporarily enhance memory recall.

Like I said, his teachers were scared for the kid, his parent’s just wanted it solved. That’s why they hired me.

Distractions

She hated this.

The door remained closed.

She stared out onto the flat black letters stenciled on the frosted glass that read:

Dr. Breigner

Neurology

She knew his round little face was bouncing behind those huge glasses of his somewhere in the next room. Waiting was the worst part. The insignificant decor of the standing lamp. The old magazines strewn over the coffee table by people who didn’t give a shit. The happy little artwork on the walls: That cat saying “Hang in there!”, the sailboat poster in the corner. Everything was a distraction from whatever people had come here for. This was a place no one wanted to be. The smiling faces on the brochures for Alzheimer’s or Skin Cancer sickened her.  She hated it.

How could that cat “hanging in there” on the wall possibly take her mind away from that one word. That word that returned over and over in her mind. The illness, the thing that had taken her as it’s home. That word that spread sadness and pity faster than any disease or or infection could. How could the magazines about last year’s Emmy Awards make her feel any less damaged, afflicted, subhuman. Bitterly she stared at the frosted glass, awaiting for the moment that the perky nurse would open it and call her name like nothing was wrong. They were distractions too, their small talk, like she needed to be pandered to.

She sat on the deflated cushion of the ridged chair along with the other empty chairs in silence. Her eyes wandered to the poster of the small sailboat, it’s huge sail billowing with wind going out into a vast ocean, glittering with sunlight.

“Nothing but a distraction.” she thought.

As her eyes looked over the poster in the corner, the side of the picture in shadow revealed that one side of the sky was dark and crumpled. The ocean was black and ominous, she even made out the thin white stalk of a lightning bolt in the clouds.  The boat was alone and being tilted by the waves. On either side of it was fate. The glittering waters or the lightning lay before her. The moment stretched on as she took the poster in, perhaps more than any piece of artwork she had seen, perhaps more than any picture had tried to demonstrate to her.

It would be far better to sail into the bright sky and the glittering ocean than to accept the approaching storm. Perhaps that hang in there cat was what she needed far more than the doubt that plagued her mind. The alternative would be a life insurance advertisement. Or perhaps very concerned doctors on the Alzheimer’s pamphlets looking worried.

However horrible the world she was stuck in was. Whatever word that was that pounded through her brain, she needed to be reminded. That other things were occurring and continuing in the world. That works far greater than her were performing around her.

That Hope is never a distraction.

The door opened, “Ms. Deller” said the perky nurse.

Winslow la segunda parte

 

“…either of you gentlemen have any tobacco?” asked Whiskey

The two bowler sporting, scraggly looking, desert bums by the piano looked at each other. Whiskey watched them with playful daggers. There were no drinks at their table, there were no ashes, no spittoon by them. There was no food or any other indication that those two men were actual patrons of the establishment or that they had been there long. By the way the bartender looked back and forth in her peripheral vision, she could tell that they were in some kind of kahoots yet to be determined.

If anything was constant out in the boonies it was silence. Silence bordered everything, people out in the middle of nowhere spoke more in looks and action. Like wild animals. She knew that they were likely sizing her up just as much as she was. She cursed herself for showing two dollars already. However, they were all somewhat afraid of her and thought she could be the notorious bandit Bloody Jess. So she had that on her side.

After a moment the big one reached into his pocket. Whiskey tensed and felt the handle of her revolver become clasped in her hand. The large man then slowly produced a drawstring pouch. He opened it and took out a little booklet of papers.

“Happy to oblige ma’am”

The woman smiled, letting the pistol loosen  “Thank you kindly.”

She hopped off the barstool and strode up to them, her boots knocking heavily on the floorboards. She took out a paper from the booklet and a pinch of tobacco that sat on the table. The three men in the room all watched her as she distributed the brown leaf and licked one side, rolling it over to make a thin tight cigarette.

