Thursday, May 14, 2009

There Was Always One Night

There Was Always One Night

There was always one evening a week, her evening,
where Baby Girl would dress up in a smart purple suit,
popping it with some green pumps and a yellow clutch,
her hair twisted into a chignon, appearing like a lady of leisure.
It was just another cornflower day. There was always
one evening a week, where Baby Girl would take a seat
at Frenchy’s, while Max poured liberal potencies of Bombay gin,
extra dry, dry as a bone, dry like her humor, two olives please,
one onion, and usually, the lounge was deader than the
fogged over moon, with the exception of a few stray cats,
hissing and meowing to each other as if in heat, unembarrassed
and unaware of being watched, scrutinized, usually no one
that interested her. While the jukebox wailed “I Fall To Pieces,”
she would sit distantly, observing the frail man tearing up,
liquid salt pouring into his chardonnay. There was always
one evening a week, where Baby Girl would sit distantly,
apart from the jarring action, the jarring emotions of others,
owning these moments, some of the few that she allowed
to be present with herself by herself. Max, was great company.
He made her laugh, and she needed to laugh more at life’s
fickleness, and she even wondered if Max liked women like her.
No matter. Max held coveted secrets, as she did his, allies
against the sycophants that usually surrounded her, whom she
dismissed with a smile or bat of an eye. Four martinis,
three cigarettes, and then onward home to her small, bright,
quiet apartment, the silence palpable, nearly unbearably so,
alone with her cat, Sam, and the crazy neighbor across the hall,
a place she had consciously chosen for herself. There was always
one evening a week when she acquiesced to routine, without
giving it another thought.

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