Sunday, August 5, 2012
Where I live: part two.
Zombies dwell in my alley, often urinating and defecating behind my fence. Living in homes left after breaking through thin ply wall for a place to lay their heads, places with proud signage of Hanna Smythe Kramer Realty.
Crickets halted in their chirping as gunshots tear the night in half. .38’s, 9mm’s and hearty .12 gauge blast. Echo’s of the screaming bounce from houses on Scranton road. “Duck!” “¡golpee la tierra!” “땅에 파업!＂ in Korean.
The United Nation stating: Hit the fucking ground!
A call to 911. The learned caller using the words: SHOTS FIRED! Knowing its quick response time from Cleveland Police, sirens heard in the distance. Coming from W. fourteenth, West 25, on Scranton from Metro General Hospital. Growing, growling as they grow closer. Stopping at the bleeding bodies on the sidewalk.
Take statements, take pictures, take the bodies to the morgue.
Emotionless, doing their jobs and why not? If the had emotion, would they not go insane in their jobs?
Fire crackers popping. Dogs barking, smells of car exhaust mixing with rap music threatening to blow a trunk lid with its bass volume.
Let’s take a walk, you and I. My eyes, smells and sounds: Your story to read.
Opening gate. Night calling sounds of screams, moans and screeching tires and engines revving proud.
Female form, gaunt, sunken eyes, dirty once pink halter smeared with coats of white, faded cut-off jeans. The smell of sweat and Wild Irish Rose. High cheek bones, ribs standing out, inner thighs exposing bruises in illumination from single alley street light.
“Wuh-anna pardee?” A voice the worst of B-movies asks. Sincere though, her mind is gone. She is seeking another fix, remedy, temporary cure.
Stopping on unsure feet, swaying, she yanks her halter up, desperate smile beaming, tits exposed. Advertising.
“She be a sweet ride, bro!” a man speaks from the shadows of black locust trees. “She does it all! Mouth guzzles, cunt smack, anal. My bitch does it all!”
“Fuck you, then!”
Walking away further up my alley, away from pleasures found by others, cash for snatch, walking.
Laughing and splashing in a pool, guarded by 6 foot fence. Living a shielded existence yet sharing the same space and doing it well, eyes wide open.
Pot and bbq grow this night, granted it is Saturday, intoxicating scent.
Passing a yard with semi stripped Buick Park Ave, crushing a fly on my left thigh, breaking stride.
“Hungry, man?” a woman asks. Wearing a filmy translucent pink dress, slender right hand extended.
Stopping, looking, taking extended hand in mine. Happy to be lured.
Sure, be happy to!
Mana live smashing from Peaveys. Good sounds. Known music.
“Welcome!” “who d’fuck is dis?”
“Shut the fuck up, assholes! I saw him. I take him into my yard. “
Parking my ass soundly to a plastic chair, I smile at her. “sit down, relax.”
Watching her, her body shifting in the dress, barefooted, strong calves showing rising from tiny feet.
Handing me a plate of food, smell hitting me, hunger taking hold, I say: Thanks.
“No sweat, baby. You’re not like the others. You have mind left to you.”
Spanish rice, veggies, chicken.
“You like to dance?” she asks when I am finished. Best home cooked meal in ages.
Yeah, I do. I like Mana live.
Swirling embrace, tastes of the night meeting breath, Mana, Helicopters and sirens. Meeting of the bonkers. Feeling her against me, mind spinning furiously, smelling rose fragrance in her hair. Dizzy.
Welcome to the life on Scranton Rd, Cleveland USA and it bowels.
Shoving me shot of Jose Cuervo, Holding it, waiting for her speak the toast.
“¡Uno del camino!”
“¡Sí! ¡Bebemos! '“ they shout.
I down it flatly, raising empty shot glass. Greeted with handshakes and high-fives. Hugs from men and women alike.
Walking down the alley once again, leaving the comfort from new friend and hers, watching the growing shadow of me on asphalt interrupted abruptly.
Skunk! Smelling skunk.
Stopping, halting, ending movement.
Sounds of chomping, licking chops, farts and belches.
Eyes turning to the left. Feral dogs. They are eating their capture, that being a skunk.
Diverting senses, sounds from above.
“OOOOWWWWW! Give it TO ME!” female cries out open window. Reaching breaking point, orgasm or a convincing lie. “give it to me! Give it! FUCKER, GIVE IT, MAN!”
