My papa took years to get it together but it came undone in a matter of months. All of that therapeutic LSD began to have adverse effects, so I have spent years suffocating under the boredom of talking to a man whose body has essentially been taken over by aliens in the hope that I can prevent those aliens from harming his body so that it is still in one piece when the papa I love finally comes back. After Mother left him he began to spend a lot of time holed up in hotel rooms that were slathered from wall to wall with the soft furnishings of nouveau riche bad taste, and personally he looked almost as much like a pimp as Elvis in the 70s, when the cigar never left his hand: stone walls, stone fireplaces, stone floors, plastic palms and plastic couches, a conversation pit that was sunk to the depths of a mine shaft, a lazy Susan on the coffee table, avocado oak and orange accents and all bathed in that slightly lunar lighting which comes from having a fish tank wall. If you knew my Mother like I do you might dimly suspect that she is being a bit of a bitch when she heaps scorn upon the man & feigns not to know him. For all of that, the one time I went to live in Vegas with papa, I gave up after a couple of weeks; most women can’t bare being with him long enough to get pregnant.
Years of being petted by every woman in the realm, starting with his own Mother, left Archie Shitsville with the idea that women would part for him like the Red Sea. He is vain beyond belief, which is understandable, tho slightly pitiable. In his first youth I think he looked a lot like ‘The Great Dark Man’ that Quentin Crisp will tell you about (in his second youth he looked more orange than tan). But Quentin was also sage enough to know that The Great Dark Man does not exist, a lesson my papa never learned, so ageing upset him & he cried like a baby over multiple shots unable to comprehend why after the first steamy encounter women (& men) were unable to take him seriously and didn’t return his calls. Papa operated like many spoiled boys in the belief that all of the energy in the universe was generated by and returned to him; and he was simply blind to the residue of post-shave stubble & dead skins cells and general rubbish that collected around him & the avocado-coloured porcelain bathroom sink like Coca-Cola bottle tops on the banks of green rivers.
Beginning in 1967, every Sunday was Naked Sunday. I suppose he had got the idea that weekly nudity would connect him with the irresistible forces of Primal Man. In any case you can imagine the horror I felt whenever Sunday came around and I was forced out of the place; the problem being that Naked Sunday often blurred into Naked Monday (which was otherwise “Drunk-at-work Monday”). And on any given Tuesday it was hard to know whether he would sleep at the casino (read pass out in his dressing room) or come home for a night chaser with a blonde woman in brown sandals who looked like Sylvia Plath. These sandal-wearing Sylvia Plath women also believed in the godliness of Naked Sunday.
Archie lives between Vegas hotel rooms, downsizing or upgrading as his fortunes change; otherwise he has a more or less permanent suite in a shabby hotel just outside of town where a gigantic neon Marilyn presides over the former glory of the forecourt and the swimming pool. Marilyn’s skirt flutters up in three lighted stages (a bit like the Skipping Girl’s rope). This was where he met the cocktail waitress he married (Jeanie Shitsville); she also did room-service on Mexican feast days. After he had been married to her for two weeks she was scared off and so the room-service dwindled rather. That was when I came to live there. One day I went around the room collecting all of the dishes from the various locations he had left them: cereal bowls in the bathroom, dinner plates under the bed, glasses on every surface (still filled with dried out slices of lemon and scummy melted ice water, going slightly green) and filth-encrusted cutlery in every cranny, I put them into a pile beside the sink and the pile went up to the ceiling. The scatalogical mess that I was forced to clean up for him was much in contrast to the Fierce Independence and hunter-gatherer instincts supposedly exemplified by the hairy figure of Primal Man, which just goes to show you that men are full of shit, so is it any wonder that fairy-tale marriages break up.