The skinny one leaned forward “Where you say you from girl?”offering her a struck match.

She leaned forward and puffed the smokable alive.

“Borthsmith”she said.

The large one said “you don’t seem much like a city girl.”

“Thank you.”

“ifn’ your looking for lodgings, my brother and I run the hotel across the street. Cant say we have every amenability but we have a room and a bed for just two dollars.”

Whiskey considered the offer and whether a trap was in store for her. What it came down to was that she needed to spend the night somewhere. It was fast approaching as could be seen through the western window, the windmill made a flip show of the sunset reaching it’s brilliant peak. Blood orange tinged with mysterious dark blue. At this point she didn’t have a choice, she would be spending the night here, but that did not mean she’d allow herself to get cornered.

She took a draw from her cigarette and released the smoke in a puffy cloud above her head. “It might be I only have one dollar left.”

The bowler brothers looked between eachother before the skinny one stood and said. “Well I’m sure that can cover it, If you haven’t noticed, this ain’t a metropolis.”

The sky outside darkened and the bowtie bartender lit a small lamp.

“You fellas don’t play cards do you?”

They smiled and the large one produced a deck.

“We only play holdem here.”

A glimmer of excitement snapped through her, but her features remained still. She was raised in a casino, Holdem was her favorite game, and she had never honestly lost. Whiskey pulled up a chair and sat at their table.

“I don’t play that too often where I’m from, but there’s a first time for everything.”

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The big one

Mozart melting over 2

Audio Version

 

Drezden here. Last time I had regaled you with a exposition to my orchestral experience. No, I’m not talking about the first time I made love, but rather an affirmation, a testament  to the intricate nature of our reality (as portrayed by so many in our  past society) through music. I had sufficiently scotched myself up and was rolling along through a very impressionable consciousness when the confrontation with the bloody fingered man ended and the house lights dimmed to further draw the attention of the crowd towards the stage ahead. It was about eight thirty when the applause coxed out each of the violinists, cellists, bassists, flutests, basoonists, oboians, kettle drummers, snare drummers, French hornians, et all etcettera.

They gathered in their places to the light applause which began to die down. They arrayed themselves in a half circle formation, still standing (which made me wonder the prospect of a completely circular orchestra playing only to itself).

Just as the applause began to dwindle, they took a bow, which seemed to rejuvenate some enthusiasm, which resounded for a moment like a rouge wave on a beachhead. Then they sat and the Conductor appeared like some deity with a flourish of his magic music wand. The applause took off once more and died. The entire orchestra and the magic conductor man then turned to the audience and bowed. The applause resumed like a standing in church, to which I resolved to half halfheartedly participate.

The musicians then sat. The conductor then turned, and the applause died.

There was a moment, and then a breath, before the conductor raised his wand slowly.

One of the first chair violinists began to slowly saw the bow across the fragile instrument. It was quiet, too quiet, but just quiet enough to make out. It was a slow rocking back and forth that grasped at something ordered. It was taken up by the second chair, the third, the fourth and so on with all of the string instruments jauntily playing over and under each other in a vast rising volume of  dripping violins.

The cellists, and the bassists, nudged in awkwardly one at a time until there was a looming cloud of cacophony filling the room.  The scotch lurched in my stomach as it grew louder and louder, hints of No. 38 and a requiem in D minor arose with glimpses of Beethoven and Hayden rising into focus and then falling back into the broth of sound. The space seemed to be falling around with the sound. The people, the huge theater, began dissolving away as the sounds rose higher and higher until finally the ceiling broke and the orchestra culminated in unison with great powerful strokes of magnificent presence.

The musicians seemed to be at battle, firing shells of music into the audience below. From my balcony I pressed forward, my head cocked to the left to observe how each section called and recalled to each other. Glorious order in the static of our existence.

