I didn’t say I wrote songs. Or poetry. I lied and said I was writing a novel.
Angel said, What about? Beasley asked, Why not write for the theater?
Dee said something about adapting The Fall of the House of Usher to TV.
Those were the days before Wall was sent up to the Walla Walla state pen.
He was never penitent. He lost his daughter and Marge, and his baby blue
Cadillac convertible. I started going downtown with Wall to score dope,
though I never did anything other than marijuana. Once I was offered
opium, loved it, but never could find anyone anywhere to front it to me.
Beasley had not started living with Angel, though he thought something
was wrong inside, pissing blood, hemorrhoids, promising only a beginning
to his troubles. He worked only rarely now. Angel learned he was hurting.
She liked to give him blow jobs for free, and he reciprocated by loving her.
They began spending more time together as Gerry cut his working hours.
She said, Move in with me and I’ll do you every night, baby. You’ll have
a place to write and I’ll have a man. He said, I’m no pimp, Angel. She knew
he would be anything she wanted him to be once she got him used to her.
I went down to First Avenue one night to the coffee shop to find out where
they were. Dee murmured, Just around the corner, first door in the alley.
Gerry welcomed me, said he was through writing for a while. Angel was
working the street, pulling in more bread now than she’d ever done before
and praising him for making an honest working woman out of her . . .
Angel came in and we had some instant from a jar. She drank some wine,
he rested by having nothing, talking about how he came to Shakespeare
after growing up in the St. Paul slums. Before I read Willie the Shake . . .
That’s what my friend Gus liked to call him . . . We met in Shakespeare
300-something, taught by one Robert Adams who insisted on mugging all
the soliloquies he’d memorized and immediately Gus and I turned off.
We went to Hotel Congress that night and read all the parts to King Lear
while Cristina served us drinks and in her hip-high hose flirted with Gus.
Now, when the lights were dimming from the surfeit of closing times, I left
Angel and Gerry and walked over to hear Rose and Dave. Paula was alone.
I bought her drinks we nursed. She said, I miss you. We dreamed in blue.
(6 April 2013: II)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander