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Midnight


$2.99.

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.

“Midnight! Midni-i-i-i-ght!”

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
And ye-e-e-es-”

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…

“Cos darli-i-i-in’
There’s something I want you to know
You’re the love of my life
You’re my lady…”

Comments

  1. I know a woman who hangs out in the parking lot by the Ross store in her wheelchair. Somebody tore up the wires on her mobility scooter, so she's back to the wheelchair. I always try to have five bucks for her, but she tells us she's glad to see us even if we can't give her anything. She used to hang out in the parking lot of the Foodmaxx where we buy our groceries, but now she says she does better across the street at the mall, where the people are nicer and there's a covered sidewalk in case it rains. She has a very pretty name, but I'm not going to say what it is.

    Good luck with the telling. I still miss Nasreen, so I'll be happy to read anything you come up with about her.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Doug. This one is one of my recent favorites, I think, because I am really narrating the daily route I'm walking while coming up with many of these blog posts.

      Now we see if I pull off what I'm planning to write!

      Delete
    2. I had to look it up to find out that "Lady" is a Kenny Rogers song. For some reason I was thinking of Styx, and I knew that couldn't be right...

      -Doug in Oakland

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    3. Either way, it would be a little weird coming from a bunch of drunk gay guys, but yeah, not the STYX song.

      Although now I want to work "Mister Roboto" into a post.

      Delete
  2. Hmm that's a good and interesting initiative.in fact that's the reason this blog is started.is not it.?ha ha but I suspect Harry too is just a character? However,I am so eager to listen ur transformation stories.you were so clever that I was unable to find the truth even after I had the doubt when we first met during nasreen times and i did an analysis reading every single story in ur old blog.creating psychological patterns,lol as I literally fell in love with nasreen.no one could pull it off as u did.

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    Replies
    1. Well, that sort of sums up one of my big reasons for stopping the old way i did things. Granted, my writing was sharper when it was anonymous, but...

      Yeah. Stay tuned.

      Delete
    2. The advantage there is writing as different personas,encapsulating their character and thought process but I don't think any other reason should stop u from awesomeness in writing.ha ha so literally perverts like me are one reason u stopped writing as female characters.I feel ur writing is sharp as ever.writing prowess certainly does not depend on character changes though.even now u could form a new character if u wish though.

      Delete
    3. Thank you!

      When I write as a character for too long, in the past, the character has become too similar to me and it has started being less fun and the quality has suffered. So I was really worried about this blog page. I am relieved to hear that you believe the quality has remained high!

      Delete
  3. Even after having spent years working night shift I am always amazed at the number of different human stories that occur when most others are asleep.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My dad worked nights for many years. In fact, even years later, he seems like a bit of an alien visitor when he's up and around during the day.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. I figure it's not as fattening as beer and probably not as awful for me as rum, so cheap wine it is.

      Delete
  5. I would just like to thank you for using "hypothesis" where all too many use "theory." It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Excited to read this tale(s) of yours.

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    1. Hi there, Pickleope!

      I'm pretty sure it's going to end up like a prequel that fills in the mysteries that are better kept mysteries, but... hey, these posts always come with a money back guarantee.

      Delete
  6. I'll want to know where you got the photos.

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    1. Yeah, I suspect that's one of the things that has to be addressed. Darn it.

      Delete
  7. Midnight. That time that is neither 'here' nor 'there', 'now' or 'then'...mysterious...frightening...comforting. Midnight is a whole other dimension and, I think, where some of your stories come from. Write on....I will read. I may not understand, but I will give it my complete attention. What more can you ask?

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    Replies
    1. I love the ones that people can't understand. These are probably going to be more straightforward. I'll try to make them as confusing as possible, though.

      Delete
  8. As the view of the world changes as you travel pass it, you notice and write. I expect tangents and digressions. Also mixed with deviations, anomalies, and incongruities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd hate a straight documentary of my life. You would too!

      Delete
  9. Your descriptions --your observations-- extend far beyond those furnished by news or advertisers, into the world we are not obliged to repair, but cannot abandon (Talmud?).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good quote, wherever it came from, even if it came from your brain.

      I'd like to repair a few things...

      Delete
  10. A wine that is priced at $2.99 is definitely a steal of a deal.

