jacob lawrence

The black girl ran her long, peach colored nail down my cheek. I noticed that the tips were complimented with a painted white ribbon and a cluster of rhinestones.

“Little gold fuzz,” she cooed.

“You know that you’ve got your skin covered with the softest gold fuzz, you can barely see it—only in certain light.”

She turned my face from side to side, her nails scratching gently against my skin.

“Oh, but when it gets you just right you look like Marilyn! You know, that's what gave her that glow when she was on film--tiny hairs on her face caught and held the light.”

I raised my eyebrows suspiciously and leaned over to get my cigarette out of the ashtray. They were playing Fannypack. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I desperately wanted a beer. The smell of it permeated the room, where wood paneling had recently been put in. The mantelpiece, which used to be old and wooden, had been torn out and replaced with a block of hideous formika. Large antique mirrors and mounted heads of deer and buffalo hung on the walls in a vain attempt to resemble a so-called “rec room” or “den” from a suburban house in late sixties, California.

The "secret" uptown bar was a little like the Brady Bunch set but trying, retardedly, to be lesbian and cool.

They could change this place all they wanted, I knew what it was like before.

I know what it looks like underneath.

It's a backdrop that's cauterized across my brain.

I kept telling myself to get up and get out but I remained glued to my seat.

“Why don’t you drink,” the black girl asked.

“Because I’m not any good at it.”

“You? Psssh, c’mon. I bet you’re good at everything.”

“No, not that.”

The front door opened, briefly letting in a wide blue square of the outside afternoon. It fell across the wall and the floor like a brilliant movie before disappearing when the door slammed shut.

I was doing some kind of stroll down memory lane of what it was like to be permanently fucked-up, 24/7.

I was visiting the scene of the crime.

The girl frowned and bit her bottom lip as she adjusted her long silver scarf. It went well with her shaved head.

“Then let me ask you something,” she said, flashing a perfect row of white teeth. It was possible she wasn't from the city after all.

(daddy always managed to get the money, somehow)

“What the fuck are you doing out here?”

She was no longer lovey-dovey. Her tone had become hard and matter of fact.

“I’m not sure,” I said, which was the truth.

“I think I’m trying to feel far away from everything.”

I moved closer and pressed myself against her. She tried to keep a poker face, but when I lifted my head I saw her eyelids flutter.

“Paint it Black”, came on.

I keep hearing that song everywhere I go, I swear.

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