BY PAUL PEDITTO
(Note: ChicagoPoetry.com offers the following creative writing excerpts uncensored; they contain adult language; discretion is advised.)
Why would a healthy fellow blow off a beautiful blonde stripper named KIMBERLY who will fuck him, spend all night with him, and fuck him again in the morning, for $50?
TANYA held me in her arms and snaked her sweet self all around these lovejonesed bones, telling me she'd go to the beach with me and will bring the teddy bear if I bring the tequila and chocolate, all essentials for trekking into the National Geographic style nature that is Manuel Antonio. I couldn't bear to leave TANYA because she KISSES BACK. It's all give with KIMBERLY, namely GIVE TO KIMBERLY. TANYA costs too, but GIVES TO ME. And what does this have to do with JULIE anyway?
JULIE showed @ 2 on the button. In her arms was her King Carlos, wrapped in a white blanket and blinking Santa Claus hat. I know all kids are cute, but he's the goods.
"Carlos is sick. For a week now," sez JULIE, concern on her face. "Oh. Sorry. Bring the little Dickens up."
We climb the 3 flights of stairs and lay the kid on the bed. My plastic squeeking rat, kiddie clock, shark jaws on a stick, even "The Captain", my plastic blow-up pirate isn't grabbing a smile from the kid. Nothing is working today. JULIE tells me routinely about the freako I left her in the bar with yesterday renting 4 girls and wanking, paying each $30 and it was over in 10 minutes, easy money she sez and I just nods yeah, sure, sounds soft. Obviously, a bit of a "different" dynamic between ours, and other modern relationships. Ah, the many faces of love!
We lower the lights, off the music and she puts the kid to breast. In 10 minutes he's under. Cool! But he's got the bed, so where do we go? We get naked by osmosis and try standing at the wall. Nah. Try her kneeling on the floor. Uhuh. Both of us on the floor. With my knees, fughetaboutit! We try the bench in the front room, drawing the curtains that only block 3/4's of the view. Boy, are we successful!
We shower and return to the dark to look in on the kid. The sight I remember, and will always remember: JULIE, naked and 17, her beautiful brown body laid out full beside her Carlos, the kid sucking tit in a dream and in the now, his mother no fat Ruebanesque Earth Mother, but a vision of perfection, Nerval's blonde eating a peach in the Pompeii ruins, all there before me, me alone. I couldn't help but clasp on to her, naked myself, and let time itself pour off us...
The kid will never how beautiful his mother was this day. I was priveledged to witness it. And something else:
Then the kid woke up and puked on my bed. Ugh. She was looking at me for my reaction but all was tranquilo. We had a chicken dinner with Carlos, wrapped him up again and headed down to the pastry place. It was Carlos' 1st birthday tomorrow, poor little bugger. I bought him a 10$ cake and she showed me a rarity: Carlos walking on his own! YES! More like a waddle, a glorious penguinesque waddle!
These must be the moments most people revel in. The moments I know nothing about. This shit could get ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY addictive. This...
It was 4 o'clock and here comes JULIE right on time. Right on time is she, beautiful as usual but this time she's holding her world, her King, her Carlos.
Cute kid. 11 months. Roundfaced. Pitch black eyes. Looks just like her. But what do I know about kids?...
Forward: My apartment. I don't have much for an 11 month old
to sink his teeth into, though I imagine my blow-up pirate named "The Captain", my kiddie alarm clock with rap tunes, my shark jaws on a stick and plastic rat are more than your average gringo has laying about his place.
We lay on the bed with the kid and hours went by...
JULIE OCEAN. Named thus for the ocean between her and the "others", and for the ocean of realization she has brought to my world. WHAT A FRAUD! HOW SHALLOW IS MY SHALLOW? RUNNING AROUND LIKE A JACKRABBIT ON STEROIDS...when the simplicity of it was right in front of me. This is what it must be like to have a family. To actually CARE! Needless to say, PAULYVEGAS was CONFLICTED...
