(Wondergist, from Barking Wall, 2011)
It ain't the same, Sandy, nothing will ever be the same.
It is quiet, with little sounds interrupting the silence, the occasional car, and then I realized my ears are already used to the footsteps from the floor above, the train passing, even the air has a buzz to it, it is quiet but it's moving, it's being pushed by something, machine-like, from far away. Another truck passes. It hits me harder here. I close my eyes and try to think, to recall the last 48 hours.
The city was asleep, I passed by familiar sites on the way to the airport. I saw Tiffany's, in an orange glow, I remember, then the biker bar, the karaoke joint, yes, there too, and then underneath a building a place where faces are hidden, men with high-heel women disappear. I never ended up ever going back, I don't think I could after what happened. That night calls me out of peaceful nothing dreams into a vortex of sexual fantasy, perhaps to mysterious, too hidden and unknown, and something along the lines of a sexual nightmare, neither good nor bad, fun and sexy. I keep telling myself it was just a dream, if only.
We set off on a mission, Sandy and I, my mother told us about the Korean red light distinct, warning us, never to go there at night, strange things happen there, no good. No good at all. And that only seemed to make us want to go there even more, to see it with our own eyes, we even doubted my mother's words, thinking it was only speculation, has she ever gone there at night, talked to those people, sat in that bar, and saw anything before her very own eyes. Never. And so we went one night. We walked through the streets on the road when the sidewalk disappeared, we held hands and looked like a couple looking for some trouble, something exciting, and wild. It was all quiet in this little town on this small island, everyone seemed to go to sleep at a certain time and then the glow of the island seen from high above with dim into nothing, a few stars in the sky of an ocean. Some things in that city never sleep, they creep in the night, hide in dark corners, or in this case underneath an abandoned building, where men go, women wait, and counting stacks of bills. Approaching the building only made me nervous, I didn't want to be there, it felt real, like a scene out of a movie, the stereotypes of bar fights and nasty folk conjured up in my head, it wasn't too far from that, we just passed by handlebar-sporting bikers by the bar across the road. She held on to my hand tighter, she was wearing the balls for both of us. And I remember cycling the thought of why I wasn't comfortable with all of this, nothing has happened, no men with guns occasionally flickering from behind their coats, no dog-eyed stares, if anything it was uneventful, and yet I was uneasy. Girls in sequin dresses and high heels clicked clicked clicked in wait, a fat lady sat at a fold-out table, holding money, and a couple approach, smile intoxicated smiles, one white guy with silver hair in an aloha shirt first ten buttons open chest hair everywhere and a young asian woman with a butt float a few inches behind waiting for a pair of hands to grab it enter the joint. None of them eyed me, I was expecting one of the woman for sale to at least look at me, ask me out with their eyes, only for me to go, I'm not interested as awkward as I can muster by looking down in shame. No, none of that. Sandy let out of my hand, she jetted into the building leaving behind as the gaping door represented one reality to another. As the door stood open I looked in, saw a dead scene of booths with the flicking glow of televisions, odd combinations of neon colored things, from the booths to the walls to the cups and the floor. At the bar the bartender looked on, a fat bouncer looked at Sandy approaching him, then looked back up at the TV uninterested. The door closed, and I stood there looking at a portal that had disappeared. Suddenly the sounds of money being flipped through shot up from behind me, some barking sounds from one of the girls, and my back burned a tingling sensation, telling me I had to get out of there, I looked to my left I looked to my right, I couldn't go, the only place direction was forward, into that door, into the unknown. I grabbed the handle, felt like I was touching each hand that had been places on people I never wanted to knows bodies, I wished I had a tissue, opened the door, entered into a bizarre scene from Twin Peaks. I took a deep breath.
