The Stink of Death Too Hovers Low Even on Summer Days
...and so it did, or it would, most certainly, just hovering there thick and stinky unnoticed by us all, just hovering easily, or however it is that these things come to be, always just happening to occur at the Apex of Summer which is, where I’m from, around the end-time of July, about the same time we all cave-craved a peculiar rawness of life, experience, sex— well, you know.
Here is the Sun. And here is the day. The kind of day when you hear old infectious one-hit-wonders you really don’t want to hear at all, not now, not at a time like this, but there they are blaring out all the passing cars and you can’t help but hum along—dammitall—the whole while hating yourself for it. The music strikes an inspirational chord and I say:
“Hey, you guys wanna get some tacos?”
“Hell yeah! I want some tacos. I got a powerful lust for tacos.”
“C’mon now, there’s exactly zero time for that.”
There was to be a party, quintessential, the party to make up for all the wild parties high school failed to deliver us, yes, the party to prove once and for all that movies do not lie, they speak the kind of truths we wait for, long for, the kind of truths that fill empty houses to overflowing with twenty-somethings getting drunk and getting laid, marking territory and just embracing that animal instinct you know you’ll eventually lose to the erasure of coming years.
Though we ignored crucial details too caught up in fantasies of carnal eros, carnage, chaos or carnivals or what the fu
ck have you. ‘Cause most of the people attending would no doubt be too intelligent or too insecure, or, as often be the case, a sick twist of both, each recessive character trait feeding and feeding off of the other, (a fact not precluding ourselves), to engage in the level of primality a fading adolescence nourished by Hollywood and caffeine had us rightfully expecting.
But dammitall the party was pirate themed! How could one resist? How could you not love to hate it? There was myself and there was Ike, a bear sort of a guy, and we both presumed a level of class no amount of money could garnish us with. Pretentious, but more sophisticated than most here because of our heady micro-brews. We were tasting things on this beer of ours, levels of flavor, hierarchies of aroma, complexities that just weren’t there. We did this sipping, being wise. Like owls I suspect. But not Jerome, who we call Jer to spare lazy tongues, no not he with that there fifth of rum from nobody-know-where-it-came-from emblazoned with the dammitall Jolly Roger fat and smack-dab on the front label.
So how it goes is this: we pull up to the house seeing no other cars—****—and Ike drives this SUV, this is back when Bush Jr. was still pres. so not such a big deal yet, global warming and SUVs that is, and Ike drives the one where the factory tires all blew up to SUV flip-flip-flip to people dying to Bridgestone or Firestone or whatever-the-**** scandal breaking news everywhere and in this day and age with gas prices and war where it’s at driving an SUV is just plain and simple— but you tune that out.
Ike pulls out his cell phone, tosses it to me. Click: I’m calling the hostess, “Hello,” I say. “We’re here, early I guess.”
She says, “You guys are early.” As if I hadn’t already said it. And boy is she sounding excitable.
“Just come in then.”
Click: phone meet pocket.
SUV doors open and slam. The day burns with hard-on beauty, rods of blue sky solder a shortcut nerve-route from retina bypassing brainstem and direct linking heartstem. That’s the kind of day it is. With evergreen conifers doing backflips for the Sun breaking white light into leopard spots forever and ever and ever and just ****ing ever.
Our hostess opens the front door and I’m thinking towards her two-sizes-too-small shirt that maybe I ought to milk her, maybe I ought to suckle at those mammaries. Her name, by the by, is Maia. In case you cared. And her nipples just barely perk out from under that teeny green shirt she’s got on vac-sucked to her body, they just sorta stand and salute and shine like twin North Stars beckoning wise men to salvation. Oh how I must be wise!
“Hiii-iiii-eee,” she cries out, a banshee. I’m in love.
Jer gives me a sideways glance, that look, that certain peering that comes after knowing someone most of your life, after living with them too, and doing definitely too much together, and I just know he’s reading my mind.
Maia looks at the three of us with eye flicks pop-pop-pop but mostly and squarely, this I do know, she looks at me, appraises up down, and squarely again into my greenish eyes and oh the intensity of it when suddenly she goes flippant as she’s apt to do taking on something of a duck characteristic, the kind of duck in a pond who languidly swims out from you sure just so sure (rightly so) that you’ll never jump into that dirty mucky cold and shallow pond to get it— so the duck paddles and quacks which certainly is not any kind of a metaphor for my relationship with Maia.
“Come on in, fellas,” she turns flippantly. She uses the word fellas.
Jer, still reading my mind, fondles his rum.
Ike finds a place to begin drinking. Not that he hasn’t been drinking this whole time, he’s just been standing up. It’s a rule of his that drinking doesn’t officially start until one is seated. No party to speak of so far but Ike never really needed a reason to drink. He uncorks something Belgian, expensive, as it should be being corked beer and all, takes the bottle by the neck, wrings it, chokes it in a boulder of a fist, and takes the tiny lips of that green bottle straight to the face. No one notices how the back label describes proper pouring technique. No need.