Somewhere in one of the opposing rooms, Tom Waits is winding his voice like a watch, for him, the evening is just beginning.
“Well ya play that Tarantella
All the hounds they start to roar
And the boys all go to hell
Then the Cubans hit the floor…”
A copy of “Waltz Into Darkness” lays abandoned on the silver night table with a Magic 8 Ball strategically propped against it so that the window is facing up, the legacy “Concentrate and Ask Again” looming in the blueness. The dress tossed over the bed rail is also blue…. The sort of blue that speaks of rapidly fading memory, that recalls days past when men were still gentlemen, ladies still ladies and when most families didn’t have to bother with locking their doors at night. In the summer, they’d sleep out on the porch…. Drink lemonade with a splash of grenadine, and that good girl residing in the house just across from you…yeah, THAT girl…wore dresses just like this. The bad girls did too, but they would strip them off in favor of a downy white slip while your hand found the exotic and secretive territory of their upper thigh. It’s girls like that that get you high.
“And they drive along the pipeline
They tango till they’re sore
They take apart their nightmares
And they leave them by the door…”
There’s something about twilight in a town like this- where you’re a stone’s throw from the city but a short ride to the shore. On most evenings you’d shrug on a clean shirt and wander the sidewalks, casually glancing into a window or two…strictly for entertainment purposes, of course…. because, hey… you’re no per-vo, if you can dig that. You just find people fascinating and most people are willing to put on a show, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t leave their windows open and their shades rolled up.
“Turn the spit on that pig
Kick the drum and let me down
Put my clarinet beneath your bed
Till I get back in town…”
But tonight, tonight…. You’ll wait in her room. You’ll lay on the mattress that beckons her form and turn your face against the pillow that smells faintly of her hair and of her perfume… you’ll lay stretched out beneath her paint-crazed ceiling as if it were the sky… a sky pregnant with both stars and rain. You’ll shake that Magic Eight Ball until the prophecy reads: “Yes” then prop it against the book again. You’re looming in the blueness, my love…. Looming in the blueness and all signs point to Yes.
“Let me fall out the window
With confetti in my hair
Deal out jacks or better
On a blanket by the stairs
I’ll tell you all my secrets
But I lie about my past
So send me off to bed forever more.”
Wrote after an evening of Tom Waits and chilled beverages….. Tango ‘til they’re Sore, baby….