She is dreaming that she is awake and writing down what she has dreamt. But the dream is her words as she writes them on sleep’s cumulus parchment. The whisper of ancient deities holds aloft that runic cloud, and presents it before Wind’s clown-god, Bluster. Blustery, Bluster scatters this vernacular confetti to the Five Zephyrs of Chance, Choice, Coffin, Cunt and Cock; on the rug, like a slug, dreaming drug: it’s Kafka’s bug: she is me and I am she and we are all together. Come . . .
The magic carpet of steel and wheels soars down a preordained path, over an immutable route through the labyrinth of night. Chaos nips at their metal rug’s exhaust pipe, snorting that vaporous speed ball. They are larks twittering in this wheeled cage; Elaine, a husky-voiced chatterbox, sits doubled-over in wracking mirth beside Mike as he, nearly gleefully incapacitated, drives.
“You fucker,” Elaine says, rushing a hand in front of her mouth too late to stem the spitball that splats wetly against the dash. She slaps his shoulder and cries: “Goddamnit, Mike, you made me laugh so hard I peed my underpants!”
“Can I chew on ’em?”
“You asshole.” She slaps him again; but, after looking at Mike for a time, shrugs and hands them to him though she hasn’t taken them off. This is a dream, after all.
Elaine watches while he sucks her little red briefs up into his mouth like linguini. He licks a carmine fleck from his lips, munches seriously for a bit, then slowly slavers filmy crimson cotton over his chin. Her panties dangle from the toothy, leering grin biting hungrily at their narrow isthmus of cloth. “Ooh wow, who’s been burning rubber recently?” He swings his head to the side and then back toward her, lofting her little underwear into the air and tossing them onto her lap.
For a moment what Mike just said doesn’t jibe with what Elaine had expected him to say, so she just sits there staring at him, as his actual words chase their imagined interlopers, and her moans of theatrical rapture, away. Then: “You fucker—”
“How would you know, baby?” he cuts in, turning a smile and a hand onto her. She returns the smile and the hand, daintily plucking it from its kneading perch upon her thigh.
“Oh I know,” Elaine says, “I know: you’ve got the kind of prick that tickles a woman’s fancy—”
“And her uvula!”
Elaine says, through her husky, honey-dripping-over-an-erection laugh, “Yeah, everything. You’re like a pillar of lust burning next to me . . . and you’re getting me sooooo hot.” She rubs her hands lightly down her breasts and stomach and over her legs. “Ooh, babe, you incinerate me.” Languorously stretching, Elaine slides a hand behind his head, tugs on his hair, then pinches an earlobe. He winces as if she just pricked him with a needle. “Oh, I’m sorry, Mike, but I needed a little rouge.” She smears his blood on her lips, wets them with her tongue, and bends across to french-kiss him, putting a hand to his cheek and pulling his reluctant face toward hers.
“Hey!” he pulls away, admonishing: “I’m trying to drive here! You’re gonna kill us—”
“Oh fuck it, asshole, just kiss me.” Elaine probes Mike’s mouth with her tongue while sucking his into her mouth. Vertigo overtakes him and suddenly he is spinning around her as she holds onto his feet and spins around faster and faster. Then she lets him go and says “Relax” and they are again kissing and she says “Just relax” as their tongues and lips seek synthesis and she says “I have a lot to tell you so just relax and enjoy the kiss and here’s a little story about things that bump you off in the night” while each devours the other (“Watch”) and now a Past is given flesh to feast upon the Moment as Time unreels its cinematic scroll:
She comes out of the confessional licking a fleck of blood from her smiling lips and saying “Thanks for the donation, Padre,” pushes the door till it clicks softly closed behind her, and swiftly leaves the church, stepping into the darkness of an empty street and turning toward the moon. She inhales the night’s quiet scent; feels the moon’s steely stare irradiate her tingling skin with its cold inferno; hears, momentarily, the tinny caterwaul of distant demons cavorting in riotous orgy; sings a sudden outburst of inarticulate delirium; feels her heart throb with the ecstasy of new blood, blood that is screaming joy throughout her . . . blood she still savors in the sanguinary spittle she swirls about her mouth like the finest if not the rarest of wines. It’s just everywhere, she starts to giggle when a long dark car whose headlamps seem cloaked in shade suddenly appears, sliding to a stop next to her, its wheels scraping black rubber along the curb. Her reflection disappears as the rear-side window whirrs down; the lighter darkness of night seems sucked into the black void within, as she herself feels pulled roughly toward it. A voice like cold shadows says “Get in, Elaine” as her hand reaches for the door handle and pulls it closed behind her; she scoots across the immense couch-like back seat, not even aware of having gotten in. Elaine hears his thoughts say Go, sees the driver’s imperceptible nod, feels the car accelerate to a seeming standstill as the window reseals itself. The shadows say “Let me have it, Elaine”; she offers her bare arm to the blackness beside her and closes her eyes as she falls back against the seat, tranquilized by trance. Stark white hands grasp her arm and turn the wrist up to reveal purple veins throbbing beneath the soft tawny flesh. A man’s head appears like a sudden apparition, bald and albino-like, with blood-red lips, no eyebrows, a thin straight nose, and tiny ears. He sniffs lovingly along the skin, as if gauging the aroma of some fine wine; a long fat tongue snakes out and slathers itself over the underside of her arm, from elbow to wrist. A hum as deep as the shadows it comes from pulsates an aural darkness of intense satisfaction. Steam suddenly is in Elaine’s exhale as she sits sleeping in timeless dream.
On the outside of the car sudden condensation is whipped off the rear window and roof, making it look as if the car is perspiring. Inside, the hum is now a song; he presses his thick lips to her taut flesh and leans back—his head, hand, and her bare arm now swallowed by the opaque maw of blackness. Out of it comes the sound of moist sucking and muffled giggling. Soon the steamy exhale
from Elaine is gone; she slumps over lifelessly and is pulled completely into the black void, from which comes the ripping of fabric and then her shredded clothing. The driver nods imperceptibly, presses the pause button and lets Glenn Gould resume his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variationsee . . . this will not be seen. this will not be spoken. what is here is not here. no one will read it. it does not exist. you do not exist. i, certainly don’t exist. nothing is here, because this is elsewhere.
down, down, the heart spirals down, a bloody slide the brain slips down. empty skyscrapers sway sadly, moaning a mournful mimicry of the desolate wind that ceaselessly searches their dead canyons. the dead live in the elsewhere, though they do not live in the city. the city is too sad, and the dead are already too depressed. memories are there, though whose no one knows. no one knows anyone . . . anything . . . nothing is real but the reality of the unreal.
in a snail, a snail
in a whale, a whale
within me someone
neither whale nor snail
i lied. i exist . . . or something exists that i call i—there is no me, though there was
once a me who existed in a city where sad skyscrapers watched the streets below
them disappear. i wrote “random shuffle” there: life swerves to meet head on
death’s careening taxi.
which takes beyond the dawn
its fare’s capacity.
sound therapy and king
dice sing dead sushi swirl;
devils dance de kooning,
boy gravities with girl.
the sun . . . the summer is over . . . the sun explodes, ruptures a dark hole where joy once blazed. stars are melting, freezing, melting, freezing . . . the summer is over and she is dematerializing, shadowing to a mere rumor of existence, a dark rouge on the lips of passing time, kissing her off. she lies on the couch, the remote control crushed momentarily beneath her until she wriggles it out and points it at the television, which blazes a paler fire than any heart could burn, though it be cooled to hibernation by love’s disinterest. the warmth the television gives is like the benediction given a corpse. death is a channel away, as she presses scan and stares at the ceiling; in the trees outside, birds twitter vainly for her interest; uninterested, she is tuned to the inside, rerunning the rerun of her life. the days run away like wild horses over the hills. the days become a continuum of solitary defilement, a solitary game of eternal solitaire, played with fate’s cards. around the dial the channels spin. . . .
that does not exist anymore. it was a breeze once, perhaps, but that wind has been blown to elsewhere, and nothing but wind, an empty city, and the dead are in elsewhere. i do not exist anymore, either. i am dead. i . . . am dead. how this is being written, i do not know. why it is being written, ditto. if i am actually writing: i . . . do not know. what i know is that only the dead live in the elsewhere, and elsewhere is where i am, so . . .
