One More Cup of Coffee

~~~

sung & written by Bob Dylan

~~~

Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky
Your back is straight your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie
But I don’t sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go
To the valley below

Your daddy he’s an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He’ll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food.

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go
To the valley below

Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself
You’ve never learned to read or write
There’s no books upon your shelf
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go.
To the valley below

~~~

~~~

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Order From Col. Sheena Johnson

651433-sheena1b

~

by Rawclyde!

~

The legendary Col. Sheena Johnson, errant U.S. Army

Notes after some observation & navigatory calculation

That Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

Is floating over Murrieta, California, U.S.A.

~

The despicably beautiful colonel also notes

She is entrapped inside this orb

Manufactured out of unreal soap from the captain’s mind

But she is of higher rank & can issue orders thusly

~

However neither her or he is officially of the U.S. Army now

Each in actuality is a free moral agent of world reality now

But then again once a soldier always a soldier

So Capt’n Fiddler, although retired, will take an order

(From the devastatingly beautiful colonel)

~

She stands over the comatose body of the captain

Lain so wounded on the mat in a back room of her house

In the village of Pluckame on the Nuristan Province mountain ridge

Enclosed inside Fiddler’s impossible bubble

~

Complication on top of complication has arisen

How can she issue an order to one in a coma?

Well, she simply verbalizes outloud, “Capt’n, blow this bubble back

To Afghanistan or I’ll cut off your balls.”

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

The Commander

my commander Lords it over me

~

by Rawclyde!

~

Out of the watery depths of a deep coma I emerge

Upon opening my eyes I see my commander Lording it over me

Her latest order having just left the perturbing blossom of her delectable lips

Punctuated with a cutting threat that is irresistible

~

However, I am focused on my current mission like a hound chasing a rodent

And accordingly reply, “Colonel, we’re presently in position

 To wreck havoc upon short-sighted ignorant mortals

Who taint the reputation of the country to which we are devoted”

~

“Be more specific & brief,” says Col. Sheena Johnson

So Capt’n Chuck Fiddler, yours truly, spits it out

“Thousands of refugee children have crossed the U.S./Mexican border &

U.S. citizens are protesting in Murrieta, California”

~

“And you want Mamoodia & I to Sufi the protestors”

Adds the colonel knowingly.  She smiles.  I love her.

“And after we do this you will take us back to Afghanistan”

Her eyes are ice

~

other episodes:

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

The Transformation

~

by Rawclyde!

~

I discovered when I was young

Below the border in a Tijuana bar

That everyone on planet Earth

Is a Mexican

~

All I had to do to know this was true

Was down another shot of tequila & look around

Sure enough

Everyone was a Mexican, even me

~

Now I look around & I see

Some people don’t believe this at all

How foolish they be

We’re all Mexicans & free!

~

~

So, as Col. Sheena Johnson

plucks a Sufi arrow from her quiver & takes aim

From her perch in our Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

Hovering over Murrieta, California

~

Yes, as she takes aim

At the poor misguided U.S. citizens who are protesting

The arrival of a mere 60,000 unaccompanied refugee children

From those mysterious lands below the border

~

I know that with the release of the taut string of her Sufi bow

Those protesters in Murrieta can be believers

Twang!

And now they are Mexicans too

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

Elder Inside Floating Sufi Bubble

 by Rawclyde!

~

Tiny bubbles & colossal bubbles

All kinds of bubbles blowing in the wind

Full of Sufi miracles

Impossible to comprehend

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Bubble

Inside which resides the mountain ridge

On which is perched the village of Pluckame

Now hovers above a borderland of Afghanistan

~

~

Afghan National Army soldiers fire their guns

The Taliban keep a comin’ outta Pakistan

Faraway Iraq & Syria suck up American air support

But for one strange bubble in the sky

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Bubble

The most viable support Afghan soldiers have got now

From the United States or from their own nation

Has them buffaloed & worried

~

~

40 soldiers surrounded by 1,000 screaming enemy

And 10,000 ricocheting singing bullets

 Repeatedly look up & pray for a stray Warthog aeroplane

But all they see up there is a bubble!

~

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Bubble

Offers them as much soothing consolation as an unarmed goat

With a bell around his neck warning every Talib in the vicinity

That he is lamb-chops sneeking around

~

~

One Afghan patriot, Pvt. Ghani Gandhara, gets a bullet in the belly

Moans, gazes futiley at the sky & spies the damn bubble

 That pretends to be a Sufi miracle floating amidst the tumultuous clouds

 The wounded private cries out, “Ah shit!  Allah loves the Taliban!!!”

~

~

One of the oldest living faces on planet Earth shows up

Magnified magnificently on the soapy orb above the profusely bleeding soldier

And, thusly, an elder of the village inside it speaks forth to Pvt. Gandhara

“Have faith.  It’s all you’ve got right now.”

~

~

Tiny bubbles & colossal bubbles

All kinds of bubbles blowing in the wind

Full of Sufi miracles

Too wondrous to comprehend

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

Pvt. Ghani Gandhara’s Hymn Hope

by Rawclyde!

~

Haji Mujadooti an elder of Pluckame

Sits in a circle of cross-legged old ones on the floor of

Pluckame’s recently restored domed mosque

He wonders, “What now?”

~

~

The elders lackadaisically discuss

The presence of foreigners in their village

Fatalistically & realistically decide nothing

‘Cause nothing is up to them anymore

~

~

 That is, nothing is up to them except

The fate of the entire nation of Afghanistan applauding below

So impressed with this bubble hovering above their heads

Afghans near & far can’t stop clapping & hooting at it

~

~

Haji Mujadooti excuses himself, totters to his feet

Escapes up a zig-zag mountain-ridge trail, rests momentarily

Peers outside the bubble inside which his village consistently triumphs

He peers down thru the bubble at a real borderlands fight

~

~

Bullets pummel & dent the helmets of ducking ANA soldiers

40 Afghans hold their own against 1,000 Taliban wanna-be’s

Wanna-be men, wanna-be angels, wanna-be dead

The soldiers matter-of-factly load, aim, fire!

~

~

But Pvt. Ghani Gandhara has gotten shot in the gut

Blood is the river of no return

The ANA private rapidly loses corpuscles, strength, faith

Old Haji above beams him some hymn hope…

~

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

The Colonel’s Teepee

~

by Rawclyde!

