Friday, July 4, 2008
Frank's Wild Years
We will be in a room. The door will be locked. They will be outside, listening, mostly, but one at a time they will press their faces to the keyhole and watch. This is the fantasy that we come back to, her version of it. She is beautiful and the idea of someone watching her is exciting. In my version of the story they are both in the room with us, too close-up to get a proper look, all hands-for-eyes and unidentifiable mouths. They will taste and touch and smell us and all the performance will be taken out of the thing it will just be an experience we share together.
We discuss this over a glorious meal and polite wine in a very civilised kitchen. They have just done up their kitchen and we are about to launch into our own renovations.
Renovations. This is a word for other people's lives, a mums-and-dads kind of word along with the concept of 'mortgage repayments' and 'educational choices'. We are grown ups now. Our 'husbands', another grown up kind of word humming with the death knell of finality, talk about tradesmen. They pore over contracts and little catalogues for stone bench tops and she lays her hand on my knee and admits that her eyes glaze over at the very mention of a tiler. I tell her that I once saw a porno about a tiler and she laughs and shifts her hand a little further into my lap and suggests we leave the 'husbands' to it, moving to a different room where we can 'girl talk'.
Of course she wants to talk about sex. She has been reading my daily blog and she remembers. She was there around the pool at the naked Tupperware party. She slept with several of my lovers, before or after their on-line appearances. We modelled naked for the same artists several times and we have hugged without our clothes on more often than we can remember.
"Why have we never made love?" she asks me suddenly. "Were you never attracted to me?"
This woman was beautiful. Still is beautiful. She has that kind of luminous skin that reminds you of film stars in the 1940's. She is tall and willowy and dark and her body still remembers it's youthful bounce and vigour where mine is slouching even further towards decay.
"Maybe we should do something now and you could write a blog about it afterwards."
She might be joking or perhaps this is a proposition. We have discussed the possibility before, her dark little locked-room peepshow for our husbands' pleasure. My version where there is less opportunity for the disappointments of the visual stimulus.
I should jump at the opportunity to touch her, but I am sad. It has been a difficult week. Only hours before a boy at the bottle-shop pointed to me and snickered "What about her?" A collective merriment at my expense. These things happen too often.
She describes the locked door and the keyhole and I think about my life as it is and I sink just a little bit further into my boring self pity.
The boys have finished their kitchen talk and our conversation is cut short when they join us. She sits under the light with her luminous skin and her beautiful open face and her youthful body and I wonder why I have never slept with her in all these long and variable years. I think about the possibilities we have discussed, that perhaps our wild times are not completely over. A line from a Tom Waits' song is set on repeat in my head.
Frank settled down in the Valley, and he hung his wild years on a nail that he drove through his wife's forehead.
I look up, sad and bleary-eyed. They are talking about sex, past loves and humorous situations. "Why don't you blog about that one?" her husband asks me. We all laugh, and he moves on to stories of schoolyard bullying, the hilarity of our past mistakes. I become more cheerful as the conversation turns to people we would like to punch in the head.
And Frank? Whatever happened to Frank? Well:
His wife was a spent piece of used jet trash
Made good bloody-marys, kept her mouth
shut most of the time, had a little Chihuahua
named Carlos that had some kind of skin
disease and was totally blind.
They had a thoroughly modern kitchen;
self-cleaning oven (the whole bit)
Frank drove a little sedan.
They were so happy.
One night Frank was on his way home
from work, stopped at the liquor store,
picked up a couple of Mickey's Big Mouth's.
Drank 'em in the car on his way to the
Shell station; he got a gallon of gas in a can.
Drove home, doused everything in
the house, torched it.
Parked across the street laughing,
watching it burn, all Halloween
orange and chimney red.
Frank put on a top forty station,
got on the Hollywood Freeway
Never could stand that dog.