Self Conscious, the J Eric Miller blog

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Preamble. Los Reyos. McCracken’s. Dixie Tavern Revisited.

--With the new girl it is as simple as this: I know she is good.
I can bluster about what I’m looking for, but at the end of the day it all boils down to simple goodness.
And I know she is.

In the middle of the day in this apartment that is mine we have decisions to make.
Her hips bones.
The x I scratch on my flesh and the way her mouth sinks toward it.

These are love story moments but this is not a love story.

--There are all these different ways to say goodbye.

She gives me the greatest complement I can remember receiving but she doesn’t even know it.

We take pictures.
Her face.
My face.

The blue frog that is sad.

These long strings of activities in code: goodbye.

--Perhaps it is like what killing must be like.
You get used to it.

--Early evening, a U function.

I can listen and listen and listen.
And I can nod.

And the liquor is free and that’s something but if you offered me fifty bucks to be here I wouldn’t so what really am I doing with this smile frozen on my face and this beer in my hand as if it solves anything?

This is not my crowd. These are not my people.

--The forty year old MBA: he understands women the way you do and women understand him the way you are understood.

He is known for his seductions and he wants to talk round about ways to you of them.

And his face is cracked and his suit is necessary.

What you realize is that he is who you will be or perhaps who you are. And he is bathed in pathos, even if the blond fresh to the program will fall into bed with him.

You see how small he is. And you know precisely how you relate.

Brother, you say.
Brother, he says.

It makes you like him a lot more and yourself a lot less.

--Exit strategy number two.

I realize: this evening I am fluid.
And I realize: this evening I cannot be still.

In stillness there is sadness and you aught move.

--Drink date, 8pm, she’s forty minutes late, an accident on the freeway.

This pretty girl with her eyes the color of root beer and very big and very round.

You could take her seriously but there was the fucked up moment on the weekend before.
You don’t know her well enough for even the smallest slip. And now she seems so together and so full and so potentially fulfilling you can hardly stand to stand there without touching her.

But it is an illusion.

You remember the fucked up moment.

Your guard went up and you wonder as you sip your drink and she drinks hers if she has figured out that she’ll never get it down.

--Outside, just a little rain. You stand on the balcony sharing a vodka tonic.

It’s good to be drunk and it’s almost holy.
At times like this you could believe in anything.

--But you’ve got to go.
You told her before she came that your night was short.

You told her even if you don’t mean it now.
Because you could just sink back to your place with her.
She showed you once that she knows things, how to relate to you in certain ways, and there is a comfort in that.

She is of the world. She is woman and not girl.
There is comfort in that.

But you’ve told yourself it is not that kind of night.

You are celebrating.
Or you are mourning.
--There is the girl of the afternoon and her ghost will not haunt you.
You are pressing on.
You are rowing your boat.

--The ballerina. She’s alone although you expected her with a friend.

She’s always so warm.
She’s all full of embrace.
And you are not worthy.

You’ve promised one drink. You have two.

This is an Irish pub. Her new haunt. Small and you can smell the baked potatoes, and the waitress is stunning.

This is LA. It’s always the same story with her: she recognizes that you are corrupt but in her innocence doesn’t really know what you’d take from her.

There is a pattern to your meetings.
The cab of a vehicle, those false restraints, and how you sometimes move beyond them.

But this is a night of the day in which you started breaking patterns.
You tell yourself: you are fluid.
There’s not a hand on you.

--She fixes your hair.

You tell her that you got a gray stubble.

She finds it.
She thinks it’s sexy.
She says, When I tell people about you, I always say you have this sexy splash of gray in your hair.

She has no way of understanding.
She doesn’t know how when that hair has gone gray and its yours you really understand it will never be anything else again.

--You ask her to request “Lay Lady Lay” and she does.
The man sings it.

It would be easy to stall now, in this music, in this warmth, with this woman who means to talk you into being bad for her.

And it’s not even for her sake that you go.

--Dixie Tavern.

This is where you belong but you were fucked up before you get there.
Your supposed to be home working on the treatment for PK.

But you are not home and this bar in your old neighborhood is not your bar, and this neighborhood is not your neighborhood, and what happened to send you from it was dark –the darkest moment of your life—so what are you doing here?

What sick habit is this?

This is where you go.

--And tonight? Nobody knows you.
Nobody likes you.
If a fight broke out they’d want to see you lose.

They’d cheer for your blood.

--It’s vodka. It’s vodka. It’s vodka.
You couldn’t be more lost.
You couldn’t be less social.

--Eventually, a girl you met at a party. She remembers you. She tells you the details of your break up.

You say, I must have been fucked up.
She says, Yes.

She sits down and her friend sits down. You straighten your spine.

Her voice is strained, as if she has been yelling all day or breathing too much smoke and perhaps one of these things or both are true.

You imply you’re too old for her. It is so that she’ll tell you that you’re not too old.
But she doesn’t.
What she tells you is that she’s not too young.

-- At the last bar, LA fixed your hair just so. Everything is, in fact, just so.

Now, for fifteen or twenty minutes, the light is right, and so too is the level of alcohol; and your stubble is perfectly grown, and you are handsome and you are young and all your blood is coursing in your muscles.

And she buys into the illusion of you.
And she presser her lips on your lips.
And you buy it too.

--And you’ve got a gray stubble.
And that hair that has died, it will never live again.
And that woman in your apartment this afternoon, she’s gone.

You’ve said goodbye.

You’re beyond the pail.

And you know what that means.