~

Col. Sheena Johnson

U.S. Army legend

Sets-up a teepee above Pluckame

High on the mountain ridge

~

Here she hones her arrowheads

& prays to St. Joan of Arizona

Her ex-Taliban husband Habibullah

Assists

~

Young enchantress Mamoodia

The other Sufi archer of Pluckame

Patrols

Her bow vibrant & arrows a quiver

~

Life in a Sufi bubble

Has it’s ups & downs

But mostly it floats

Miracles often occur

~

~

Sheena becomes so angelic

She sprouts wings

Every curve of her body

Softens

~

And Habibullah swears

He’s

Gone

To heaven 

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

Col. Sheena Johnson & The Ants

   by Rawclyde!

Thousands of ants

Tumble across the raggedy ground

At the feet of Col. Sheena Johnson

& her faithful hubby Habibullah

~

The couple sit cross-legged honing arrowheads of Sufi bliss

In front of the commander’s imported Native American teepee

“I’ve never seen a horde of ants like this,” says ex-Talib Habibullah

“I wonder where they are going?”

~

Elder Haji Mujadooti having trudged up the mountain-ridge trail

Stands out of breath amidst the horde of ants, tries to say something

He slaps his pants frantically, falls down, rolls around spastically

Thus disrupting the peaceful scene with idiotic old-man antics

~

Covered head to toe with angry biting ants

He heroically stands up & despite the pain he is suffering

Says to Habibulla’s infidel wife,  “Do something, Sheena!

Our courageous Afghan soldiers are dying below!”

~

~

Ahhh!

The commander knows Afghanistan

She knows Taliban & she knows ants too

She arises

~

The empress of the Afghaneeland village of Pluckame

Pulls Haji Mujadooti out of the jam in which he stands

“Darling husband, please tend to this poor wise man”

Habibullah smiles, arises & does as bidden

~

Barefoot, Sheena steps into the rapidly moving horde of angry ants

Not one lousy insect crawls onto one toe of the formidable goddess

She stands erect as the Rock of Gibraltar & prays to St. Joan of Arizona

Who in a distant land relays the message to heaven

~

And by God, Sheena’s Sufi bow materializes in her held out hand

Sufi armor crackles sparsely here & there on her outrageously perfect body

She picks up a freshly cut & carved & honed world-peace arrow

Fits it to the bow string, aims, shuts her eyes, let’s it go

~

The cosmic forces of the universe gather upon the arrowhead point

Thrust forward into the oblivion of every Taliban brain below

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

& divine revelations explode!!! 

~

Suddenly beyond anybody’s wildest expectation

There are no more Taliban in the tumultuous nation of Afghanistan

The insurgents have transformed into the silliest looking little ants ever seen

All carrying rifles tinier than toothpicks

~

Pvt. Ghani Gandhara gut-shot and breathing his last breath

Picks up one of these purple insects on the end of his thumb & smiles

The Afghan National Army defending the nation’s new democracy shall prevail

Pvt. Gandhara leaps beyond the veil… 

~

Text / Copyright Clyde Collins 2014

~

Col. Sheena Johnson at the helm of

Capt’n Chuck Fiddler’s Afghaneeland Sufi Bubble

~

Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

~

The Unhappy Fate of Old Rhino Hate

~

One noon day

I was sitting at

my table

eating my meal

~

A bowl full of

moon and

star and little girl

heart vibrations

~

When from out of

no where ~ maybe

from behind a

rock

~

There hobnobbed

up

to

me

~

An old rhino

with

a bad back

a bad liver

~

But with

the most superior

mind

in the world

~

In his hand

was a

glass full of

black ink

~

In the ink

there were a

thousand bugs

all screaming

~

As they drowned

“Hate!

 Hate!

   Hate!”

~

The old rhino

roughly

set this glass down

on my table

~

Next to my bowl

and

he said

“Eat it, kid”

~

My lip

quivered I’m sure

and my eyes

went round

~

As I peered

into this glass

then my bowl

then the glass again

~

I took a

lonnnnnnng

look at this fat

old rhino

~

With a glint in

his eye

cold as the deepest

part of the ocean

~

He picked up

his glass

slammed it down

on my table

~

He said again

“Eat it, kid”

and the thousand

shrill little bugs

~

As they drowned

in the ink of

the glass

continued to scream

~

“Hate!

  Hate!

    Hate!”

good background music

~

I tried to

ignore the old

beast and

his glass of ink

~

I continued to

eat from

my own bowl

of

~

Moon

and star

and little girl

heart vibrations

~

But this

this beast under the

noon sun

would not go away

~

Continued to say

“Eat

   it,

    kid”

~

And you know

what

the bugs

were screaming

~

Into the

cold gray ocean

in the old rhino’s

eye

~

I looked again

tried a grin

gave my bowl a spin

said, “Try mine!”

~

He blushed purple

huffed & huffed

shook his head negatively

and repeated

~

As he pointed to his glass

“Eat

   it,

    kid”

~

I tried to

spit

in his eye but

missed, hit

~

The horn on his head

instead

and said

“No thanks”

~

He wiped the spittle

off his horn with

his tongue

gritted with a squint

~

“It doesn’t taste

very good

but it will keep

you alive”

~

Then he banged

his glass on my table

knocked my bowl

to the ground

~

Did a somersault

jumped up and down

began to

look too tough

~

So

I

said

“That’s enough”

~

Yours truly

grabbed the glass

drank the ink

all the bugs

~

That were screaming

“Hate!

  Hate!

    Hate!”

~

Old Rhino smiled at me

as if we were now

the best of comrades

true and stout

~

I smiled too

pulled out a gun

aimed it at

his head

~

His smile faded fast

and boom

he

was dead.

~

Rawclyde!

~

Colt Python

~

The Terrible Truth & One Thousand Lies

 This One

is

On The House

 ~

by Rawclyde!

1980

~

     The music pounded like a locomotive.  The go-go girl followed it like a train.  And every patron in the bar was her caboose.

     Her nucleus of sexuality, hardly covered by a little white bikini bottom oh so snug, exploded, poetically speaking, all over the stage.

     She aimed it at a poor hobo and pumped him a few.  She would never know how much he appreciated that.  She did the bump ‘de bump with a lonely soldier boy’s ambition and ground to pieces an old cowboy’s sadness.  Boldly she stepped up close to a wicked man’s leer, crouched low and with her hands ludicrously rammed it in and out.

     Her fat, shapely, little belly, a masterpiece so tan, so smooth, so hot, was just about smoking like a home on fire.  Her belly button was the sun.  Her stage, more than just creaking wood, was the face of every feller’s drifting dream.

