All The Rest Divine


Bonny Finberg


Ended up in Paradise alone. Might have ended up here with you, such as you are, but after twenty years a change of plans. This is it, baby. See, it wasn’t so much that you’d never been. You made your mark, such as it was, in bursts of whiskey and dope. But whatever it was it was insupportable. You had a hardon for details which made you intolerable, not just to everyone else but to yourself and so you kept a safe distance. You were so absorbed in the pros and cons, mostly cons, that you rarely made any sudden moves, except to punch, of course, out of frustration or as Freud might say, a need to release pent up phallic energy in a non-threatening arena, Freud—definitely onto something Tantric never knew who his Daddy really was. But love has a way of stretching things beyond endurance, doesn’t it, my dear?

Less than a year out of high school, as countless times before, a room full of junkie clowns and mental acrobats. You langished with everyone else waiting under a red light bulb for some guy named Charlie, wondering what the big deal was. Even before arriving everyone talking and wondering when this Charlie would get there so their anticipation really hit, walking through the door. The red light made skin red and hair and beards tar black. You in a striped jersey and jeans, hair pulled back in a ponytail like a pirate. You said later that you got the name mixed up with some other guy named Charlie who you’d also never met, though people called him Charles, but besides whatever else was going on there’d been a joint and you got the two Charlies mixed up and thought they were waiting for him, this other Charlie who had a reputation as a drama queen, and you thought that he was the one they were waiting for so you were expecting someone different, thinking something entirely different was going to happen than what did. It was ‘66 toward the end of April, raining. The Doors were playing: This is the End—My only friend—The End. Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain, and all the children are insane, all the children are insane, waiting for the summer rain and in walks, ta da, “Charlie,” wearing a white patent leather peacoat and a clear plastic umbrella with yellow daisies on it. You described it a few weeks later, long auburn hair, expression all lit up by the red light bulb, looking like an icon bathed in sacred menstrual blood—gaudy in an elemental sense—divinity, you said. A clobbering turn on, though no taking you home to Mother. You, the red lightbulb, that shiny white jacket, the entire world infused with the odor of weed and patchouli, mixed up Charlies, this other Charlie who you thought was the one they were waiting for, thinking someone entirely different, something entirely different was going to happen. Maybe said that already.

Dionysian spring into sweaty summer, sheets never changed, moving our fucking into the shower, the foyer, leaving a party to fuck in the hall toilet on the floor, holding onto the walls for leverage. Eyes closed in the backseat of a car in the Berkshires, rain pouring down on the roof while you press, head thrown back, open eyes and you in the rearview mirror, thinking of the time we fucked in the toilet of that Carmine Street walkup and you shooting into me, the same chill on our skin from evaporating sweat even though that time New York City was 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was cool in the Berkshire summer rain that other time and now in this small hotel room on the rue Bourg-Tibourg we say last good-byes, tears, blood and shit all over the sheets and the maid hasn’t been allowed in for three days, she’s in for a shock.