A has been that’s never been. Nobody left in the parade. Fingers no longer my friends. Eyes on the way out. Guts churning day and night. The squish squash sound of a heart over-clocking all through the night. A has been. No longer good for nothing except in my dreams. No longer of use to the users. That never been part still hanging over my head like a dagger. Like a star elusive and out of reach. Dare I reach out and cut myself on the reflection. A flesh and blood automaton to the rest of the world. No one. No more braun with a failing brain. Going to bed too early while everyone else joins the party. Listen to the silence in the room. Counting the dollars that I should have had. Wanting to pay back old debts to people who have long since picked up stakes and gone away and died. Someone of no regard that the rest of the world is no longer in danger of being aware of. Another corpse to step over. A has been. Bouncing up and down weaving right and left. Legs unsteady and light headed possibly ready to take a dive. A has been! That’s what was overheard. The truth in it from having overheard. Learning that this world has given up on me. No it is my turn to follow suit. That long low empty space behind my footsteps where a whole lifetime used to be. Now all gone. The end. Only the wait left to be endured in respectful quiet. When will I wake up? When is it time to not. No longer? A wake up call for the has been. A long night’s rest.
I was on the other side of Iowa to come to this school to be tested and fulfill some other type of work. They put me up in a room in the end of the main hall that was barely hospitable for overnight stays. I wasn’t sure that I was really authorized to sleep there or if I was trespassing. I didn’t want to be found by building security. My glasses were broken and I almost lost the ear piece screw. I lay there thinking when would be the best time to depart. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I had to leave that morning because my allotted hours there were over. To boot I was not strictly sure that I had properly logged my hours. I had gone to an office that was open its door unlocked. The inside was jammed with milling students in a fashion reminiscent of the lobby of the Art Institute of Chicago. I lay their upon a cot and then received a call. I answered the phone and to my surprise it was my dead ex-friend Michele Fitzsimmons voice. “Who is this!”, I said. The phone clicked and was hung up. At that point I was fiddling with a wooden knickknack when its fragile top fell into pieces in to my hands. I became aware that at point that I had to immediately leave. Nothing was being served by my being there. I knew that it would be a matter of six to seven hours of highway driving to get back. If I waited till morning then I would be traveling against the brightness of the rising sun. I was alone.
I drive through to the west from my Wicker Park place with two other people. One of them is Arnold Schwartznegger and another one is a Japanese guy who made me stop at a gas station on the corner of Grand and Milwaukee. Arnie picks up a black girl not worried about giving up whoever he is with at this time to get connected with her sexually. He says, “Cmon babee!” Telling her to make a decision. There is another guy there that is after somebody. It seems that they always want to pick up women. And I am just out there watching them go to town.
So few things feel like home. Old visions left over from another lifetime. The late nineteenth century, maybe? Or early twentieth! Tableau’s of stately neighborhoods lined by two story brownstones along curved parkways. There a young woman and her tiger confined upon the edge of the park. Perhaps Washington Park when it was elegant? Perhaps Douglas Park? The kitty pacing back and forth upon the table. And I wary enough to let the woman stand in between. What I was doing there at this point is unrevealed.
It has been a long time since I had a woman. Or a woman has had me. Sexually. That point where a woman lays back and you hover over her with your arms extended in a pushup style of grace. She spreads her legs and you put yourself inside. And then you push in and out, up and down, until you feel her tremble. If you’ve done the right thing then you release and hopefully she has released and you lay back down into a mini bout of exhaustion. The conventional meeting that is so overrated and under thought. What would I have done with a woman as of late? Make her a slave? Take the highest born and put her in chains to fill the hands of the worst people on earth? Tie her up and hang her from the ceiling by her wrists and then beat her unmercifully? But what gain for me or anyone in the indulgence of such errant behavior? I lay upon this bed with an artifact, or heirloom, and I wonder? I wonder not so much how much time, or how little. But what path next? What trellis will I swing open or climb above? One of revealed shadows that give way to some small hope of light. One where once again I will start again like a seed in someone’s belly like a gourd to mature into some form of another existence until they let me out.
