by KURTIS L. DARBY
ast night, we got high on Rue Peele. A little of the Manic then we spun down to the train tracks for a good time. There were the usual hobos… not the “usual” as they change. There are usually hobos, but always different.
I am the Libra.
The Gemini got it in his head of half-shaved, half-Gator-aid red spiked nonsense that a little chicanery with the filth-mongers would be a good deal. There was a couple of ‘em going at one another nice and dirty. The guy was pawing her dirty tits and all. We, that is me and the Gemini, were all poised to attack but the Aquarian stuck out his peppercorn black hand with fingernails painted as black as an 8 ball and told us to let them be. We came on a Hobo woman with a circle of stones she was fashioning and talking good French gibberish to. We giggled and tossed them and was she ever angry and pointing, spitting and snorting and going on.
“Wakey. Wakey.” I was sleeping when the Aquarian grabbed my skull, black fingers in my blue hair. He gave my head a good shake. Wakey. Wakey. Wednesday December the sixth. I’m the Libra. Whirled the Lazy Susan and found some happy whites and popped ‘em. Better than coffee, the day was on speed.
My heart hurt. I looked at the yellow walls of the flat and these lovely golden pixies were all about my eyes. We got dressed and went down to Raggs. We got a table and a pitcher of Molson. I looked over to the bar. There was a strawberry blonde all curly up top with great fat girl tits and a man’s gut. I couldn’t quit looking at her. She looked so familiar. It was killing me. The Gemini was on it quick, flirting and her face gone all red and plump with bright white teeth. Her green eyes, all sinister, caught mine for a moment. She turned away. I turned and ran right into the Aquarian’s eyes. We were both almost shocked to see one another. He ran his hand across his long braided Mohawk.
“Let’s do the yellow house.”
“I was just about to say that.” He says. I chuckle and sip. I thought he had said it. We popped some Lith.
Laughing, looking into the Gemini’s stupid face. My teeth chattering. The window screeeeeeeeeeecched open and my heart did a Pasodoble. The Aquarian reached out, thick glasses reflecting the lights of the night, Mohawk and cobalt skin coming out the darkness. He helped us into the house. It was all yellow inside. A wholesome lemon yellow, not the dingy yellow of the flat.
Inside, prowling the dark, my goth-boots going squeak squeak you fucking poseur on the nice parquet floor, the pixies came back dancing around my eyes, couldn’t blink ‘em away.
The Gemini got into the liquor cabinet. “We ain’t gettin’ no higher!” I screamed. The Aquarian hushed me from the bedroom. He was all business. I felt there was something I needed to be doing. The pixies were dragging me down, I went into the bedroom to lie down on the nicely made bed. The Aquarian was all business, emptying the jewelry box. His back stiffened. He started at his ear with his long fingers then dark dark dragging me down. I saw a glimmer in his ear. Normally I’d had called him on it. But this Wednesday was the highest high. He walked out and I sat myself up. In the mirror I saw true horror; real pixies darting about a pale woman’s face in the dark frame. But I was alone in the room. I hurried to the door and nearly hit the Aquarian who was standing straight as a school boy.
I asked the nonsense question: “You okay?”
He thundered off as answer. Somehow I woke in Delia’s greasy spoon. The Gemini’s shoving his face. The Aquarian was counting his loot. Looking into his eyeglasses past it all to his eyes, they look worried.
“The haul. We did well.” He asserted I stared blank. “You asked how was the haul.” He was insisting.
This I knew not to be true. I thought to ask him but I’d been balancing a capsule of Lith on my tongue.
“I didn’t ask you shit.” I said tentatively.
Then something so incremental, he made a little tiny gesture with his hand toward his cheek like he might be swatting away a fruit fly. I almost asked him but the Gemini let out a long boorish belch that stunk up the air.
“Dirty cuc.” The Aquarian spouted with the his left of the lip snarl.
“Let’s go get spun. Yeah?” I said and the Aquarian stared from the calm of his Lith wave at me, then to the door. The Gemini’s eyes were also at the door. I was afraid to see what’d shut these two up, but I slowly looked over and there was nothing to be directly afraid of, just the Pinks.
There were four of ‘em, but I’ve seen as many as fifteen with their tight pants on and pink varsity jackets.
“Oh don’t they just let any trash in here.” Said loud-mouthed Horska.
They came right over. The Gemini, who can't do without women at all, got good and church boy quiet. I couldn’t blame him. They were like locusts or termites. They destroyed everything about them. I felt something crawl on my neck and swatted it away quickly.
Horska came right round the table and put her big ass all lovely in black tights on my lap.
“What’s crawling up you today, boy?” She pinched my nipple and I flinched because, as she knew, I was pierced there.
“A baboon or great ape by the looks of it.”
She dug her fingernails in my cheeks.
