Monday, September 22, 2008
The Eden on Congress St.
She liked to curl up in the lap of their crossfire.
It didn’t matter what was said. Those three guys knew how to talk, and she knew how to listen.
Sitting on the fringes, yes, but that was all right. She didn’t trust herself to keep up with them. It was a gift of sorts to observe. Besides, they wanted to make her laugh, and she was happy enough to oblige. For these poets and friends were a little smarter, and far funnier, than any trinity she had ever known. And in that dank hole of a living room, with its stuffed ashtrays and sooty carpet, they invented new, more absurd maths.
New…all so new. And not so always comfortable. She loved the man in the center of the room, but everything around him was so different from what came before. He was different, too. And so her time in this house triggered a meltdown of false expectations, a Picasso breach of perspective, a spinning dance. Sometimes, her eyes hurt from the whiplash.
(And weeks later, it would indeed become the car crash on Congress Street. All of the friends limping away, hugging bruised egos and hearts.)
But right then—right at this green-go convergence of crossroads—there was Chet Baker wetting the stereo, Carl Jung to consult on the coffee table, and a whole bible of words to smoke and burn before the happy warriors scattered into the night.
She listened. Night after night.
And even though she wouldn’t pick up her own pen until much later, she sometimes thinks that these were the weeks in which she became a writer.