She came to me today, again, in the visage of someone else. A big white hat. Something from sometime before the time of the two of us. And a mask upon her face. Long, beautiful,inviting, like worm in its most golden sense. Awkward, with stockings in the classic sense hanging out from under her short shorts in a brief sense. Flat abdomen, small breasts, lanky and long. The girl of my dreams. The girl I should have married. The girl that loved me. The girl that I loved. The girl that I left. The girl that finally left me. This was the same girl. The girl I saw today. It wasn’t her. And yet, the reminder was her. To let me know. Perhaps in the near tomorrow of another next door, another coming time, perhaps, perhaps not.
If you want to know why. There is a chase in a game. It is because the previous mistakes one has made in a past life with that person does affect them as it does affect you. Now I feel that life. I feel that life before that life. I sense a life ahead. And that is my goal.
The funny thing about life is that we are confronted with all manner of obstacles and danger. And soon learn by degrees to accept the lesser danger over that of the latest one that’s greater. I suppose in this way we learn. The many barriers and pitfalls that await us. That is if we are brave enough to continue on in life. There is always standing still and doing nothing and growing lazy like a rotten coconut. But then life never lets one stay still. If you try you will be driven forth. Or just pushed away. The lesser danger seeming almost merciful by comparison. The lesser danger of being lonely against the greater danger of being known.
Anger! Why senseless at that? How senseless is all of it. To hold a grudge and then let it fester. And then to feel justified in wreaking revenge? What sick bastards! What small people! Toads! Snails! Not even that. I can’t understand it? It make no sense that I can fathom. I am a tired old man worn out by his own life. It was an experience like a movie. But I didn’t realize that it was a movie at the beginning. But now at the end of it, I come to realize that it’s just another film.
It seems that I can only recall love vaguely as a semblance of hopes and wishes unfulfilled now long past. A wayward song long forgotten refreshed again anew on a dusty recording that had carried me away as a foolishly youthful adult. What was the purpose I have to wonder. All that struggle in someone else’s arms? At first to get into them and then to tussle just as hard to depart. That cycle repeated just so often. Who has time for real love in this world! Who can give it it’s just due? All of us both men and women perpetrators in our own undoing. A dusty kind of selfishness. The sounds of our fateful youth sung back to us as a foregone conclusion before it had even begun. The bookend at the other end premeditated by wanting to retrace those steps instead of just going forth. That immortal past. Too much pain in celebration and too little time to ever get a proper response. All those that we told ourselves we loved, once loved, no longer loved, now like batteries run out. Dark shadowed bridles everywhere. Acid tunes leaking over our own fingertips in despair. A mouthpiece for a voice unknown that moves our lips without ever speaking. That old soul that once was, now long ago calcified gone to stone. Why was one ever born? How truly sad to still be around after this long ago past, still without that sort of oxygen!
“Why would women give up the power they have by the facility of birthing humanity to entertain a power they can never have? Is their vanity so strong? Are the overwhelming emotions of the day driving insecurity to a a point so unmanageable? Why would a woman wish to travel alone by themselves through this minefield bereft of the company of their counterparts who would gladly vouchsafe their safety for the price of a smile? Where does the unending rage to spite one’s mate at any price to maintain such an existences? Perhaps the indoctrination of the current popular didactic? A level of perpetual masochism that demands that they prove that they personally are tougher than their emotions suggest? Perhaps the permission denied by themselves to entertain those underlying dissatisfied feelings driving the inconstancy of emotions? What man among you can really say that they can posit comprehension?” He sat there by himself alone.
Why in the Hell did he travel to that place in the first place? The reaction to the incident was not so much horror as unpleasant surprise. That young modern women would behave so? He shook his head staring blankly into space trying to reconstruct the order of events that had occurred less than a day before. What had initially brought him to that lower basement apartment as far as motivation was concerned was at this point academic. Perhaps some posted personal column local advertisement? A reference to it in conversation overheard from another anonymous party at a table in the coffeehouse beside his own? An impromptu gathering that night of eccentric personages. Some frivolous eclectic gathering of fun seekers that like himself were tired of the usual humdrum of mental candy canes offered up as fit activity to fill in the gape of the coming weekend. Being solitary in his outlook to the point of obsession was an issue that he needed a ready cure to combat. The last live body breathing female that he had directed his emotions towards was a distant memory reaching back to the relative fog over a decade or so. And she was merely playing the part of a period placed at the end of a long parenthetical list of other names now long lost and forgotten. Attempts at elusive types of relationships in all their varied forms had merely led to the expected eventuality intervening bouts of emotional oblivion. And as of late, the temporal balm of various oasis’ of pornographic Internet site that had now become his inappropriate virtual mistress. One that he was reluctant to employ too often out of conscience and even more hesitant to admit to in public. The need to once more directly engage with reality to dispel these latent artificial fantasies in any way seemed ever more needfully appropriate. He found himself at the border of some innocuous heretofore unknown community. Darkness having just conquered the last of sunlight for the day as he checked addresses along the length of a completely foreign street. His ultimate destination being a shabby two-story legacy flat of nearly a century past leveraged in incognito amidst others of a similar ilk. The sort that the more intrepid of the society’s youth of today tended to desire to inhabit during that initial period of exploration on the way to adulthood. The type enjoyed before that eventual arrival of common sense matured and directed them elsewhere.
