cocoa did her nails. then she did mine. she told me how happy i made her dad. she was a working girl and a high class escort. kept in a fancy hotel. SF. Civic Center. i was friends with her dad. Market Street felt alive and dead simultaneously. how could it be? i wondered what life was like. maybe more than friends. i lost my job and family and forgot how to pray. life was beginning to make sense. of us. cocoa and me.
2004. individuation. you beat the habit. the world brand new and you, what will you do? move to San Francisco. the Panhandle and Page Street. top floor of a tired Victorian. walking down to the Lower Haight district and the International Café. getting close to Jung and these books on psychology. wishing you had a six figure deal on your novel. Girl Without Borders. the rains came hard that winter. turn the page. you didn’t want to feel yet you felt all alone again like nothing gives.
i went to visit my good friend in san francisco up in merced heights. the wind was several knots and the Pacific foaming at the beach. my friend had fallen back to sleep. something happened to his knee so he walks funny now. he needs surgery cause he tore something and its inflammed. i remember when my whole life was swell. we went to lunch in daly city on a sunday when all the country’s got politics and black lives matter on its mind. robots detonating bombs to take out snipers. honestly i wouldn’t want to be black in this country, when simple traffic stops can turn deadly. racial tensions are growing again like they often do. our country is founded on tensions. you could argue tension is what makes the whole thing tick. i’ve known my friend for a decade and maybe half that time we were incommunicado. at the cafe by the beach and facing the wind, he told me he thinks we have agreed about 87% of the time. i thought about that number while i sipped on my iced americano. no cream. no sugar. just water and finely ground coffee. he’s a banker and he’s always calculating. 87%. i’m not gonna argue. he’s probably somehow right. 88% of the time, he is.
She met a guy on the streets of San Francisco, she was looking to score and she would, like usual and it was two thousand eight maybe, a distant cry from straight, well she met a guy randomly and they went back to his place to fix, and they made it all night in his place, in front of his roommate who was twice their age and they were pretty young, and the dealer was just down the hall, one of a thousand boarding houses in the city, and it was all just a knock on a door away, the instant sorta gratification and the excitement of strangers meeting in the night, and taking a dare, scoring and fixing and fucking and all that sorta nonsense kids in their thirties engage in, and he knew nothing of her past and she knew nothing of his, and they didn’t fucking care! The old man thanking her for letting him watch and stare, wow, what the fuck came into vocabulary that night and then the dawn, and they had made it like all night, she thought there was some music maybe but who could remember? When two became one and then smiling when she come and then and there she goes, walking on down the street, picks up the car after a wakeup and a spike, drives a couple blocks back and puts on the hazards in the excitement of the high and the rain, and the flashing yellows and here he comes again, running out the door and get inside! and they drive to safeway for some odwalla and iced coffee and maybe something to eat, and there’s an easy connection in the lot, thanks a lot, thanks a lot, and they are smiling and back for some more? until noon when it’s all over, but gimme your number, she says, and he is thrilled to put the shred of paper in her hand, cause he knows she’s gonna call, a week later, and do it all over again. She drives away laughing and trying to fix her hair but it’s so obvious, hell, it’s so obvious so let it go and that’s wild.
7AM AND THE CITY PICKS UP
The colombian brews up in all the moms. all the pops. all the scragey wooden boxes with names carved and burnt in the pantries. dried blood years old stains the wood darker than darkness. the damn kids who work these floors, button the old cash reggie buttons, deal with constant cobwebs cause its a sin to kill spiders here. ask the old man if you got questions. (you dont wanna ask the old man nothing!)
The colombian drips its black molasses over yellow white teeths of the mashing local masses. every fuckin morning, y’all! 5am scrubbin the floors for 6am skillets firin for 630am stand tall for the regular steppin into the hall. between old sacks of basic shit and new ones. potatoes, flour, sugar, whatever the fuck! by the basics. buy american. fit in if ya can. dont and deserve what you got comin’. (maybe a big mouth of colloquial jam).
Ya. its cruel out there. its real though, its really real. guess what? you gotta deal! we got clocks run outta time…hands groping for the light, time wont stop motherfucking moving. the toxins ull purify her, the river of the street.