I could easily have gone without fucking her. The intimacy of that kid sucking on her(she, "muy feliz", being with her "dos gordos"-two fatties), our bodies interlocked, eyes interlocked, hours of "what's the kid gonna do next" seemed like minutes. He'd never seen his mother with anyone else and was jealous, she said. She had disrobed down to her "tanga" that I bought her and was pulling at my shirt, belt, pants, shoes...
Now we're naked on the bed and the kid shows NO signs of going under. She's wriggling her butt under me and I did what seemed natural. Each of us with one hand on the baby, we proceeded from there...
a first for both of us...
afterwards we took turns in the shower and i had the kid on the shower bar, like a gymnast, doing turns! He knew me now. I was an ok dude for a gringo and his mother loved me. shit, we were practically family already! So, as she moved off to put makeup on i lay on the bed and put the little dickens on my belly.
he rolled off...
too fast for me to catch him...
and dropped a foot.
laying on the ground and here come the tears and here comes JULIE, utter fear in her eyes.//
We get the kid up. he's ok. No blood. No bruise even. He's ok. Thank Christ, Buddha, Mohammed an your local bookie! Now come her tears. Of relief. It kills me to see her crying and we're all in a group hug for 5 minutes. This is, after all, her Carlos, her "rey"(king), her world...
The kid has sucked up all the milk so we go out for supplies. Carlos is an eating machine and we're feeding him our strawberry shakes on top of the milk. She forgives me though mentions that nothing has ever happened with Carlos, and its "su culpa"-- "OK, ok, a thousand I'm sorry's!"//
Moving toward her bus stop she trips and nearly drops the kid! "That one was your fault," i smile and say. I'm going away to Nicaragua for 7 days. That's a long time, she sez. She's gonna check my "leche" when i get back to see if i cheated. A kiss of Avenida Central.
No way she shows. TANYA @ 2 p.m. was not gonna happen, despite the cataclysmic "lapdance" of last night(& whoever heard of a 2 hour lapdance anyway?)
It was 2:15 and I was about to give it up when i saw her from a mile away. With these eyes? Reams of blonde hair in a long white dress slit up each thigh like some demented Shakespearian heroine, coming at me.
"What do you wanna do?"
"Go to the movies".
@ 2:15 in the afternoon there just ain't much in the way of movies. We pay for tix to the local 3 pm show(not 13th Warrior AGAIN!) and decide to "kill time" at my place.
Before getting there i buy her a 20$ teddy bear that speaks when you touch its foot, belly, nose. She fell in love with it and you know how easy i just say no. we also pick up some white milk, chocolate almonds and pastry...
it's not long back at my place before we're in bed with all of it, the teddy, the chocolate almonds, etc. It was 2:30. i blinked. It was 5pm. What happens to the time when i'm with her is something out of a 2001 time-meld, warp continiuty, time wave thingamagig. I mean to say the time just goes...
i remember her stripper's body naked. i remember her not letting me fuck her again, and me not caring. i remember the ether of her. The kisses getting longer. The eating of her pussy having less resistence until there was no resistence. Her giggling after the kisses. Teddy and I fighting over breasts. Her giggling...
And, of course, feeding me chocolate almonds, her beautiful body and long blonde hair snaked all around, all around, snaked all around me---
Why won't she let me in? it's a mystery. she's 18. could she be a virgin? a lesbian? the mystery adds to her...
"Shouldn't we go to the movies?"
"Yes. Let's go."
We can't get off the bed, can't take our hands off each other. 10 more minutes go by.
"We should go."
"Ok. Let's do it."
Reading the alphabet phonetically in English and her reading it back to me in her sweet child's, Marilyn Monroe voice. Her making the bed semi-naked in a white dress fantastically beautiful. Begging me for my fish-on-a-key-chain. And when we finally did make it out the door, her struggling Claire-like in 5 inch heels down my 3rd floor walkup!
We sat through the last 1/2 of 13th Warrior, if you could call it that. She was touching the teddy on the belly, ear, nose, and doing the same to me. Snuggling in to me, long kisses.