     She really knew how to dance.

     Like a snake, like a swan, like a cloud, like a shooting star, like the terrible truth and a thousand lies.  Nobody, absolutely nobody played pool when Philana danced.

     A tall stranger sauntered into the place.  Infront of the go-go bar’s stage, or ramp, he stoically stood ~ watched the go-go girl go-go.  His presence loomed so profoundly that the hooting, guffawing, and even the silent dreaming of all the Saturday night patrons ~ died.  He was that rare kind of guy.  Besides, except for a preposterous, black, cowboy hat on his head, he was naked.

     The go-go tune ended.

     Nobody clapped.  Usually everybody clapped, and a few would holler, when Philana finished a number.  But due to this stranger’s strange naked presence ~ not this time.

     An old drunk accidently knocked over a glass of beer.  He ducked his head sheepishly.  Not a soul moved.  Deep silence reigned.

     The stranger, lewdly handsome, smiled just a little bit at the intrigued saloon girl who was now standing still in the quiet limelight.  She rested her hand on her smooth hip, eyeballed the stranger up and down ~ especially down.  She was out of breath.  Her round, bare, little breasts gently rose and fell.

     “What?  What?  Are you trying to corrupt this town?”  she finally asked of him ~ her smile twitching.

     “No,” replied the stranger with an unobtrusive chuckle.  “Just escaped from jail.  All I could grab on my way out was ~ my hat.”

     Another working girl, scantily clad, quietly served him a beer.  “The bartender says this one is on the house,” she whispered.

     The stranger nodded gratefully, toasted the bartender, lifted the frosty mug to his thirsty lips.

     Philana rested a high-heeled foot on the bar that encircled the ramp.  She was staring at the stranger with not just her eyes, it seemed, but also with the provocative bulge of her snuggly, barely veiled, dynamite-packed pussy, which was at the same level as the stranger’s face and just a few inches away.  “What’s your name?” she asked.

     “Bogie,” drawled the stranger.  He ignored the saloon girl’s poignantly flaunted mound, squinted up into the soul in her brown bottomless eyes.  “Nick Bogie.”

     “I’m Philana,” said Philana.  Music began to play again.  Some fool howled.  There was laughter.  And cigarette smoke.  The woman and the man stared into each other’s eyes for a long moment.

     Then ~

     “Let’s ball, Bogie!” cried Philana like a whip.  Her eyes squinted full of tears.  Her thigh quivered.  The man to whom she had spoken held open his arms.

     She jumped.

     He carried her out the door like a bride.

One Night At The Stone Fox

~ I ~

The Boys

And Mission Gorge

     Tonight was going to be a big night for Pee Wee Johnson.  He sat at the stage, near the side door, and watched the young woman dance.  Tonight was going to be his molotoff cocktail ~ no matter what.

     His finger slipped a tremble around the rim of his half-full beer glass.  The go-go music to which the half-naked dancer was blooming like a fast motion rose, was nothing compared to the drums pounding in Pee Wee’s head.

     A thousand drums.

     There were two other young men sitting at the stage.  They were alone too ~ just like Pee Wee.  One of the two was Nick Bogie.  The other was Slim Chance.  These three boys visited the place regularly.  The place was The Stone Fox.

     “When you go to the bathroom, woman, let me know, ’cause I wanna eat the peanuts out of your shit!” yelled Nick Bogie at the strutting dancer.  He laughed like a loud joke in the middle of a vegetable garden.

     The dancer stuck her tongue out at him and made a prancing detour on the stage.

     Slim Chance watched and that was all.  His glass was empty.  A sensuously dressed working girl walked up behind him ~ perfectly.  “Want another beer?”

     Slim nodded.

     The topless go-go girl on the stage did her thing, her routine and her bread.  She was dynamite.  She was also exhausted.  It was almost midnight on a slow Monday.

     The music boomed.

     The drums in Pee Wee Johnson’s head banged along.  The dancer tossed a quick glance at Pee Wee.  He was a very short guy, maybe four feet high when he stood tall as he could and in elevator shoes.  The dancer rolled her eyeballs.  She couldn’t believe what she saw in Pee Wee’s eyes.  She did a special wiggle, shot another glance at him.  God, the little squirt looked unusually mean tonight (because, you see, tonight was his night for real action).

     “You’re giving me a heart attack, woman!”  yelled Nick Bogie at the dancer.  She smiled.  “In my pants!” snidely added Bogie.

     Crude bastard.

     He was a big guy.  A handsome guy.  And pretty drunk.  You see, he was having trouble at home.  His wife didn’t like him anymore.  Like mad he wanted to ask the dancer out to dinner.  But he just couldn’t get serious enough in this place.

     But Pee Wee Johnson was very serious, sitting over by the side door.

     Mission Gorge, by the way, was the name of the dancer.

~

~ II ~

Pee Wee Makes His Move

     The place rocked on.  The bartender let the beer flow.  The bouncer sat slumped over in the corner, bored, wishing he didn’t have to constantly put up with “flakey chicks.”  While Mission Gorge stomped her third song away on the stage, the other girls, “flakey chicks,” kept the glasses full and the pitchers too.

     Slim Chance also wanted to ask Mission Gorge out for dinner but figured it was hopeless.  A year ago he had caught a venereal desease that would stay with him until the day he died.  What was the point in asking a woman out to dinner, he figured, if there was no possibility of a screwing ~ some day?  So his entire life was hopeless.  Forever he would just sit and watch.

     Mission Gorge buttoned up and darted off the stage.  Quiet moments passed.  “You’re up, Sheila!”  moaned the bouncer.

     Sheila ascended the stage, pushed the buttons to her selected hit tunes and commenced in doing her thing just as Mission Gorge had done hers ~ about 100 times a night it seemed to these young women.

     Mission Gorge shyly dashed across the saloon, flashed by Slim Chance and Nick Bogie, her skin a glow, crispy light hair a flowin’ down her back, a ghost like look of prettiness on her face.  Her eyes swung around like machine guns aiming at empty beer glasses in the dim light ~ and full ash trays.  She was a gorgeous portrait etched in lightning.  She was always too quick.

     But not tonight.

     “Mission!” called Pee Wee, as she was about to flash by him too.  She detoured on over, cautiously, as if Pee Wee was a dangerous dreamer who thought he loved her.  And that’s exactly what he was!