Was hard to even downtempo out of the colloquial expressed here and there and afore. hard to shut the door on it. the artist rendition was poor, sadly drawn out, she was bad at drawin’ it. Maybe it was the fifth bombay, no more tonic. just gonna water her down, said the poorly conceived logic of this dirty down home skinny ripped jean locally loved chick. drunk and every guy became a prick. drunk but not yet sick. get ready she’ll rip your heart out only to take a generous lick of your ticker, get the old bitch to quicker tick. that cool kinda hip synonymous with sick! Thats madre mad maddy. know her name, laddy. know her name if you know anythin at all!
On the streets the homeless, friendless of course the gps locates maddy on a skid row corner at high noon working chore in glass cylinder. mad addicted sometimes! episodic! got shown up, really most of the days, all of the nights, mad madre she believed she was showing up, we believed, for someone to believe in, yes it was her. she inspired faith. goddess touched. maybe the eighth.
Well she saw us through lines endless before city agency doors. This citys dropouts would fill floors and floors. Then the lines saw mad maddy…this time shown up by metrosexual bluetooth blackberry boygirls blown up. Yup. Sorry to say, they took her stained glass away. Poor maddy, sad saddy. But she dont care, they can just stare, her world continues to spin, spin spun, the tales, the fun, anything we had not done she had us do, we had it done.
If only we had her still, #8 child of light we say, cause if only would save lives. Pick up the streets, its a washout! Madre back in our lives, in our faces. Poverty of spirit, she erases. There by the federal building so many cops out in force, passive in their aggression, of course. Within seconds bust some dealer long overdue on the corner where the Hondurans claim territory. The Hondurans (that’s another story).
Yet all is not so clean, not so neat. Be afraid. Mothers flick cc’s. Houses raided, feel the heat. Children learn street science early, sisters they wept — they weep! Fathers look real strong or tried during shoots, for local papers. Later tied off and overdid it and died off. Uncut hit the street again like it does, like it did, like it always will, once in a while.
Some just got along but truly hated, felt hate incoming, vented hate outgoing. Others no showed or showed and were hated. Doors were gated, communities walled off. Still others loved madly behind these walls. Madre herself got back there and fell in love with a junkie, sadly, became half-mad of her original madness, got numbed small by suffering and sadness. Only for a while, dont worry. Madre maddy is radical, shes fucking savvy. She knows how to dodge a bullet, a boyfriend fronting steel rims before weak game. Ill be the one rolling out on steel, maddy assured herself. Like bigger-than-life madre by little children, painting half their nails while they slept, they would sincerely miss the kind of presence and house she kept. He would make bitch his mantra. No telling how many times. Predictable, mundane, hiding behind the pain.
Collect all the tears that you can, if you will. Please. So to offer toward healing of hearts. We need them! Remember all this shit happens for a reason, whether painful insane. We cannot measure it by days necessarily, but if we work together there may still be a chance. Maybe the sun made it possible? while the wind blew right by. while the tide got influenced. Got forced.
You stood by my side. By choice, not by force. Colombian brewed all night. By itself i think? We have locked and loaded the coffee grind so long it has come into its own natural rhythm, brews itself and a goddamn good cup at that! Working overtime all night, maybe could use the human touch again. Observe. Experience the texture — more like molasses or jellyfish extension to half your energy, sapped and unaware, might find yourself sitting half of every day, watching mindless TV foreplay on black grounds of roasted earth.
Whole is not too much, rounded out, no doubt. Maddy madre reappears, realigns us from our fears. Fast! she races to one tree (up on hill). If you dont blink twice, you might see her through the window sill. What a goddamn gorgeous pole dancer, drop dead hot for romance. Culturally felt, honored, unified melt. Down her strong soft thighs a true natural tone she set so clear so dear so fresh young thrill! never marked for the kill. Too swift, mad maddy. savor (the flavor of murder). take a picture. you cannot capture her all of her. you must anyway, with your trademark call out. Hold it now, hold still, thatta girl…
To you we are devoted. 7am in the city.
to be honest
i get excited
life can be
a certain special way
and really being
all excited like
the end up
two am to
feels a whole lot
used for sex
on a side street
not far away
in some dude’s
who you met
for no particular reason
who loves you
for a weekend