‘Round Midnight (59. Don’t Give Up)

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Photo by Javon Swaby from Pexels

But never, never on a Sunday
A Sunday, a Sunday, ’cause that’s my day of rest
Most any day you can be my guest
Any day you say, but my day of rest
Just name the day that you like the best
Only stay away on my day of rest
Oh, you can kiss me on a cool day, a hot day
A wet day, which everyone you choose

Sunday feels weird without a Hot Chocolate gig. They are still bedding in their new lead trumpet player.

Literally, I think. She’s pretty hot.

I could have gone to watch and maybe even sit in, but that’s not fair to her, so I’m home alone, binge listening to Peter Gabriel live concerts.

Akira finally broke her silence yesterday morning. What I had guessed was all true. She wants me to contact Pagan for her. That’s a bad idea. Perhaps it is better that I call him, than for her to have to listen to his pathetic response. This isn’t the first time. As someone who practices sex magic, it is bound to happen if the woman isn’t careful. I’m surprised it never happened to me with the prodigious amount of sex we’ve had over the years.

Aoki isn’t happy. She thinks that Akira should get rid of it. I don’t know what Asami thinks. We haven’t spoken.

Don’t give up,
don’t give up,
don’t give up.

It’s a lost cause. Sometimes I feel Akira is a better best friend. Even when she is mad at me, she still talks, and we work it out.

Why am I obsessed with Peter Gabriel today?

I’m avoiding listening to the recording from Friday night. Last night, Jackson told me that he records all our gigs at Jimmy’s in case there is magic. In his opinion, that’s what happened Friday night. He said he had visions of Keith Jarrett’s Köln concert, the greatest live jazz recording ever. He wants to make a name for himself and thinks our concert recording is the means towards that end.

My bedroom window doesn’t have the same view as the 17th floor hotel, but at least there are no distractions, at least not in the winter. Sometimes in the summer my neighbor has noisy sex with her windows open. I seem to be plagued by neighbors who aren’t quiet about sex. My house doesn’t have much of a view at all. There is a tree in front that blocks the view for half the year, and it’s bleak the rest of the year. I don’t stand in front of it nude, since the streetlight would reveal me in the night.

The witching hour is approaching. I’m in my pj’s ready to dream.

You know we can talk anytime, don’t you?

Yes, but this seems to be when you take me somewhere to teach me something. Isn’t that so?

You could take me somewhere.

Or somewhen.

There’s a thought.

If I go to “somewhen”, do I go to whomever I am in that era?

If you want to.

Can I go to the premiere of the Rite of Spring?

Interesting choice. Go ahead. Take us. Don’t think about how. Just do it.

I’m backstage. Whatever you do keep dancing, he says. Shit, I’m one of the dancers. What do I do?

You’ve seen the Joffrey reconstruction. You know how it goes.

I was eight at the time, but I’m not a dancer.

But you are now, and you’re the Prima ballerina. Your body can do it, just remember.

I look like me, but with dark hair. I’m wearing a peasant costume with ye olde-fashioned tights underneath. It isn’t particularly comfortable. The conductor enters the pit. The crowd is noisy already. The lights dim. The bassoon solo begins. Somebody is throwing things, shouting. Keep going, Njinsky shouts, although the dancing hasn’t yet begun. Stravinsky is standing next to him. He looks at me. He recognizes me, cocks his head, raises an eyebrow, as if to say, you can dance, too? He’s seen this body dance, but he senses that I am visiting him from the future.

Was I this person in 1913?

Yes.

Wait, didn’t she die in 1978?

Yes. You were her, Tamara Karsavina, just before you became you.

Tammy was her husband? She took my name? Which husband?

Second. Pay attention. Positions. The curtain is about to go up.

I’m scared.

She was, too. This wasn’t an ordinary premiere. You know every note of the music, and she knows the choreography, just follow her.

Curtain. The movements are awkward by design, bouncing, jumping, leaning. The old hag rumbles around. The music is hard-edged, the orchestration is slightly different than I am used to. I know a later version. The instruments aren’t as modern: reedy bassoons, piston horns. I let Tamara lead me through. She is very athletic. The dance is quite taxing.

Njinsky shouts the counts from offstage and pounds his walking stick to the beat. We can’t hear much of the orchestra. One, two, three, one, two, one, two. It’s second nature to my modern ears, but Tamara is used to counting eights. I can help her audiate the music.

Audiate?

Hear it even when the rioters are too noisy. It’s all in my head. I can even visualize the dance. Does she know I am here?

You and she are one. She shares her knowledge of French and Russian with you, as you share your English with her. Hers isn’t very good yet. She doesn’t meet her Englishman for a few years.

But I don’t hear any Russian.

She translates it for you. Let her dance.

I’m chosen. Now it gets interesting, and more difficult. The violence of the music increases, and I can hear it over the riot. Breathing heavily now. I’m not sure I can make it to the end.

It’s a dance to the death. Don’t forget.

I’m really exhausted. I feel like I’m about to keel over. I can’t believe she lives for another 65 years.

She was in great shape.

