Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Sometimes Life is Just Sooo Yummy

Went back to my childhood home to visit my parents.
By 8 p.m., they’re ‘tuckered’ out. (My Dad’s words.)
I’m just revving up. Hear some noise, like an on-going party a few houses away.
Question my parents.


"Oh that’s the Kragg’s. Those boys, with their motorcycles and cigarettes." Says my mother through a tight smile. "Do you remember the Kragg’s?"


I do.
Plenty.


"Are they having a party?"


"Oy, when don’t they have a party. Right Irv?"


My father affirms with a low nod.


"So are you guys going to bed?" I ask, throwing a sweater over my shoulders.


"Where are you going?" my mother asks in a tone as if I were still twelve.


"Just thought I’d take a walk."

"The door in the garage is unlocked."


"Okay. ‘Night." I say, heading to the door.


"See you in the morning. Do you want bagels and lox?" My mother calls after me.


"I don’t know."


"Because I bought bagels and lox."


"Okay."


"Are you going to want bagels and lox?"


"I don’t know Mom. I’ll see in the morning."

"How will I know to toast you one or not?"


"You can toast me one."


"Will you eat it? I don’t want to toast it if you’re not going to eat it."


Huh?


"I’ll eat it."


"You said you didn’t know."


"I know. I’ll eat it. Good night. I love you."


I close the front door to her voice behind me, "I’ll toast it but it’ll be a waste of a bagel if---"


The night air is soft, warm cotton on my skin. I lift my face to the Heavens. A perfect black sky salted heavily with stars, lorded over by a full, white grinning Moon. Reaching into my sweater pocket, my fingers fish blindly through stubbed-out cigarette butts (hidden from my parent’s disapproving eyes—yes, even at my age) for a fresh fag. Turning my back to the breeze, it takes three matches to light it. The laughter and shouting grow louder the closer I come to the Kragg’s house. My heart is pounding. My hands covered with a film of wetness. Why am I nervous?

Because I’m crashing a party.

They won’t mind.

I look up to the Moon. It winks at me. I wink back.

The front door is open, the foyer spilling over with people, the music pumping.


"Hi." Someone I don’t know says enthusiastically.
"Hi." I smile, making my way up the shag-carpeted stairs.


Memories rush in. I see my little girl feet running up those stairs. That same carpet.

I see myself as a girl, racing around this same corner I am now scooting between people to get around.

I was crying. Trying to pry my diary from the dirty paws of that mean Tony Kraggs.


The kitchen is the same as I remember it some fifteen years ago. The stained linoleum, cracked near the refrigerator.


I pour a plastic cup full of cheap white wine, lean back against the counter and watch. Watch the party surrounding me. Watch the memories unfold inside my head.


Tony had torn a page out in front of me, then threw the diary back, hitting me in the head. Hot with embarrassment, I sobbed inconsolably on my front lawn, knowing what page he was reading.

Dearest Diary, Sometimes I am going to call you Dear D. and sometimes D.D. and sometimes D. Diary. I hope that is ok with you. I am your new owner but don’t worry cause I am very nice. Sometimes I am not. But most times I am. That’s all for now D.D. ß -------- see! Love, luv, lv. Lane.


(‘Lane’ was the name I was given when I was born. I changed that name to ‘Persephone’ in 1993.)

(P.S. I am using all changed names here, but you get the idea.)


Dear D--Sometimes I will just draw in you like this---


(There is a stick figure of a woman with bouncy hair, a buoyant smile, two pendulous breasts with dark pointy nipples and a bushy triangle between her legs.)


Don’t show anyone!
Bye!
Live Love Life ------they all begin with "L’ and have four letters like me! Lane
Dearest of all Diarys,
You are my friend so I am going to confess my secrets to you.
These are the boys I like:
Chris Horn- love!
Billy McBain-- like
Brian Kushner-- LOVE!-- he is the one I am going to marry. I hope dear diary!
Kurt McCally-- like sometimes
Tony Kraggs--like soo much--almost love
Lloyd Woodman-- I don’t know if I like him but he called me a kool chick in school so I like him sometimes.
Don’t tell anyone. If you tell, I will know it was you cause I didn’t tell anyone else. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Lane


"Hey." A hand belonging to a very handsome, square-jawed man in a black leather biker jacket falls on the counter next to my hip.