dead. it means nothing here, of course. life is the same word as death, it only has a different spelling. yet i can—dream? remember? relive? know?—of a time when each was a mirror turned back to back to the other. i cannot describe it with any more clarity, for it is still a mystery to me, though all things be revealed to me: some things are revealed to be a mystery, just as you always knew they had to be.
memories. the plural becomes more and more relevant. i . . . remember more now than just the fact that there is remembrance. in the vast gloom a dim luminescence glows with a recollection of deja vu. now i know what that cliché means, for i shiver in the trauma its opaque past induces, blinding my perception of the present with a ghostly projection of memory. a memory; a reality; an idealized synopsis of a possible event i might have experienced. here, there are so many memories floating about (although that is not what they do—their movement is more akin to an atom’s chaotic innards), and so many ancient dead feebly clutching at them as if youth and life would return immediately if they were but caught, that to actually find a memory one could definitely determine to be one’s own is—so far—impossible. the dead fight over memories none of them ever knew while alive. sometimes, swarms of mutely screaming apparitions swirl in a death-cloud dust devil that gyrates across the eons of elsewhere. the city is thick with memories, yet the dead dread the skyscrapers’ mournful embrace. there, memories seem almost eager to be caught as they nearly chase you in their frenzy to leave this miserable place. we are the memories the skyscrapers remember, and their vibrating steel and glass and concrete calls to us in a siren-song that lulls some into an eternal, ceaseless flux around their towering, bewailing facades. the oldest dead are lost in that grieving gravity, for they have given up any hope of deliverance from . . . the death that seems . . . inescapable. i feel drawn to the city and its orbiting dead—we all do—but once one joins that pallid eddy one is assimilated into its
course and suffused forever by the gargantuan writhing shadows these animate skyscrapers throw across the sunless land, moaning shadows which fanatically caress this sorry parade with desperate, unrequited tenderness,
the city. its existence implies an area outside the city—a countryside, perhaps— that simply does not exist. elsewhere is infinite, but infinity is mostly emptiness, dark matter, save for the dead and the memories they pursue. that is why the city beckons so tragically: it is a link to a deathless time that this timelessness will never concede. the city.
she was there. i was she. here, gender is mere semantics, of course. i merely denote my sex in a banal attempt at narrative conventionality. i have no memory of being a writer when i was not dead—doubt, in fact, that an actual writer would use the locution “i have no memory of being a writer”, anyway (even the addition of “anyway” seems amateurishly superfluous; and “amateurishly superfluous” sounds needlessly scholastic . . . i seem unable to stop!). these might just be my thoughts coming out in a literary stream-of-consciousness. i know that earlier i wrote and/or thought that i had written this in the city—this being something logically assumable to have been written before extinction—but actually it was composed a moment after writing “i wrote ‘random shuffle’ there:”: the one proof of possible literary pretension: facile fibbery. i can remember every word that i have written and imagined; i cannot remember whether those words have any objective reality beyond their manifestations as words . . . they may merely function as cyphers in a temporarily logical random code all the dead are bestowed in place of their soul, their essence, their “me-dom” that is not there no matter what exegesis we concoct. all of us pretend a deafness to each other that is more truly a tiredness of always seeing what is oneself: a mirror’s reflection none of us cares to glimpse. we are mute to the memories hearkening frustratingly at us continuously. (another dubious sentence that would doubtlessly not pass an editor’s scrutiny; yet i am lord here, albeit a defunct one.) it is pointless to ponder, though, for that is what drives many to the city’s eternal redundancy. at least out here i can elude for eons the city’s ensnaring memories . . .
in a room. a room in another city. a fly, alive and buzzing with frustration, beats against the hot pane of the window, closed reluctantly by the writhing, sweating, coupling couple moments before each shrieked in python-orgasm’s crushing constriction. she died. he cried. she fell backwards forever, his tears unable to catch up to her, dissipating, like his cries, in the humid tumble to the ether of elsewhere . . . where i am less than the essence of nothing . . . moleculess, atomless, soulless, dead. o honey, you came with me yet you are still there. stay . . . —an actual, verifiable memory? possibl“Yes, Elaine. Come back to me.” Elaine’s peal of laughter and delight sings above Gould’s glorious piano for a moment, then subsides to a counterpoint of quiet, ravenous, gleeful slurping. Into the bright wake of the moon this dark craft flies down a macadam that seems festooned in ribbons of brightly colored, oily spotlights. Ice soon stubbles the car . . . which distant dawn will gently shave.