A Cleveland Cop Car wails as it heads toward Metro Hospital.
Looking upward: Stars meagerly shine through the light-pollution of this place, hazed.
Moon clouded, its near full face showing us its grace.
Rounding the corner of the alley, a place that once shined of sunflowers and hill billy car parts, now holding signs of the downtrodden.
Facing some temple, it’s 7 foot galvanized steel fence, turning right again.
To the field on the left with a huge steel pole that rose about two hundred feet up.
Memory taking hold of me and this place.
Oh, how we played tackle football here. This field of dirt and gravel. Dressed for protection: Wearing about two sweatshirts over two to three t-shirts and think jeans. Butting heads, arms reaching, sometimes stopping. Bloody noses and blackened eyes from impact. Sides facing off ferociously. Pounding each other to the pavement with each play. Beating the living shit out of each other.
Those were the best of times.
A time before a bloody nose meant assault with intent to over protective parents with a lawyer in their hip-pocket. Giving some kid a record and worse, a branding that would follow them.
We of the field would band together.
When we played baseball in this field, occasionally, a window would get broken. That being the single house at fields end. Owner, forever furious as another baseball smashed into his living room, charged us as we would say in tiny, before puberty voices high in pitch: “sorry, mister!”
We’d pony up our change and walk with this man to Wojechs Hardware on Meyers and West Twenty Fifth to pay for it. Window replaced. No hard feelings. No sorrow. No lawyers.
I have no memory as to how many times we did this, but we did it many times across many a wonderful summer day, across many a summer.
Taking in the here and now of this place. Not much different now than it was then. Well, this is perhaps untrue. Children today play football and baseball in the video world. Forgotten are the real-world sense of the neighborhood kids hitting balls and smashing each other about. Safer, sure, no argument but what did that do?
Maybe the best of football and baseball players today were the ones that chose to mash and thrash and say ‘Fuck it, Let’s rock, bitch!” In the last thirty years, I think this might be correct in the USA.
A note that strikes chord to my heart: When I see kids, adults even, throwing a football or baseball, even a Frisbee, I gaze in awe. I park and watch and remember. Occasionally I approach them and ask to toss about with them. Touch of things firm in memory, touch of things past, touch of sanity long before everything spiraled out of control and got nuts.
Garlic bread, melting mozzarella, melting butter, the stench of piss and shit, willingly greet me.
Cornering right onto Meyers avenue, passing a house and Vetranos. Strolling past the alley, heading to Tony’s Store. This place has always been known as Tony’s. I cannot remember how many nationalities have owned it over the last 4 decades.
I used to buy Bazooka Bubble gum at a penny apiece when I was about 7. I’d get Cherokee Red pop, and they carried dots. < a wax strip that had multi colored dots, about an inch and half in width. I cannot remember how this was sold: foot, yard?>
This was, when a younger conniving kid, would set up some new kid with Monopoly money and send him to the store to buy us candy.
Back when, you would call this initiation to the pack.
Today you’d label this conspiracy.
Tony’s. One of the few places in my life that has not changed much.
Yeah, there have been violent hold-ups, leading to homicides, the dying ending life on my neighbors front yard. Crimson, iron stenched snow cones on a snowy cold December night. My Woman, administering CPR, kneeling does she did as a nurse. Trying. Forgetting herself. Emergency Medical Services arrive, but she is dead. This woman just small months before had given birth.
Going to my house, stopped once again by a hawker.
“You n-never had a b-low like me, huuuney!” Stepping out from behind Tony’s dumpster the palest of redheads comes forth. Anemic limbs covered with tattoo’s, stepping into street light full.
Nipples fully erect in wet white wife-beater, aureoles dancing underneath it with each step she takes.
Her hair, at least washed in the last several hours, catching light, displaying signs of life and vibrance. Breeze catching it, tossing it about, mating with illumination given.
How much would you charge to just talk?
You got a pimp? How much to talk?
Blank look, stunned, caught off guard. “no pimp. No man cn-trling me!”
You hungry? You look like you are.
To my backyard, firing up a small grill. I cooked as one did for me hours earlier.
We talked until the sun came up.
Early morning birds doing their thing, small dew gracing the ground here on a rainless summer morn.
Seldom changes here. If you keep an open mind, god does give some things most special. Sharing on the most human of places.
I have been here for many decades. Having said that, even I need something more. I have been in this place far to long.
Wish me luck!
Mark William Darus 08052012.