Saturday, January 28, 2006

I Thought I Was Brad Pitt The Elder

At first, the separation was amicable.

"I'm not sure how you're going to fare, head in the clouds and all. You can't seem to focus; you don't get things."

She had vintage Bob Dylan on, Idiot Wind. We Can't even Feed Ourselves. I had been a writer and a money-making writer at that, for ten years. Then I stopped. She took over the bills. Then she stopped. We Can't Even Feed Ourselves.

Now two slightly incompetent people with dwindling bank accounts.Characters in a Willie Nelson song. Two lonely people each looking like houses, where nobody lives. There was enough residual money around for the kids to get an education, for her to keep the house and even a young bricklayer, whose relationship with her I could never fathom .She was certainly no Loreena Bobbitt. And I was no Brad Pitt, not shy with my Angelina Jolies.

Ten years of rutting lust, travel, songs, guitars, Malagena Salerosa, Girl from Malaga, girl of the red room, girl from California, girl from Frank Sinatra. We'd ride in limousines their chauffeurs would drive. Girls on the spike, how massive those needles seemed to be, big as Alice, and how quickly the girls would put on the side effect of endema. Gorgeous calendar girls, legs suddenly grown elephantine. Go ask Alice When She's Ten Feet Tall. Girls with pimps away on holidays. "You've got me all to yourself"; girls into alcohol, It's all the same; only the names are changed. And every day, we're just wastin' away. All the liquor bottles piling up, fights, Charles Bokowski scenes. You ruin everybody you touch; No, you ruin everybody you touch. No matter. We ruin each other.

Parallel scenes. Again the rich banker's daughter, the supporting older sister, Can I Have This Dance for the Rest of My life?

Well no. All my relationships are now poisoned. I can neither go back to the well nor stay with the wreck. And if I am a good cocksman it is really your bounty and not mine. You are beautiful. That is what they all told you since you were a little girl. And now you've had too much assertiveness training and too much group therapy and though your memory is still good enough to remember lines on stage, you are utterly fucked. Two husbands. Snapped continuity. You got through your hell through therapy, I am doing it through fucking, drinking and fighting. No Good Boyo and all that high school play for voices. I am sitting in a lifeboat, drunk, Ginny crack corn, and I don't care..

And then the separation got nasty.

If you know how badly you hurt me after what you've done. If you knew how badly you hurt me when you joined that swingers club, and you didn't even tell me. Night school. Yeah. All those nights with me babysitting and you were out there with your randy prof in your legal house of the rising sun. Good thing the old c*ck***ker died. Served him right. "Lass, I've got you by the ass" indeed. Fucking old fraud whose poetry won't last the decade. But mine will, because I copy. Copy the best and this will last forever.

Well, I can still write, I think. It's the damn piddly-assed details that are starting to get to me. Separation makes it hard to focus. Simple things are almost impossible to do. My short story is accepted, again. The contract is sent out by fax. I have to put my signature on it and return it by fax. I have no fax. I finally get to a print shop where there is a fax. I have to glue things together. It is too robust a piece of foolscap. Hanging chads. The contract will not go through the machine. Reluctant to show helplessness and dependence, I ask the printing girl for help. Self confidence is an aphrodisiac. I am losing it. And almost losing the contract.

The story comes out. The Star gives it big play. Wine-stoned cowboy. Women on the phone. Self-confidence back. Lights in Georgia even a local success. "You are a success in your own home town, the young girl says. Chuckles editorial writer, "Jones will be given a huge California publishing contract. But Jones will protest. 'I want Hollywood, or I want nothing”.

"You are just trading on your looks, you asshole," says a friend I can trust. "You charmed the ass off that publisher's girl and that's how you got the contract." Yeh.

The separation is getting really nasty. Now there is talk of divorce.

The furor over my book has almost peaked. Forty thousand dollars is a year's income for most people.

Divorce. That hurts. But perhaps there will be a settlement say Chutzpay boy. Who can love Duddy Jones?

It's older women now. There is no sexual finickiness here. They know how to get you off, whether you're in the mood or not. "I am a nymph," she says. I think of the old poet who had riffed my wife. "Are you a wood nymph?" "No, I am just a nymph, and you know what that means." Not-so-still life. Painting with Nymph. And Satyr.

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive as you or me

Tearing through these quarters in the utmost misery. I have seen the Johnny Cash movie and I too, am trashing my hotel room; she is trashing the hotel room. Rape of the Sabine Women. Paganism. We rape each other. Two passionate people. All I need is Norman Mailer's knife. Thank God we both are so weak and small.