     Gently he took her arm in his hand.  Nice.  Then his fingers went tight like a vice.  Mission Gorge locked her eyes onto his ~ saw his bright red desperation.  Her eyes grew wide with fear.  The gleam in his eye was too damn serious!  The world stood stark raving still for half a second.

     “What?” Mission Gorge managed to ask.

     “Oh nothin’,” said Pee Wee.  He picked her up in his arms and smashed out the side door into the night.

~

~ III ~

Prelude To The Kidnapping

Of Mission Gorge

     A few months earlier ~

     Pee Wee Johnson was sitting before the lone window in his hole-in-the-wall, watching the sun go down, when he decided he was so lonely and horny that he wanted to die.

     He had worked hard all day long on his job.  He lit a small cigar.  He watched the sun sink.  He partook of a gulp of cold beer from the can in his hand.  He listened to the cowboy music on his cheap little stereo.  A puff of tobacco smoke from his cigar somersaulted against the window and bloomed into nothing.

     “Shit, I wanna die,” he muttered.  But he got up and pedaled his bicycle to a local go-go bar instead ~ The Stone Fox.

     He ordered a pitcher of beer and watched the girls dance topless.  Then Mission Gorge stepped on stage.  He was in love.

     She wasn’t the prettiest.  She wasn’t the best dancer.  But Pee Wee liked the way she moved ~ quick, haughty, and she did funny things ~ funny things like wearing Slim Chance’s hat on her breasts as she danced, and balancing Nick Bogie’s tossed quarters on her nipples after the hat fell off.  There were two real sad looking dudes sitting at the stage and she had them laughing in no time.

     And Pee Wee too.

     He became a regular.  He wanted to ask Mission Gorge out to dinner just like Nick Bogie and Slim Chance ~ and two dozen other guys.  But this go-go bar just wasn’t Pee Wee’s territory.  And Mission Gorge was always too quick to ask out ~ always passed by in a flash ~

     A portrait etched in lightning.

     And anyway, Pee Wee was a Negro ~ a Negro who liked cowboy music.  What a drag!

     One night he looked at himself in the long mirror on the closet door in his hole-in-the-wall.  He was just four feet tall ~ in elevator shoes.  Women just didn’t see anything in this city except how tall you were.  Yet Pee Wee was determined to not go to bed with Jose, the Mexican homo.

     “Shit,” moaned Pee Wee.  A tear rolled down his cheek.  He put on some of that fine shit-kicking music ~ got out a book.

     He read the book for a while.  And had an idea.  He slammed the book down on the table and gritted at the walls, “Guts!”

~

~ IV ~

The Quiet Ride

     The big ol’ bouncer bolted to his feet and hollered, “Mission Gorge!  She’s been carried away!  By that little, little ~ ” He couldn’t finish what he was saying ~ sprinted for the side door.

     “Bastard!” growled the bartender.  He knocked over a pitcher of beer, screeched around the corner of the bar like a dragster (with smoking heels instead of tires) and followed the bouncer out the side door.

     Nick Bogie jumped across the stage and dove out the side door after them.

     Even passive Slim Chance ~ out the side door.

     With his 100-pound load and an “umph!” Pee Wee waddled across the street to a parked rented car.

     “What are you doing?” screamed Mission Gorge in his arms, wondering whether or not she should laugh.  Pee Wee was pretty strong for such a little guy.

     “Nothin’,” gritted Pee Wee and threw her in the driver’s side of the car.  She bumped her head.  He hopped in after her and slammed the door shut, locked it as the bouncer grabbed the exterior handle.  Mission Gorge decided not to laugh after her bump on the head and threw herself against the other door.  The inside handle had been removed.

     “Damn,” she moaned and turned to Pee Wee.  “You better let me out of here or I’ll bust your balls!”

     Pee Wee started the engine and his rented car ~ a ’79 Buick with a tired automatic transmission ~ screeched away amidst burning rubber and exhaust and night time neon ~ through a red light.  The bouncer bounced off the bumper and fell in the gutter next to an empty half-pint whiskey bottle.

     The bartender, meanwhile, hustled back inside to the telephone, of course, to call the cops.

     Nick Bogie and Slim Chance stood side by side on the sidewalk and scratched their heads in the night.

     “Damn nigger,” muttered Nick Bogie with his chest out.

     “Takes courage to do that,” said Slim Chance.  He pulled his hat down in a philosophical way.

     The bouncer was on his feet, in about half a second was seated in the driver’s seat of his own slick sports car ~ a late-model deep-sea blue jaguar ~ and in hot pursuit.

     But Pee Wee lost him.

     And the cops never got there.

     The passing neon lights of the city caressed the flushed cheek of the Stone Fox starlet.  The handle to the window on that side of the car had been removed also.  Pee Wee rolled down his own window and smiled.

     “Hi, Mission,” he said.

     She glared at him in disbelief.  But the sudden quiet in the car, like nicely chilled milk, poured into her ears, filled up an empty soul, after having spent so many hours in that damn bar.  She decided to kick back and enjoy the subdued poetry of the situation.

     After a long moment she smiled nervously.  “Hello, Pee Wee.”

     He glanced at her, stretched his arm across the top of the steering wheel ~ relaxed.  “I’ve never seen you smile like that before.”

     “We’ve never been this close to each other with nobody else around.”

     Pee Wee nodded.

     They rolled along ~ hit a freeway ramp ~ speeded up.  Pee Wee rolled the window up ~ opened the wing-a-ding.

     “How come you did that?” asked Mission Gorge.

     “Did what?”

     “Kidnapped me!”  She laughed.

     “Well.”  Pee Wee pondered.  “Well.  I wanna ask you out to dinner.  But I can never get myself to do it at the Stone Fox ~ which happens to be the only place I ever see you at.  So I had to get you outta that place some how.  And so ~ ”  He reached over to the glove compartment, opened it.  And stuck a cigarette into Mission Gorge’s mouth ~ her favorite brand.  He lit it for her with the car’s cigarette lighter.

     “Thank you,” said the young lady.  She opened the wing-a-ding on her side of the car.  She blew a slow stream of smoke out in front of her face.  “It feels good to sit down,” she said.

     Pee Wee smiled.  “Will you go out to dinner with me?”

     “No.”

     Pee Wee’s smile disappeared.  “Why not?”

     “I’ve got two kids and an old man,” said Mission Gorge.

     “Oh.”  Pee Wee slapped his forehead with the palm of his hand.  “I should have known!”

     “Good try, Pee Wee.  Real Good.”

     “Is he a good old man?”

     “He’s okay.”  Her eyes went neon.

