To Aid An_ Cage
2010-09-24 - 2:51 p.m.
Pete comes by and picks me up off the street. He takes me to Lola's place where I am supposed to meet Candy, but Candy isn't there yet, so we're going to go wait for her. I'm real down from work and life. Pete is rapping me on some truth about life: Life is the experience of falling into water. You go down down till it gets really dark, then--
And I cut him off and say, "But then you come up floating like a drowned man." Pete doesn't like it. He thinks he's a swimmer.
Pete's only trying to cheer me up, hence the Candy thing. Candy's a friend of Pete's girl, Lola. They're best friends, Candy and Lola, living together in a west end place, second storey, too many shoes at the door. Lola's there making cups of tea for everyone. Pete and I drink a beer. Lola smokes and rolls a smoke with hash peppered through it. She lights it and passes it to Pete. Pete smokes it and passes it to me, and I say no. "No more of that for me."
Candy comes in and onto the back porch where we're all sitting. I check her out casually as I say hello and shake her hand. She's all triangles and straight lines, and I'm a teardrop. What do you do? I drink some more beer. Candy strums a guitar she brought outside with her. Pete and Lola sit together, playing couple on an old bench with broken slats along the back. Pete catches my eye and gives me a look over to Candy that says, you can have that. I look at Candy and try to feel my cock with my eyes, but my stomach growls.
The girls are hungry. Pete goes out to get some mushrooms, Portobellos. Now we're alone. Lola and Candy show me their matching tattoos. Each has a forever symbol inked over the ankle bone on the outside of her leg. They tell me they've been best friends forever. I ask them if they think they've spent more time together than this. Lola says, for sure. She says something about their energy travelling together in other forms, other times and dimensions. I ask them if they think they both came from the same star. They look at each other and grin. Now they think I'm a poet. I tell them that I'm just a writer in a dark place.
They'd probably make out with each other if I asked them to. What do you do? I decide to go get my book and write that one about the star down. You never know. When I get back, the two of them are talking about how they're going to raise all the kids they're planning to have. These girls are hardwired for it. I sip my tea and sit tight, and I keep quiet. They're all hardwired for it. Give them the chance and they'll hold you to it. They have a way of doing it.
Pete comes back with the mushrooms and we drink another beer. My phone rings and I get up to take it. It's my Mother. I have to talk quick and rough or else I risk crying in front of everybody. I say, "Hello, Mom. I am feeling better today. I'm actually out with Pete right now. I should probably go. I love you too. Bye." And I hang up. The girls ask me how I'm able to do the work I do when there are so many complex ways it ultimately fails. I tell them, "I trust. If you don't trust, you have nothing." That's as much as I can say about it.
Candy brings out some vegan marshmallows. They're not in a bag, like regular ones. They're in a plastic box with a sticker label, all laid out inside in rows. We each have one or two. They taste like marshmallows, but they're missing something.
Lola leans over and whispers in Pete's ear. We should get going because they want to eat, but they don't want to feed us. Candy wants me to stay, so I tell her I'm a homosexual, and walk out. Pete and I walk up a block, then over three blocks till we get to the Ethiopian place that does cheap take-out. He tells me a joke about a girl he knows who went to Ethiopia and actually gained weight. It goes down smooth and sort of tickles near the end.
I ask Pete if he ever feels the urge to be a father. Streetlight hits the few grey hairs on his head. They light up dull blue. He says, "I never get the urge, but sometimes I think about all the things I'm going to tell my son."
before || after