And yet when this climax had been reached, they saw fit to steal it away. The music acted as if a red hot iron had been pressed to it, shrieking in pain, squealing, as it rose and fell, once more dripping into a slow chaos. To this, the players stood and began to move together. The chaos resounding as they quieted and moved towards the back of the stage. The lights began to dim as they moved. They dimmed furthur and furthur as the sound died and melted into a raw moulten existance. The theater was black when the sound reduced to nothing more than errie plucking. They could be heard moving back into the hallways from whence they came and their sound left with the foreboding thought that they could appear anywhere, and when the lights returned it might not be the same reality I had become accustomed.

The darkness remained, and the plucking faded into silence in the dark.

I was dead sober when the lights returned, and a greater applause exploded through the crowd.

I was among them and I tipped my hat to their showmanship as well as their musical jest.

I checked the program to see that it was “Moz-Art a la Haydn” made in 1977.

The second song began as “Mozart’s own Violin Concerto No 1 in B flat” with the violin god returning to stage with many repetitions of appropriate times to clap. I decided that the reason for all this clapping business was to keep people awake. Not that I needed such encouragement, but as I said, it was an older crowd.

The piece wen’t through Allegro Moderato, Adagio, and presto with the Violin god (Mr. Tetzlaff) performing his own Cadenza (whatever a Cadenza is).

Mr Tetzlaff was the undoubted star of the show, standing next to the conductor (the undisputed second star of the show offering amusing and dynamic movements to the best parts of the piece). The man did not simply stand and play his instrument like a robot might, or how a preppy student would attempt, he was frankly on another level. He was too good to stand still, feeling each note and letting the motions of song reverberate through his body.

As he played the presto I recall watching his feet, standing there in the center of the orchestra in the center of the Lincoln center music hall, rocking out to a 241 year old piece of music emblazoned with his enthusiasm. His eyes closed, feeling the movements and letting his heels rise gently off the stage, his body lighter than the air around him, his form nothing but a fantastic energy in that time and space.

It was like he was soaring there, and I thought as I listened to the resounding sound of the entire orchestra backing him up and offering the depth, the totality of life as it were, behind him:

The more realizations you make are only that the world is vastly more intricate and complicated than you previously thought. This continues with each realization you make, and that may inhibit you to stop, to think that you couldn’t possibly make an impact on this vast thing that supports and surrounds your existence.  But you always have and always will make an impact in ways that are far more intricate and complicated than you previously thought.

What it took for that man down there, what it took for him to get there, not in some abstract sense of status, but for him to be standing on those wooden floorboards where he is now in the glow of the sound at the center of the room, his sound rising higher than all others at just the right moments next to the conductor. How he got to where he was exactly.

If you could see 4th dimentional vision, the hours and connections and practice it took for him to be there. And then on top of being in that spot, what he does with the notes and the way they strike you. The way he moves to lift off the ground trying to bring everyone around him up along on his journey. Each member of the orchestra trying to reach the same thing and yet perhaps realizing, perhaps not realizing where they are, working together as this organism.

It’s like they are soaring.

And yet then you realize that this entire scenario is just one aspect of the world and creation, that someone made each instrument their own and became one with them. That the violin is so intricate, infinitely intricate, and it is just one path to greatness, even if that greatness is just to stand before Lincoln center and soar for an hour.

And I thought, that was why it is so important to take things for what they are and not let what surrounds it cloud the vision of beholding greatness in such purity.

There are many channels to greatness and perhaps an infinite sky to soar if we can only find the way. 

It was at that last thought I realized that the fish scampi was battling alongside with the oyster h’ordeuvres and scotch I had on the Veranda. I contained myself THROUGH THE CADENZA WHICH WAS LOVELY until the applause marking the intermission where I adjourned at rapid pace to the bathroom. I pushed past several stuff shirted type men awaiting the third stall on the left, and retched into the sterling bowl in the lobby men’s room.

 

To be continued…next time

-Drezden

Winslow part 1

Gobi-Desert-Sunset

The dusty road stretched on into the horizon sunset.