I need a garret. I have rented a garret. She follows me. Sends me letters. "If you have better things to do, like cleaning lint off your navel or looking after that pot roast, you can stop reading this...

"Still reading? Heh. I though you would be..." I tear up the letter.

There is production in the garret, actually an industrial unit. There is work immediately outside, at furniture shop where I ply some of my father's talents. There is income, there is hope. My ex-wife visits me, looks at my circumstances, gets into her Honda and takes off. The final indissoluble antinomy had been reached. I am alone.

The sex chucks. What do you do about the sex chucks. I watch CityTV. Cycle Sluts. Going down with Moses.

All that talent and greatest success as a purveyor of soft-core pornography. Like me. He whom the gods would destroy, they first call promising.

Time. Time. Time. The professional uses time. You can not knock down a professional. The word-man. The walrus. Koo Koo Katchoo.

I am going to finish my book, read my stuff and hope to bring the house down, that house of the rising sun.

I'm already walking to New Orleans.

24 comments:

R.J. Baker said...

It seems we tread similar sands.

My footsteps in your tracks a few years later, in many ways.

I thought of a garote upon your mention of garret.

Living in Dylan's Don't Think Twice, It's All Right...

...as they waste our precious time.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Ah, those of us who work in the Pain Industry, sometimes the Department of Anguish.
How the hell do we get through it all. Beats me. Same thing happened to the great John Champlin Gardner (Sunlight Dialogues et al).
Handsome. Barely fifty. Second marriage. Dalliance with third partner. Motorcycle accidend. Dead at barely fifty.
Don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't have Gardner's talent. Maybe that's what keeps me alive. All the best (and nearly Dylan with his motorcycle accident)
seem to flame out early.
Thank the lord %#&* I'm ordinary.

R.J. Baker said...

Not sure whether I'm ordinary, but I sure suffer the tortures of the damned.

Time, I guess, will sort that out.

How do we get through? Alcohol, women, and mass quantities of each.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

I did finally meet a woman who was exactly like me (God help her!), or, at least, she was an empath who made me think she was exactly like me. Whee! Then everything came back on me. All the times I abused women, she gave back the abuse, all the time I thought I was god, I found she was a goddess.
ThatIvana kept me going for twenty years in all her empowerment and she was so much like me in early midle age that she would serve the drinks in the relationship and I would have to be reduced to a mere six.
Intelligent. Took me by surprise.
....O crum, am I turning this into a man's blog?
Obviosuly, I have a respect for women. The last one really showed me, and left me hanging on a rock.
"You think you're some sort of Casanova. Wait till you get load of this."

But always the Isis figure. Came across a Romany queen who gave me some Romany Rye and I felt that my fa-faculties were restored.
But years passed. Except for Isis,
things are pretty lean.
...Maybe a nice clean fat guy. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Nightworker

Seven forty-three. Ay Em. It is later because of the time spent in the dark parking lot talking world politics with the Eritrean ex-taxi driver. The guy with scars on his back from when he was caned by the police when he was sixteen. The sky directly above is dark, very dark, but ends abruptly where the chinook arch cuts it like a knife. The snowy Rocks are in light over there near BC. The sky is clear in the east, revealed by pink and baby blue dawn light.

The road is damp, the air is just above freezing, the ditches are frozen in the dark. Citizens clog the road, going the other way, going into Gotham. I am going my own way.

DoubtingThomas

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

The air is freezing? Too bad. Ruins that classic 20th century novel mood.
"I buttoned up my trenchcoat and stood there in the rain."
You're waxing literary, Doubting Thomas. Didn't know you had it in ya.

Bernita said...

Reads like a literary "Early Morning Rain."
And Thomas, those trench coats are always on women and they are diaphanous.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Bernita,
How nice. Thank you!
A bouquet of arpeggios to you!
Gordon showed them to me.

Anonymous said...

How about a parka the color of the pastry on a Yonge St. Jamaican pattie? Doesn't rain a whole lot usually in Alberta. Bought a new umbrella upon moving here. Worst investment I ever made! Ah! Trenchcoats on females. Of course it is not about the garment, but what is to be revealed...or not there to be revealed in the next layer. Hmmm...back to the etymology of the word "trenchcoat". Worn by British officers in WWI trenches. Kept the worst of the mud off. The epaulets were to strong enough so the unfortunate wearer could be pulled by them if he were so unfortunate to be wounded by the Hun. Burberry had the reputation of making the best ones. Still do. In Alberta, cowboy chic is personified by oiled cloth long coats which are looser than the traditional trenchcoat, but are designed to fit a rider astride a horse. Most are imported from Oz. Keeps a lot of rain off...when it rains. It did last spring. Floods, you know.