     They zoomed along the freeway into the night, surrounded by emptiness, plenty of room for talk.

     “You see, Pee Wee, all you guys back at the club, you all are patrons.  I’ve gotta keep my distance.  Mission Gorge isn’t even my real name!  I dance for you and serve you.  You pay for my bread and my shed ~ and the shed I have is some pretty nice shelter.  Understand?”

     “Yeah.”

     “Now I gotta get back to work.”

     “What for?  Why don’t you take the rest of the night off?”

     “‘Cause I’m getting nervous.”

     Pee Wee Johnson re-navigated the vessel toward Mission Gorge’s harbor of labor.  They sailed in silence.  A few blocks away from their destination Mission suddenly said, “Stop the car.”

     He did.

     She slid over, put her arms around his neck and gave him a long slow kiss.  Pee Wee Johnson, to say the least, was surprised.  It was a kiss to be reckoned with.  It was a kiss that could re-write encyclopedias ~ and inspire clouds in the sky to “moo” like cows.

     Later that night ~

     When Pee Wee was walking the path to his hole-in-the-wall, he was greeted in the shadows by Jose, the Mexican homo.

     “Hello, handsome,” coo-ed Jose.

     “What’s happening?” muttered Pee Wee.

     “Ohhhhhhh, not much,” coo-ed Jose.  He rested his hand on the little negro’s shoulder.

     Ordinarily Pee Wee would have stiffened.  But tonight he settled back on his heels, gazed up into the dark taunting eyes of Jose.  Upon the smaller fellow’s lips a little smile began to play.  Pee Wee’s hand near his hip rolled itself into a tight fist.  He brought it way way way back ~

     And decked the batata.

~

~

fiction by Rawclyde!

1980

pretty gal photos courtesy of Anja Rubik        ~         text copyright Clyde Collins 1989 2010

Limping Rooster Molly

~

a short story by Rawclyde!

1972

~

      My feet in their boots were man and woman happily making babies called footprints ~ along the highway side.  Every pebble, empty beer can, and weed was my brother.  It was butterfly season.  They with rainbow wings were my sisters ~ fluttering all about me.  It was very nice.

     The traffic zoomed by.  I saw nobody I knew in those chrome flashes.  They were all strangers.  Alienation from my brethren species ~ at the moment it didn’t bother me a bit.  Behind a boulder I jumped, closed my eyes, had me a cigar.  The dry smoke in my mouth was a love affair.

     Yes, it was very nice.  When I found a discarded bottle in a nook between a weed and a rock next to where I sat ~ one third full of my favoritie apple wine ~ I knew the angels were on my side.  Gulp ‘de gulp ~ I partook of their nectar.

     The foolosophies of a road scholar begin to tip over Empire State Buildings at moments like this.  Leaning in awkward comfort against the boulder, feet outstretched upon the ground, I of the most worped twisted of faiths, began to generalize on silly universalities between my ears.  Endless circles they spiraled upward ~ ’til they were mellowly trimming God’s toe nails again.  The Author of all things, as Jules Verne used to call Him, was my pal.

     But I was alone.  Yes, a portrait of repose only for myself.  Where was my more earthly love?

     Bah!  I stuck out my thumb and caught a ride.

     “Hello there,” I said.

     He had a car as long as a warship, but with ear rings ~ and didn’t like cigar smoke.

     “I am an ex-principal of an elementary school on vacation to no-where,” he said.  “With a lot of nice clothes and a Humpty Dumpty body ~ a good egg I am ~ soft boiled delightfully ~ ready to please.  Yum yum.  How are you?”

     His beady little eyes looked me up and down ~ and I had a ride with Road Homo.

     “What is your impression of me?” reached forth he with a tender anxious tongue.

     “You’re a friendly gentle old homo,” said I.

     He blinked ~ changed lanes ~ and we almost got in a wreck with a prehistoric cave-woman truck.

     “Do you want a blow job?” he panted.

     “Huh?”

     He gulped a little bit.  “Do you want a blow job?

     I gulped a little bit.  “No.”

     “Okay, that’s that,” he said.

     “You’re right,” I said.

     I stepped out of his glossy highway boat, complimented by the fact that he craved my John Barleycorn Man in bed with his Lady Mishap.

     “I don’t like women,” he said.

     “What’s the name of this town?” I asked.

     “Limping Rooster, Texas.”

~ continued below ~

~

     Our farewells butted heads and I strolled down the street, part of the parade of life in a small city with a hill in the middle of it.  Limping Rooster, I thought.  The name of this town is too much already!

     “What’s that hill doing there?” I asked a passing young lady strolling on a leash an extraordinary yellow polka-dotted Irish setter.

     A ruthless glint in the girl’s eye shot my soul full of holes.  Her nose climbed into the air.  Her dog wagged his tail past me.  This nothing reply sent a shiver up my spine ~

     And I shrugged it off.

     Lean, unshaven, dirty ~ I pulled my cap low over my eyes ~ commenced in getting pissed off at this string of events anyway ~ walked as cool as I could into a laundromat to, of course, wash my dirty laundry.

     All this time I was carrying a small rug rolled up and tied with two of my father’s old neckties, which made a neat bum’s bundle ~ full of dirty laundry.

     I’m not really a bum.

     This particular laundromat had people in it who I swear felt foolish as they did their laundry and blushed.  One young no-good slipped off his jacket, threw his shirt into a machine, slipped his jacket back on, shrugging his shoulders about twelve times as he did so.  I wanted to shout across the chug-a-lug room, “Ole!  Brother!”

     Meanwhile little children ran circles around him, knocking over baskets and tables and kicking wash machines, slipping and falling and hollering as they did so ~ with an embarrassed train of mothers behind them, hollering also, but not so gleefully.

     A young woman with a melon midriff got up and walked to a chugging machine, opened its lid, peered in, blushed, and sat back down.

     There I was, stupid looking myself, entrenched in the midst of it all.  As I folded my meager clothes, an older but smaller man with a lot of little grins stood opposite me.  He was folding about four trillion pure white towels into big stacks in front of his nose ~ and my nose too.

     Why did this man have so many white towels?  Was he taking care of a gym?  Did he own a hotel?  Did he steal them from a hospital?  Was he insane ~ and bought them?  Or did he simply have a fondness for fresh white towels?

     He was very careful about folding them ~ like they belonged to his mother and he gained pride and self-esteem by pleasing her.  The laundromat was his church ~ a church full of people doing their laundry ~ their act of praying.  He was at ease here, taking care of his trillions of white towels.