A lone figure walked along, tired, and thirsty from a long journey. She had gone far, and still had a great distance to travel.

 

The top belts on her boots clicked, undone to let some air reach her tired feet. She wore a pair of canvas pants, sand-blasted, weathered, and torn from her travels; she wore a simple, light shirt with a cloth vest and a light leather overcoat. She carried a detached saddle and a pack of what belongings she had left. The back of her neck was dark and sun soaked and her pale hair was tied under a low brimmed hat that shadowed her face. Her stride was long and she moved like a desert fox. The setting sun filled her face as she looked up, her grey-blue eyes squinting, showing the swift features of her face that held four scars, two parallel on each side  that cut through her cheeks.What remained of a cigarillo brightened at the tip in her clenched teeth. She spat out the smouldering remainder and straitened herself in the cooling wind.

A small road stop was before her, the sparse buildings on either side of the road framed the westward sun. A windmill spun gayly, unaware of it’s environment. Flat empty land stretched in all directions otherwise. She wiped her brow, and strode onward towards where she hoped there would be at least water.

 

The tough sand crunched beneath her boots, the heat that radiated through the souls had long past the point of unbearable and became a part of her life. The buildings and the windmill neared. Their shadows growing long. Hers grew as well, nearing the others. The shadow of the windmill’s blades fell on her, one after the other in alternating sun and black silhouette. Two buildings stood on either side of the road. One said “Hotel”, it had a stable around back. It looked as stately as a hotel in the middle of nowhere could be. Square with four floors and real glass windows with shutters and arches over each one. The red paint on the arches was faded, and the black shutters had become grey and dry.  The other end of the road was a slumped old cabin with a big porch and an extension built on one side. A few paces away were tents.

The weary traveler looked from one to the other. The windmill which flickered the sun above her had a pump with a pipe. That pipe lead up from the ground and into the cabin. On the cabin’s front door was a carved picture of a full frothy bear mug.

The woman turned to the cabin. Stepped up the stairs of the porch which creaked along with the jingle of her boot belts. The window on the right was boarded up so she looked through the left one. Through the dusty glass, red sunbeams lanced through the westward windows and fell across  a lonely piano and an old table with thin chairs drawn up to it.  No one there.

She stretched out her hand and pulled the thin wooden door handle of the front door.

As the door creaked open, the sound of a conversation between two men became hushed.

Opening the door to it’s full liberty, she observed the room, still with the saddle over one shoulder, and her pack hanging on the other. Two men sat at a table next to the piano out of her previous view. They watched her cockeyed. They were dirty looking sand rats who shaved out of necessity rather than grooming,  thick dusty stubble covered their faces and necks. They had grease-sweat stained shirts that hung loosely over their shoulders. One was large and the other was swimming in his shirt. They both wore  bowler caps atop greasy matted black hair. They said nothing, watching her for a moment and then pretending to go back to their conversation, but stealing glances back to her in the doorway.

There was a skinny bartender to the right behind a long dried out board supported by a row of four barrels, who despite his surroundings had heavily pomaded hair and a waxed mustache. he had suspenders and a faded red bow tie. He watched her as he shined a glass, saying nothing yet.

She scanned the rest of the room and saw it was empty. Five tables were placed around in no order, including the one the two sat next to the piano and a grey curtain covered the part of the cabin that was extended. A twin bladed fan spun pointlessly slow from the low ceiling.  It was always tense to enter a room out in the boonies.

The weary traveler stepped inside and strolled over to the stools which were four barrels in front of the barrels supporting the bar. They had thin pillows on them at least. She dropped her saddle to the floor and took off her pack. She sat on the stool and breathed easy for a moment to be off her blistered feet.

The bartender eyed her and finished polishing the glass at his leisure. When he put the glass comfortably away on the rack behind him, he turned with a large smile on his face.

“Why hello mayum! It isn’t often we see er…um… females at the Routchpand Arms.”

