Whens and Wheres You Thought You Were, and Whys and Whats You Weren’t



Jasmine wasn’t listening.

While you were plugging insanity to the room, this tart galloped to T. Ragsdale’s hippie barbeque fest down the hall. That’s it – play with the fringe of last year jeans that you haven’t washed in weeks. Look down into the red plastic cup and pretend the gnat drowning is not there.

Here you are.

You wore the clever sportcoat and scarf. You’ve been tending this vandyke for a fortnight, and you look like Peter Sellers in a bad shampoo commercial tweaking Norman Tebbit’s wrinkled tit. You and everyone else in this dive-bomb after-party are wearing brown shoes and white socks. Three more shaggy-faced poets shuffle in with folk music vinyls, greedily looking for the turntable promised.

And you brought Mr. Oizo.

Jasmine re-enters the scene and starts sucking the lips of the closest humans she can find. You imagine her wearing a flapper outfit and a bomber jacket with thigh-high white leather boots and spurs. She’s giving everyone the tour and the back door is open. Even the fatty fuck Kimball in the mustard-colored sweater vest you could hide an elephant in is getting his tongue sucked. She’s making people smile. She gets her smiles and moves on.

You finger the 12-sided die in your pocket, waiting for that perfect moment to let it fall out of your pocket, but when you eyeball the thin wafer carpet with the fifty shades of brown stain just under your feet, you reconsider. P. Keller enters, his face half of a beet after his vintage 700cc Royal Enfield motorcycle exploded outside his flat. He gives you a pitying nod and lets Miss Jasmine St. John suck his tongue. He then smiles.

Someone’s switched to overkill on the spotlights around the breakfast nook. In the dark of the flat, it looks like a couple of bruisers are about to swing open a plywood door and escort in a couple of bull terriers, or rat terriers, or maybe a couple of hobos from down on Sixth. You wait for men, who get their kicks from betting on death and beating their cardboard-faced wives, to start waving fivers in the air and barking.

Jasmine wraps her thighs around your waist and shoves a tongue down your throat. You expect the vomit-tinged odor of a party-slut hoedown, but you catch parsley and beans instead. It is not unpleasant. As she pulls away, taking your pouty bottom lip with her, she frowns. You haven’t smiled.

The legs squeeze harder and she bucks in slow motion against you, trying to suck your intestines up through your throat, but still, when she pulls back for breath, your face is stone.

“I’m going to make you smile,” she purrs, grabbing your cravat and leading you away to an empty room.

You follow and you drop your 12-sided die.

You’re thinking Sir Baboon McGoon as she closes the door behind you both, and then she drops to the carpet and vomits. Deftly, you step over her and back into the vapors.

You take an inventory of the pharm-teams as you sprawl yourself across the Davenport of despair – back among the plebs. J. Tucker’s passing green pipe to Arlis Scoffer and the Two-Ton Crew. Rat Patty’s lining up rails on a paper plate in the front bog – passersby piss next to him and his berserker fanatics. The dim introvert that everyone calls Rigid has a paper bag of Cubies.

On the balcony you see a naked man take a swan dive over the rail on a plastic table.

This could be anywhere. Possum Trot and Ninth, Fry and Scripture, Mac and Elizabeth.

This is then, and yesterday you were now.


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