     He kept winking at me whenever I glanced at him ~ like we knew something nobody else knew.  I got a little nervous, quietly figured out he was Laundromat Homo.

     I tripped toward the girl with the melon midriff.  In mid flight it was a good opportunity to ask her if she had the time.  “Do you have the time?” I asked as I fell through the air.

     She pretended like I didn’t say anything ~ started to dig in her straw purse the size of a suitcase.

     “Pardon me, do you have the time?”  I asked again as I got up off the floor.

     She didn’t even giggle at my clumsy trick.  She shook her head at me.  One of her eyes was blue.  The other one was green.  Her blue eye was beautiful.  I could have done without the green one.  A shiver crawled like a snake up my spine as she looked away.  In her hand was a giant baby blue comb (almost the same color as her one blue eye) she had found in her purse.  She ran the comb through her hair ~ clean fragrant coconut hair ~ and tossed a glance at me (actually, her green eye was kind of beautiful too).  Her glance seemed to say:  aren’t you gone yet?  I wanted to be the comb.

     Another shiver crawled like a snake up my spine, this one in electric panic, when Laundromat Homo jumped toward me with a watch on his wrist with freckles.

     “Thank you,” I said, as I looked at his watch and saw his freckles.

     “You’re welcome, young man,” he purred ~ and smiled ~ and winked.

     I turned to the window for a change of scene.  A traffic light outside turned green and a gang of cars made a mad rush for another traffic light that turned red.  I believe my brow wrinkled a bit as I caught sight of the hill in the middle of Limping Rooster ~ just a little bit above the traffic lights, roof tops, telephone poles, and TV antennas.

     “What is that hill doing there?” asked I of Laundromat Homo.

     He frowned ~ buried himself in his neat stacks of towels.  From behind one of the glowing clean stacks he peeked like a cookoo clock birdie ~ and winked at me.  His nose reminded me of a raspberry pale with the flu, taking a cold shower, just so it could dry off in all those white towels.

     As I walked out of the laundromat I wondered why so many men were homos lately.  Was it like this in every age or just the one into which I was born?  And why were so many people uptight about homos?  Especially me.

     On the other hand, why didn’t I understand women?  How come I always said the wrong thing to them and got nothing from them but weird looks?  How come all I ever met was homos?

     Was I a homo?

     I didn’t like the idea of being queer.  What I needed was a wife ~ and I needed one bad.  Was that why us baffled boys of the world got married ~ because we were afraid we would become homos if we didn’t?  I wanted to explore the country, its people, its cities, study the life situation of the earth, learn to be a good man ~ and go to bed with a woman here and there ~ not with a bunch of homosexuals every where!

     Of course it was silly of me to be thinking this way just because the last two people who were friendly to me were also homos ~ and the last two people to write me off as a bad ticket to unpleasantries were women.  Anyway, maybe Laundromat Homo, who happened to be following me in his station wagon, wasn’t really a homo.

     I stopped in the midst of making my now invisible footprint babies on the sidewalk ~ next to a street of noisy Limping Rooster traffic of chrome.  I squinted at he who was following me in his station wagon, the back of which, of course, was neatly stuffed full of folded white towels.  The station wagon slowed down, pulled over beside me.  He leaned over, rolled the window down and said, “Hi!  Wanna come to my place for a little drink?”

     “Are you a homo?” I asked.

     He giggled sweetly, caressed my belt buckle with a tender finger.

     “No thanks,” I said and continued walking.  Also, I had this uncanny urge to crush his nose into raspberry juice with my fist.  But that sort of behavior isn’t polite, humane, or necessary.

     I glanced back curiously to see if ~ yes ~ he was watching my scrumptious lean butt wiggle as I walked down the street.  If he ever tried to touch me again I was ready to spank him until his nose at least bled a little.

     I was also hungry.

     At the order window of the hot dog restaurant on the corner I hoped there would be a young woman with a friendly smile.  But that wasn’t the case.  Instead, there was a tall lanky young man with pimples, yellow teeth that were crooked, and a crew cut (yes, in the year 1973).  He moved like a giant squid at the bottom of a sea of city, as he slopped my hot dog together, with onions and mustard and live sardines.

     “Thanks,” I said ~ handed him a dollar bill.  With a lovely smile he handed me back four cents and an expensive hot dog.  I thought I saw a green worm crushed and dying between his two front crooked teeth.  Whether that be fact or fancy, I am not sure.  But his wet fingers lingered in the palm of my hand, which jerked away, dropping the four cents all over the sidewalk.

     God help us both!

     I staggered away, worms in my head, a hot dog with live sardines in my mouth, rot in my soul.  An old gray man hobbling along with a cane in his hand, brilliantly smiled at me.  “Good morning,” he chirped.

     “No it isn’t,” said I with a frown, anxious to get out of Limping Rooster.  I wondered if he was a homo.  When I felt the tip of his cane poke me in the butt, I ceased wondering, and ran across the street like a baseball hit with a bat.

     A girl in a flimsy blouse with no sleeves, and shorts with no belt, and with feet with no shoes, with long blond hair and a pert pretty nose ~ not to mention her round little boobs that were apples with nipple stems under her flimsy blouse ~ gave me a look as if she wished I would have gotten run over as I home-runned across the street at her.  She dodged out of the way and said, “Ech!”

     “What’s wrong?” I cried.  Tears burned in the corners of my eyes.

     She ignored my question, walked casually along as if I was a parking meter that talked, asking for money from pedestrians.

     “Shit,” I muttered.

     Little pebbles of fear seemed to grow in my toes as I walked down the sidewalk.  It was like they grew grew grew ~ into boulders ~ entered my blood stream and tumbled into my head where my faith ran in circles trying to get away from them.  My heart became clogged with these boulders, coughed along its beat beat beat with big base drum echoes.  The veins in my arms nervously sang, playing boulders instead of guitars.  I was a walking rock concert playing a tune of woe, confusion, and doubt.

     Then it happened.  At the worst of moments, when I was full of doubts as to what I was, what Limping Rooster was, what the world was!

     Yes, it happened.  I was watching the flight of a bird ~ a white dove ~ yes, in Texas!  I watched it fly an arch across the sky.  It perched on top of a billboard just above my head ~ a billboard advertising mouth-wash that pictured two men with their eyes closed, kissing each other on the lips!