The woman sighed and leaned over the plank of wood on her elbows. She glanced up at him with the kind of look a cobra gives a mouse.

“Yes er um, what’s yer name stranger?”

“That’s between me and my mother” She said “As far as you need to know my name is Water Anda Whiskey.”

With that she planted her gloved hand on the board. It shook and when she removed her hand two lady fame dollar coins were on the table.

The waxy bartender smiled with stars in his eyes at the two coins before him. “Well mis whiskey! absolutely!”

He hurried and turned the lever on the water tap. It rattled and clanged before a red muddy liquid came out. After a moment it passed and clear water came through. The man filled a glass and tried sliding it down the board to her before grasping the whiskey bottle. Yet the old board was so dry the glass stuck where it was.

Whiskey reached over and grasped the glass of water, downing it in one go. It traveled down her parched throat and cooled her stomach.

The bartender placed the whiskey down in front of her and she slugged it down just as quick. It made warm zig zaggs down her whole body and settled in her gullet.

She relaxed as well as she could on the barrel and let the sensation travel over her. The two bowler hats were talking quietly by the wall, but her keen ears caught every word as easily as if they were shouting them.

“Cid, I swear, that one with the bounty, and the gang. They say a woman runs them?” said the skinny one.

“Thats what I hear,” The large one affirmed “…they call her Bloody Sue, or Bloody Jess, or…well I tell you she’s bloody somethin’. Say she’s dark skinned and gots a temper that’ll strip paint.”

“Gotta bounty on Bloody Jess don’t they Cid.”

“Thats what I hear Zib. Fifty Five thousand.”

“That kinda money’s fer something serious. What she do?”

“Nearly killed a whole town off, bank robbing, train theiving….”

Whiskey saw where this was going. She placed another coin on the “bar”.

“Will that be water or whiskey miss…whiskey?” the Bartender asked.

“I need something strong, Been on the road a long day.” She said loudly “Been tryin’ to get from Borthsmith to Winslow, but wouldn’t you know it, the people I set out with betrayed me and tried to kill me. Shot my horse right out from under me. It was a damn shame, having to be killing them all after I thought They were good folk.”

She took a slug of the fresh whiskey, only taking a third of the double.

“All ten of them” she added after placing the glass down.

The bartender glanced over at the two men at the wall. They both watched her now. Whiskey caught that and  tipping her hat back pretended to regal the tail like a fond memory.

“Yessir, we had completed our honest business in Borthsmith, mail and delivery and whatnot, nothing fancy, and were charged with the transportation of a private package to Winslow. Now, the company I kept were supposedly from the Bernard L Daily shipment company and we had all met each other at one point or another. This package was so special they needed eleven people to protect it. I was lucky enough to be appointed the confidant of the delivery, one sealed envelope. Now I don’t ask questions or stick my nose into other people’s business, I’ve seen people killed for that, heck I’ve killed for that…”

Whiskey’s grey-blue eyes came back to focus, she turned to the two bowler hats and said “By any chance, either of you gentlemen have any tobacco?”

 

 

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

Mozart Melting Over Pt 1

hp-little-night-music

In where I Dresden Howard tell of the first part of my night…(or well, closer to the middle, the first part involved a lot of driving and waiting. )
Yet now, a duet, an bloody finger, and scotch

 

So I just saw this classical-type orchestra-deal (http://mostlymozart.org/).

 

It began with a duet appetizer in which two wiolinests played a virtuoso of two regular songs and then seven quick numbers that showed their talent.   Now, I seem to have this empathetic ability to feel possibly what someone else is, I’m not sure how accurate this is, but I’m slowly testing it to see if it is in fact a superpower.
But, regardless of my potential supernatural abilities, the silence of the huge room and the two lone musicians brought to me that moment of tense fear, that lump in your throat as you are about to jump off the high dive or about to kiss someone. It filled the room and it emanated from the student of the two musicians, a young girl of about 21 or so. She was the one I empathized with, finally performing at 50% solo status. Next to her was this dude who seemed as though he was a god among violinists come down to earth for a fleeting moment. If you search violin god, that old dude the second row down is sort of what he looked like. (not iCarly). It seemed as though the young girl next to him was under his tutelage and I could feel their excitement. (I really wanted to use that word since I heard it this morning).