"Pizza!" she squeeled, making our way to pizza hut. Waiting for our ham and "abundant" cheese pizza, her dress showing lots of leg and every dude in the joint looking. christ knows what they say about her, i'm just waiting on the pizza.//
We take it to go. To DEEP BLUE SEA. She likes movies with terror, so why not the shark flick(3rd time!). Inside we eat pizza, play with the teddy, pretty much everything but watch the movie. Legs over me, head on my shoulder, watching her eyes drift in and out of the movie. Kisses and giggles. Cuddles and touches. I love her dark roots. I love her pockmarked face. I love her body that snakes like the thing in Eve's apple.
Afterwards, we're on the street looking for a cab. She's causing disturbances in that dress and NOTHING could be routine with her. Find the cab. Promises of the beach next week with her(how the fuck am I gonna juggle that one?). Leave her with the talking talking teddy, leftover pizza, lingerie, jewelry and a piece of me.
Love on you, TANYA(real name--Lisette?)
IT'S December 31, 1999 8:15am AND THE NIGHT MAN AT THE MORNING DESK OF THE HOTEL EL QUINTO DOESN'T KNOW...
I paid for my "deluxe" room at the lime green Hotel El Quinto starting today. Management claims I should have arrived yesterday, which will cost me my 100$ deposit. The TV has 3 channels, the floor has ants, no hot water and the cold water a quirky way of not working, occasionally. My chicks, TANYA and MONIQUE, have flaked. I´m alone here in a room with 6 beds. But hey, it´s ALL tranquilo! I´m here at Manuel Antonio for
d e c o m p r e s s i o n.
The choice being: keep up the Neal Cassidy pace and wind up mad, counting the Costa Rican iguanas under a wild Costa Rican moon, or, as Yeats said: "STEP OFF! STEP OFF 9 LEAGUES!
IT'S 9:12AM AND THE LEAFCUTTER ANTS CARRYING HUGE CRUMBS ACROSS MY FLOOR DON'T KNOW...
If it was Yeats who said that, or not.(Neither do I)...
IT'S 10:14AM AND A BLAZING MORNING COSTA RICAN SUN DOESN'T KNOW... The stock market is up again. How strong is this market? It has taken the likes of me out of the Cabinas Ramirez and placed us in palaces upon the hill.
It has taken the domestic cigars from our hands and given us Cuban cohibas.
It has taken the Confederate Army, us, and changed our colors, quenched our thirsts, fed our starving bellies, placed Union Blue uniforms on our backs, even pointed our bayonets in the right direction before the great General U.S. Grant.
It has knocked down the Berlin Wall. Torn away the Iron Curtain.
It has given us leave to dream of a world where money might not be the CRUSHINGLY EVERPRESENT FACTOR it is. It has made us believe, and laugh all over town for no reason at all...
IT IS 2:45PM AND THE PERFECT BROWN SKINNED LONG LEGGED TICA LAYING ON THE BEACH NEXT TO ME DOESN'T KNOW...
The memories I have of this holy place, Manuel Antonio:
KIMBERLY biting that tin can in two to pour her 30th tequila sunrise. Screwing BILLY into the ground as as I lay in the pool in a tropical rainstorm, in a tropical rainforest, contemplating obscene wealth.
Rolling into the Costa Verde and knowing my Cabinas Ramirez days were over forever.
The orange sherbert sunsets below 10 Commandment-style clouds. Chris chasing Costa Rican cocaine with Mexican tequila,
a Cuban cigar and Columbian pot.
Tommy´s greatest fantasy, 17 year old EMILY rolling up in our 4 wheeler, scarface¨"Alphonse" asking us if we wanted 12 year olds and Tommy begging me not to bargain with her too hard, pretty much any price she asked was a bargain.
The Dillinger of Simeons stealing the bananas right from my bag, under the noses of 4 humans.
TANYA chasing three iguanas up a tree in 6 inch heels- "MATALO!"
TANYA for all the world Ursulla Andres in her Bond days, tiny white bathing suit, laying at the waters mouth, digging for shells, an astoundingly beautiful child.
