ONE OF THE SPECIAL ONES
when he drank his eyes moistened and cheeks flushed
and he’d talk about the old times—the times when people
were still people, not what they owned, and when the
streets and buildings of sydney had history and the
men were men and women still women and kids were
kids and played in those streets free and without fear
until sundown when their mothers called them in for
dinner. and with every drink he’d get sadder and sadder.
though his face was unable to hide its hurt. he was an
honest drunk. me, i am full of shit when i drink. i pretend
positive and lie about everything. i haven’t seen him now
for years. though wherever he is, he is far better than me.
Hung over in a Las Vegas hotel room
at 8am with the shades drawn and my
body full of whiskey and lots of other
stuff I shouldn’t have done.
looking at a picture frame on the wall
containing a black and white photograph of
an old Hollywood star.
I could remember seeing some of her films
when I was a kid.
back then she was really something,
though I hadn’t heard of her doing anything
new for years:
how quickly that body that turned on millions
and taught millions of boys about the virtues
of women was taken away from her–
like a harsh cut in a film she never agreed on.
she looked lonely on the wall–
now needing people that no longer needed her.
next to my bed on a table lay a yellow notepad;
it was completely blank.
I guess I was in perfect company:
three fallen angels
burned up by the bright lights,
wondering when the next chapter would begin.
When we first got cars we
would meet of a night and
drive for hours in the
darkness. Most the time
we’d end up stopping at
graveyards. They really
interested us then. We’d
sit on someone’s grave
drinking whiskey and
talking. We were never
afraid of ghosts—we
knew they were just
invented to make
otherwise dull places
seem more exiting.
Sitting in those graveyards
of a night seemed to calm
us. There was nothing
unknown there—just death.
Everything was simple there,
in a time of great confusion for
us all. After a while we stopped
meeting up. We all changed and
went our separate ways—rarely
even seeing each other anymore.
All working full-time jobs to pay
our way in society. In buildings
that no matter how hard I tried to
find another comparison, felt exactly
like those graveyards.