“Fuck me, Vampimp,” she implores . . .
“Please, Elaine—” he pauses as she slaps her breasts across his face, something almost inordinately enthrallingly painful, as his skin, especially that of the nose and mouth, is extraordinarily sensitive—“don’t call me that. I—” She grasps him and slowly squeezes herself onto it, finally settling with a gasping bounce atop his lap—“I am not a vampire. There’s no such thing. We invented that stupid myth to keep the Tellurians in ignorance and fear. Apparently the former is still—”
“Shut up and fuck me, jerkbait.”
He hardens himself to a length and thickness she can barely squeeze herself over, despite the moistness she lubricates it with. Elaine slides her hand down her heaving belly and rubs herself frantically. “Gosh, Ray, you are huge,” she hoarsely says into his ear, leaning against him as she slowly rides up and down on him, her other hand reaching behind her to rub it as it emerges and disappears. “Gosh . . . gosh . . . O Vampy-wampy,” she whispers, nuzzling him, kissing his neck and chin, thrusting her breasts against his thin, bony chest. He sits like a stone statue and lets her do all the work. He is pissed, but he always balls better when he is—as he bitterly knows Elaine has already grown tiresomely aware of. Humans, he thought between ecstasies, can be creatures easily baffled by the banality of delight or dread—a fact exploitable yet lamentable. It made for a gap in understanding that probably will never be bridged, he lamented ecstatically, despite the millenniums we have already shared!
“Ouch!” he yelps, as she bites his furry lobe. “Sorry, Ray,” she seductively whispers into the ear, snaking a hot moist tongue in deeply, “but I want all of you . . . not just your—” Elaine rears back as he grabs her bottom and, holding her tautly aloft, begins to swiftly move himself deeply in and nearly out of her “—ah gawd!” “Here it is you wet slut—here . . . it . . . is,” he slams and raises her over his thrusting self, bending forward to nuzzle her breasts. “Ride it, ride it,” he says around the nipple he is chewing. She explodes in gasping laughter, drenching lust, and barking flatulence. He giggles as he whips Elaine’s nipples with his long tongue; moves more quickly within her; holds her tightly to his lap and flexes his hard sweet knobhead way up into her. They lock their mouths together, moaning, and let rapture devour them.
Afterwards, as they hold each other (the viscid blood drying on their ruby gleaming skin) and watch, through the opened moonroof, the lightening sky bloom above them, he sings to her
“Meet me ‘neath the naked moon
And take us fast where we can spoon:
Naked, abed, poised to croon—
New lovers singing an old tune”
while he sucks fervently on her stiff, slippery tongue. “Elainey, Elainey, wound me, wound me, drink me, drink me, drown me . . . drown me.” She thinks, sarcastically, Fuck me, fuck me, butt and hole, shut up and fuck me, and is startled when he pushes her over, slides atop her, and does. “Big mouth,” he whispers in Elaine’s ear, following it with a gentle exhale of salacious snickering and a moistely insinuating tongue. . . .
* * *
Tongues akimbo. that naughty laughter haunting their libidos, Mike and Elaine, licking love’s thesaurus, sail the “ecstaseas” of night.
Alight with passion, their soul craft an artery creeping toward any heart, they part like powerful magnets disengaging from each other. (Unrelenting is desire; unrelenting its fire: as if deadlifting the Sun would stun the jabbering Fates to silence.) Silence, but for the beating of blood in their brains and in their engine, strands them nakedly euphoric atop the mountain of enlightenment where, joyously enraptured, they stray in their abandonment too near the edge and tumble over the escarpment, together. One, twisting, becoming, steeringthewheel, deliquescing. . . .
