Saturday, April 20, 2013

Alter ego

March 30, 1980

(I don’t often write when I’m drunk or high. This was written after a visit to one of the strip clubs on Main Avenue in Passaic)

We’ve made it, sitting here on this park bench in the middle of the Passaic Avenue parking lot, more than a little stoned, watching the flicker of light in the night, darkness flashing with cigarette lighters and then, the pale glow of cigarette tips growing brighter and then pale with each puff.
We laugh; we giggle.
I need coffee or some other legal drug to keep us going. So I rise – we rise – me on the outside, you inside.
Rain trickles into drizzle, filling the air, giving new things for the distant light to play with, streaks like fireflies before our eyes, the broad-faced moon peeking out from time to time behind heavy puffs of cloud, a shy but devious nymph peeking in through gray curtains to catch lovers engaged.
He sees only us, walking along this wet street, sees the sparking of the headlights as cars swish by – lights like diamonds glittering off this wet word, making us ache inside and out.
Our breath leaves trails of steam before us, the huff and puff of some imaginary dragon whose fire has yet to be quenched, unaffected by the chill air, we needing some other thing to cure this ach, some spear thrust to kill the dragon that roars inside us.
But there are no heroes left to cast a spear into that fiery gap, no one brave enough to venture into those deep dark places and pluck the prize that waits there – only us, walking survivors, staggering stoned along these moist streets, huffing and puffing and aching inside, weary winter expiring around us, stains of white lingering near where our feet fall.
We struggle to survive this change of season, this ache, this lioness, always mistaking the journey for the destination, sticking speaks into jaws that always break us and leave us in pieces.
I walk and think of you, deep inside of me, the soul I can never let out, the alter ego I dare not reveal for fear the spear might stab too deeply and leave both of us dead
But we’ve made it. We’ve survived. We walk on with the light of the night glittering over us, in front of us, inside of us, tempting us and making us ache for release.
We’ve survived.

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