When i met Audrey she was certifiable, absolutely off her nut and out of her mind, she reminded me of the Art School Girls from Hell, the little blurb on some show on MTV back when the channel actually played videos and before shit reality shows took over. The first time i met her i fell in love. She talked like a eastern shore white trash valley girl, she wore a black and white striped Cat in the Hat raver hat, large black boots and some hideous shorts/skirt ensemble, fucking hell she was a train wreck and i was more than smitten. That summer i was stuck working in some shit town in western Pa. while the family dissolved and my relationship with a girl dissolved and i had no money and nowhere to go so i took a job at the university i attended, a fable for another time as i like to say, but i managed to hitch a ride to the shore to see One-eyed Bob, my high school friend who was currently scamming the shit out of the register at the store he worked at. One-eyed Bobby and his frat brother had a room where i could crash on the floor for a long weekend and take acid and get drunk and try my damnedest to get laid and hopefully not commit murder while they debated the merits of Marillion songs and ridiculed my drug use.
Needless to say the young Audrey had better things and boys to do than some pie-eyed out of towner with little money and what seemed like even less game, it was one of those times when i was so smitten i was literally tongue tied and every time she was around that weekend i usually stammered like an imbecile and looked at the floor alot.
Fast forward to the next summer and a gang of degenerates has rented out the old whore house on 6th St. The owner of said building had been my boss on not one but three occasions and knew me well enough to put me in the back bedroom on the top floor, it was designated the smoke room so that we could keep the Ocean City kiddie kops off our ass and because as the owner said, "you're a fucking wastoid", there were 7 of us and a couple of stragglers who grabbed the last 2 rooms. Lucky for me one of my roomies had lived there the summer before and was friends with Audrey, who didn't live there this summer but lived close enough to come down on the weekends.
It was her first weekend and she was dressed smartly and her long brown hair hung down and we drank on the porch and talked as the usual array of low-lives partied around us. I was working the graveyard at at 7-11 and scamming it's register and the boss gave me weekends off so i wouldn't quit. It was friday night and as everyone slowly passed out the main room was left with just four of us. Audrey, me and my two newly graduated from high school roommates. The other 5 of us had either just graduated or were about to graduate from college, as the Nubes once told me years later, that summer was more educational than 4 years of college could ever be. Needless to say working the Sleven afforded one ample opportunity to steal not only cash but cigarettes and porn. The beat up coffee table was covered with it and as we sat around talking and listening to the ocean, smoking cigarettes and finishing the booze Audrey looked me right in the eye and said I've got four hits of acid in my purse.
By this time it had been established not by me but by my roommates that i was a madman unrivalled in my intake of illicit substances and i smiled and replied that i'd been taken from the moment i saw her last summer, a moment i'm sure she didn't remember and that i'd gladly take two hits and she the could take the other two and then in the morning when the courthouse opened we could go get married. Not once did her eyes move from mine or mine from hers and i could tell that my two young roomies were sitting there transfixed by what was taking place wondering would this fucking nut job really eat two hits and marry some hot, crazy chick 18 hours after they hung out for the third or fourth time?
She said yes, i'll do it and smiled but i stopped her and said not so quick my blushing bride and pointed to a magazine on the coffee table entitled Shaved Snizz. It was a classic in low-budget porn and i really wasn't interested in anything other than the title at this point, i calmly told her that i was a rational man and that before i took the plunge, in a show of good faith, that she would have to let me, well, shave her snizz, to which she replied that she wasn't all that fond of the process but so be it, was the least she could do. She rose from her chair across from me and her long 5'10 inch frame walked over and took my hand and led me up the staircase to my room. When i looked down from the second floor into the open space that was our common room the two young kids sat sitting with mouths agape.
Being the gentlemanly sort i will say no more than we consummated are impending nuptials that night and saved the acid for the next day, we never did make it to the courthouse but did manage to lay around naked for most of the day and night in my room which was literally an oven. Young and stupid isn't always a bad thing.
Over the next month and change Audrey and i would spend many days and nights together and i can honestly say she was a fucking gem, she was working on becoming a model and though a few years later i would ridicule anyone who said that was a career goal i'll admit i kept looking for her in magazines or catalogues, hoping somehow that i'd find her again, she said she loved the fact i was 6'4, said she felt like she was home every time i wrapped my arms around her and the two of us pie-eyed and out of our skulls on any number of substances i'm sure cut a lovely figure on the boardwalk, scaring the shit out of middle america. We listened to Ritual de lo Habitual and Nothing Shocking alot.
Like most things in Ocean City though our or more correctly my love was transient and soon i quit the Sleven after almost being held up at gun point one fine 4 a.m. and took a job at a french fry place which means i didn't have weekends off and for some reason i made the decision to politely tell Audrey that we most likely wouldn't be getting married and that in fact i had a date that night and she couldn't stay in my room and it got a bit messy and she chased me with a hammer and had this horrible vacant look in her eyes and though i'm not sure i really wanted to do it pride and some fucked up sense of macho stupidity made me walk away.
We hit the fast forward button again, job #7 of the summer, late into September, washing dishes in a breakfast joint, usually hung over and exhausted after busting my ass all summer when one morning a tall blond looks at me and says Kono, you live on 6th St. don't you? And i say yeah why? and she says You're the guy who was gonna marry Audrey. I give my best aw shucks grin and explain it was just a joke and ask why she stopped coming down. The blonde's smile vanishes and she says, you really fucked her up. I stop smiling and my mouth opens but nothing comes out and she tells me a few things about Audrey and she's not doing to well and i just stand there like a fucking muppet and stare at the my soggy shoes and the wet floor.
I don't regret much but i regret that i never really said goodbye or i'm sorry because you were beautiful Audrey and we were both young and fucked up and i still look at magazines hoping to see those eyes looking back at me and i often wonder if you got your degree in art and if things turned out the way you planned. That day sticks with me because there are times you wonder about the choices you make and how the lead you to where you are, i sometimes wonder what would've happened if we ended up at the justice of the peace and enacted your plan where i worked for 3 years and supported you while you painted and then you worked for 3 years while i played with the typer, of course i've also seen Sid and Nancy and realize that could've been us.
Regardless, thank you, it was beautiful.
4:05 in my neighborhood/ when shots ring out/ no one bothers/ a pop and a reply pop/ and no reply/ dinosaurs on the quilt i wore/ with a girl/ such a classic girl...