Jim Trainer

Finally Fall

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2018 at 9:36 pm

This morning I waited. Sometimes you have to. Most times you have to, in this business. I waited for it to come. Or not. That’s the thing. You have to be open to it. Maybe you’ll find you’re not inspired. You’re obviously not inspired so you sit and wait for it to come. I read a story about the great writer. He would sit bolt upright, his machine on and humming before him. Then, in a start, he would dive down into those keys, really start working those keys, in a buzz and a flash. He was a great writer. I’ll never live him down. Always feel like I’m in his shadow somehow. So I sit and wait for his shadow to pass over me. And all the things I was supposed to be. All my yesterdays, and every foolish last night. Sometimes it doesn’t come. This was one of those times. Some thoughts aren’t easy to shake. She is relentless. And thoughts of her are interminable. The way she looks in that photo. So platonic and fake. She looks neither as happy as the day I told her or as sad and mean as the day she broke the news. She’s as phony as they come. Gone but not gone. We split and now the summer is over. I couldn’t be happier. It’s finally fall. But the way she looks in that photo really fucks with me.

Loretta’s right. I’m the tragic romantic. Loretta’s got long, long legs. They just go up the fucking wall and to the ceiling. We were at her sister’s bar for the Talk Dirty Podcast. And the roof was coming in. Water, water everywhere. I was sitting next to her, on the lovers’ sofa, and those incredible long legs.
“You’re 4 on the anagram,” she said. “The tragic romantic.”
I smiled. She had her hair pinned up like a Hollywood starlet, dressed in a tight silk kimono and amber Corsican pumps that drove me crazy. I was imagining those pumps and her legs wrapped around my fucking head. That’s when Guy moved in. She’s got a coterie of guys. They swarm and hive around her. Follow her around the bar and buy her drinks. He offered to buy us one.
“Whisky and water.”

Loretta is all class. All legs and ass. A far cry from her sister–Lorraine, my boss for the podcast. Crazy Rainey. Crazy Rainey’s hard scrabble and green-eyed. If Loretta is all class then Lorraine is uncouth. They’re both Geminis. Have the same birthday actually, but years apart. Loretta’s older, closer to fifty and Rainey’s still coming up and trying to prove herself with her latest venture–the bar, and hosting edgy acts and performers like me. When I get up to use the john Guy takes my place beside Loretta on the lovers’ sofa. Wade the poet is onstage and I don’t mind even though I hate poetry. Rainey approaches me on the way back from the john. In the dark.

“We need to talk about the show.”
“Now?”
“Now.”
We go outback. Beneath the eaves. I can see Sybil out there beneath a picnic umbrella. Resplendent and dry reading a copy of Sexual Personae.
“Did you get my email?”
“Yep.”
“So what do you think?”
“It depends.”
“On?”
“How much shit you’ll give me while I’m doing it.”
“Oh, come on!”
“Ok I mean, I’ll do it but if you give me reams of shit for it then I’ll just quit the show and it’ll be all yours just like you wanted.”

She was edging all the literary content out of the show. Guess I can’t blame her. Me and my coterie of tragic romantic poets weren’t exactly wowing ‘em in the stands. But neither were her readings of classic playwrights and Oscar Wilde monologues. She was onto something with the format. I’ll give her that. Dirty talk. Frank and honest. Real. I didn’t really care. I mean I cared about the show but I was willing to give it up just to get between her sister’s incredibly long legs. Loretta really turned me on. She’s older, hotter. Sitting next to her on the lovers’ sofa looking up and down those legs, that was it.  And that was all. We finished the show and left. Without saying goodbye. Out front the bar she offered me her arm.
“Shall we?”
God she was sexy.

We headed out. Into the night. Me and Loretta. Hot damn. It felt good to be out on the street again. Finally fall. I remember reading how the great writer would associate certain albums with the seasons. How this Lou Reed jawn will always be his go-to in the Fall. Walking the streets of Berlin with his invisible woman blues. Leaves turning inside him. I had my start. The story was gaining traction. Me and Loretta finally leaving, finally fall. Last summer. Shit. Last summer was a goddamned albatross. I really thought I was in love. I had found love again after all that time. She turned out to be a phony. As phony as they come. But the summer was over and it was finally fall.

We pull into Loretta’s.
“Go on in.” I tell her and back down the drive.
Priscilla is standing there like a statue in my rearview. She’s porcelain-white, flashing her phoniest smile.
“Can we talk?”
“No.”
I get out the car put my hands on her waist and pull her close. We kiss ravenously. I pull her hair back on her head. Ease her onto the drive and mount her.
“Wait here.”
I get in to the El Camino and slowly pull forward. Then I put it in reverse and gun it. It feels like I’m backing over luggage. When I pull forward it sounds a little softer and I gag a little. I had my start. The story was getting some traction. I look at the photo on my desk. She’s still smiling but now a tire print is hatched across her face and legs and arms. It’s ruined. I get out of the car. I can see Loretta in the doorway, bathed in light with a drink in hand, standing on those incredible long legs. Smiling.

//
From All in the wind-Rejected, Neglected&Accepted Work 2009-2016 on Yellow Lark Press.  Visit jimtrainer.net for one of four different collections of Jim Trainer’s poetry and prose.

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