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    Replies
    1. It's all very classy around here.

      Someday, I might actually eat at the kitchen table. I have a kitchen table. I ate at it maybe 5 years ago.

      And I had some $2.99 wine that time, too.

      Delete
  11. Well ... I'll certainly pay closer attention this time! You and Squat and Mooner fucked me up when I came in the middle LAST time! I was as lost as last year's Easter Eggs!

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    Replies
    1. I still talk to Squat on facebook but haven't been over Mooner's way in a long time. My schizophrenic blogging alienated both of them, I suspect.

      Delete
    2. Well, I fully understand because MY schizobullshoopy has alienated me and Squatlo. Mooner's hangin' but still dealing, nah'me? Glad you're still YOU. Whoever tf you ARE. heh heh heh You're what we call a "good'ern" 'round these parts. Keep on keepin' on, Harry.

      Delete
    3. I'm not going to take away the sense of mystery, to the extent there is a sense of mystery, but if I were going to pick somebody's life to raid for pictures for a blog, it wouldn't be person in the the pictures you've been seeing. But I'll leave that conversation until later.

      Delete
  12. $4.99, damn! I don't think life need be linear - stories wash back over us, underpin us, sometimes we understand things with a light from another time.

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    1. Yeah, I think that's right. I don't remember things in linear fashion, and I like stories that run more the way a person thinks and feels than just a point a to point b kind of thing. We'll see.

      Delete
  13. I have to admit I miss Nasreen too.

    My partner won't drink cheap wine, only the posh stuff that tastes crap to me. I can't tell the difference between a Chablis and a Lambrini Bianco.

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    Replies
    1. I don't notice, either. I mean, I don't like beer. I'll notice beer. But outside of that, just tell me the alcohol content.

      Delete
  14. A moment in time captured in words. Freeze framed for others to see and share. The world passes by so fast it's nice to see it slow for a bit. This was nice. Enjoy the wine.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bryan! You're right, and I did something here I don't normally do, so far as the blog goes. In 10 years, if I read this again, I'll remember my basic routine from this time. Things change and we need to keep track of how things are if we're going to remember.

      Delete
  15. Should I have Kenny Rogers in my head now? I blame you.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like something that could be held against me, actually. Only people of a certain age would even know the song, I suspect, as he's largely been written out of history. I feel 8 again just hearing it.

      Delete
  16. That moon photo is gorgeous! I love your descriptions of everything Harry! I hope the wine was good!

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. I took the pic a couple months back during the Super Moon or whatever it was.

      More and more, I'm using my own pictures on here. I like some of them a lot.

      Delete
  17. Somehow I initially imagined "it is ten-fifteen" as "ten-fifteen in the morning", and that made that whole paragraph — most of the story, but *especially* that paragraph — so insanely good.

    Without that, this is actually still really good. I liked it, the first few paragraphs felt really strong. And it looks like we have timestamps for post titles going on... hell yes, I am so ready for this now. (:

    I remember Nasreen. That was way back... and yet all the others were before my time. Scrolling through the comments here, it seems like there might be a couple people who've hung around for longer than me. I wonder what they saw, in their ages.
    Are you going to tell of [arun nt]? I'd actually like to hear that, seems like a great story about the story. (^:

    "Granted, my writing was sharper when it was anonymous, but..."
    Make an alt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll get around to it, but the reason I quit doing Adri was because people were falling for her. So I switched to a lesbian character, which limited the problems there, and then Nasreen was just too sweet of a little Muslim girl for anyone to chase down, for the most part. Problem solved.

      Delete
    2. And now you're Harry. Nobody falls for dudes on the internet, after all. (^:

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    3. I think I'm safe. This beard, which looks as though it belongs on an unhoused person, serves as an extra layer of protection from the threat of shallow crushes, I've found.

      Delete
  18. Excellent stuff, Harry. Good luck with the wine and the writing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mr. Shife. I try not to mix the two any more than necessary.

      Delete
  19. I stopped by about a week ago and thought I said something. I really missed Katy and Nasreen. Delightfully different and so human. I sometimes wonder if you are real. As far as reality goes.

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    Replies
    1. I could make a decent argument that i was including as much or more truth in my posts when I was other people. I'll probably write as someone else again someday.

      Delete

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