by Carlos Nordquist
This is a place interrupted. The night sky has a streak of lightning crossing straight through it. It looks like a jagged, sharp, bright and blue scar. I am doing my best to maintain consciousness. I have been struck in the head with a soft skinned, yet hard skeletal blunt object. His knuckles were like solid steel brass covered with soft, pliable flesh. Deep in the contorted, twisting, dancing pit--it was an accident.
“Hey man, are you ok?” His stoned mind says to me in the soft, velvet, black darkness. I can smell the thick sticky sweet green of the magical ganja on his sweet breath. Techno dreams scream behind the closet door. It’s not really a closet door, but the door to a room writhing with bodies. They are not dead, but most of them wish to be. It was death or razor blade dreams of fathomlessly deep smiling, slitting wrists and swirling dark red, spinning down shower drains.
They dress in silk dresses, painted white faces and vermilion lipstick ripe with the scent of its pasty baby powder smell. Boys with Christian Death ‘Rozz William’ T-Shirts and girls with black wedding dresses clothe the floor and their thin bodies appear as birdlike shapes. They are all deathly pale and thinner than ancient Dixon Ticonderoga pencils from empty grade-schools. This is a gothic candied place where the boys can buy red, bloody roses with razor sharp thorns—the scent of the flowers. Oh, the scent—it is sweeter than honey from a bee. And if between the electronic body music’s beats, if you listen hard enough in the one second silence, before the beat drops again like a hammer, you can hear the dead. You can hear them whisper your name—longing for you to meet them in white drape covered dreams. If you’re not afraid, chicken.
I open up the hollow wooden, stiff, rusted spring, creaking door to the club no longer maintained by fired sick janitors. Men who fixed the girls bathroom so its oak wooden door, would not shut all the way. Men who drilled teaspoon size holes in walls to see things with vacant morals.
Purple black lights brighten the whites of my eyes and expose the virgin, lacy lint on my ‘Lust For Blood’ Velvet Acid Christ T-Shirt. On the back of my shirt, the letters of the V.A.C. logo are drawn like knifes and are metallic in color with razor sharp edges. A heart is on the front of my shirt where my real heart would be. It’s not some sissy valentine but resembles the real thing, glistening and bleeding.
She’s the only girl of my dreams, a young teenage thing and only nineteen as track nine of a vicious Acumen Nation song begins. ‘I have no imagination’ are the lyrics and here, looking at her I know I am nothing compared to the endless deep blue of her eyes. Her skin is delicate like sweet whip cream candy frosting and her black shoes shine, a half-moon in those startling black tap dancing shoes. She doesn’t tap, but she wears what she longed to be, what she always wanted. I need go no further, because I’ve always wanted her.
Three minutes pass and she beckons me into the cool wisps’ of the night. Her full lips like roses part to reveal perfect teeth, the bottom row plays with her tongue like a magician on a golden harmonica—her tongue rolls in her mouth, wet candy cane mint speaking words that make my heart race at butterfly speed.
I listen and hear the puffy clouds of midnight and its distant thunder. It’s more haunting than anything. The Depeche Mode like chanting of Assemblage 23 soars through air that is heavy with the flowery smell of Jasmine. I can see its tiny symmetrical petals stuck tight to a stem that will never let go. Just as I know this wedding cake beauty, with her corset top and bare milky shoulders will never let me go. I wrap my spidery arms around her smooth, frilly satin waist. I whisper in her ear and tell her my favorite haiku:
“Kudzu strangled house
Overgrown vines and tangled veins
Summer place of pain”
She laughs and tickles back at my ear like a soft white feather.
Needles of kudzu strangle the once abandoned establishment--the place where the sounds we love keep angry neighbors over ancient train tracks awake all night. Her chiffon ball gown turns, its bottom bells up and rings, calling spirits that its time to enter back in to the church of acid.
She tucks her small hand behind the door frame and taps it open. She eats in gusts like a snake every two weeks, but her limbs pull the closet open--hard and with a destructive fury. She doesn’t even have to try.
Inside lights have stolen the darkness from the dance floor that’s sliding and glistening with spilled alcohol. Boys without shirts slither and then pound against each other. Anvils of the beat pound the air and their fascinating shapes move in a liquid frenzy, trapped in an isolation tank of hatred for this mundane world. They all know what each other is thinking. Silver bullet, metal guitar riffs tear the fragile jasmine scent. Tears streak down their faces as the beats and riffs join each other with their own voice. They pause temporarily from time to time waiting for the next boy or the next to join in. Each with tattoos of women with black hair and blue eyes (just like my princess) adorned on their bodies, the angels upon the boys’ skin smile at me.
The DJ places another vinyl on the turn table. Space begins. Its black and empty and ruthless. The raspy, male, German voice of Wumpscut begins. The music has the odd sound of an organ in it. Its rapid and it swirls in time with the xylophone-like keyboards while the heavy beats pound. I know my ears are going to ring for days after this.
My angel turns the corners of her red licorice lips and her endless deep ocean blue eyes look at me. It’s a look that could melt a thousand princes all at once. “Are you ready yet?” She says.
I answer yes and we leave. We head back through those hot purple black lights, melting power that is about to burst like a balloon lost by a motherless child. I hope the light breaks from the surges of power that provide that illuminating light. The light that exposes all of the flaws of our clothing and yet brightens us up like white lingerie on a newly-dead.
We travel across the night street--past the hundred year old oaks with pale green moss draped over their branches. A hot mist is coming from the empty road, because it has just rained again--that cold winter rain. We enter an all night restaurant. There is a dried up buffet with dark brown gravy on it, splattered and dried to a crisp. The mashed potatoes are yellow in color and one best not eat the seafood--it expired hours ago.
This place caters to those who want to pretend it’s normal to be out at the devils hour--three a.m. eternal--the hour when it is not safe to be un-Christian. The hour when an angry friend or voodoo priestess can send a demon someone's way while the slit of their eyes are sleeping. They wake up and find life is cursed. Powered by this devils hour.
This soft, velvet black haired, chiffon dressed girl with those milky soft, porcelain smooth shoulders is cursed. The Cures ‘Fascination Street’ whistles in our ears, old and familiar. We sit at a table, hold each others frail, dead hands and hear a throat clear. The young voice belongs to a girl who will be food. We order catfish and other things. It comes and its flaky white, greasy texture melts in our mouths like bottom-feeding, dirty river tear drops.
Aurelia gives me a greasy finger and I suck and lick it and bite it with my razor sharp canine teeth. Her flesh cracks like a cracker when I nip at it. Chewing on her reminds me of snapping tiny bird bones under my feet. “Ouch!” She says and she glares at me with that--wait till your backs turned--I will get you later, look. We trust each other, most of the time.
Twisting her face in to the beautiful look of pain is worth it. Like when I gave birth too her--when I bit her reluctant body and she joined me for all eternity (until someone stakes us in our coffin warm sleep).
Our waitress, our meal, refills our crystal glasses of Coke's and Aurelia nods at me. It’s time. We have watched and the only other person there, the cook, has gone out for a smoke. We hope she tastes as delicate as the catfish.