DoubtingThomas

Bernita said...

Think Dylan, Thomas.

Anonymous said...

I still remember the purchase of my first Dylan album. It was Highway 61 Revisited. Also remember the Blonde on Blonde album, double wide with the unfocused pic of Bobby himself in his coat. (not a trenchcoat)

His words were not like anything I heard at home, or at school, or anywhere in my little town. "Don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowin'" "The answer is blowin' in the wind." The wind certainly blew, and it carried the unmistakable stench of Chicago Police Dept. tear gas. Uh-huh.

An interest in Leonard Cohen, and Suzanne down by the river was a chick-getter, Gordie Lightfoot sang about things that were happ'nin', but didn't all his songs sound the same? Listened to Phony Joanie and read Richard Farina, Been Down So Long, maybe never came up. Dylan, Dylan, Under Milkwood, your town, my town, let's go cruisin' up and down this same ole strip, 'til Daddy takes your T-Bird away, 'cept in this case, it was a '63 split window Vette, and all I had was a bicycle. She's somebody big in high couture in Washington (that's DC) and runs a galleria in Chevy Chase. The 60's Redux.

DoubtingThomas

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Doubting Thomas.
I sometimes go out in trenchcoat and false pantlegs, but the constabulary keeps getting in my way.
--Gordon. (No, not Lightfoot).

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

My damned solipsism.
Here, I thought you were talking about me in "You should be Dylan, Thomas" but you were talking about Doubting Thomas. Yep. He's done the Sixties and Seventies scene. Knows the territory.

But you've elevated me at least to Guidebook status in that often-done radio play.
I am in fact, sitting here talking to my friend Johnny Walker, thinking of writing a guidebook on creative writing.
Get all sorts of outlandish ideas when someone says something nice.
Doubting Thomas, is Johnny Walker your pal too?

Bernita said...

The first WAS for you, Ivan.
Then Thomas made me think of a certain drunk Welsh poet.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Oh.
Well then I'm twice tickled. Much grass seeds. I like the way your write too, especially in An Innocent A-Blog. Read your blog today.
on violence in fiction. Sounds by your reader response that violence is golden.
You seem to have a fresh spur in your writing this Monday morning.
--The Steppe Dancer

Anonymous said...

Nope, Ivan, Johnny is not a friend. No chemicals, no tabacky, no herb. Pretty dull, eh? But then, everybody suffers a bit, just different demons, but those little gargoyles are still around.

Bernita's touching on fighting and the female ability to describe and enjoy same is interesting. I seem to remember certain gals way back when that would set up two males to battle for their hands.

Hemingway had a thing for putting on the gloves and duking it out with other writers, and recently Mickey Rourke liked to go mano a mano. I'm a lover. not a fighter.

DoubtingThomas

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

What is it that I find fascinating abut Bernita.
And you too?

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

I just thought, Doubting Thomas, that old Cochise looked good in an Arrow. Everybody has a schtick.
Mine is the novelist-manque thing.
Cochise and his arrows. Ivan and his bullroar and flask. Can't have dry spells.

Bernita said...

What a delightful idea.
~eyes above a fan~
The possibilities are enormous.
What charming guys you are.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Thank you, Bernita.
We flinch not, neither do we falter.
Keep the faith. Uphold the right, I say.

Chuckercanuck said...

it seems we tread starkly different sands. my sand seems a lot coarser than the fine sands you three glide over.

good cyber-company, Ivan.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

Thankee (all of us, I suppose)for the appreciation. Trust your landscape too; it has formed (it is forming?) you.
I received your gracious comment
after just finishing a comment to you on Ananalogue, the other site we communicate on.
I hope I didn't put up so much outrageous moonshine there as to almost trick your appreciation of this site.
Don't, as they say, be a stranger.
Visit often. Throw in a short story diguised as a comment or something.
Cheers,
Ivan

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Whata roller coaster ride, both the written post and the comments. somehow it explains a lot.

I remember my divorce. The attorney was astonished at how well we went along with the proceedings. Perhaps it was just an understanding. No more pain, we had already killed each other in a sense. Why torment each other more. Oh sweet Ivan...::hugs::

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