“Now don’t you be getting cute boy. She shifted her ass and Mr. Happenstance woke and shifted beneath her ass. She smiled her big pimply face at me. I snarled back.
“What you boys getting going tonight?” Asked the pretty one with the eyes so blue they seemed clear.
“We’re going to get spun.” The Gemini said.
The Aquarian, all stoic, looked right at him with school-teacher perturbance.
“Well really? Well we’ll just have to tag along so you boys don’t get into trouble.”
“Not happening.” The Aquarian said.
“What?” And Horska grew so cold on my lap that any pleasure from the ass atop me was gone. She leaned forward and her jacket rode up. I could see the tattoo of the Atlas moth peeking over the green ruffled panties.
“The man won’t sell with you around.” The Aquarian said, bassing up his voice.
“Well, why not?” I could see her profile, the evil brown eye.
“Because you all’ve raised more hell than a pack of rebel angels.” I tried to calm it all with flattery.
Horska smiled “Tragic.”
“Tragic.” They all began to hiss around me. We needed to shake them. I was trying to wake my mind to the task but the hurt on my heart made it hard to think.
“You cop. We’ll all go to the flat.” The Gemini said to the Aquarian.
I wanted to kill him. The Aquarian’s eyes were daggering him to pieces then they got tranquil and I thought I could read his thoughts.
“Well lovely. Party at your flat.”
Those girls were tearing our humble flat apart. Spinning, spinning, spinning the susan and popping pills in their heavily-glossed lips. The Gemini was on the loft, bed knees up to his chest. I saw him blink awkwardly a couple of times then swat hard at the hair on his head. I kept my eyes on the door, hoping the Aquarian came through it. If I were him, I’d leave the Pinks to have at us. At least there were just four for now. I hoped those hot-pink phones wouldn’t come out. The only thing that gave me some hope in all my worry was Horska’s obvious, momentary thing for me. She sauntered toward me like a lioness with those big hips dangling destruction on ‘em like a loose-fitting belt, a smile on her lips. She put her chalk white hand in my hair and began with the drunken, “I like you’s, you’re so cute.” It was frighteningly awkward but almost a relief to know that beneath all the craze and violence was a girl with a crush. I tried to keep up with the flattery. She kissed me hard. I opened my eyes and looked past her cheek as her tongue swam around my mouth.
Coming behind her in the distance like he was coming to a hill was the Aquarian. I disengaged the lioness from my mouth, and a string of saliva hung for a second. She looked a little dazed and on her lower lip I saw a bit of red, red blood. She wiped it away. I put my lip instinctively in my mouth and the metal-on-tongue taste was there. Who’s blood was it? Who had bit whom? She smiled real big and not so pretty at me. I stood and rushed to the Aquarian on his knees, pushing the susan to the side of the table while we all, Pinks and all, swarmed like a dirty flock of gulls on garbage.
Then the Manic. The Aquarian, wincing and winking. Me, I’m the Libra, stone on my heart. I could feel it. Horska, the dim blonde, the dark one with curly hair the one with a plain face dressed up with loads of eye-makeup like a panda bear. Then the Gemini left with mere crummy ash. Me. Spin. Spun. Ooh la la Manic.
I looked in the Aquarian’s face and he was all eaten up with nice little red holes dug in his dark face. Spun. He was really trying to catch something on his face.
After seeing him, I wanted a mirror. I got to the bathroom and saw the nicks in my face. Me, the Libra, spin. Spun out with happy pixies puling at me. I swatted them away, slapping myself. When I look at the mirror again there behind me, the Lioness.
Horska pulled off her shirt and those large, cereal milk breasts in the dark green bra. Bra off and those areola, like the pink eyes of a white owl coo coo cooing at me.
Then she was on me, face to face. Not in the mirror anymore. I was in the tub and she was tearing at me real good; slapping, scratching, biting, pulling hair, licking the wounds, tasting - tasting fluids all above me. In the distance over her surprisingly small shoulders, the Pinks, half-naked, grinding on one another like Maenads. The Aquarian pulling at his skin, drawing blood running down his face. Further the Gemini tearing out good handfuls of red red hair. I sucked a deep gasp of breath and Horska said.
“Can’t hang can you boy?”
“It’s not that no... There’s a stone on my heart.” She smiled real big and suddenly so profoundly beautiful in all her ugliness. I felt infinite and pure love for her as she drew me out and walked her large rump away and bent down to her little pink varsity jacket so it was all moth and ass looking at me. Back she came with the littlelest blade, with hearts cut out the handle. Back on. Back in. I’m the Libra. Down. Down. The golden pixies dragged me down.
Kurtis L. Darby is from Harlem and has lived in Europe. He graduated from Hunter College where he studied English and theatre. He was a featured performer at the original Buffalo Reading in New York. His writing has appeared in Halving the Baby, Origami Condom and Verdad.
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