I looked around to see if I could find Sandy, at the corner of my eye I saw her head move abruptly to the lift and disappeared through a door, I looked to the left only to see a mirror. The right. I calmly passed the bouncer and bartender, who never gave me a moment of their time, and jetted into the door. After the door came a long hallway, red walls, and for a moment there I thought they were bleeding, it could have happened too it wouldn't have changed the situation. Spaced out every ten feet were doors, and as I passed each one moans of male and female parties resonating through wood and into the hallway. It reminded me of this time a few of my buddies and I went running around this notoriously haunted hotel in Galveston, looking for ghosts, in the hallway we heard moaning, like a ghost speaking of its troubles, it got louder and louder as we approached, all of us completely silent, even our footsteps made not a sound, closer and closer until the door was inches away, it was a couple fucking.
A door opened to the right of me, a hand came out before I could see, and I was taken into a dark corner of the universe. The door closed behind me, this shadow disappeared into the darkness, I couldn't tell if it was close or far, my eyes tried to adjust but there was simply nothing to adjust to, it was too dark. Warmth came over me, I felt it rush through my blood and I started getting hard. Lips were pressed up against mine, moist contact, slippery with tongue, we were reading each other, and once we came to an understanding things picked up from there. It was dark but I'm assuming it was a girl, she grabbed the back of my head, pulled some hair, and I was so turned on in the moment it didn't hurt, I just went forward, and her legs wrapped around me, taking me on this fall. We were together, where we land, if we land at all, could have been a pit, my mind yelled this is Sparta as we entered the void, and we hit the bed, her legs spread, my body in the right spot, kissing each other furiously. Grabbing my body, running her fingers against my back, I felt crazy, she was crazy, we were both crazy. Hands started to explore each others bodies, things were grabbed, pulled on, poked, pushed, and things got wet. Motion happened, moans were produced, faint, struggles to breath and yet breathing just fine, air that only left the body in a erotic moments, steamed, a hand pressed against a window, moaning louder, faster, things slip in, bodies make one, that good old feeling, my mind leaves and is replaced with that of animal, I almost forget but I completely remember. Faster and faster, a smooth motion, we were an ocean, gliding like surfboards, completely smooth and yet there's fiction, we were floating away, and hitting rock bottom all at the same time. Louder and louder, more intensity. Sweat sweating, darkness all around. Time slips, the warmth boiling, bodies fuse, breath, spit, nothing outside of this moment matters, the people we knew, the places we've been to, the things we had to do, all responsibilities, everything forgotten, out the window, just that motion, that togetherness, the warmth, and steamy cloud like nesters of emotions and sensations, and moans. Eventually climax.
We both just lay there, I could hear her breathing, I can hear myself breathing. She rests her head on my chest, and we sleep. Sum hours later I wake up, alone, naked in a room, it is a different room from where I closed my eyes because it was now lit from a florescent light above. It was disgusting in there, stains on the wall, a lime-green paint with plastered up holes, off-set paint, the sheets of the bed suddenly looked dirty, I get up and put my clothes on fast. I open the door and looked both ways before entering the hallway. I couldn't tell if it was night or day, I wasn't sure how long I had been in that room, or if anything had happened. In my pocket I find a few condom wrappers, it only confirmed some certainty as I make my exit. Into the bar, I see from the exit that it is still night, but this time the bartender looked at me, the bouncer got up from his seat like it was the first time that night and looked right at me. No words until I passed him on my way out.
I stopped and held there, like a hook had just sunk into my back.
"3 hours, $70 bucks".
I turned around, grabbed my wallet without thinking of another opinion, pulled out eighty in twenties, hand it, the bouncer who nodded to the bartender the bartender nodded back, hit the cash register and produced a ten. I grab the ten from the bouncer, then once the exchange was done the bouncer returned back to his seat, looked up to the TV and the bartender continued drying cups.
At home, I find Sandy sound asleep, I wanted to ask her questions, but she looked too peaceful. I went the bathroom, cleaned myself off, and got into bed. I closed my eyes and think to myself, it must've, I really hope it must've. In the darkness of the room I felt my body be removed, taken, and replaced. A call from the wild, I looked up the sky, it was a full moon, I whisper, "Do you know what that means". [Silence] "It means I ...[HOWL]." A fog left my mouth as I howled like a mad man, like wolf, like a coyote. Perhaps I was all of the above, I ran, I ran huffbeat stagger fearless and with a craze about me. Beat in my chest, I let out another howl, it felt good.