The recondite rite of passage of entry to the inner main stage of his recollected scenario being curiously unattainable to mind, his thoughts focused on how he had found himself within a small circle of particularly handsome young attractive females. A contemporary coven of sorts that seemed to revolve about an eclectic form of esoteric pomp and ceremony. One that unexpectedly afforded him with the requisite status one would have held by appropriate peers groups only close in years to their own generation. Adhering to inexplicable conventions that seemed impossible for him to ferret out! The behaviors exhibited by each in turn seeming odd to him, proclaiming a hint of the unorthodox in what might unexpectedly surface. His appearance, though chronologically relatable to the elder generation that had fostered his hosts, did not invite a source of derision. One that, given his advancing age as betrayed by his gray hair and paunch, one might have initially surmised? This all too evident accumulation of years placing him at that point where he might have been a characteristic avatar of a grandparent to any of them. But curiously enough, each of them engaged him as an individual. Each seemingly sensing him as a unexpected presence that had been decanted from a faraway fabled cult of fairy book tale. They seemed enthusiastic to note every response to their inquiries. And in turn, he relished his long abandoned lusting fancies of youthful animal attraction to the flower of their obvious charms of youth that each of them respectively radiated. A bevy of mermaids playing their lilting tones to his waxing Ulysses. Something that he was really not prepared for! This line of mutual allure and gravity of respect ranging throughout so many unexpected topics. Ones especially that he might have feared to voice otherwise. Lest he in other circumstances be immediately castigated as someone irredeemably perverse and then cast out bitterly into the night. Over minutes that seemed to lag into hours, it became evident that more than a dozen or so in number would emerge at various times from behind a dark purple velvet curtain. The arched portal cloaking the unseen recesses of the back of the apartment. He noticed that the overwhelming majority of these nymphs were pierced by metal decorations that thrust into the most tender areas of their exposed flesh. Lips, cheeks, foreheads, eyebrows! All carrying a silver stud or metal ornamentation. A badge of honor to their general membership in this club. Or maybe a or reward acknowledging some kind of demonstrated endurance of something that to his estimation must have been about constant discomfort? A standard convention by this time perhaps? It was true in terms of its evidence being embodied by the last two generations. Yet still startling to his own mind. The contrast of what what was increasingly seeming to be scanty attire revealing even more examples of this penchant for trendy body modification. Itself encouraging a shift to topics of a more offbeat nature that seemed to increasingly probe the boundaries of his own hidden sensibilities.
And more and more, he became motivated to actively respond to their free flowing inquiries by rashly revealing his own attitudes on topics normally thought to be taboo by the current trend of the larger conventionally repressed prevailing Liberal society. He feeling his oats heeding that unconscious need to fit in as motivated by a latent insecurity of quite possibly suddenly made the fool by appearing too out of touch with their own views to bother with. Though he could not now recall in reflection how the topic had been introduced, the general topic of discussion became Sado-Masochism. The center being that unexpected aporetic pleasure that was inherent in pain rituals occasioned by intense forms of physical restraint. One that generated a conquest for some of the obvious fears engendered by the practice of the same. And though his own actual personal experiential knowledge of such things was limited only a brief episode of costumed play sometime before the ‘year zero’ of the rest of this group, he forged ahead onward into postulating the gory details of what had been passed along to him via the ready store of Internet based virtual experiences of sexual deviance derived from those sites . Sequences and images of impotent struggles against intricate cinctures being still fresh in his mind from the previous night. He put forth his own musings on the relative virtues of different varieties of rope, leather, steel and their uses. The glowing reception evident within the eyes of his surrounding audience magically building to shine forth through the room’s dimness encouraging him on even more to play the expert on all things kinky. Perhaps he lost himself for a while within the voluminous smoke and mirrors of his own burgeoning ego? But a slight chill overtook him at a stopping point when it became obvious that more than a few of those passing back and forth just behind his audience were now sporting handcuffs for bracelets. Some with their arms held tightly back by other pairs of the same. Others in this throng that had previously seen in extravagant within some sought after resale frock now reappeared in their own bare flesh. His lecture now fully exhausted and coming to a close the conversation shifted back to a general discussion held among those that had not suddenly disappeared back into the apartment’s interior. He was gently escorted by both arms to the same cloth draped portal to the back room just beyond. Though the the general tone of their conversation of his escorts did not betray anything extraordinary just beyond the velvet drape, the sight revealed as it was swept to one side snatched away his breath. There in every section of the garishly lit interior salon were the rest of the young maidens all mutually engaged within the active practice that he had so long-windedly just expounded upon!
