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The Velvet Garrote
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
  THE BEAST :: Wayne H. W Wolfson



I'm low.

Ah, fuck. Nothing new, but it is like a lump in my chest. It is the beast. When he wakes, he bangs around to let me know he is still there.

The hurt, the hello.

I would like to let him out, at least at night. No. That is a mistake, to say "to let" or "I would like". He calls the shots.

I shouldn't complain though. It is only through our pain that we can sometimes be reminded that we are alive.

Berlin suits me.

With shorter hair my hat is now ill fitting.

The bar where I opened the letter. You are pregnant and the bartender, the other one, Sandra, still ignores me.

There is no sign, no name. It suits me.

Did I write you congratulations or did I get right to the meat of the matter?

No name suits me. Call me Berlin.

Well, in any case, congratulations. Did I tell you about Marlene Dietrich? It's not really her, I just call her that. Every one is eventually re-christened by me.

We talk. Out of boredom we fucked.

It started with a song.

We were at opposite ends of the bar. No one else was around. Music was playing. Radio crackling like the rebellion of a dying fire.

She just stared at me, not in the blatantly hostile way I sometimes encountered though. With the right song and another drink one of us is going to spill out, I had thought.
Risking exile, I went behind the bar and changed the station. I wanted a soundtrack that goes with a movie about a man trying to forget.

I am such a liar.

I wanted something to prod me into action.

She had a good twenty years on me. Which was good, it meant we wouldn't have to spend the whole night sitting at the bar, small talk, playing coy.

Still, I didn't mind a little bit of chat.

Marlene lived above a cobbler who closed too early and she hadn't seen in years.

We had some more drinks.

I didn't know her and could be completely honest. It was refreshing. She returned the favor. For Marlene there is nothing more, all tomorrows lie dead in the street

I was in the middle of finding out how much ink a year without you translated into.

All tomorrows lie dead in the street, but even in death rituals and habits must remain.

She wouldn't mind listening to the Blue Note she saw poking out of the top of my bag. She pointed with her chin.

"Mmm... die gut musik".

Her elevator had pretty brass grillwork on the small door which was tarnished to a Degas green.

She brushed her teeth. I sat on the end of the bed. She kept the light on, I liked that.

Her stockings clung tightly to her legs and I watched her try to roll them down slowly without losing any of the eroticism.

We had forgotten to put the record on. I had been careful not to put my bag near any heater though.

She pointed to one meaty thigh on which the inside a blurred tattoo of a phonograph could be seen.

"Die gut musik".


BIO: Wayne is a California-based author. More information on his works can be found at his site Terrible Beauty at www.waynewolfson.com.

 

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