Friday, September 25, 2020

The Wilderness Years - The Glimmer Twins v. 2.3

 It was mid-summer when Veronica had gotten her wish. She got out of the stripping side and was now the waitress and part-time bartender at Anthony's Lounge aka the strip club in your uncle's basement. It was around this time as well when she mentioned how she had moved into her own place and had broken up with the hoodrat boyfriend. I smiled and told her that was an intriguing development. It was the last summer of my 20s and the decade had been a rather interesting one to say the least. From the dissolution of the nuclear family, to being a migrant beach worker, graduating from college, dropping out of grad school, having two stints in the game and then moving back to the city with the intent on fully getting back in to the game as a plan to get out of debt. From there it was frat boy uptight marketing douche, Hippie Jack, Cocaine Mike, Max and Ruby and now Stiv, the new partner in crime who had put me in a position to move as much as i could as fast as i could. Now on the cusp of decade three i was moving into uncharted territory. 

The Little Blonde experiment was coming to an end. She was like a kid with ADHD hopped up on sugar (or cocaine in this instance) who really was not interested in what one would call intelligent conversation, not that she needed to be, she was doing just fine being Little Blonde. The simple fact was that any interest i had in her was purely sexual, which of course lumped her in with about a dozen other women i knew at the time. Let's just say i wasn't the most enlightened gentleman and had a tendency to think with my dick instead of my brain on occasion... well probably more than on occasion but that just went with the territory. There were certain women who were attracted to the full-time criminal half-ass poet types and who was i to deny them these experiences. Or at least that's what i told myself. 

With the money spigot turned on high i was prone to doing stupid things. Not stupid in the sense of getting myself busted but stupid in the sense of the bravado of young bulls... or bullshit as some might call it. It was around this time Mr. Gulfboot announced he and the missus would be moving to the States from merry ole En-guh-lan and so with the prospect of a free place to stay across the pond sliding away i decided i should take a trip over. Having already used up all my vacation time at the warehouse i put in a request to take a ten day leave which had it not been granted may have resulted in me turning in my resignation. Quitting the square world would have suited me just fine at that point but there was still that thought that i needed a gig just to keep me honest (so to speak) and that having a paycheck and paying taxes made me look good to the powers that be, not that the powers that be knew of me or gave a shit about anything i was doing though i'm sure the local fuzz and narc types may have been interested. And so with my unpaid leave approved i set about getting my shit together for another trip to South London. 

And so i began to plan my trip. It was a slow night at Anthony's when Veronica was behind the bar and Lil Blonde was dancing, probably a Tuesday or something when i mentioned about heading back over. I told stories of my first trip as Veronica listened intently between grabbing beers and pouring drinks while Little Blonde pretended to feign an interest and most likely having no fucking idea where Great Britain was on a map. At some point i said, "wanna go with me?" and while i said it first to Little Blonde i could see Veronica's head turn as she mixed another Jack and Coke for one of the Tuesday night sad sacks. When she came back over i looked her square in the eye and said, "what about you? you're single now, wanna go to London? I'll buy your ticket."  We locked eyes and she smiled and said of course she would in a joking fashion and we laughed and i stated i knew she thought i was kidding but i'm not. By this time Little Blonde realized she had been relegated to the sideline and was watching intently until she heard her name called to the stage. Veronica was beckoned to make another drink and we all went back to our regular Tuesday night. 

From that point on there was no more Glimmer Twins in my eyes there was only one. With Veronica it was more than physical, we clicked, had chemistry. She was close to ten years younger than me but in her short time in the city she had become street wise. She was smarter than she let on. It was obvious now who i was pursuing and though Lil Blonde might have nursed a bruised ego for a minute or two she knew we had nothing in common while Veronica and i had something else. 

It wasn't hard to see where my energy was being put and when Veronica asked if she could score some weed i smiled. Sure i said and handed her a quarter ounce. When she asked how much i coolly said, nothing, it's on me, just let me know when you need more. Really? she said. I shook my head. Of course if you ever want to hang out and burn one let me know. She smiled and said she wouldn't mind doing that sometime. We were sitting at the Little Corner Bar that night. The place i basically ran. It was one of the only places she could get in because she was only 20 but Frannie the bartender was sympathetic to her cause as well as mine. Frannie liked my visits because her tip jar overflowed when i did business there. She also knew my interest in Veronica. I bought Veronica a drink and we talked and then she headed out to go to the clubs with Lil Blonde and some other girls. After she left Fran grinned at me, better be careful with that one Kono she said. A Cheshire cat grin spread across my face, you know me Fran, i'm just a nice guy. She guffawed, shook her head and went back to washing glasses.


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Unknown said...

That's a great setup for the next leg in the adventure Kono. Your writing, certainly this piece, reminds me of James Kelman (sorry if I've said this before to you, I may be repeating myself). Something in the rythtym (can never spell that fucking word) but also some 'merry olde en-guh-lan' is a transatlantic mirror of Kelman's recurring rendition of his narrator's (and his own) country of birth 'Scahlan'... Ie writing it how he heard Americans saying it, in...I forget the name of the novel I'm thinking of but it's set in a milieu much like your old hood, and his is a similarly transient/restless and indeed 'halfassed poetic'
narrator/lead character.

I don't know if you've read Kelman but if not you'd love him!

Unknown said...

Sorry that was me again
jonathan crinklybee (needing to comment via Google account, as name/URL thing wasn't working for me some reason)

Kono said...

Hello again Jonathan, yes i've read a good bit of Kelman, How Late it was, How Late and Busted Scotch, a few others i can't recall at the moment, it was years ago but i did dig the work that i read. And i appreciate the comparison, being a Jock meself on me Da's side ;) and i have the same problem for some reason with that rhythm word, i have to look it up every damn time i type it.