     The biggest of boulders ~ granite ~ shot up my throat ~ burned in my mouth ~ hot as blunt hell ~ burst out between my lips in the unpleasant form of lava.  It was what was left of the hot dog ~ down the front of my shirt into the gutter of Limping Rooster.

     One little sardine, still alive and flippin’, swam away.

     Upon one knee I involuntarily fell, shut my eyes, shook my head, wiped my face.  I got up, dizzy, and walked on.

     I jammed a cigar between my teeth ~ forgot to take off the wrapper ~ tried it again without the wrapper and lit it with the ninth match struck.

     Now I was a walking strike-out covered with puke.  A girl in a red dress walking up the sidewalk saw me, turned around and ran.  A man behind her asked me if I’d like to take a shower at his place.

     “Hell no!” I yelled ~ and hit him across the head with my rug.  This happened next to a canyon and he rolled down into it winking at me and throwing kisses.

     I stepped into a telephone booth, slammed the door shut which cracked the glass, puffed furiously on my cigar until my head was swimming in a cloud of smoke and my eyes had to squint.  The booth was now full of tobacco smoke and I’m sure I couldn’t be seen from the outside ~ too much smoke.  As soon as I was squinting salty blood red and nothing else, I figured that was enough to make me tough ~ and stepped out.  I threw the cigar butt at a gas station attendant who kept looking at me ~ and I lit another one.

     At the same gas station I walked into the rest room ~ women’s by mistake ~ found a man inside powdering his cheeks.

     “Hi, handsome,” he said.

     I coughed short and low, trudged into the men’s instead.  It was empty.

     In the mirror I looked.  I saw a pink elephant with two horns sticking out of his head.  No, not really.  What I saw was a road scholar glaring back through the little red slits of his eyes.  His not shaved for a week face was a bit ingrained with road dust ~ and so were his clothes ~ a long sleeved work shirt of gray, jeans of black, clonky boots, and a sweat stained gray cap low over his eyes.  From beneath the cap fell stringy dark hair, well over his shirt collar.  The front of the shirt and the toes of the boots were complimented by his own drying puke.  A rolled up rug full of ironically clean laundry hung over his shoulder.  He was puffing on a small crooked cigar.  He was hungry and horny, haunted by queers and ignored by women.  The smell of him was touching.  His legs and back ached road.  He needed rest ~ had no bed but for the nearest concealing bush swamped by traffic noise.  His name was Clyde Rode ~ or Clyde Was Rode ~ or Clyde Rode The Road.

     And that’s me.

     In the sink I washed my hands ~ dried them with a paper towel.

     Then ~

     My fist exploded the mirror to pieces ~ and an old knuckle scar began to bleed.  My boot broke the door open ~ and I bravely walked out, the last of the American cowboys, a dying legend afoot, lookin’ for a saloon girl.

~ continued below ~

~

     I managed to find a saloon called Momma’s Topless Go Go Bar, which I immediately distrusted, and walked in and bought a beer.  There was a dancer on the platform behind the bar, bouncing shoulders and buns into all four corners of the world, to a racey boom boom go go tune.  I immediately began to fall in love.  But I didn’t finish my beer or my love.  When she took off her bikini top, she took off her wig too, had no tits, and was a man.  Casually, I got up and sauntered out of Momma’s Topless Go Go Bar.

     Limping Rooster was populated by nothing less than queer men and unfathomable women!  The policemen, truck drivers, liquor store clerks, grocery store box boys, all walked and talked kind of silly and licked their lips whenever they looked at each other ~ or at me.  The women all walked around with a gone look in their eyes and wouldn’t talk to anyone.  As for the children, God only knows what they were going to be when they grew up.  The little boys possessed the phobia of blowing “girl kooties” off themselves whenever little girls touched them.

     Other than this it was just a “normal” town.  And by golly, if you want to be a homo, be a homo!  I don’t mind.  As a matter of fact, you queer fellers often strike me as being compassionately above things ~ aren’t always full of hot air when you talk ~ like a lot of John Waynes I know.  Shucks, I kind of began to groove on the place.  There’s a little in all of us.  If there isn’t a little, there’s a lot.  Limping Rooster was okay, a feather in this land’s hat, a good book on its shelf, a fine whiskey hidden in its cellar.  It was okay, and is okay ~ that is until you expect me to make love with you!

     Before I knew it I was running fast as my feet could foot it ~ toes reaching for the air in front of my nose ~ that’s the way to run ~ and I ran!  All these strange fellers chased me as the women stepped aside.  Road Homo screeched to a halt in his warship limousine with ear rings, blocked my path of escape.  I climbed over his car, almost flew off its other side as he was opening the door ~ and run a run run I ran!  Laundromat Homo drove up along side the right of me in his station wagon of clean white towel (packed in the back) splendor.  I made a quick left between two buildings.  The others were on my heels ~ and the pack of hungry homosexuals grew bigger as I grew weaker!  Clean laundry fell out the end of my rug as I hurdled like a horse a little picket fence, scrambled like a cat over a tall wire fence.  Gardens I trampled.  Once I think I skimmed over the surface of a swimming pool ~ dropped my rug in it.  But I couldn’t continue this pace forever!

     Finally I had no place to go but up the hill in the middle of Limping Rooster.  It had no roads.  I leaped over boulders and leaped across gullies and tore through bushes.  The mob of drooling man hungry men did not pursue me up the side of the hill.  Instead they accumulated at its base and some of them hurled rocks and empty wine bottles at me.  Amongst these catapulting maniacs I glimpsed the bum I’d seen taking off his shirt in the laundromat.  For a split second I wondered who helped those women make kids to chase around wash machines in this city.  It’s a mystery to this day.

     I scratched my fingernails up the face of a massive boulder while flying rocks chipped and wine bottles shattered all around me.  I crawled over the summit of this boulder, fell through a huge bush full of skin pricking branches on the big rock’s higher side ~ and hit with an “umph” the ground.  My breath came in gasps.  My heart pumped fire into my head.  Eyes blinking, nostrils flaring, I choked on my tongue and almost died when I saw the dried up corpse of a man draped in the branches of the same bush into which I had fallen.  His decayed wallet lay open at his feet.  The yellowed ID gave my eyes a quick jab with the name, Jack Kerouac.  He had made it half way up the hill in the middle of Limping Rooster.  I lay half dead at his dead feet.  This was getting rediculous.  I thought he was buried in Massachusetts.