"Hey." I smile.


"You drunk? Lonely?"


"Neither thank you."


"With someone?"


"Nope."


"Look like you’re lost on a different planet."


"Did I? I was. I used to live around here."


"Oh yeah?"


"Um hmm."


"Where do you live now?"


"New York."


"Hey." He shouts. "This girl’s from New York. Fuck you Jimbo! My parties are world-renowned."


"Fuck you." 'Jimbo', from across the room, hollers back above the music.


"So you’re gorgeous. Know that?"


"Thank you. That’s nice of you to say." I answer, my eyes searching the linoleum.


"I’m just speakin’ the truth Babe." He says mainly to my breasts.


I give him a ‘look’.


"Sorry babe, but if you got ‘em people are gonna notice."


"So do you live around here?" I ask, changing the subject.


"Right here."


"Where? Here? In this house?"


"My pad. Welcome little babe from New York."


"Well, thank you."


We stare at one another, smiling.


"So are you one of the Kraggs brothers?"


"You know us?"


"I do. Are you Danny? Ricky? Or Tony?"


"Which one did you like the best?"


I laugh but don’t give him an answer.


"Man. Did I tell you, you were gorgeous?"


"In fact, you did. So what do you do? Now, I mean."


"Auto-mechanic. Shit like that."


"And your parents? They don’t live here anymore?"


"My dad died. Mom moved out to California. Gave us the house."


"I’m sorry about your dad."


"Hey, thanks."


"So which one are you? Danny, Ricky or Tony?"


"Tell you what."


"Hmmm?"


"I’ll tell you right after you give me a kiss with those big fat juicy lips."


"You’re very forward, you know."


"Hey. When I see something I like—gotta have it."


"So you think you like me, heh?"


"I like what I see. Did I tell you how gorgeous you were?"


"Only twice."


"Man. Jimbo! Come ‘ere man. You gotta see this chick from New York! They don’t grow ‘em like this around here."


"Yes they do." I say coyly, re-filling my ‘wine-cup’.


Jimbo’s grease-stained hand rests on my other side. His eyes scan my frame, stopping short of my face at my breasts.
"Hot." He says, nodding too many times.


"She’s mine." The Kraggs brother says, squeezing an arm around my waist, yanking me into his ribs.


"How do you know? Maybe she prefers real men. What you say New York? You like pussies like that? Or do you go for real men like me?"


"That depends."


"Oh! That depends." They yell in unison.


"It depends on what this one’s name is." I put my finger on The Kraggs brother's chest.


"You don’t like ‘Jimbo’? Okay. How about ‘James’?"


"James! Ha!" The Kragg’s brother waps Jimbo on the head.


"What man!? She said she had to like the name. Fuck you."

"I’m going to the bathroom. When I come back, you can tell me your name. If you want."

"The bathroom is around—"


"I know where it is." I say softly, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.



Splat! Slap, slap, splat! I cover my face with my diary dodging the crabapples hitting me.


"Flatsy flatsy! You’re flat and that’s that!" chant the two young boys running across our back yard, lobbing mushy apples.

I jump up and run after them shouting,
"Shut up Tony Kraggs!"


"Oh yeah?" Tony, the taller boy with the Dracula cape, hollers. "How ya gonna make me?"


We are in a standoff. All three of our bodies leaning in to the fight, fists clenched, faces stuck out like angry roosters, tongue protruding.


"Huh? How ya gonna make us?" says the boy with the Indian headband.


"I’ll race you!" I yell, finally. "And if I win you gotta shut up for the rest of the day!"


The boys collapse guffawing on each other.


"Yeah and if we win, you gotta walk around all day and tell everyone what a flatsy you are!"


"Shut up! I’m not a flatsy!"


"Are too! Are too!"


"Am not! Let’s race!"


"Patio’s the start!" Tony barks and we all race to get into starting positions at the edge of the cement patio—one foot back, toes of the front foot touching the line, crouching in anticipation of the word ‘Go’.


"Through Jones’s yard, past the house to the end of the sidewalk. End of the sidewalk is finish."


We all nod.


"On your mark, get set, go!"

When I return from the bathroom, both the Kragg’s brother and Jimbo are as I left them.
"What took you so long?"


