buzzbooks217 @ yahoo.com
PG-13, at worst
Two axes, Benny, what did you think I meant?
Iíve been out on these streets awhile now, Benny, and the only truth Iíve learned it that the pain doesnít stop. Doesnít even get better, it just stays inside, festering, like a rotten tooth. All you want is Novocain, but that kind of relief is off in Chicago with another Ray, and all you can do is live with the hurt.
Saw a girl on the street yesterday, Benny. She was wearing cutoffs and she had a maple leaf tattoo on her leg. She was with her friends at the corner and she was eating an ice cream cone, as if she didnít have that stupid tattoo, as if that stupid tattoo wasnít bringing tears to my eyes. Sounds stupid, yeah, but I went home and locked the door behind me and pretended I didnít see that goddamn leaf shape in the darkness behind my eyes.
And the worst part of it is that Canada is a big fucking place, and, man, it seeps. Itís here, everywhere. Not only the maple leaf thing, but on the radio, I hear guys talk in Canadian accents. Iíll see someone on a horse, or someone wearing your hat. Nothingís exact, no, nothingís precise. Itís all hollow reminders of who you were when you were close by.
You came to Chicago on the trail of your fatherís killer and along the way, you found me. We found each other, I guess. I wasnít expecting you, I can tell you that much. Didnít want you, but how could I even hope to resist? Those eyes, those dark pools of chocolate. And we fell into it, didnít we? For the first time, we both fell into this messy sort of deal. When I was with you, Benny ... man, it was like flying, you know? Like a goddamn angel. Jesus, that sounds dumb when I say it out, but ... it was good, Benny. Just that damn good.
You know what it really was, though? You know what I was? A free trial period. Try me for a few months, and if youíre not completely satisfied, return it for a full refund. Full Ray-fund, ha. Jesus. Well. you know what was happening while you were enjoying your test run? I was busy falling in love. After that Victoria thing, you sitting beside my bed ... man, I thought you were right there with me. I was sure of it. Two axes, Benny, what did you think I meant?
Then I had to leave. Promises made, messy goodbyes. I thought youíd wait for me. I prayed youíd wait, and I counted the days, the hours, the minutes until I could see you again. Iíd telephone and say Iíd be there soon, catch a cab, leave my room, and it would be all right. Then to see you again, fuck. To drive up to your place and sit with you in my car outside a run-down donut shop in the rain, and have you tell me that things are different now. That youíve moved on. And I have to wonder if you were ever there to begin with. If my goddamned destiny was your puppy love. At least I didnít let you see me cry. At least I have that, right?
Flying, Jesus. I keep coming back to that. When I was in grade school, they made us read this story, this mythology story, where this kid makes wings and flies up to safety from some bull in a maze. But he flies too close to the sun and his wings melt or some shit and he plummets. Thatís what happened with us, I think, Benny. You were the sun and I flew too close to you, got too close too fast. Fell in love and now my wings arenít just melting. They turned to lead somewhere along the way and Iím about to crash, and crash hard.
You remember that first time together? That first time when you were inside me? Man, I never thought anything could hurt so much. I wanted to scream but I wanted you close, too, so I held it in inside. Held you inside. And all at once it felt good. All at once, the pain stopped. I never thought anything could hurt that bad, Benny, but here it is, right here, pain threading through everything, and thereís no looking forward to that explosion of light at the end of this dark tunnel. Itís hurt on hurt, Benny. And thatís what I have to live with now.
Just ... Sometimes, in the park, I see some guy on a horse. Heís wearing a hat and a uniform, and itís not serge but for a second I think itís you. I see you everywhere, all over this town, this world. Hear you. Youíre like an icon for your cold fucking country, and youíre everywhere I want to be.
What do you think of when you see a dark green Riviera driving by? Do you think about me? Do you think, Wow, I made out with Ray in a car like that. Or even, Wow, I broke Rayís heart in a car like that. Do you remember how good it was? Wonder how good it could have been? Or does it not even register? Do I not even register.
I see you everywhere, Benny, and I want to stop seeing you so I can live. So I can be. So I can figure out who I am in this world where youíre not. So just... You know, I donít care if you get another Ray, Benny. I really donít.
Just tell me if you get another job.