Thursday, August 16, 2012

a narrator, a protagonist and two beauties walk into a bar

It is a spectacular view from James Allen's desk, looking out over the city. And while James sleeps, his alarm clock taking this day off, the city does not. The interstate has the look of midday, if one could excuse the headlights, and all of the street lamps also, which serve to illuminate the sleepiness prevalent in other parts of the city but from this vantage point what is seen is a mix of flashlight and dark shadow, splashes of alive and dead. It is lovely to behold, and it would be no surprise to learn that James Allen spends more hours gazing out these windows than upon his keyboard, the pursuit of inspiration always a justifiable expense to even the most casual of writer. But James sleeps now and we ought remain on point, better to make hay, a funny old adage that suggests speed, and what half wit couldn't find fifty better examples in the bat of an eye, better to make hay for he will not sleep forever, eventually he will stumble down those stairs looking to sit down and prose out some magic, after, of course, due inspiration is digested from outside his window, after the now quite awake city has tossed him a few bones, after he has suckled, a new fondness of his that will shortly be one of the early casualties, so we must not overly savor the rewards for being up and about when others are not and, Oh well, much like life, much like death, nothing lasts forever. So we will let James sleep and enjoy his dreams while we enjoy his coffee and his leather chair and his lovely view of the city and make use of his keyboard and the fine music he has recently stored on his computer, a present, as I understand it, from a nomad of sorts who lives the carefree life in another state, and one that chooses his nom be plumes with great and delicate care, blessed be the truly profound and inspired.

We should save the sleeping James some unnecessary angst and decisively state that while slightly ironic, but certainly not to the extent that required mention and what reader wishes to be instructed to take it or leave it, no inspiration there, rookie stuff, there is absolutely zero reason to not link the two beautiful ladies in the same passage, albeit with decidedly more care, and sans authorial mumbling and grumbling. Much like the overly breathy poet, the dandified poet, the poignant story to every poem poet, the affect effect affected poet, and all of the tiresome countless variations, I say give me the words and save the chest beating. If the words are good we will pound your back for you and you will be grateful we saved you from all of the other. And so without further chest beating we will give you words on the beauties, an improved version of what James attempted, bless his sleeping heart, and the final words on the matter. A professional is on the job now.

It is good form to give preference to the departed and more so if recently thus. So we will begin with the dearly departed thief of kisses, and good riddance to those garish parentheticals that surely rankled the tasteful lady, like a train to her gown, a fine and proper appendage when the formality of the event commands, say, for her wedding and the tiny girl with blonde pig tails trails, holding it from the floor, best she can, while the groom watches from astride the altar, managing only to shake with anticipation. A fair recount of her beauty then must include a fair recount of her life, but due to limited scope of her importance to the overarching narrative and given the limited availability of this nice leather seat, we will choose a tiny slice thought to be, if not summary, then representative. Simply stated, the lady first stole hearts before she settled on mere kisses. And this little slice of the lady is intended as neither metaphor nor analogy but a picture gathered from one of her albums, which now reside in James Allen's library, as owner of all things related. And while it would be more than reasonable to question the validity of the thief as a character, after a proper review of the countless albums she appears to be quite real, we will leave that for James to sort at another time, that's his problem, after all, and this voice is but a short reprieve from the gashing and gnashing that abounds this place and it is not incumbent for this voice to repair everything that ails.  Who would ask their vocalist to fix their aortic valve. But, enough of that. And, Hah, but what bride doesn't look stunning on her wedding day, so we will toss that picture away and instead revisit the day she stole her first heart, and if you connect two plus two you will indeed get four.

The boy saw her first. At a crowded dance, she one of those imported as counter balance for the Jesuit-instructed male only population, and the turnout at likely one hundred percent, when does that ever happen for anything, plus there are the chaperones and the various favorite teachers that this particular night decided to check in on the boys and the young ladies that would come grace them, and then there are the assorted parents visiting for the same reasons and of course the volunteer workers, all of whom showed on this night, maybe only because it will be the last charitable work before the school year ends and last chance to make amends for the sign-in sheets that did not have their name inscribed, and as mentioned prior, all of the boys, one hundred percent, disconsolate fellows just yesterday, restless irritable fellows, but now apt and attentive, the muscles beneath their coats and ties taut, yes, but that is merely the blessing of youth, the demeanors are downright calm, relaxed, as if they just fell out of bed and now they casually mill about, brush elbows and laugh, excited for the first breath of female, the first smell, since Christmas break and thank dear Jesus for that blessed taste. And now it is spring and Christmas is well in the rear view mirror and all of the things that are in the air are more in the air in May, and when you are seventeen, even more then, much more, and so it is likely that before the boy had made his way through the crowd to where the girl, no thief then, just a girl, sat alone, as impossible as that is to envision with the people on top of people on top of more of the same, they all are the same to the boy, a moving annoying mass of all the same, and in the middle, or just off to the side is the girl he will love with all of the heart he did not realize he possessed until this very moment. And if beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and if the proof is in the pudding, then might we not measure the actions of the boy and apply as gauge to the beauty of the girl who would come to be known as thief.

The boy, as a matter of practice, neither talked nor danced. He read and he thought and he argued, mostly with his Jesuit instructors, and he competed against the other boys in athletics, taking his victories often but sulking over defeats, sulking often for weeks, and so extra time would then be commissioned to prepare for the rematch, the reclamation of his dignity, the restoration of order. An emotionally unhealthy little fellow, all might agree. But then we all require fuel to propel through life, it will surely not drag us along, well, not for a pleasant ride anyway, and who is to judge where one gets theirs versus another, sometimes it is best to just stay with the facts and leave the opinions home where they belong. The boy did not dance and he did not talk, other than to question or argue. Yet he spotted this girl and no book had told him what he should do, nor had any of the Jesuits, and there were so many damn people milling about, blocking him, and he felt like ripping through them like running with the football and wanting to play one against the class, Fuck them all, catch me tackle me if you can and I bet you can't because that is how I want it because that is how it must be because I am different than you so very different and although it would seem I mean better and I work my ass off to make it seem so you can take my word for it that you would do well to settle on different and again try to catch me if you can because you can not because I will not let you not ever let you no matter how strong no matter how fast. And so the boy who neither talked nor danced pushed through the crowd and asked the young lady to dance and then he took her hand in his, another first for the boy, and he led her through the crowd to the dance floor. And as he walked her to the dance floor the others parted, maybe faded would be more accurate, or we might say he pushed them from his world and by extension her world, and for these next few hours his world was but two. On the stage they meshed hands and later her head would fall to his shoulder, nestling comfortably, a picture of harmony to the interested onlooker should they think to label it, and before the first song was over the boy decided that he would never long for the girl again, he would never have to fight through a crowd, that the girl would always be a part of him and near. And so they danced some more and he held her hand when he again parted the crowd and then he talked and did not stop talking until the busses came.

And so a narrator, a protagonist and two beauties go into a bar and while this sounds promising everyone knows that not only would it be better with one beauty, it is obscene with two. So enough of beauty for one day. And let the lady take rest knowing she has a place unshared, as the boy would have it, as decency would have it. And it is likely we will visit with her again. Rest in peace, beautiful you.

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