I am in line at Walgreens and I am purchasing my wine for the night. And it’s cheap wine, too, two ninety-nine if you catch it on sale, only it’s not on sale, tonight, so it’s four ninety-nine and I’m really weighing this financial hit. Here I am, up in sniff-the-cork territory, if it had a cork, into swirl-it-around-the-glass terrain, if I used a glass, which I do not.
The card reader cannot read my card. My chip. Once, twice, three times, then swipe, yes, I know the drill. While I wait for my receipt (in case I wish to bring it back?), I watch the pretty lights from the fire truck out front. It’s the old lady in the red coat again, the one who rides the electric cart, a mobility chair thing. I believe she lives here. In Walgreens. Once she lived in the parking lot.
I walk out and she’s talking to the fire fighters. About what-I-don’t-know. But I’ll ask her about it. Someday.
Now it’s out across Lovett, just down from 90.1 and the hostel, past that valet who stands in the dark waving a flashlight for what-I-don’t-know. I’ll ask him someday, too.
Westheimer is the worst part of the trip. Only not the worst, really. The most perilous. To be taken at a run, every time, drivers don’t respect the curve. Then past Assassin Tattoos and the magic mystery wall, yes I’ve written about that as well, before.
That voice, I picture it, in my mind, as belonging to a man in a felt hat, you know what I mean, the felt tricorn kind, revolutionary era, and also with a lantern in hand, he’s announcing the arrival of a brand new day, only it’s not a brand new day, not midnight at all, it is ten-fifteen, and yet there he goes, calling, every night. My working hypothesis, and yes I’ve gone so far as to develop these, hypotheses, is that he has a cat. Probably black. I don’t know. Someday, I’ll find him and ask.
The crowd down at George’s Sports Bar is out on the porch and all singing “Lady” with the radio. George’s being the end of the road for the old gay crowd. Balding, fat, South Beach-worthy no more. A couple wave as I go by.
“You have go-o-one
and made me such a foo-ool
I-I-I’m so lost in your love
My house now, and Astro’s up in the window, white chest against a black curtain, tracking George’s goings-on. He comes downstairs to greet me at the door.
Tonight, before my monitor, I crack open my wine. This is the night. I will, at last I will, write of Adri and of Katy and of Nasreen, too. I will tell it all. O not straight through, I am not linear, not me, so there will be tangents and digressions, sure, there will be tales of politics and a scrying machine, of desert varnish and things which have nothing to do with my at-last explanation.
But it’s time. Finally, it’s time.
Here we go…
There’s something I want you to know
You’re the love of my life
You’re my lady…”