We dance, jump float, we are cornered, we dance more, keep going. I can’t. I must. I know she does, but I … there, it’s the end. I collapse. I can’t get up. Marie helps me up. That’s Marie Rambert. I’ve seen films of Ballet Rambert. She soon became a legend.

We stumble through curtain calls, Njinsky embraces me. Stravinsky is upset. I think he left during the performance, but he must have returned. Legend says he didn’t return. Have I just changed history. Ripples?

The legend isn’t very clear. I don’t expect any significant ripples.

We are in the void now. It’s best not to temp fate. I’m still tired, though. Oddly, I feel more comfortable now, undressed, standing across from myself. What did I learn from this? Is the tiredness significant? Or the ripples?

She looks at me and gives me that same sly look Stravinsky gave me.

I didn’t change the past. The past changed around me. My presence was enough to change it.

Truthy smiles.

More Late Nights with Ezzie Dryar (19. Coincidence?)

XIX. THE SUN. Glory, gain, riches, pleasure. Recovery from sickness. Sometimes sudden death.

Another four days lost to oblivion. However, this time was different, as Christa sat at the side of my bed when I awoke. I was still naked, but someone had painted strange markings all over me, either Jem or Marcel. Christa refused to explain.

“The past must stay in the past,” she said.

My house had returned to a more normal temperature, from a balmy 90°. My furnace was close to breaking point when Christa and Dana arrived three days ago. Dana slept peacefully in the spare room while Christa kept her vigil.

I felt as if I had recovered from a fever, as my aching body was sweaty and stinky. I also had a serious headache, which I will expand upon shortly. Of course, the markings are henna, so they won’t wash off for a few days. None of them are visible except for a few on the side of my forehead, at my temple. At least those look remotely decorative. Clothing is no longer verboten, but I feel heavy, although I have lost 15 pounds.

The police car is gone, and the house smells more like normal. Christa had burned … err, cleaned up, too. Yes, my verbal tick survived the ordeal, but at least it is no long subject to the control of Ms. Ball. (I still managed to accidentally tell Christa she had a tight bottom. I can’t remember what I intended to say at the time.)

Marcel had left instructions for me to stay aloft … err, indoors until the full swoon … moon late this week, when Jem will return and complete the spell. I got the impression that Marcel shouldn’t see me until afterwards. Apparently, I have both of them to thank for rescuing me.

Is it a coincidence that I drew THE SUN today? It is number XIX and so is this instalment of my new frog … blow … log … um, blog. Was it sudden death or is this life after death? It certainly isn’t riches. The money is no longer in my bank account. I just checked. The bank sent me a letter explaining that one of their employees had accidentally transferred the funds into my account instead of another. For my trouble, they let me keep a small fraction of the interest. What is .04% of 40 billion? Well, it was in my account for one hour, so pro-rated, it’s about $182,000, enough to pay off the mortgage on my house and then some. Well, I guess that amount isn’t insignificant. Mustn’t forget to pay the taxes on it, though.

Motherhood has looked kindly on Christa. She’s lost the weight, and she looks gorgeous. Prettier than before, maybe. She’s still as tiny as ever.

Me? I’ve got serious cramps tonight and heavy bleeding. That’s the source of my headache – the heaviest period I’ve had in decades. Oops, I shouldn’t talk about things like that here. Well, the bat’s … cat’s out of the back … err, bag. I should say that I look like cheese … um, death warmed over, but I don’t. I feel like it, but there is something about the markings. They are sort of foolish … uh, cool. They remind me of that girl on X-Factor who used to paint designs on her teats … ack! … face, arms and legs until her mentor said they made her seem egotistical. She also dyed her hair and now cries at every opportunity. What a baby! And she sings like one now, too. Grow up, girl, and get your swagger back. If you don’t, you’re heading home. I’ve gone off you. Me likes the three boys. Yummy.

Anyway, I like my henna squiggles and stars. Maybe I’ll have them touched up regularly. (I so like being touched up! – by the right person, that is.) Although some of my British friends might just say that I’ve been “touched,” and that isn’t a good thing.

I’d better get to bed now. I don’t know how much I’ve slept in the past few days, or how much I’ve been out in the cold, naked … or how many men or souls I’ve eaten. I don’t know what I’ve done. Will the police be after me? Or the Feds? I guess I’ll just wait and see.

In the meantime, nitey-nite followers!

Full Frontal

in one of those moods, I can’t help it,
driving to distraction down a cul-de-sac
thinking too much, too focused

on him, holding me,
his warmth, his scent,
the sound of his breathing

mine quickens

in bed I lie awake
he is my fantasy
was my reality long ago

I’m warm, so is he
at home in his bed
heart in mine

thump-thump,

thump-thump
I can hear it
speeding along with mine

his touch, remembered
there between my breasts
softly stroking, feels my throb

in the liquid darkness
a moan, a question
yes, my answer

always yes

it’s been so long
always yes, forever
I part

he fuels my storm
my swell
an earthquake

his gift accepted
the past
a present cherished

alone

I’m a damp pool
my bed soaked
must wash the sheets tomorrow

I am weak
push relentlessly
he is constant

I wish

the glint of his eyes
just out of reach
he knows

I’m in one of those moods again,
and my desire consumes me
come to me in my dreams,

my love