Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #194: Dare


Tristan Boudreaux in his lifeguard golf cart, outside the front gate of the Portofino Glasswear Swim Club. Seersucker formal, the heat is Bangkok-oppressive; he’s seen better days, but Valerie Parrifin is center-pool, wave pool unto herself. The minions circling Val bounce, blast, shimmy, and jive—the hop and bop of the Peanuts Christmas Dance. Look closely, Pigpen ash floats above the frothy fray, only in this case, the dusky catfish is Wayne Chitterson, son of Jerry the Chitlins King. Ample bod, suave manners, filthy as the Eden slums. Valerie blows him a kiss, the arbutus rustles, and Tristan is back to square one. Whither love, when chitlins get the upper hand?

Bubba Saenz, in his baby blues that match his baby blues, insinuates lustily, shows his club wristband, queries: “Why out, not in, mana-T? Memory serves, that’s your Queen in mid-pool. Chitlins be damned.”

“Duty,” pouts T.

Bubba, ever slow on the social cues, eyes the uni. “That seer sucks, my brother.”

“In this weather, it sucks even more.”

“Feeling Ophelia out here, chum?”

“I feel for no one but Val—”

“Different point altogether there, Tristan, my man. Summer vacation, my alluding quotient goes up.”

Tristan’s gaze yearns, his body burns, he would darken the sky, suspend a disco ball over the raging pool, submerge his Truffaut-shod soul in close encounter, but he. is. on. duty.

“What is an arbutus, anyway?” wonders Bubba. Query quotient rises with the heat, too.

“Strawberry tree, in Mediterranean parlance. ‘Food,’ if you’re an Emperor Moth.”

“And the point?”

“Hunger has its way—”

“Not the point I meant, T-boy. Heat like this, you expect a man to keep his mental stream intact? I meant you, lifeguard, outside the gate?”

“Comes of hiring nonmembers to guard.”

“I take it all the member guards—”

“Yes. In the pool.”

“Cagey, those fiends. Coming out party for Ms. Paraffin’s ample bounty, the guardians of the mist inch closer.”

“That’s more than an inch by my count on Calvin Greebs.”

“You’re behind the times, T. That ain’t Ms. Waxy Calvin’s after. Kathoey.”

“Juicy. Twenty-first century. Strawberry trees for us all.”

“You take the dare, if I offer?”

“Like Costello on Bacharach.”

“Careful there, cowboy.”

“All I mean is—”

“Lemme guess: nuance be damned, your Vesuvius rages, your Kentucky bluebirds are all in ruffian flight, you aim for less is more, but the casual remark blisters like the fistulas of night, the violet talk whispering in your ears has seen better days, you cannot reason with even the least of you, God is calling, Shiva is calling, Brahma has you by the balls and won’t let go, you feel your inner Brian Wilson about to—”


“I thought Brian might be a bit much.”

“Valerie is walking this way.”

“You have got to lose that seersucker, mein Freund.”

“She takes me, she takes all of me.”

“Argument could be made, milk and sugar lawyering togs ain’t exactly you, T.”

“Man on duty’s gotta do—”

“Spare me, T—”

Shatarupā speaks. Tristan feels the warmth in his solar plexus. She might have asked him to go to war, she might have asked for butter on that bread—

Warbling on, winter fire warmth warbling: “Tristan?”

One hundred beautiful forms on the wall—

Ask again in the next fiery night…

Midnight dark, lights out, pinpoint lights in the distance just pick out the rising mist over the surface of the pool. The cart is in the middle of the parking lot, two votive candles lit at front and back. Red fore, blue aft.

Bubba nudged the gaping survivor.

“Haven’t got any.”


“Explanations. Nunya.”

“Am I asking?”

“Maybe not now, but you will.”

Tristan looked down at his bare chest. Two drops of red icing, nippled bindis. He stepped from the cart, burned his fingers on a blue votive, held it still, tipped it, looked as if he would drink its waxy elixir…

“Yo, buddy—”

Yo buddy poured the clear stream down the center of his chest, felt her call there in the heat, felt her lips brush his skin, felt the stun of the initiated when She of the Hundred claims her own, and Shiva, once again, whets his razor-sharp knife.



Blogger Lilibeth said...

Well, I guess he dared. How it will turn out isn't always promising though. Makes me shiver.

8:29 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lilibeth: I ain't so sure as to what exactly transpired. Sumthin, sumthin, but...

9:08 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Even with the reference to Brain Wilson I was hearing "Love Hurts"
"the casual remark blisters like the fistulas of night" - yes indeed it does...

10:21 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: I guess it do, though think Tony Robbins may have entranced the boy. Walk on fire, no pain for this devotee.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

My mind was blown by "whither love, when chitlins get the upper hand?" After that it was hard to concentrate. A very interesting tour de force.

But I thought Sita was the one who went through fire to prove the purity of her love... where are your goddesses bro? The gods are rompin' and leavin the women-folk home? naughty, naughty... I guess they've all learned from Zeus.

11:33 AM  
Blogger anno said...

There you go, channeling Padgett Powell again. Poor Tristan, lucky Tristan. The knives of Shiva are sharp, and he will never again be the same.

11:39 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: Whither the goddesses? If Valerie / Shatarupā / She of the Hundred Beautiful Forms ain't a goddess, then I ain't a southern boy what's mixed up in all the mess of the messy messy. Tristan just a lost boy heself, cher.

I don't know if it was the chitlins blew your mind, girl; most likely the pot liquor (likker).

Merry Christmas, sister.

8:13 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Anno: Better P. Powell than John Tesh. Take a whole fifth head off Big Brahma Boy, you can imagine the crew cut little Tristan survived.

If he survived.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

And here I was thinkin' Valerie was a mere mortal like Leda who didn't know what she was playin' with. There must be fireworks going off in Muratville!

11:39 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: She did. He didn't. Does now. (I think.)

11:45 AM  
Anonymous missalister said...

Duty schmuty! Mary gets the drift while her sister’s all worried about silly particulars. Priorities, priorities... F**k duty, especially when good beer’s involved, I say. But there T-boy is at the end with Parrifin all down his front, so I needn’t have got my Martha all up. I’ll write it down again: I do so love your dialogue, P : )

9:32 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Mil gracias, Duchess. My, aren't we getting pentecostal in our commentary! Of course, I know that Mary / Martha polarity runs strong in you, too - f**ck duty, be damned. Here's to all our Marthas gettin they groove things on, too.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

I've been missing all this good comment pot likker sitting off in my corner pouting cuz the brain was stuck in neutral. tsk tsk - gotta learn to get over myself and join the party.

8:38 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Still not trusting yourself, I see, Ms Dee. It's all in there confusticatin'. And you know it, too...

Pass the likker...

12:17 AM  

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