The Rattle and Hum.
One thirty in the morning, this is either piss or beer rubbing on my thigh through my jeans. I dont know but if I was asked to make an estimate of what beer this is I would guess its my twenty-first, maybe twenty-fourth. It doesn’t matter anyway. I began this morning en route to the amusement park pouring a six-pack one after another into a gas station coffee cup, screaming broken Japanese phrases from the backseat. The giggling and chatter of my two co-conspirators mixed with the whine of wind through the open window and some soundtrack from Marie’s tape player- I’m guessing Elliott Smith or a similarly inane man-siren.
This is a day trip from the foothills and my friend Marie’s back lot apartment, it looks like an old barn, upstairs with its tiny living quarters and downstairs rehearsal space. In the backseat of her car we both play host to her visiting friend, I stuff my face with marshmallow cookies and complain of the heat.
We sit and draw the protective handlebars to our stomachs, make clever remarks about the kid running the control switches. The coasters rattle and clatter and hum. I am thrown forward and back and hurtled, around loops and through berms and its easy just letting this massive nearly useless machinery decide your course for the next thirty or forty-five seconds. This park; man came and saw land, he developed it for the purpose of fun and profit. Great lengths of steel were and are engineered, sums of money are spent and a maze of iron and rivets erected. We walk through this maze in a drunken stupor, one ride and another and the faces of other holiday seekers, the Christmas music from unseen speakers, this park is nearly empty and there is sadness to the whole day. Im drunk and its noon, Low on sleep, still reeling from Monday nights bender and Tuesday nights job. I wonder often, What the fuck is wrong with me?
Sumimasen is Japanese for sorry, this is my favorite and most useful word in the language of the rising sun. This girl I am with thinks this is hilarious and we sit on the couch watching curb your enthusiasm, I try to explain the subtle humor and comic genius that is Larry David to her but all I get are polite giggles in between sips of her girl flavored malt liquor. My humor doesn’t translate well to Japanese or any language for that matter. Im beginning to dose and I put my head on a pillow as she hands me another beer, some minutes pass and we are walking down the street to make last call at the bars. We find my friend Katherine at the Little Joy bar on the corner. Shes in a booth with some Lesbo friend of hers, we sit and catch up, Dan and Marie walk in and head straight to the photo hunt machine. There was another bar and then one more and a long drunk hike back up the hill to Dans house, Im pretty sure Dan and Marie are back at the bar or walking around somewhere. I remember I wanted to hit the all night dinner for a milk shake and this girl eagerly agreed to my plan but now we are just up against some wall. It is one-thirty in the morning and I realize my jeans are soaked in something, I believe there have been some spilt drinks tonight, but then, I have also excused myself to piss a few times in these hours. I guess it doesn’t matter whether she notices or not, I’m already making out with her and there is no way shes sleeping with me, she has an early morning flight back to Tokyo. Inside the house, Im careful to leave the door unlocked for Dan and Marie, I head for the bedroom and realize she isn’t following me; she is back on the couch. I peak out from the hall and whisper her name, motion her to the room, she jumps up and drags me in. Falling to the bed she fumbles with my belt and fly, I assume this gives me free reign over her garments and go up her t-shirt and unsnap her bra in a quick flick with my thumb and forefinger. Shirts are off; my jeans slide down, eased off in haste, guided by her hands. Bare mattress beneath her, the breathing and the hair and the tensing bodies. But my pulse never quickens anymore and my heart fails to climb into my throat. I wonder if this is a calm and composure acquired with age or a numbing of my senses. It really doesn’t matter at this point. Because this is exactly what I wanted, this is everything and really this is nothing. Skin on skin and the sounds and I can feel her heart pressed to my chest. Beating, the rhythm or lack there of, sounds and motions. Sweat, I can smell myself, I can smell her. I hear movement in the house but I don’t care what goes on beyond this bedroom, beyond this bed. Words are exchanged but I don’t remember what is said and it doesn’t matter because at times my lips are pressed to hers or pressed to her body or hers to mine. My forehead is getting hot; hair sticking to it and my chest is moist with sweat. I touch her chest and it’s moist, I kiss her forehead and it’s hot. Thoughts flow in and out of my head, not relevant to this moment but at the same time so relevant to the passing seconds. That Yo La Tengo album: I can Hear the hearts beating as one I know what thats about, I know exactly what that’s about. Tits and ass; Im getting tits and ass, right now! Im getting it; I’m living the dream, my dream. Every guy’s dream. Casual sex, I will never see her again, no weird run-ins, no awkwardness, just, Sayonara! or is Shitsureishimasu, more appropriate for girls whove slept with you? Wait, I’m tired but I don’t want this to end. How long has it been? One, two hours!?! Life is movement-I dont want this to end, but I do. Im tired but when will I get laid again? Maybe never.
Later (hours? Maybe seconds, I dont know.) We walk back out to the living room. I notice the screen from the kitchen window is on the floor and the window wide open. Paul is on the couch playing some basketball video game with Dan. He is grinning at us and chuckling; “How was your nap?”
Dan looks me over in disgust and points out that my jeans are undone. Marie is on the computer listening to music, she stands to announce that she and her friend will be going home,”I have to drop her at the airport in three hours.” They walk out and I look through the fridge for water. Dan is telling me that I locked to door , he had to climb in through the window to open it. I find some orange juice and finish the carton, toss it in the trash.