Wrapped in each others arms—a lover’s straitjacket—navigating by the stars, she bites his wounded lobe once again and smothers his wince with kisses. “Oh, baboo, my sweet sweet baboo,” Elaine whispers, hugging him fiercely while the tires beat a fierce tattoo upon this bongo’s eternal drumskin of road, “there’s only a leeetle bit more . . . and I can’t wait to show it to you. See! there I am in the looking glass:”
You’re never alone when you have a mirror. A stupid joke, but all I can see is a stupid joke staring back at me as if I am the stupid joke, lying her naked and playing with myself desultorily—Vampy’s voodoo hexing my vulva into a sex-zombie trance I can neither escape nor enjoy. I’ve never been a fan of masturbation, finding it both tedious and unfulfilling—and after having done it incessantly since I was nine I feel most qualified in rendering that verdict—yet my clitoris can’t stop raving nymphomaniacally for Ray. And I don’t know when I will see him again. O god, there’s what a horny fool looks like, jacking-off. And like Elvis lamented: I can’t do it any more and I’m not satisfied! The mirror, though, offers more than just a reflection of this dull world: for the moondead it is a gateway or rabbit hole to Elsewhere (Lewis Carroll also one of us, though by unleashing his artistic appetites he contains his atavistic ones). By drinking my own blood I am fatally poisoned and simultaneously stepping through the mirror into the Elsewhere (where the duration of my stay is indeterminate though timeless) and back out again into my resurrected self; except that resurrection implies a return from the dead and in the Elsewhere there is no life or death because there is no time, only Events. We see the back of Time—emiT.
A tinny, maniacal violin whines somewhere outside my old apartment’swalls. Not next door: it belongs to me although I rent it under the alias the landlord knows the tenant as: Doone Bostick, comedy-club-contessa-constantly-courting-carnivorous-career, always-out-never-here. I use the room for my library and . . . (ooh, the deadly dot dot dot!) experiments. It also is a shield for the noise I make in my apartment. On my other side is a large field and a new Mormon Church, the field beginning just outside my bedroom’s big window, although two stories below. From the bed, looking through that window, I can see the sharp tip of the church’s spire jabbing the sky (which sometimes has me stuck atop it—like a speared crescent moon—and agonizingly flailing as blood and the spire’s point bursts out my belly). Across the hall from me a partially deaf dowager waits happily to die; I keep her alive with spells and conjures that, when she sleeps, give her bodacious wet dreams (which she sheepishly boasts of—without knowledge of their origin, of course—when we chat). In the apartment below mine a family of five makes the only racket I’ve ever heard anyone in the building complain about: the couple are young and randy, their three children infants and bratty. So, I have screamed through a night of wall-banging carnality and screaming wall-sailing RHCP and never received a complaint or a narrow-eyed glance from the other tenants. I can: make the most unearthly din; shake ecstasy from sin; drink from a skull’s grin; reanimate Rumplestilskin . . . and no one knows.
I’ve wasted a few minutes of an interminable life yet I am still horny and alone. In the mirror a forlorn figure turns away from the piteous glance that is all the empathy I can spare her. Get a real job, go back to school, master kung fu, do anything but waste a perfectly good body which any blind, deaf, retarded, or paralyzed person would sell his or her soul for. That gets a smile out of her, and a Fuck you, grandma. The agony of existence is unbearable but way too brief, or was: now it’s just a horrifying eternity of tortures and sublimity, an earthly Helven, where my soul’s god glows above in the cold inferno of space. Still, I’ve found a new drug; and with a finger’s sharp nail hairlining a bloody fissure across my wrist, I look at the woman sucking at her arm looking back
just over the horizon the caterwaul of elephants screaming in cataclysmic turmoil. explosions boom smoky clouds of grey flesh and clods of hard mud into the sky. now—in an anti-noise kind of silence (a quiet like that at a black hole’s event horizon, where all matter is consumed in a mad mute gluttonous god’s eternally starving entropy)—over that horizon comes naked nomads shouldering gleaming, phosphorescent tusks bleached a blinding white by the incendiary
down the gentle slope they swarm, some stumbling under the weight of their burden. like ants carrying rice they scurry across the greasy grassy plains. eventually, although the sun seems stuck in the sky, the nomads and their unwieldy cargo disappear in the shimmering heat waves roasting the far
a breeze the sun might have breathed rustles the short oily grass. acrid smoke chases the unwashed nomads’ pungent vapor; chirping crickets resume their staccatic chatter; i flit from the weedy chimaera blossom that stiffly arises nomadlike some centimeters above the grass to the next a few meters away. i say “next” because it lies along the course i’ve plotted, although truly it’s merely another chimaera blossom among an infinity of others. i seem unable to ignore the primal call of intuitive biology, even though i know intellectually that i could never starve no matter what direction i went in this bright land of infinite, if sparse, chimaeras.
