from LTDM (Letters to Dead Masters): #10


        The girl named Kris who works here is wiping down tables right in front of me. In some moods, I say, this never gets old for me; the female form and figure, its’ contours, lights, the things in it that do dances. But as I get older, I find myself getting bored with my own physical reactions to girls. It’s not just that I’ve been promiscuous; it’s that in doing it, I’ve created an engine that never ceases revving and humming. Kris leans over and my blood starts to boil— what else is new? Truly, Kris deserves better than me; someone more attentive and more sensitive. Rather than going for the straightforward blazon, I might as well pierce right through to the main dish about Kris; I’ve been told she likes to do sucker- punch flirtations with guys. If I’m more of a sucker than most, I at least have some fine and feisty ways of withdrawing before any damage is done. Dana also likes to wander in, even on days when she doesn’t work. They look rather like the Doublemint Twins together. I remember Ted Gissman: all our tag-team fantasies. The problem is, there’s no brunette for Ted to pounce on. If Ted would receive Kris as an assignation, it’s just because her attitude is so brunette. I can feel them, the DTs, trying to figure me out, but they won’t have much luck. I’m enough past figuring out that I’ve given up the attempt myself. The DJ behind the counter is having a rough day; you can see it in his slumped shoulders and perpetual grimace. I keep thinking that Saturday night might have been one of their big parties; I’m not sure. But, I’ve noticed, DJs are like creative artists in that they lead an up and down life. Spinning the wrong record at the wrong time is like striking out; too much trance at once like fumbling; and if you decide to go retro, even for a few songs (think Depeche Mode, or mixing Blur with Daft Punk for the rock kids), you had better be prepared to face the consequences. Or, it could be that the recession has forced people out of the clubs; you can’t dance at home, but you can drink and screw. I do feel this guy’s pain, as it has come to my attention that the festive aspect of the arts has been sullied; when resources become scarce, people hunker down. So I’m hunkered down over my coffee, pretending not to notice Kris’s ample cleavage. Days like this, you feel you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, just because the energies around you are stagnant. Human stasis becomes so dictatorial, once it sets in, that it might as well be crowned emperor. And oh what a domain. 
         I can’t exactly get behind this letter, because I’m perturbed, caught in yet another academic fracas. It resembles what you might call power square dancing; swinging your partners that they might be hurled over cliffs. First it’s scary, then tedious; eventually, it makes Against the Grain look like Call of the Wild. Not that the dances I did with Wendy Smith and Julie Hayes (Boston and Temple, respectively) weren’t the real Call of the Wild. Between Kris (who is right here, wiping tables again demurely) and power square dancing, I’m about ready to de-anchor the Ariel and sail right into a storm. And I do mean Mary Shelley.