TANYA laying in the hammock with me, looking out over the miracle of sunset Manuel Antonio, me knowing it would probably be the happiest single moment in my life, wanting to cry with the realization like FITZGERALD with his ZELDA in Roaring 20's New York, but TANYA hungry for pizza, so...
TANYA finally relenting, giving in to me, no virgin and yet the surrender so complete, like no sex I have ever had, before or since...
IT'S 5:31P.M. AND THE LIZARD THAT WILL MAKE A GREAT HANDBAG DOESN'T KNOW...
The final sunset of a milennium is enfolding before me. Of all the angles, HISTORIC, RELIGIOUS, BUSINESS, SPORTING, ENTERTAINMENT, PHILOSOPHICAL...it is the MATHEMATICAL which occurs to me. 1,000 years/365 sunsets per= 365,000 sunsets. And I am witnessing the last one in the holy nature of MA. More lemon tonight than orange sherbet, the glory of it compensates for the AMERICAN VOICES I hear behind me in the pool(IN THE POOL? NOW?). You know the voices. These are folks who reserved in February for this December moment. These are the well to do, the well educated, well scrubbed, utterly boring folks of my homeland:
"My body has incredible healing ability...mucho rap-i-do" "These bugs keep biting me. What's their motivation?"
"What's your goal for 2000?"
"Gotta toss those CD's"
We take and consume, leaving our mark on this country, paper Burger King crowns for the Tico kids, who love them. & the sunset overcoming all of this...
IT'S 7:02PM AND THE WHITEFACED MONKIES WHO ATE OUT OF MY HAND TODAY DON'T KNOW...
It's time for my last bowel movement of the milennium.
IT'S 7:57PM AND THE ALICE IN WONDERLAND PALM LEAVES LARGER THAN MY BODY DON'T KNOW...
I love the Soupa de mariscos here at the Costa Verde restaurant, and will make this my last meal of the century. I send an email to TOMMY and DSUS about obscene wealth, and the OPTIMISM with which I am greeting 2000, something to the effect of: "If 1999 was a beginning, can you even conceive of the future?"
IT'S 8:48PM AND THE NIGHT MAN BACK STANDING GUARD ON THIS NIGHT OF NIGHTS DOESN'T KNOW...
I'm smoking a Cuban and opening my bottle of champagne. Watching images from all over the world pour in on CR TV, I decide I like the Parisian "exploding Eiffel Tower" the best, though Barcelona's Picassoesque Harlequins are seriously cool, as are Mexico City's Day-Of-The-Dead 20 foot puppets and grotesque clowns dancing in a rhythm defying description. The Costa Rican TV folks cut from this to a local rodeo, CLOSE UP on a bull in a stall, kinda, just, well, I guess he was waiting for the milennium too...
IT'S 9:37PM AND THE BLUE WINGED BUTTERFLIES WHO FLITTER/FLUTTER DON'T KNOW...
I've decided on my blue Hawaiian t-shirt, green shorts. I look tan and trim, agile, mobile, hostile. I am ready for milennio...
IT'S 10:56PM AND THE SLOTHS DON'T KNOW... Einstein was the Person of the Century. Babe Ruth edged out Michael Jordan for Athlete of the Century. It was neck and neck, though Chicagoans are claiming a fix...
IT'S 11:02PM AND THE HOWLER MONKEYS DON'T KNOW... This poor fucker front of La Quinta has to work tonight. I think back to the dozens of wasted nights I was in his shoes and hand him my bottle of champagne, and a Cuban.
IT'S 11:15PM AND THE DUDE COMING OUT OF THE BLACK DOESN'T KNOW... He nearly got run over and killed by my cabbie, wheeling down to the beach @ MA.
IT'S 11:24PM AND THE LAND CRABS DON'T KNOW... The Mar Y Sombra Club is absolutely smoking tonight. They've got all 8 disco balls working and even brought out the smoke machine! Local girls in tight short skirts are DANCING, MAN, shaking to a Latin beat, I mean FLYING. Everybody is looking HOT.
IT'S 11:25PM AND THE SNAILS, MOSQUITOS, BIRDS AND BEES DON'T KNOW...