the leathery smell of burning elephant skin obscures the chimaera blossom’s sweet tang. even the nectar seems tainted, seems soured by the close odor of death. i have seen before the explosive destruction of watering elephant herds by grenade throwing nomads who appear screaming from beneath the shallow wallows. they wear their lethal little pineapples on a belt around their waists; otherwise they’re naked, although gaily tattooed. bald nomads, in troops of from twelve to thirty youngsters and adults, materialize suddenly and lay siege to the placid herds as they relax around the wallows and gingerly sip from it: far too many times have i been witness to this.
death. it dances a jig through the blasted carcasses that lie like mammoth monuments to a horror even death trembles before. but now it capers as it tortures foul discords out of a wheezing squeeze-box beneath a green felt sky, an inverted billiard table the planets carom about. thin paths of grassless dirt follow in levitated death’s capering wake.
i decide to alter my route so that i can avoid the carnage. another wallows is only a few hundred kilometers north, although in this heat i’ll be lucky to reach it by moonrise. on the interior barometer nothing is notched beyond 61^c: no monarch has ever survived more than a few seconds of even a degree of heat above that mark. right now, at the sun’s closest, it is 49^c: hot, but not oppressively so. these savannas aren’t our choice for a world; we—elephants and butterflys—were forced from the forests where we’d thrived without complication for a seeming forever by marauding monkeys who took over the trees and beat the elephants away with branches and rocks and crushed my kind for sport. soon, simian racket smothered the jungle’s sonnet of silence, and drove us first mad and then out. our adaptability was wry solace during that sad exodus. the elephants found they loved grazing: it was a welcome respite from the trunk-straining meals the trees’ leaves had provided. we went from boundless, countless varieties of flowers, hedges, bowers, bushes and every variety of tree to a weed we’d never seen before: a burning lion’s head blossom atop a thick sticky-fleeced stem we saw swaying in flaming multitudes from the edge of the forest to over the distant horizon. luckily, it yielded a nectar not poisonous and rather tasty. we all thrive here, for rains keep the wallows at least shallow, and dew frosts the grass nearly
i do miss the cool shade of the trees, and the canopy of leaves and branches that turned even a thunderstorm’s fierce tide into a mist like what a shore’s boulders will spray after the ocean pummels it . . . creating a diaphanous veil of shimmering rain more vapor than mist. i would fly through it as if through a cotton candy cloud, laughing . . . Laughing. She’s laughing at me again. Laughing like a maniac, or at one. That seems to be a by-product of the Elsewhere experience, as upon reentry one is flooded, suffused, in a bliss that explodes joy in the soul, like a sun going super nova and irradiating the galaxy with jubilation.
Her laughter subsides and she is staring at me again, although still twitching occasionally from mirth’s jabbing finger. We’re still naked and alone, she mouths at me, and my cunt is still on fire. Even the Elsewhere euphoria is quickly gone.
Too soon. No matter what the drug its nirvana ends much too soon. I shot H with a guy named Will Wyatt for half a year; he died, nova-eyed, and as life faded from them I felt . . . the room’s space tighten, as if there were now three of us in that little apartment. Then it was just me and Will’s body, and the room felt as empty as I did. At that moment I realized an ambition beyond the mere philosophy of wasted hedonism I had been, well, pursuing since I was seventeen: contact with the dead, at any cost.
