Girl: I get so fucking annoyed and bored by these idiot people.
Parents: Shut up, Steph! You can’t say that kind of shit.
Girl: Why not?
Parents: It’s your brother’s wedding!
Girl: Second wedding… How many instalments are there going to be? And do I have to pretend to be happy at all of them?
So I called over the bartender and had him make her a double. This, dear reader, is a true-life, and honest-to-god, hand on heart example of the Christian spirit at work in our world today.
I maintain that I don’t have a drinking problem as much as I like to sit and think about the mistakes I have made in life. And so if you should see me divert to the pub after work every night, that is not alcoholism, that is Soul. If you should spy me at the pub at 11.30 am before my hairdresser’s appointment, that is not a liquor dependency, it is Decadence. If I just happen to know the names, faces and regular shift hours of the liquor store guys and girls, being so used to pop in of a weeknight for a lark, if some of them give me their discounts, and others call me honey, and I have designs on one of them, that is not dipsomania, it is Community. In any case this is the time of the year when people become prone to reflecting. Let us just say I have been Reflecting quite a bit — almost ceaselessly since the first of December, over New Years and up til now, when my doctor informs me I ought to give up the deep thoughts for a bit.
That isn’t a set back. I think I’ve finally figured it out. My stated aim for the Year of Our Lord 2015 is to marry a ton of money. I have lived a rather free and feminist life up to this point and that has got me Nowhere and nothing but twenty-gallon barrels of shit thrown in my face. Just lately I have grown rather tired of getting blown hither and thither by unjust winds. You left me last post last year basically hounded out of house and home by a fat sobbing sod. I had been cast out from Casa Sinatra into an incomprehensible and uncaring world full of swine. I had nothing left but my name and a sugar-pink Cadillac. Where was a girl of such immense beauty and prodigious talent supposed to go after that?
Skipping a bit — I found myself at last at a coffee shop inhabited by chancers, cretins, charlatans, tax cheats and people with names largely composed of discordant vowel sounds, contemplating some watery slop vaguely reminiscent of coffee, while the dough-nuts seemed to be queuing to commit suicide by dropping onto the sticky floor.
When Archie was gone the house stopped shuddering, but it was never entirely devoid of his grossest presence; there were traces of him everywhere, impressions of body make-up on the walls and the couch and the kitchen bench and indents in various surfaces he had leaned on; greasy chicken-licken finger prints over everything, and cigarette ends crossing back and forth across the linoleum like a trail of crumbs through the wood.
I had tried to interest him in crafts as a way to get his mind off things and he’d taken up macramé with great enthusiasm and produced this charming owl wall hanging:
But then things had got a bit out of hand; there were now craft projects strung up all about the place, pot hangers, a hammock, and a child’s jungle gym, all glowing palely in the mountain moonlight like Arc-angelic tape-worms. He also had a nice way of leaving chicken bones around so that walking into the entrance hall strung with macramé lamp shades was like walking into the lair of a giant spider.
Now I went into the den and collapsed face first into a bowl of skittles on the desk; I was so damn tired I could not care that the colours of the rainbow were making tiny spotty impressions on my beautiful face. I must have sat there for hours thinking nothing but Cupio Dissolvi, which Archie had worked out in macramé and nailed to the wall. We are alive a long time and therefore have ample opportunity to be miserable. Then in the distance I heard the pink Cadillac coming back up the hill.
Archie returned, alive with spirits, bringing Greg Stone and some of the boys from the alpaca ranch. They sat on the patio for hours doing bro shit, howling at the moon, cracking beers and pouring froth into the faux lagoon. Then Archie procured a mandolin from somwhere and sprawled back in his deck chair started singing, ‘Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautifuuul-l-l--‘ for the five hundred and eighty-sixth time in seven days.
That was when I thought, ‘Got to go. Got to go. One or the other of us has got to go.’ It may however have been a half dream because I recall all of those ‘O’s spelled out in skittles.
In the top desk drawer was my ivory-handled pistol, which I got for being Mayor in Shitsville. With great power comes great responsibility. I checked the chamber to make sure it was clean, then left it on the desk, on top of the crumpled shop-a-dockets for ten percent-off Full Body Spray Tans and the moist towelettes you get complimentary with buckets of fried chicken, next to the drinks tray so he couldn’t help but notice it next time he came in.
