Sunday, April 5, 2009

Home is the Sailor

Yes, Bill, the IRT! Another seaman dispatched me there one weekend, I think it was Labor Day, all the way from Norfolk. He said the girl watching, the odors of hot, sweaty feminine flesh therein are overpowering.

He was right. One need not necessarily be a masher to enjoy the delights offered by the rackety, clackety, flashing, rocking, rolling contraptions with all their attendant high-pitched friction sounds and smells, that special, cloying hard rock dust and that unique blend of tunnel air, perfume, female funk, suntan lotion, hairspray and hurtling abandon flinging protoplasm, bone and hair along at terrifying speeds into cooler, darker, unknown catacombs.

I found her - two of them - Gina and her pal Rosalie, roasted coffee colored by the summer sun, nearly naked and brightly feathered in summer colors, lolling on the lawn in Washington Square Park, listening to the transistor belt out "Grazing In The Grass" in all its blaring African brass.

We danced. Smoked hash, giggled, kissed, chased each other around and around the fountain splashing sun-scorched pitter patter titters thither and held the chess tables hostage, laughing uncontrollably, in mad games of tag, their bronzed skin shining wet and curly permed hair dripping.

It was the heat and the humidity. That's what did it. Something in the air. We wound up in the Greenwich Hotel with its slamming junkie doors and urine-reeking bathrooms down the hall, fucking all night long on a narrow steel-framed bed.

In the night, the rains began and lasted for two more days, pouring out of leaden skies. We ordered in Chinese in greasy little waxed paper boxes and continued.

Dawn... Coffee, something new to me called bagels toasted with cream cheese and strawberry preserves, gray stone and sharp, angular shafts of sunlight pouring through freshly rain-washed air between the hard, unyielding stone and steel temples of finance and power.

The Apple, best viewed for what it is when her people sleep and her streets are quiet.

They went home to Brooklyn and I found my bus at the Port Authority, wondering how to tell this incredible sailor's yarn without sounding as if some blind Greek poet had constructed it for me out of whole cloth - a sort of prehistoric recruiting poster for adventure on the ocean sea.

The truth: there is no way. Gina liked to wrap her long legs around my still muscular young ass, dig in with her heels, bite my shoulders. Rosalie demanded a ride on top while her mate kissed my mouth - hard.

Somewhere, a goddess had giggled, smiled upon me, laid her trap, enchanted and entrapped me in a snare made of woman flesh. Somewhere, a siren screamed in joy, in ecstatic pain and an expectation of release from all concerns, an exit to pleasure. I had been made helpless, transported, altered, changed by the tides and the calendar.

The diesel's endless hum and the tires singing over the pavement made me sleep all the way to Richmond. Changing buses in the Old South night to go on down the Tidewater to Norfolk, the fascist in the grey hound uniform gave me a hassle about the ticket.

"Why dontcha take a flyin' fuggat-a-rollin'-doughnut, brudda?"

He bristled.

I laughed.

The Legendary

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