Heroin and Will were the last of my mortal experiments in living death. The first was a Deadhead punk who romanced me with poetry and holy tea when I was sixteen and a scholastic overachiever. My affluent-if-not-influential parents never knew of the stoned orgies Joseph and I organized with zealous relish every weekend at their mountain condo. Here was the first tenet of my hedonistic philosophy: you can do whatever the fuck you want and get away with it if you just keep your mouth shut and your eyes open and use your brain for what it was designed for—thinking.
Joseph was more into drugs and rock ‘n’ roll than he was into sex. He would usually just d.j. our parties and watch—magic spliff smoke soon shrouding him in a giggling blue fog—as Crisco-slick bodies slipped and slid lustfully all over each other, while acid-house thumped deeply and slow strobes froze infinite erotic tableaux starkly through the night. So, when Joe blew school and town my seventeenth summer, I found true phallic love with a woman . . . well, a girl two years older than I.
I’d known of Consuela since I was a freshman in high school and she was its junior-class president. She dropped out while running for senior-class prez. “You would have won, easily,” I told her over dinner one night. “Yeah,” she said, with that bright hypnotic laugh that was like an intoxicating beverage she forced you to imbibe, “because I was dealing dope to everybody.” That, and her lesbianism, was something I never knew about before I actually got to know her. Everyone, at least everyone I knew, saw her as a too brainy and athletic tomboy whose plain looks would blossom laterly in womanhood. Like me, Consuela was a demon for privacy and willing to trade anonymity for secrecy.
With twelve thousand dollars in the bank she quit school and—“What did you do?” I asked her, while we stoned naked before the flickering warmth of early morning television. She said, “I got the cheapest flat I could afford and tried to get the stuff I’d been writing for the last three years into some kind of publishable shape. Twelve grand is peanuts. I blew two of it on an oil-leaking Corvair—it got great mileage though. The rest went to rent and postage. Luckily, I found The Weathered Pizzle before I found out what it was like to be homeless.”
But just. “I had read The Pizzle every week, and was now writing for it sporadically . . . and making just enough money so that I could afford to correspond with the strange ones who sent cryptic nonsense through The Pizzle’s ‘Love Connection’ section. Sadly, most of the ‘strange ones’ turned out to be merely your basic lonely and desperate dudes probably jacking off with one hand while pecking out this sad effluvium with the other. After a couple of their letters, and exhortations for unwashed underwear, naked photographs or—preferably—a sexy video as post scripts, I’d write them a forget-me-note, and then burn their letters in an urn filled with blood and dung. Cheaper than always changing p. o. boxes; and it gave them a killer headache—give them boners a rest, boys, however reluctantly.” She mesmerized me with a sultry giggle: the same sound her thighs muffled when I gave her head.
And then—da, da-da-dah!—came the message of destiny. She showed me it, and the picture he sent her later in reply to her letter. The message read: “Looking for a love doll. Must be smart, in shape, and nymphomaniacal. No commitments except to fornicate the cum out of each other. I’m married and must be discreet; I love my wife, and I love strange stuff: I want them both. I want you to worship the phallus and tryst with me on the altar of lust, where we shall sacrifice each other under ecstasies nirvanic blade.” Et cetera. I wasn’t as impressed by it as she had been (I mean, under ecstasies nirvanic blade!?). But he was her first real manmeat, and I guess her brain was swimming in desire’s psychotropic fluid. Besides being her first man (though Consuela was not a virgin, not even in the strict sense of never having been penetrated by a penis. As I mentioned earlier, Consuela was my first “true” phallic lover: we were watching a porno called “Nuns and Buns” that had a segment featuring the star, Erica Boyer, wearing a strap-on dildo fucking another woman and, after recovering from my tearful hilarity—watching Erica bounce that big thing around and slap it and thrust it provocatively before slipping it in—I looked at Consuela and she smiled that hex of hers. “Want to try it?” she asked, pulling something out from under the couch. “Yes,” I replied, comic-book breathlessly. “The first woman I slept with popped my cherry with one of these,” Consuela explained, slipping the harness up over her ass. “She hated the mentality of men, not their sexuality.” I giggled as I watched Conny wax the dildo with lubricant and then get down between my legs. “I’ll bet you’re wet already,” she said, bending close to see, “but just let me check . . .”)—as I was saying: besides being the first man she ever slept with he also owned and edited a couple of literary magazines and ran a small vanity Press; her first book was out in seven months, her second in a year, and then he told her that that famous British publishing house of arcana and inappropriate non sequiturs, Probing The Subject, was publishing his magnum opus, A Serious Consideration Of Alien Pornography, and that for her safety he had to disappear completely lest she be menaced by—“He was a little vague about just who’d be doing the menacing, but then he’d always been kinda a vague kinda guy, and when I pressed him for details he just ominously mumbled something about ‘Dark forces’ and me being in ‘Grave peril’. And then he was just gone, poof—” she blew him off her fingers “—like Kaiser Sose.”