NOW NOW NOW is the time I miss her most. TANYA. Hell, even MONIQUE. With them, it's a different night. Without them, my legs begin to move... toward open beach.
IT'S 11:39PM AND THE SAND FLEAS DON'T KNOW... I'm a half mile away from the Mar Y Sombra. The HOOTS and HOWLS of the YAHOOLIGANS are far away. I have sought reflection and solitude tonight. & I'm NOT the only one. Far from the maddening crowd a dozen bonfires burn along the palm tree beachfront. In the spooky blackness I see people, or shrouds of people. No faces. & no talking. SILENCE. Wow. I stake out a slice of beach. The sky and stars are bright and offer the only light. The constellation above is a crab, or is it butterfly wings? It is spooky and truly incredible as I wait, as we wait.
IT'S 11:51PM AND THE GUY JUST TO MY RIGHT WHO HAS LIT WHAT LOOKS LIKE A PAIR OF TRANSLUCENT AIRCRAFT FLAGGERS, ONE GREEN, ONE RED, AND WHO IS BEGINNING TO DANCE AROUND LIKE SOME BUTOH BANSHEE DOESN'T KNOW...
He's kinda blowing my head here.
IT'S 11:52PM AND THE TICS AND SAND MITES DON'T KNOW... I just had to move away from that dude. Type A though, had to add: "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE, CUZ?"
IT'S 11:54PM AND THE ARMADILLOS ARMADILLOING EACH OTHER DON'T KNOW...
The HOWLS of the YAHOOLIGANS from the club can be heard a half mile away. People pass in shrouds before me. I just lay on the sand, without a word, eyes wide open in the blackness. My mind races, but has found a tranquility. I think of nothing for long minutes, which just never happens for me, and listen as surf rushes the sand...
IT'S 11:59PM AND YOUR HUMBLE NARRATOR, PAULYVEGAS D O E S K N O W...
He has never had a finer hour, or a more magical moment. Alone.
IT'S 12:01 AND THE YAHOOLIGANS DOWN THE BEACH DON'T KNOW... Paulyvegas just went through the magic moment WITHOUT A KISS. Oh, wicked irony!
IT'S 12:25PM AND THE GOODLY STARS AND SWEEPING SURF DON'T KNOW... The fireworks from Quepos have begun. I think about heading back until I see the magic of MA under exploding blues, yellows, pinks, reds. Oh, man...
IT'S 1:44AM, JANUARY 1, 2000, AND THE CABBY WHO JUST APPEARED FROM NOWHERE DOESN'T KNOW...
He saved my ass. The dozens upon dozens of revellers now soused and seeking help up the hill in paradise. He asked 1.50$. I gave him 3$. He thanked me and went his way, and I, to paper to record this, for you and you, and you.
They told me about the ghost of the
Mercury Theater during the orientation tour of my new $8.50 an hour House Manager job. It was not to be taken lightly that the ghost, a wild and petulant spirit, appeared frequently at odd hours, mostly
to unsuspecting cleaning men without Kodaks and thus unverified, but widely
believed: The Mercury was haunted.
I saw no such evidence through my earliest tour of BUCKMINSTER FULLER, a jolly good natured, save-the-world
Whole-Earth-Catalogue style celebration
of the human spirit. Evidently the ghost approved of the message of mind over
muscle, or the celebration of idle coral reefs and idle leaves of grass, or the
pleas to have the courage to not simply
knuckle under to the grind of society(ie job, paying rent, spending an entire HALF OF YOUR LIFE in the pursuit of doing what someone at your job feels must be done--rather the "don't let up" philosophy of BREAKING OUT and pursuing YOUR
own dream of what YOU want to do.
This message appeased the ghost for it was certainly stilled the last 3 months. It was only when the show left town last week that strange events began to manifest.
It was Saturday, only three days ago, when over 300 children packed our Mercury Theater for the
Lakeview Children's Coalition Celebration of Youth. What a gas! So many lalapaloozing, balloon-clutching, clown seeking, giggling, wheezing, wailing, waltzing wip-o-will youths would either put off the mechanics of childbearing from one's mind forever or send one screeching home to one's mate to celebrate the joys of procreation!
