Chapter 4

Do ye write letters?
Do ye write long letters?

Estrelica wrote.

I don’t want to see Avalon right now, or Glastonbury, or whatever they call it now, b/c I shall never want to leave. Maybe in twenty years I’ll go after I’ve seen everything, but I just got done soldering an old silver hoop earring onto my St. Christopher + I had my grandmother kiss it, so....

Go there for me, you ancient rogue. Don’t take any pictures, don’t send me any postcards, just take this eyelash + toss it near the water so I can find it one day. Besides, by the time I get there I will have probably forgotten about the place + I’ll probably be thumbing a ride from Holyhead to Bournemouth or somewhere equally as exciting + get dropped off there at nightfall with nothing but a baby formula + a tea towel for a skirt + I’ll stumble across a sign what says ‘You are now entering Avalon.’ I’ll die then + there. Besides, legally it’s five years before I can even go back to that part of the country b/c of that asshole I slashed with my bottle of Nut Brown Ale.

See it for me, Doveboy. See it when you’re at home. When you kiss it all good-bye + wake up alone. When you see her walking past with her eyes on the ground, think of someone you recognize + don’t make a sound. See, I’m stuck here in that brownstone, the one we climbed in + trashed last year. I never worry about your headaches anymore or the rainwater that you’d wear dipped from your father’s wine barrel that we’d always lie behind + pretend what Antarctica smells like + the wills we’ll leave behind.

The kid down the street is washing my car for a couple of bucks. You’d like it now, the radio’s busted + at night sometimes I think I can hear the ducks. His mama’s selling junk by the side of the house. She still hasn’t enrolled him in school. He taught me how to keep my money in my socks + he says that today is his birthday.

I’ve still got your cocktail onions in a pickle jar + Valerie gave me some drachmas for Greece for when + if + how + why I ever get my bones over to Crete. Yes, someday we’ll get lost in the circles of Amsterdam, Barcelona + Lisbon, of course, + tuck in a little bottle of gin in the satchel + steal the admiral’s horse.

I can’t smoke any menthols these days, I’m around too many smokers. But I have finally found a Jolly Roger from a parking lot flea mart for ten bucks. Too much, considering my phone is going to be disconnected any day now, but I always preferred seeing people’s faces anyway.

You’d be amazed what everyone says about you. Half of them sit around at parties remembering you like it’s a wake + the other half do indeed think what a waste of time it all is. And, of course, rather than denying you three times, I just sit + smile + imagine the cackle you’ll have when you get back (if you get back). The heat-seeking cackle of a man who’s left his secrets in deserts of joy + flicked his ash in cantinas none of us shall ever haunt. Where will you haunt when you’re no longer with us? My bet is Carrickfergus, but Nick says Aqaba.

Ahhhh, J. Dove Dixon, you truly are fictional. You who follow your heart are no match for what I see around here. It sounds as if you’ve surrounded yourself with Teagarden. Well, I’ll send you what I have. All of mine except for the one with ‘Davenport Blues’, which you’ll hate me forever for, but it will be here for when you return. I keep it on top of my blaster so you’ll always know where it is. And if you get any of your friends to steal it, the glass mongoose is history. READ MY LIPS!!! Speaking of which, whose lips are you reading these days? And don’t tell me that you sit around writing letters b/c I detest the mailman right now like a case of anthrax. Or is it sheep? Such a fine fate for your bucolic bumming days. No, this isn’t the voice of jealousy; merely the grumblings of a twin left behind. But I must say that I got pretty defensive about your comments of the meek + mild. It’s not that there was anything scripturally WRONG with what you said, but I just need more madness around me right now. I want to connect the moles on someone’s back who has little tufts of hair on their shoulders + have them pay my rent, love me madly + leave me alone. Alone, she says, like the titmouse + the curve of her breasts.

Is there a garden by the side of your house? You mentioned the swing, but is there a garden that grows hyacinth + cinnamon + geraniums? Lie to me if you have to. I just want some kind of glimpse of where you are.

You keep saying in your letters that you were never like this, that this is all new to you. So why is it you seem so damn comfortable + resting in peace? What do you sing to yourself when you go to sleep? Send me the tune. All I’ve got are housemates with too many jobs whom I never see. It’s not as if I need to see anyone + I must disagree that when you’re having so much fun you should share it. But a soul mate or two right now would be a welcome donation. Actually there was a gent who placed his hands on my waist about a week ago, but he smelled of bourbon, NOT Scotch, so I sent him on his way.

You’re probably wondering why this letter is so much longer than all of the others. Well, it’s being written in the bath at ten in the morning. I traded shifts with Monica who is in court all this week so I have my mornings free. So as soon as I’m wrinkled I’ll pull on my saddle shoes + go find breakfast somewhere. Any ideas? I haven’t been to Eggscetera for a while, or the Swingside come to think of it. But what’s puzzling me is why, when you submerge your head + furrow your brow, can you hear noises like an electric current going through your head? Am I to assume that we are electrically based beings dangling with a live-wire throbbing with energy? I think not. I think that, in fact, there are ions in this water that simply do not agree with my body.

Some fool let the front door open + a draft is creeping through the place, so I guess it’s time for breakfast. So, fare ye well, Hyena, for St. Elmo burns for you, not to mention the nape + the navel of a little know lass, gingerly giddy + downright daft, as she coils up her lungs + spits at the stars if they bring you anything but oysters + ale. And you’ll see it all + someday soon you can stop + stay with me, too. And your boots, your chalk + your simple heart, I know, will see you through.

Fail better

- Estrelica


Estrelica & Vic, Chapter 5

This is a train, part one