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Lingo in Major

A casual acquaintance once asked me in passing,


"Do you cry often?"


And in all honesty, my only true reply could be...


I was sitting with my back arched in a foreign town
that I had only been to once or twice,
in passing,
en route to a spot more laden with grandeur;
my back arched against a foreign, rotting concrete archaic bar
with alien music pumping and seething out of every pore
coating my body with a warm glow
and I was feeling lower than a silk worm in wintertime
sucking on a stick of oppression
and generally just bathing in self-pity,
when across from me,
in all actuality only five-feet away,
stood this man who had been three-sheets to the wind
rode hard and put away wet so often his leather sharp skin had lost
touch with its wrinkles


and each one seemed to scream a different story
about the essence of this man's soul.


Now to say that I knew this man's soul
would be more pretentious than even I would care to admit
because in nineteen years on this revolving marble
I've experienced jack-shit.
I haven't experienced a Goddamn thing.
But I can write and recite for hours on end
on how it all ends up unpleasant.


But this man's head was exploding gray fibers,
had burning acid trails down his cheeks,
chest,
and chin.


And in his withered arms nestled
his child's child,
transcending appearances for something that blood knows,
and in those two pair of alien eyes
I saw a slight grayish glimmer of love,
bouncing,
from this withered beaten skeleton of a human being
to this perfect little chrysalis cooing in his arms.


One tear peeled out of my dry-as-chalkboard eyes
burning acid trails down my cheeks,
chest
and chin
and I ran inside to confront the alien music,
swirling around in decadent opulence,
leaving pools of sweat on the floor,
and my hands got into it first
leaving me doves on twenty-seven cups of coffee (Expresso),
and then my feet leapt out ahead
and I was being whisked around the room
by spirits without names,
and they didn't give three shits about mine,
and I could barely see a foot in front of my eyes
windshields in a monsoon rain.


And after the band screeched to a grinding halt
dissembling itself in front of my clouded eyes,
I crumbled against the plywood and particle board casing
of this foreign bar
and cried my eyes out
because for the first time I had seen,
and accepted,
love
and you ask me,


"Do you cry often?"


and I reply, through acid streaked lips,
more
than
you
know.




author: Eirean Patton Bradley 1995