"Oh you know, powdering the big nose. Things like that."


"I can’t let you say shit like that about this gorgeous nose. Sorry." The Kragg’s brother touches the tip of my nose then, pours me a third cup of wine.


"And your name is?" I say.


"Yeah. And your name is?" Jimbo taunts.


"Tony."


Tony.
Bingo.
Thank you Universe. I knew if I waited long enough.
And this was one I almost forgot about.


"Well, I’m sorry Jimbo." I purr, curling my arm through Tony’s, "but I must choose Tony."


"Fuck you man!" Tony shoots Jimbo a ‘gun-finger’.


Jimbo slaps it away. "Fuck you man!"


"Can we go for a walk?" I ask, rolling my finger around the top of the cup.


"You wanna walk? Where?"


"Just outside. Be alone."


Hand in hand, we walk up the block in the middle of the street. Leaning my head on his broad shoulder, I open one eye to the sky and privately wink at the Moon again.


"Let’s sit here." I suggest, when we’ve reached the front lawn of my parent’s home, my childhood home.


"Here?"


"Um hmm. Under this Crabapple tree. Remember that song? ‘don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me…’?"


The ground is damp. He lays on his back pulling me on top of him. His hand, strong and firm takes my head and pulls my lips to his. My lips are berries. His tongue smears honey on their ripeness. He sucks, licks, nips at them. The odors of grease, oil, car and Man eminate from the curve of his neck. My teeth find the vunerable muscle just under his earlobe and sink gently in. His hands find my ass-cheeks and squeeze. Each cheek fits perfectly in each hand. Hardness fills his jeans, presses against my pussy. Heat pulsing between our crotches. I hear myself moan. I hear him grunt.


Bracing my hands on the damp grass, I push my torso up to look into his moon-lit eyes. He stares unblinking into mine.


"So Tony Kraggs…" I whisper.


"You know, you never told me your name."


"I didn’t?"


"No."


"Hmmm. Well, now, it’s Persephone."


"Persephone? Is that Greek or something?"


"I don’t know. Maybe."


"Well it’s all Greek to me." He laughs at his joke. I smile.


"I better go." I say, starting to get up. He pulls me back to his body.


"What do you mean? Go? Are you kidding me? You’d leave me like this?"


"Oh Tony…" I kiss his forehead. "I would."


"Why? This is so amazing. This is so perfect. Did I tell you how gorgeous you were?"


"How gorgeous am I?"


"Oh my god!"


"Oh my god, huh?" I laugh. "Would you say I was so gorgeous that I’d have to put a bag over my head to get someone to marry me?"


"Are you kiddin’ me? I’d marry you right now."


"Tony. Do you think I’m flat-chested? I mean, would you say, that I’m a ‘flatsy’?"

"Oh my god!" he says, rolling me onto my back, grabbing both my breasts with both hands. "You got the most gorgeous rack I ever saw. Look at this." He pulls my dress and bra down and covers my left nipple with his mouth. "Oh god!"


I close my eyes, enjoying the sensation for just a moment, then take his face in my hands gently lifting his head.
"Tony. I have to go."


"What are you? Like Cinderella? At least let me walk you to your car."


"No need. No car. I’m here."


"Where?"


"Home."


"You live here?"


"Yep."


"Here?"


"My parents live here. I used to." I stand, straighten my dress, button my sweater.


"Wait a minute—"


Smiling as I walk backward toward the garage, I blow him a kiss.


"Careful. Cooties. Remember?" The garage rumbles loudly as I yank it upward.


Tony is standing, arms out, palms up, speechless under the Crabapple tree.


"Lane? Lane Geller?" he says, the words barely leaving his mouth.


"’Night Tony. Tony Kraggs." I say, plunging myself in darkness as I roll the garage door down behind me.



"On your mark, get set, go!"


We take off. The boys are slightly ahead but gaining more of a lead as they begin the pass the Jones’s house.

Suddenly I stop dead as if my entire body has hit a brick wall.

The boys, sensing this, slow down, turn and amble back toward me.
"Hey, what’s going on?" says Mike, putting the feathered headband back on his head.

I shrug my shoulders and stand frozen.


The boys come closer.


I bend down, inspecting something hidden in the grass.


The boys creep up near to where I’m looking.