The face painting and clown were only preludes to the sing-songing("One potato,
two potato, three potato, four!"--didn't L7 or Bikini Kill cover that tune?) which had the joint rockin' and every kid in the place clapping along. The hour went by fast as the kids and parent streamed out
to bagels, lemonade and chocolate cookies. Yum! It was in every sense a a success, a hoot, a laugh riot, a gas.
It wasn't until later I discovered the curious juxtaposition which would unfold on that very stage precisely at 8. For at 7 a pair of Barbie-blonde ladies came in
through the theater doors:
"Hi! I'm Heaven. That's Honey," said she, with a smile not born of Naperville.
"Hello, Heaven," said I, with only a tad of drool from my mouth's corner. "What can I do for you?"
"Uhuh," she winked, flipping her gym bag toward me. "It's what can I do for you."
The bachelor's party! I'd forgotten about it but now it all came back to me.
I began setting up seats for 15 in a semicircle upon the stage. Planning to
be gone by 7, Heaven wasn't taking no for answer:
"Doncha wanna see my titties?"
"Well, yeah, but--"
"What about this?" she asked, holding up a power drill skewed with a epic 12 inch dildo, round and round it went. "Please
The drool now a rabid foam from my mouth, as I shot back wittily: "Ok."
Then came the BASEBALL CAPS.
I don't call 'em yuppies, but if the uniform of Dockers, Cub t-shirt, baseball cap &
SUV driving, high 5-figure New Economy salary right out of Northwestern FITS, then wear it.//
Nothing could have been less sexual as
the Tech Guru Jesse "The Body" Cramer
dimmed the lights and the strippers making 600$ for an hour's work were probed hither and thither, in every orafice, with every dentist drill & dildo every conceived.
I couldn't even watch it. It was like watching a movie with no one to
Just two shitty forces pounding on each other. I got out of there. Jesse too. But as
the night wore down and the "show" ended, Jesse accepted $50 for his part
and I, helping clean up the vomit near stage left, took a $20.
MISTAKE! MAJOR MISTAKE!
For the ghost,
the ghost had seen it all!
Flash forward: Tuesday Afternoon.
Routine in every way. Jesse upon the
scaffolding high above, pulling down
lights and huge 20 foot floor to ceiling black curtains, calling me up to help him. Handing me down heavy metal rods,
stage lights, the nuts and bolts of our theater, when...
I think I saw a wheel come off. I say I
THINK I saw because the ground began to tilt, then give way, and I knew at once: The scaffolding was
"Jesse!" I screamed as it gave way to pure Buckminster Fuller gravity, my body
bouncing off the lip of the stage like a rather chubby Raggedy Andy.
Crash came the scaffolding upon me....
Injured? Not sure. Dazed.
"Pauly!" I heard. Above me, an interesting sight: Jesse dangling from the light grid, action-movie like,17 feet above & no body doubles here: "Find a ladder!"
Playing Hopalong Cassidy in this movie scene of ours, I pulled myself up and limped hard to the ladder pulling it toward him.
Pulling it under him."Go!"
Coiled up high, he dropped down on the ladder, solid, and made his way to ground.
Just looking at each other, we began to take inventory. The scaffolding had come
crashing down and lay in twisted metal
upon the stage.
No blood, only grapefruit size contusions on Jesse's arm and my side, already ugly purple, black and blue. Anything else?
Nothing, other than I can't close my hand without
To the emergency room at Illionois Moronic, ah, Masonic, where it wasn't until I was waiting for the negatives on
my X-rays & post Tetnus shot in my green hospital gown(how DO you put those on, front exposed or butt exposed?) that I realized the connection. Of course!
The ghost! It was the wrath of the ghost. Jesse and I had taken money! We had
gone from kid's sing-a-long and Heaven's dong-a-long and modernity be damned, we had to pay a price!
When the doctor came back and said
"No breaks. Deep bruises," I understood. I truly understood the grandeur of gravity's principle, for "what goes up damn straight is coming down" and what comes around always