Nick Drake, “Hazey Jane”
‘Do you curse where you come from,
Do you swear in the night
Will it mean much to you
If I treat you right?”
After a delightful love making session, Rena was curled as tight in a fetal position as I have ever seen anyone. Usually a woman hugging her knees turned me on. Not today…today was somewhat "end of days", as they say.
It was one hundred degrees outside. Inside, my temperature was rising and falling precipitously. Hers was maybe 32 and a half degrees...
I touched her knee…and said, “what is it?”
She said, “my parents…”and shook.
Long pause. She sighed. I did too, internally. I cannot deal with silence anymore, I had too much of it growing up. I would rather hear the rashest nonsense, or the hardest truth. Anything but silence…
Finally : “you, mister,” she said, brightening, playing, “are too too much. Too much and then some. Don’t you ever…go stupid?”
Odd question I'd never been asked before, but, sure. I went stupid seventy per cent of my day. A lovely blank space in my head, where I allow instincts, habit, and the unconscious, and maybe if I am lucky, the Collective Unconscious, to run the show. I am a zombie , in my waking hours, and I enjoy it.
“What do you mean?” I had to clarify what she meant, though... I have to clarify with other people. Especially a lover, someone with whom I had been , ah, “intimate “ not too long ago. Though it seemed a long time, suddenly...
Clarification is the key…with no clarification, a woman seems to be speaking code.That can be dangerous.
“Uh…well, your eyes never turn off. They are always looking at me. I feel pinned like a fuckin butterfly, if you wanna know the truth..i ..jimmy, just …ease off..” This infuriated me. Here i was, invited, yes? well, i tend to bring the whole thing. If i am invited.... ah. But...
I felt like leaving. I felt like crying. What now, had I done wrong? Just being me feels like the very worst thing to be, alot of the time. That is why I drink. Uh, drank.
I held it in. The fury. I snarled, but did not speak. I learned a fine snarl. From Dad, then from Humphrey Bogart. Bogart made a smile of it.I used to study his face and his words, and that lip of his. Then I found myself doing it, the Bogart snarl.
So what did I do? Nothing. Well, I picked up a book, and read. Passive aggressive, maybe, but it was better than bolting. Or smothering her with useless solicitude.
Eventually she uncoiled and got back to the Rena I know. She said, somewhat fatuously, “Hey, yuh, can a girl ask what a genius is reading?”
She’d put on a big puffy pink bathrobe, thank God. It is hard to read with a naked chick right there, invading your space! still, it is what we educated men call a "welcome distraction"...
I snarled, “if you call me a genius once more, I am gonna get proactively indignant.”
Just the thing! Vocabulary soup . I felt the blah overtake the fury. I wanted out of here. I wanted in here. I was..ambivalent.
“Sorry, sorry.” Actually sorry, she seemed. With her? Hard to know.
“Look,” I said, putting on a “safe” teacher voice (for she is a teacher), “I am always here, or..not for you. But, dear lady, “ I had to get my naughty hand under that bathrobe, cuz it was freaking me out how young she seemed…”you must enunciate your problems. Fair? A deal?” I put out my hand and she shook it, rather sullenly.
“Fuck, mister, you sound just like your dad when you said that..”
What was this? An accusation? More fury! But I composed myself. I was in a stupid big black bathrobe myself, and it was one hell of a hot day. I snarled internally this time and said, “Maybe. But..not a crime. Babe.”
This perked her up.
“You sound like two fuckin peas in a damn pod, is what your mom said about you. After the lovely ham…which I shoulda scarfed, but..i couldn’t.. your mom and I discussed you good, man, she got you down to size. Hah.”
Yikes. No telling what Eleanor might have said. There never is. That is Dad’s reason for developing dementia, I often think…
“Uh..what else did she say? She was fulla ham, yknow..”
“Not that much ham, mister, sir. Not that much. She still made sense to me..” Rena threw off her bathrobe and was no longer a huge piece of cotton candy. She was Rena. Blazingly so. Had she gotten more beautiful, or was it my imagination?
This set me back a bit. Til I said, “Your mother, dear. That, missy mz, madam, is the issue, or it was. Til you did that.”
“Uh, lets say.. discarded the pink .”
“How the fuck, jim, am I gonna shut you up?” sneaking in…with a fine move... ah but my upper head was engaged and i said, in response, internally:
I think, Rena, by telling me what infantilizes you after we make “love.”
I think, Rena, by opening up , just a bit.
I think, Rena…Ah fuck it…why think…?
Do you feel like a remnant
Of something that's past
Do you find things are moving
Just a little too fast. DRAKE……………