Continued here: But in your dreams whatever they be / Dream a little dream of me
That night I saw him out in the faux lagoon, desperately blubbing and trying to scrape together all of the pieces of Nancy in London that had washed up on the faux rocks. He never slept, but sat up til dawn crying, burping and singing into Nancy’s answering machine until the tape ran out. They played some of these tapes back at the inquest after Nancy went missing: hours and hours of morose love songs, forgetting the lyrics and drifting off into another tune, interspersed with profanities and Latin quotations:
‘I’ll be a strong as a mountain… Or weak as a willow tree…
Anyway you want me — That’s how I will be…
“The gladiator greets you from the arena.”
I’ll be a tame as a baby… Or wild as the… the… raging sea-a…
[fumbling for lighter; drops cigarette; burns himself]
Hell. Damn. Shit on me.
“–Good swimmers are often drowned.” Memento mori. In vino veritas. [burp]
Anyway you wan-ant-ant-ant me, that’s how I will be…’
At last I had to crack a new bottle of gin and pop him in the pink Cadillac. About six o’clock he went rolling on over the hill to our neighbour’s ranch, Casa Estonia, which belongs to the personable actor Greg Stone, who also has a side-line business raising alpacas.
Continued Next Post: Sweet dreams ’til Sunbeams Find You
For the last six months I have posted very little; this is largely due to the fact that I had temporarily descended into the Hell of non-smoking and sober practises. All that bullshit is over and done with now, praise the Lord. Where the fuck have I been.
Now the last you heard, my father the Brando-sized “Tom Jones” aka Archie Shitsville had recently returned from the dead, a new but still very old sad man; my idle cousin Francis Garland was slowly but surely drinking himself into a wheelchair (he now lives in the garret, occasionally calling down to me something about the heebie-jeebies), and the knee-high Louis heeled boots of the effervescent Nancy Sinatra could be heard echoing all over the polished wood floors of Shitsville Ranch day in day out. What happened next can only be recounted if I stifle the gagging reflex: Nancy and Archie hooked up for the 17th time since 1967, and the frenetic slurkslurkslurk sound of geriatric love could be heard resounding from the bathroom at all times of the day; the water roared, hot begonia-scented steam crept out from under the bathroom door and filled the living room with a fog so thick I couldn’t see the TV three feet infront of me, and the fishtank in the wall overheated so everything but the most exotic fish turned over and floated to the top.
For months and months the halls were strewn with soggy clothing, crashing, slipping, slurping, and mein pater’s vigorous cursing and profanity-laden endearments, “Hot damn, you are wetter than a mermaid!”;“Steamier than the hot springs!”; “Sexier than a gaggle of presenting negresses” and so on, and so forth, gag gag gag to infinity all the live long day. Then when Nancy was gone I would hear him in the shower singing Lana del Rey in that thundering voice that could move mountains:
‘Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful… Will you still love me when I’ve got nothin’ but my aching soo-oullll… I know you will, I know you will, I know you willlllllllll…’
(this last word often seemed to blend in with the sound of him gurgling from the shower head.)
I’d never seen the sad fat man happier in his life, except possibly on the day he discovered there was a website that would send you free underwear… and then the inevitable happened. Nancy Sinatra’s high heeled boots clattered along the corridor one last time and were heard no more; in fact it was I who had to drive her down the side of the rainy mountain while the monkeys threw banana skins, geranium heads and empty bottles of cocoanut oil after us.
It was raining solemnly, and I was squinting over the steering wheel to see. For the longest time Nancy said nothing but sat puffing Menthols. At last I stopped the car next to the only payphone on State Highway 71 and before she swung her boots out onto the flooding gravel she said, in her sweet girlish gin-cracked voice, “Honey, I once thought your father was the love of my life, and sobbed every night like a broken whore when he left me for your mother; but I’m saying to you right now that I would have to be demented to ever go back to that burnt meringue of infected sperm and ingrown toenails; I’ll shoot myself before I do. Hell, damn and goodbye.”
That was the last I saw of her for a while, calling one of her legitimate sons from the pay phone, while the windows steamed up, and a group of ravens shook the water from their wings and dropped cat carcasses from the power lines.
Continued here: Will you still love me when I’m not beautiful.