Tony bends down.
"What? I don’t see it. What is it?" Tony asks.


"Hmm." I say.


Mike squats down next to Tony for a look.


I dash off, running so fast my heels hit my butt.


The boys, realizing and recovering take off after me but it’s too late. I touch the finish line, giggling and turning cartwheels in triumph.


"No fair!" Mike yells.
"You’re a cheat!" huffs Tony, bent over, hands on knees, breathing hard.
"Am not! I won fair and square!"


"You stopped!"


"So!?" I say, my hands on my hips.
"So you’re not supposed to stop."


"So? You stopped too."


"Because you stopped."


"So? You didn’t have to stop and besides, all we said was, first one to reach the finish and I was the first. So now you have to shut up for the rest of the day."


The boys mull this over.


"No way!" Mike suddenly blurts out.


"Okay, See what I care. Then that makes you guys cheaters. And I’m gonna tell everyone you cheated."


"Shut up flatsy! We’re gonna go get some more apples and bomb you. C’mon Tony!"


"Yeah!" Tony spits in the grass. "You’re not only a flatsy, you’re the ugliest thing I ever saw! You’re so ugly, you’re gonna have to wear a bag over your head to get any guy to marry ya! Ugly Wart-Face Big-Nose Flatsy!"
And they take off back the way they came.


I clutch my diary, pressing it hard into my chest to stop the tears from pouring over my eyelids.


"Hey you guys!" I yell after them. "I forgot to tell you one thing."


"We don’t care!" Tony yells back over his shoulder.


"Okay, then you’ll never know it and it’s a secret."


The boys stop and turn around in warrior stances.


"What." Challenges Tony sweeping his cape around to the front.


"You have to come here because I have to whisper it to you."


"You go." Mike says pushing Tony foward. "Tell me what she says."


Tony lumbers forward, moving his ear toward my mouth. I lean in toward his ear and instead turn my face, kissing him on his mouth.

Tony falls to the ground, rolling and yelping as if a wasp has stung him, rubbing his hand over the assaulted spot on his face.
"Argh! Cooties! Help!"


Like a good comrade, Mike rushes to Tony to ‘save him’.
"Oh man! She got you! Gross! Cootie spray!" Mike presses a pretend spray can and ‘deodorizes’ Tony as he pulls him up from his armpit.


"Now stay off our property and don’t ever call me a flatsy or UGLY again or I’ll kiss you some more."


Returning home to my apartment in New York, pack-rat that I am, I open the trunk that harbors all my memorabilia, and yes, not only find the diary, but the entry for that specific day:


Dear Diarie, (there are big round circles dotting the ‘i’s’)
If I had three wishes do you know what I would wish for?
I will tell you.
I wish I was so beautiful no boys would treat me mean.
I wish when I grow up, I could be real famous for world peace or a great actress.
I wish for 3 more wishes!
Here are my 3 more wishes:
I wish for blue shoes and blue tights and a blue skirt and a blue vest like Alexa has.
I wish for McGovern to be president because my dad HATES Nixon and so do I.
I wish for 3 more wishes
And here they are!!!
I wish I could get married and that my husband would love only me forever and ever.
I wish there were no people lonely on the hole planet.
Surprise! I wish for 4 more wishes! Tricked ya!
Don’t worry Diary, I wasn’t tricking you to be mean, just to play.
I wish when I grow up I could know everyone who lives on the planet in the hole world.
I wish my dad would let me get pierced ears.
I wish that every boy in my class was in love with me and I got to choose the one I want.
I wish that mom and daddy and my brothers and grandma and grandpa never die.
OOPS! I tricked myself! I forgot to wish for more wishes! Now I don’t get anymore wishes. Darnit! Boo-hoo-hoo (dripping tears drawn on the page) That’s okay diary. Don’t worry about me. I will think of another way to get the rest.
Do you think it would help if I said a prayer?
Baruch ata adonye elohaynoo melech ha olum vihigeeahnoo vikeemahnu viheegeeanu lazman ha ze --- a a a ah a a a a ah a a a a ahmen, amen.
God understands this kind of prayer. We say it in Temple.
I’ll keep my fingers crosses DD.
Your friend,
Lane


I'll say it again: Sometimes Life is just soooo yummy.


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