Because I remember what it was like to stand in the middle of the living room and open my arms wide and spin and spin and spin... / by D.M. Jerman

NIGHT OUT 2025-

 

First the hot sunset. A real desert burner. Then thunder hiccuping like a sphincter deep in your gut.

Thick clouds, real in their gilt edges within the pale uniform of tired indigo washing out the sky beyond. That end-of-summer rain on approach. Fetid downpour ripe as a tramp. Slowly clearing.

Full evening takeover, then.

A hazy, half-fat moon. Over half. Gibbous waxing, wet as a jawbreaker worked over by a dog.

 

Before all this. Hard to believe now what those clouds looked like. Wide and peach-milk-pink. Spilled strawberry milkshake melted out on a lamp. Then atrophied blue gangrened deep thru. Corrupted simple under the sounds of bootsteps in blind alleyways.

 

The bar closed down after a good run and the team had themselves a long final party. They put on music the boss would never let them play with clientele in the place, and proceeded to destroy the ambiance with their bare hands. It would stand empty for a time after that.

 

Meanwhile- bass and smoke. Expletives, skateboards and some game on. More of everything than usual, especially sirens.

The city a bit of clamor and noise reeling amongst itself.

 

A ponderous night, drunk on new wind. Streetlamps courting miles of loneliness in all directions.

People can feel summer gasping its last and they want it gone, but they don’t either. It would be hard to make a false world and stay there while any windows are open and the whispered threat of more rain is riding the airy relentlessness.

However, a week prior is an example. Another place, courting the taxidermied reverb of memory.

 

Earlier, in the park made of late afternoon and bench and foliage in a neighborhood different from your own, a man stands in the shade of the garden not far from your spot and sings the same song aloud over and over. The book is good. You put it down to close your eyes. You are wearing heels. You are perhaps a half hour away from stopping at a new bar and killing more time before an art show.

Is it Friday? A day hazing over fast into the good long while of night. Both are so happy to have had themselves. To have been connected.

This was long after the rooftop days were over. Removed and exposed from the vantage of three or more stories.

 

Still stranded on a long road abandoned to cold on the saddest night of your life. These opposites were the same. They came before and after the dream-within-dream world of another bedroom.

Here you climb into the bed. Heavy covers lush and cool. You wake and find the envelope hidden under the pillow.

 

“Give this to the butler” says the fine paper with a black key etched to its opposite side. When he comes, you do. Then change into a red robe to follow the tall handsome butler silently out into the carpeted castle hallways and down. Down into a tearoom where you are expected. You greet and join your ancestors for light repast until the sun too goes down. Thru the prismatic glass all netted together with tall wrought iron spires, it turns into a polished cherry flame and winks out.

What do you do then? What do you say?

 

Come back now. Quit dreaming. It is Friday after all. The last of the last. Someone stumbled in to the place saying “I’m just here for the piano.”

Many hours later everyone made it home, altho’ the homes they made it to weren’t always theirs to start.