I keep telling myself the same story, bit by incremental bit, in a nuanced sort of challenge to the interiors of my motivation’s certain lack. I am never too bored or exhilarated by it. Anyhow, it goes something like this:
“I was a barmaid before I was a cigarette girl, and somebody’s goddaughter, sure. I had golden locks and all the likes. Nothing to spilt hairs over. Made the best kidney pie for miles, and had a hamster under lock-and-no-key named Hermit the Gopher. It wasn’t the wildest of lives, but the rhubarb went down easy as soda, and you didn’t have to look far to find my name in the book. I’m not one of those Big-League blondes you hear the gabbers get going on about, but I do a shyster’s fair share of mesmerizing acts. Talent just starves and slowly goes insane out here where the docks and shacks do nothing but rot into the sea.
“Not a thing to be whiffed, but some scented reminiscence still lasts like what your little head used to leave on the pillow. A rough that’s never a tumble anymore. A measure of emptiness. Too close to be gone for good, in the bash of the ocean or the hurling curl of beached seaweed. Shoes in hand. A brushy stumble on sand-crusted toes. Nobody knows. First of the month’s coming up again, all too soon. Crows big as lawnmowers are skimming the shore, and my bottle-made sense is failing to bring up the rear. Grander than all pianos, tougher than any nail, you go on right ahead and end up somewhere. Nobody around to witness or hear. Talking fluff and ravished eyewear, forgetting to cross myself when the gropers and the muggers slink by. Your washed-out ghost swaying down Columbus Avenue, your softness fading away in tiptoed patters on the sidewalk’s glittering jewels, your small voice lilting through breezy afternoons of dead cigarettes and empty coffee cups; and the moon’s nothing like what it used to be. Not a thing to be kissed. Just a longing that won’t go, hardly hearts to hands, anywhere but here. Heavy Wet seeping in lower than fog, a sprinkling of mist, snarling raccoons, cement gardens, busts of dead cowboys, a dowry of garbage cans. Husbands drowned for safekeeping. Cops are all soused. Nothing is very beautiful at all.”
I’m not sure any of that dribble matters to anyone but Yours Truly. I was always struggling at the end of a reckless urge back then, trying to put the pieces of my bedraggled head back together with the entangled shoestring of fading thoughts. Fondness is a thing that keeps getting stretched out until its brittleness is revealed, and then it’s too late and you’re just falling through it without any sort of guarantees. I make my own luck. Sure. That’s about as evident as chewed gum’s lost flavor. But who was I to think I could just keep missing and missing the same old things over and over? One gets lambasted for that sort of sloppy schmaltz in the less-than-grand scheme of things. But b.s. is its own target, and I made mine out of getting others to feel sorry for me, for my loss, for my own specious sort of grief. Now I’m the one taking potshots at myself. That’s how it goes. The world will only mourn with you for so long. So now, I’ll just say this to all comers, “Get over yourself, lady. Pick up a paper and put your name back in the news. I’ve got a ticket to fly, and we’ll all be leaving for the moon soon. Some folks, when they get gone, they don’t ever get to coming on back around. Grab and hold what you can while you can. I’ve made a few bucks here and there and between it all too, devil knows. My time’s just as precious as it ever was, being so spent and gone too. I’m over it, all of it. And don’t call me Floozy.”