His initial shock was not diminished by the fact that his sidelong glances to the maidens beside him invited encouraging smiles! His hostesses seeming to convey that he was an honored guest. And hopefully, by virtue of the import their expressions, part and partial willing to similarly engage with them in this immediate ritual of these aberrant practices. His own emotions now being confronted with the fact that his own latent sense of misdirected pleasure wrought though a prolonged history of voyeuristic fantasy did not necessarily equate to his desire to be involved in its palpable practice. He realized that he was not there fate to be forcefully dragged unwillingly to perform these rites at his bodily peril but even more deviously had been hoisted on his own petard by some trick of celestial directed Karma. Wherein the sights that were familiar on the computer screen became anathema. The same ones that might have provided him with heightened degree of animal pleasurable now self-imposed by the demented play of these beautiful young mermaids only summoned forth a sense of despair. The misuse of their means of delight in so many varieties of ruthlessly applied deviant means struck him as something hideously morose. A form of particularly disturbing self-destructive behavior that derailed a more genuine form of emotion that might have been otherwise discovered with some faithful male counterpart through tenderness and harmony. The persistent entreaties by some of them in gleefully expressed offers for him to participate as a theatrical aggressor deux à deux faux male tyrant made him feel even more uncomfortable. He was now ashamed of his own errant ways and the meandering dissolution that had characterized the full extent of his own life’s course. It seemed no small irony to him now that he had fallen into a similar degree of disgrace at his own trail’s end. And so much even more horrendous that all these young innocent souls had encountered it too soon at their own earthly path’s beginning! His shame at being an inadvertent provocateur encouraging this situation precluding him from turning tail and promptly exiting. He did not wish to create a scene. So he wandered politely about the bacchanal in progress. Avoiding it by averting his eyes as much as possible continuously traversing to different parts of their play space on the most mundane of pretexts. At one point he found himself sequestered outside in the chill of night air upon a balcony. Feeling relieved at last to be away from the ever building maelstrom of collective deviance. Only to twist about at the unexpected moan of a young naked girl behind him to the side hanging inverted by her ankles by being willingly trussed up comically like an old world delicatessen Salami.
Now much later, and miles away by himself he could only feel a physical dramatic sense of being unclean. Polluted by something much larger than any single individual. A sensation that hovered beyond the reach of his own meager powers to swat it away. A prevailing social trend that was inimical to the latest generation that he had, in his own way, deigned to participate in along with his own kind. A sense of deflated pride by the fact that he had chosen his own egoism over a responsibility to have in some small way create offspring that in turn might have helped to counter this sort of unwholesome mindset. What pleasure of the heart and spirit had he missed by not bonding with someone else long ago? And had the presence of mind and faith to trust that their own hazardous hand in hand journey from the perils of youth might have led to something wonderful? How pathetic a human being he was! He and so many others of his own era. All those wretches that had somehow missed the point that the temperance of the past as embodied by their parents however banal might have balanced out their unruly leanings that made them easy game to the traps hidden in popular agendas as devised by cynical elites had so easily preyed upon. His mind’s eye flashed again and again playing the images of those betrayed innocent women from the previous night within an inner slideshow. Each one being so guiltless yet somehow fundamentally betrayed. Let down by popular fallacies that might displace too many of them from what might have been some better outcome. Too bad that such things were currently the way of the world as designated for us all!