Consuela turned me on to writing, and she got me published in The Weathered Pizzle (the last issue before it went defunct); she showed me what little necromancy she knew . . . and then she was gone: the note she left mentioned Amsterdam and an old flame on R&R from the barricades—whether attacking or erecting, she didn’t specify—and ended with a “Love on ya, babe, see you nude and rude forever and maybe 4 reals. Don’t rock it unless you rubber sock it. Sorry for the haste, haven’t time to waste, this girl I must taste—oops, lapsus linguae (I wish). Cioa, cherub. Live until you die. Bi. Conny”.
I was pretty despondent after she left, and I kind of just fell into Will Wyatt’s junk-tracked arms without much thought beyond that of emotional oblivion: we went to the edge of the abyss of nothingness together, and looked over to see our rapt countenances reflected in an obsidian pool calm as the vortex of eternity. Will called me his Pandora and painted my modeled nudity in oils and semen, even sometimes dipping the tip of his dick into the palette and smearing globs of color over the canvas before jacking off on it. He fucked his pictures more than he fucked me. But I didn’t care . . . about anything, really. Will was smart, gentle, and probably an artistic genius, yet he was much too selfish and in love with himself to sacrifice his death dream for the prosaic nightmare of living. But his death gave me purpose, and his Art got me Vampy . . . and Vampy gives me what no mortal can—entry to the Elsewhere.
A thousand stars are set to fall, and falling still are Elaine and Mike, tumbling down the road’s narrow Milky Way, cruise control set for the end of night. She is breathing lust’s salty lexicon into an ear he cups with his tumescence; an horizon soars suddenly before them, rising like an old gigantic drive-in theater screen with its flickering stutter of feeder tape flashing like lightning arcing across a stark, eye-achingly white-washed sky. A technicolor moon looms over them as they drive into the screen, Elaine saying, “If Luna will help me I’ll sing you a song I wrote for Will but never got to sing to him.” Mike and the moon nod, the latter humming along:
“Like we’re castaways swooning from beri-beri,
True Love seems imaginary . . .
More like the dark Wonderland of Alice
Or Kubla’s icy-domed Pleasure Palace.
Yet in your eyes is a place I roam,
And through your hair my fingers doth comb,
Upon your neck my lips do linger—
You are the song and I the singer . . .
Corny? Yeah. Horny? Ya bet yer bippy!
But this is more than serendipity;
Cosmic forces a la von Daniken
Have realigned our souls once more again.
And, no, I don’t believe in Kismet
(I wanted to kiss you when we met)
And Fate is a game I never play
(Once in my arms and you’ll always stay)
But the Magic 8 Ball never lies—
It’s where I get all my alibis.
And so, my sweet, so sweet your sweetnesses . . .
Holy catalyst for what this mess is:
An ode owed to a beauty whose beauty
My bold heart must plunder, and whose booty. . . .
Sweet are the hearts that mingle anew.
Sweet as the lips kispering voodoo.”
The moon whistles the Andy Griffith Show theme as coda while Mike applauds with hands clapping, his standing ovation steering. Elaine uses him like a stick shift and they zoom away into the future rushing past them. They laugh like old lovers singing a new tune.
The title, “Events In The Elsewhere”, is taken from Stephen W. Hawking’s book, A Brief History Of Time.
“The days run away like wild horses over the hills” is the title of a poem by Charles Bukowski.