Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Smokey Rhythms



for a friend of old and of new



It may appear as though I've been gone a while. And in a way I have been, I've been everywhere and nowhere. As a creative soul, I take these trips every once in while. Sleep is important for survival and I'm a cranky bitch when I don't get my fair share. But lately, I've barely been getting any. I've literally been living off of music, yogurt and my pen and notebook. Here's what I birthed last night on one of my psychedelic sleepless nights in and out of my body.


Smokey Rhythms



Remember the New York when you could smoke in bars? I went out a lot back then. Took home memories of those nights on my leather jacket. I could smell the events of the evenings in my jacket weeks later. The cigars, cigarettes, weed or cologne from my partners. It wasn’t a New York full of flower children practicing commune love or the key party 70’s but love was freer back then. Prudes may use the word “reckless”. Either way, I did what I did. No regrets. Just the dip in my belly when I relive the moments with him.


The club had just the right balance of smoke, whiskey and static in the air. The stage was still empty but the spotlight waited for him. I walked past the bar and took a seat at an empty table in front of the stage. I liked to engage the artist. My buried selfish side likes to be fed. I like to feel they’re putting on the show for me, only.

He took the stage. In two steps his long legs carried him to the mic. He took a seat on the edge of the stool and propped his right foot up on one of the rungs. He wore dark colors and a leather jacket of his own. I watched as he ran the fingers of his left hand along the strings to head of the guitar. Those finger tips stained from spliffs rolled and puffed moved with such grace, almost psychedelic slow motion, as he played. I shook a new cigarette out my pack and slid my hips forward in my chair. My knees fell apart as I focused on the fact that his knees were apart as well. I lit my cigarette. Just then his lips pursed as he sang. The image of kissing him flashed across the screen of my mind. That sudden charge of sexual tension escaped my body as I exhaled slowly, the only sign being the smoke bellowing out my nostrils. My second drag was deliberate and deep. I blew it out my mouth and my lips hung open. My mouth an opening to let my motives out or an entryway for him.

The cocktail waitress placed a drink on my table. A drink I didn’t order. She pointed to the bar and whispered to me that the man at the end of the bar had sent it over. I didn’t turn around to look who she was pointing out. I pushed the drink to the edge of the table and took a drag. I couldn’t see the musician’s eyes through his aviator glasses, glasses he must’ve been wearing because he thought he was too cool for the spotlight, but I was sure he was watching. I didn’t want another man’s drink.

I watched his mouth as he formed his vowels in his song, the emotion in his brow when he held a note longer than five seconds. That caused me to play with my cigarette. There was less smoking and more licking and tongue-twirling and lip-dangling. I wanted a part of his body on my lips. I wanted to make him sing.


I stood outside the club making small, tipsy talk with some of the other smokers. Then the door opened and what emerged first was the neck of a guitar case, like an erect penis. It was the musician and we locked eyes immediately.

“Hey, you gotta great sound.” I took a drag off my cigarette. Held it in my mouth just long enough and blew it out as he started to speak.

“Can I bum a cig?” he asked. I went into my inside pocket, pulled out my pack and handed it to him. I saw there were only two left when he took out a cigarette.

“Keep it.”

He flashed a crooked smile with the cigarette to his lips. I handed him my lighter. He lit up and took that first drag. The expression of satisfaction washed over his face. I saw that look earlier when he finished his set. I hoped to see that expression again later.

“We gonna stand here all night?” he asked.

I shrugged at his gruff question. “We could go wherever.”

He started walking down the block. I was a step and a half behind him.


We got to his walk-up apartment on 5th between Avenue B and C. He was a magnificent lover. The gold Magnum condom wrappers littered his bedroom. He was worth his weight in gold. Fantasies of being handled like his beloved instrument were fulfilled. He traced my vertebrae like the frets of his guitar. I did hum. His work rained down on me, his sweat refreshing. He barked commands at me in a harsh whisper. He told me where to put my hands, how tightly to wrap my legs around his body and even demanded complete stillness at certain moments. The desire to comply with his wishes while he made me want to scream in pleasure and leave my handprints all over his body was the ultimate test in self-control. Trying to prevent myself from pulsing around him while he entered me was a test of wills. Who would win in the battle of mind versus body? 


The next morning we lay in bed. I woke up with my head on his chest and my arm draped across him. He had one hand behind his head and the other held his cigarette. I was instantly intoxicated by his scent. I didn’t have time to think before my nose led me to his armpit. He smelled like a man. And now he was forever imprinted on my brain because of that scent, his unique essence. I wanted something in my mouth. I reached for his cigarette. He pulled his hand away only so he could be the one to put the cigarette in my mouth.


It was still not light out. Pre-dawn. There’s nothing like the stillness of a Sunday morning. I was headed uptown to catch the L on 14th. There was a hunger in my belly that I would have to quiet with a smoke until I got home. He was smoking the last cigarette from the pack I had gifted him with last night. A certainty washed over me that that wasn’t the only thing I left him with from our meeting. As I approached the corner of 6th and Avenue B, there was a man sitting on an upside down bucket. I saw a plume of smoke waft over his head.

“Hey,” he raised his chin in response, “can I bum a smoke?” I asked.

“Sure,” he took a cigarette out of a fairly crushed pack. “Here you go, dude.”

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