ten fourty pee em backpack stuffed with bread, brie, two bottles of champagne, one brut one extra dry, he could never remember which one was better. he rides his bike to the subway. no one rides the subway at ten fourty pee em.
the elevator smells like industrial orange cleanser. suddenly orange is the scent of freshness. some one has urinated against the glass wall. someone has scratched the name jed below the button that says mezzanine. some one is watching him.
three people wait for the northbound train. one old man who looks at the tunnel hole willing it. not knowing that there is a wind that comes minutes before the subway, then a sound, then a light. theres nothing to look at. has the boy brought a condom? no. they’re just friends.
the thought sat like a lump in his breast. only good that word ever did him was in a heated scrabble game. seven letter triple score bitch. plus it would take about four bottles to blur the line of friendship. friends. the old man looked down in the tunnel and he’s old enough to remember la when this wasn’t the only rail in town what’s he looking for, salvation?
a mexican made it four waiting for the train and he knew about the wind and sat down. its all about astrology he thought. gemini and aquarius. just like clue. parker brothers had taught him everything. if he knew it wasn’t in the library why did he keep going there.
the train arrived he rode to her house. it was a tough ride since she lives on the top of a very high hill. it smelled like isla vista up there. eucalyptus and dynamite. gasoline and burned leaves. he put it in first gear. this was great exercise he thought and it would be fun to speed down late that night. which he did. two twenty a-em. drunk buzzed really santa anas warm, warmest night of the fall for sure. must be seventy. must be going fifty. no need to worry about rabbits darting in the road or acorns or potholes he was being guided by voices.
her hair was soft and her lips were familiar. moreso than he remembered. every night felt like a dream so he traced her outline as she laid on him pressed down on her skin until he felt bone. eighth of an inch here. sixteenth there. he wasn’t much of a romantic. he said if we had to eat you after a plane crash we wouldn’t get much meat. she said the meat is the muscle and put his hand on, muscle.
must have been going sixty near the bottom of the mountain. hollywood hills meets hollywood blvd. night crew mopping the popeyes. people buying magazines. people leaving bars. people dressed real nice. he had his gangsta flannel flapping behind him no lights no brakes, a game he played since a little kid called lets see how far we can coast. the lazy mans game of human curling.
pink floyd plays in his ninety nine cents store fm radio. no dial just two buttons. one scanned in the stations, one you push for the next station. is anyone out there. the wall. when he was an ice cream man he would play dark side and animals to drown out the ice cream truck tings and tangs but it bled through mixing like strawberry twirl and carmel. she had silky hair that smelled of a fresh shower. velvet pajama pants and pale skin. he wanted to touch everything like in an x dream and she didn’t care. only he was scared. she felt so comfortable with him she said often and is that failure asked his head.
thirty five whispered the wind as he turned left on sunset. go east old man. ameoba records says hi. archlight movies says hi. give us your money says the dennys the dirtiest dennys of all. now the game is called count the hookers. okay one two. three. no shes not one. oops, yes he is. four five. two people are fighting on a fire escape while one watches. not fight fighting fist fighting is one a girl don’t look keep going. hi ninety nine cents store hi tulips strip joint. i wonder if its open i wonder what the cop car is doing empty not too close to the door but not tooooo far away. i wonder what it looks like in there in seedy hollywood on a monday night at two something a-em.
donuts. okay we’ll stop here. don’t get off the bike. three russians parked sitting on their hoods talking russian. laughing. plotting. planning. hating. hi russians with your blue eyes and short hair. everyone is welcome here. donut man asks if i want coffee. do you have eclairs with creme? of course. sixty five cents. thanks keep the change. tip everyone the brain says. over tip those you should tip and tip the ones you shouldn’t. later he’d be robbed.
nine, ten, eleven. that one has a shelf butt. how does she do that? that shelf is out so far its about to fall out.
two bums playing throw the screwdriver at the palm tree. hi.
hi trash making its way home. hi fallen leaves. hi everything. hi
tony making his way home down the hill next to the church coasting feeling like a kid again as he normally does with his very good friend who asked him to call her when he made it through the jungle back home 2.6 miles all downhill all one big thrill and when he does his phone rings and its another friend who had a date and wanted to let him know how it went.
hi three am. and he wonders who had a better night than he