     Laboriously, slowly, I crawled out from beneath this murdering plant, stumbled to my feet ~ but it did no good ~ because then I fell to my knees.  I leaned over on my hands, lowered my head.  My tongue dangled like a dog’s.  The cap on my head fell off and I stared uncomprehendingly at it.  It looked like an empty dog food dish.

     “Bow wow,” I whispered in an attempt to humor myself ~ and cried.

     It isn’t hard when no one is watching.  It’s just as easily done as said.  I could’ve cried until I was dead.  It was at this moment that I took a break ~ in order to lose some faith in a few beliefs ~ such as my strength to seek rhymes and make them real ~ oh weaknesses, hello!  A wine bottle hurled by the hand of a Limping Rooster queer landed on my head ~ a bull’s eye ~ shattered and knocked me to my senses.

     I got onto my feet, stumbled up the hill in a slow agonizing way ~ occasionally had to climb rather than walk ~ didn’t even know why I was trying to reach its summit.  Once I did though, I was glad.  In the shadow of a giant rock on top of this hill I saw in front of the setting sun, a little colorfully painted house with a lit up neon sign above its door that said, “MASSAGE PARLOR”.

     The setting sun was golden pretty.

     In the window of the door was a smaller, simpler sign that read, “OPEN”.  An ounce of hope fought its way out of my heart and peered with me at this little house.  The hope grew into a giant of strength at my shoulder, slapped me on the back of my head with its big hope hand and I walked through the door.

     The light was low ~ but it didn’t take long to see a girl slouched lazy and bored in a stuffed chair.  She was reading The Happy Hooker, a paperback book written by a happy hooker.

     She looked up at me.  A twinkle of promise avalanched out of her eyes like the Milky Way.

     I stood silent, looking at her.  She sat silent, looking at me.  She was not a movie star.  She was more like Calamity Jane.  But her skin was smooth and her eyes promised not earth shaking love, not even mild romance, but possessed a great flowing twinkle of starvation.

     “Want a massage?” she said.

     I said nothing.

     A long moment of silence played with our hearts.  Vibrations grew.  Defenses wavered.  The girl tossed the book onto a table ~ pretended not to know what her movement did to my desires.  I grinned just a little ~ just a little embarrassed.

     “Forty dollars,” she coolly announced.  “And I’ll be your baby tonight.”

     I handed her my wallet.

     She dug into it until she found all my money ~ all four dollars.  Sadly she shrugged, looked up at me with a double scoop of compassion and like only a saloon girl can say it, said, “C’mon, cowboy.”  She lifted her sweet hunk of womanly flesh off the chair, took me by the hand.

     “Thank you,” I murmured stupidly.

     She said nothing, but kept a firm hold on my hand.  I liked her shoulders.  I liked her walk.  I liked her.  The smell of her perfume.  A saloon girl!

     “What’s your name?” I asked.

~ continued below ~

~

     “Molly.”

     “My name’s Clyde.”

     “Hi, Clyde,” she said, not overtly excited.

     “Molly?”

     “Hmm?”

     “You’re beautiful,” I said ~ stupid again.

     She said nothing ~ just rolled her eyeballs.  Silence was thick and so was the aroma as she peeled off my dirty banana peels and stuck me in a bathtub.

     “Do you realize what I can buy with four dollars?” she said with a wet washrag in her hand.

     “What?”

     “Not much.”  She leaned over me with the washrag, went to work on my road weary body which was now drowning in bliss.  And my fondness for Molly drowned in bliss also as one of her breasts beneath a fine robe brushed my cheek.  “You’re dirty as a ~ “

     “I know,” I interrupted.

     “Where’re you from?” she asked.

     “Who cares,” I said.

     “That’s right.  Who cares?  Not me.”  She wrapped the soapy washrag around around my neck and playfully, I believe, commenced in choking me.

     “San Diego, California!” I said with a gasp.

     “Oh.”

     “Where you from?”

     “Dallas, Texas.”

     Obviously we were both refugees stuck in Limping Rooster seeking new homes some where.  Sweet silence peacefully reigned as she finished the wash job, dried me off, gave me a crummy purple robe.  “My favorite color,” I muttered.

     “Mine too,” she whispered.  And she kissed me.

     When we fell onto a handy little bed I kept attempting to do my duty for Molly and me but little henry kept getting soft.  Molly gave me a massage.  I went to sleep in bed with a woman.  In the middle of the night I awoke.  Molly was awake.  I gave her a massage.  She went to sleep in bed with me.  I rolled into her limp arms.  The wilted flowers in the garden of my dreams, with a kiss here and a kiss there, rebloomed.  In the morning they bore fruit.  Molly and I pressed our tummies together in loving grace as little henry went mucho hombre el macho gringo!

     “Tell me, Molly.  Have you ever really loved somebody?”

     “I’m loving you.”

     “I mean really loved somebody.”

     “Yes.”

     “What happened?”

     “He disappeared.”

     “Well,” said I.  “You can bet anything he didn’t want to, had to, and when he came back, couldn’t find you.”

     “Really?”

     “Yeap.”

     “I never even got a chance to touch him,” she sniffed.

     “I never got to touch my love either,” I sniffed too.  “And she was just as beautiful as you.”

     “Everybody’s beautiful,” said Molly.  “If they wanna be.”

     “Yes,” said I.  “Even homos.”

     Molly laughed and so did I ~ as glory burst forth with the rising sun, shouted with triumph across the universe, kissed whoever is out there on the cheek ~ breasts ~ thighs ~ toes ~ ripped through the gates of heaven, grabbed a piece, and slept on a bus all the way back to earth.

     It’s six months later now.  I sit alone in a gas station in the early dawn, sixty miles outside of San Diego on Highway 8 ~ hear the birds singing good morning in the hills.  The ex-sheriff from Montana, for whom I work the graveyard shift, has a ragged American flag hanging half-ass outside day and night.  It’s kind of weird, because I dodged the Vietnam War and I’m glad I did.  But every once in a while I glance at that flag ~ very holy to my “boss” ~ and like now, think about Molly in Limping Rooster, Texas.  God only knows why I think of Molly as I look at that ragged piece of cloth hanging out there.  Maybe it’s because I’d die, maybe even kill, for Molly any day or night of the year ~ but in Vietnam?

     Anyway, that morning when I left, she said, “Think you’ll make it?”

     “Yes, I’ll make it,” I replied, happy as hello, turned around and stuck a cigar in my mouth for a good smoke down the hill ~ and onward.

~

Text Copyright Clyde Collins 1989

~
photos
except one
from the movie
Hombre
1967
~