I sat in the balcony as the silence drew raw I could feel the musicians’ energy as the took their positions. The acoustics were so that the faintest shuffling, the scratch of fabric, the ever cleshe drop of a pin (although the floors were carpeted It could have been possible to hear a pin fall on the armrest or on someone’s bald head in the lower level). the moment hung on until they raised their bows and in a flash the silence was whisked away by a smooth crisp note of pure radiant love. The notes of the student complemented by her teacher soothed the butterflies I had for them in my stomach.  If you have never heard the faintest noise of a violin dancing with a partner in a silent room of five hundred people, I suggest you attempt to make it happen once.

They were astonishing, moving from songs that brought me to different worlds: a desert chase, an old man in is study dreaming of the cosmos, A cascade of faries jumping through the deep woods, and a battle between eagle riders and flying serpents. Yet just as swiftly as they began, the music stopped and they bowed and left to a low applause.

And that was just the free show at the beginning.

A scotch or two later on the veranda, I returned in a rather coming up psychedelic-style inebriation. I was aware that far more people showed up for the actual orchestra than the duet. Makes sense, but the duet certainly had me in gear for what was about to happen, I pitied those who had not felt what I did. I scanned the people who filed in and were sitting down. The crowd was far from the hippies I usually tango with up in Vermont, and they certainly were not the rap and hip hop enthusiasts from my home town. I don’t think any of them listened to metal in their life (except the one dude up front who’s spiked hair made a visible outline against the stage lights). No, despite the 25% who were classy young individuals with nothing to lose,  they were all mostly 40-60 year olds, married couples who decided to go out to Lincoln center (there was a veritable mountain range of balding heads).

However none compared to the couple sitting next to me in the balcony. There I was, about X scotches deep, sweating and feeling like I’m on the verge of a trip with all these people around and and the two most ancient people sit next to me. I slouched leftwards in my chair and begged  for them to say nothing to me.

I think a curse that counterbalances my possible superpower is that I cant help talking to people, and I’m good at it. What? not a curse? Even if I have nothing to say, there I am saying something, spouting bullshit. Oh look there’s someone I’d rather not speak to, but once they initiate a conversation, I’m done for for at least fifteen minutes. (I also am bad at ending these conversations usually which is why I avoid them)

The guy who sat next to me.

The guy who sat next to me.

But of course, the woman, who looks like a janga tower, turns to me over her husband and says to me. “Do you know who Mozart is?”

This was immediately the wrong thing to ask. With my conversational curse and the fact that alcohol removes that fine layer of my mental process that determines what you should say that’s honest, and what you should say that’s “polite” (lie). I have no real problems with older people, in fact the majority of them are awesome, funny people who lived in a time I can watch about on the history channel. Yes, they were there in those messed up camera recordings. They listened to phonographs and lived in a world before shit got complicated.

Well at that moment I forgot all that and took her remark as an insult, just because I was the only younger person here that I wouldn’t be as cultured as her.

And so the conversation became very one sided “Of course I know who Mozart is,” I said “Why the hell would I be here if I didn’t know who Mozart was!? look, just because I’m not decrepit dosen’t mean I don’t understand the finer points of classical composerey- ” I belched the taste of scotch

Well she retreated and at that point her addled husband turned to me and put his finger in my face. “Don’t talk to my wife that way.”

He had a napkin that was stained with blood over his finger and it was three inches from my nose. I was about to remark when some merciful deity sent the musicians out from the realm they had been previously kept in, and applause ended that phase of the interaction.

To be continued….

Dresden—