Le Necrophile

The biggest house in Quincy, Massachusetts was owned by a funeral director. His daughters were the most beautiful girls on the South Shore in 1967 and they introduced Cream to their admirers. I was one of them. So was an apprentice embalmer for their father. The other suitors joked that Adam made love to the still bodies in the basement of the funeral home. He played a strange style of guitar. The older daughter loved his licks. Like Ulysses he slayed his rivals with a secret weapon.

A Fender Stratocaster.

One night when we were high on LSD, Cherie confessed that her boyfriend liked for her to pretend that she was dead.

“I lie on a cold stone slab.”

I remembered a similar line from the film IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, in which a young white trash girl tells about a night with a cracker cop.

He said to me, “Hey, little girl, you know what the coolest spot in town is?”

And I said “No, Sam. I guess I don’t.”

And he said, “The cemetery. That’s where.”

“Cos they got all of them big, cool tombstones to lie on naked.”

That was a real ‘huh’ moment for the movie viewers of the time.

Like what the fuck are they talking about.

I learned what later when I found a copy of Le Nécrophile.

A photocopied English translation of THE JOURNAL OF LUCIEN H.

Most incredible passage of someone who loves the dead.

No serial killer.

Only a man cursed with the desire for death cooled flesh.

I think I have the copy up in Boston.

Probably get arrested for zombie outlawism.

It’s probably on the books.

Ho Ho Ho Hannukah

This evening my boss’ grandson came to visit her jewelry store with her husband. The holiday season had been brutal. We had yet to make a sale. While her husband parked their Ladnrover, Jeri taught the six-year-old how to open a safe and once the handsome lad opened the steel cube she asked, “Did you get a Hannukah gift for your mother?”

“I wanted to, but I don’t know if I have enough money.”

“How much you think you have?”

“$2.”

“That’s a lot of money. Let me see what we can find.”

“I like those.” Matthew pointed to a pair of sliced sapphire earring rimmed by gold.

“You have a good eye.” Jeri pulled out the earrings. They cost $100. “You said you had money.”

“$2.” Matthew proudly emptied his coins on the counter. The boy was a goy, but his father was ein bissen Juden on his paternal side and as an Irishman I have a strong respect for tradition.

“$2 and four cents for the tax.”

“Tax?”

“Yes, that’s what the government charges, so we have roads and TV and lights.”

Her husband and I exchanged a glance. We shared another opinion about taxes, but this was Hannukah, a night for good thoughts.

“Today, they sung a new song,” interjected his grandfather.

“Ho, Ho, Ho, Hannukah.”

“Do you know how to sing it?” I asked from my chair.

My youngest son in Thailand was the same age as Matthew.

Six.

I hadn’t seen Fenway in over two years nor Fluke, Noy, or Angie, but I knew they loved their mothers same as Matthew loved his. The six year-old looked to Jeri and his grandfather. A smile broke over his lips and he chanted, “Ho-Ho-Ho Hannukah.”

Jeri sniffed back a tear. She wanted grandchildren of her own. We are life. We are light. She kissed Matthew on the cheek.

“You’re a good boychek.” Jeri handed him the earrings in a pouch.

“Thank you. My mommy will be so happy.”

Matthew left with his grandfather. Jeri stared at me.

“What?”

“That was our first sale of the season.”

This afternoon a 68 year-old man had refused his wife a fancy-yellow diamond, because he said he didn’t have the money. I believed him, but Matthew gave his every penny to make his mom happy and I was happy too, because I would have done the same for my mother and so would Jeri.

Ho-Ho-Ho-Hannukah.

Not CIA

Phillip Brook came from Tasmania. We met in Paris during the 1980s. He was a journalist and hardcore junkie also a little queer, not that I minded, because queers were much more fun than straights in Boston, New York, or the City of Lights. We worked together for several magazines and journals. He was a better writer, but he never criticized my typos.

“What can you expect from a man with a lisp, a stutter, and dyslexic fingers?”

I didn’t have an answer for him, but we were good friends and right before Christmas of 1991 he came to New York to interview the head of the UN. He asked where we should meet for drinks.

“The Sheraton on 6th Avenue. The ground floor bar’s decor is pure 1960s.”

“Perfect.”

That evening I met Phillip in front of Rockefeller Center showed up at the aging hotel. Thousands of demonstrators surrounded the Hilton. They were protesting the visit of President George H. W. Bush. He was running a war of genocide in Guatemala. Hundreds of riot police manned the barricades.

“Maybe we should go someplace else.”

“What for?”

We were both wearing suits. I approached the cops. One asked, “Where do you think you’re going?”

“To meet two hookers in the bar.” I pointed to the Hilton.

“I like an honest man.” He pulled on the steel barrier. Shouts harangued us. Phillip and I ddin’t care, but he asked, “Are there hustlers too?”

“Only the best for the Hilton.”

We had several drinks and I told him how my sister-in-law had worked for Bush during his time as Director of the CIA.

“You know everyone in Paris thinks you’re a spook.”

“I have a rejection letter from the agency. 1980.”

“Further proof you are what you say you’re not. They probably dosed you with LSD and then planted you as a mole to blossom in the sun decades later.”

I realized brook had been holding out of drugs and I body-searched him for three seconds.

Success.

“I was going to give you.”

Yeah, right.”

I did a little of this and more of that.

We entertained the working boys and girls at the bar. Phillip told them I worked for the CIA. They believed him too. I pimped them to the hordes of GOP supporters awaiting the President. I asked for nothing. They all bought me drinks. Way too many for comfort and I told Phillip, “I have to go to work tomorrow.”

“I do too, but how are we going to get through the mob.”

“Mob?”

Shouts chanted profanities outside. People were angry. I could pass for GOP, even though I was 100% anarchy. We were going out the same way we came in and I said to Phillip, “We’ll leave by the garage.”

“I’ll follow you.”

We left the bar. The security was lax. The first line was fat cops working overtime. The second line of defense were State Troopers. Dumber than a bucket of mud. The garage was ahead. A few SAecret Service agents glanced at us. They deemed us harmless. AS we arrived at the exit, a limousine hauled up to the curb. Everyone snapped to attention. Someone opened the rear door and out popped the President of the USA. Taller than I thought, but I called out, “George.”

He turned his head with alarm and I approached him to say, “My sister-in-law worked for you.”

I mentioned her name and he relaxed.
“And she always says good for you, Mr. President.”

We shook hands and he entered the hotel. An agent came up and asked, “Who are you?”

“A citizen of the USA.”

Phillip and I exited from the hotel.

“Not CIA. Bullshit.”

“100%”

He didn’t believe me and there’s some times when I don’t believe myself, except I have the proof.

RIP George H W Bush.

Day Of Infamy A La Thailand

“December 7th will live forever as a day of infamy.” President Roosevelt predicted before Congress in his declaration of war on Japan the attack after the attack.

Infamy in Thai is cheu sia and several years ago year I asked several Thais about Pearl Harbor. My question stumped them all and I repeated the question to several British friends, “What does December 7th mean to you?”

“Is it your birthday?”

Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy has been losing its power to the more modern 9/11.

Even 9/11 meant little to Thais.

“9/11 New 7/11?” The corporation had announced a price increase on over 500 products.

“No. Not new 9/11.” I didn’t bother to explain about kreung-bins crashing into the World Trade Towers or Japanese planes sinking the US Fleet. It was all so long ago and so much has happened in the meanwhile like the Red Shirt rebellion and Britney Spears getting divorced from K-Fed.

Pearl Harbor Day was not my birthday, but it was for my younger brother Michael and it always felt funny celebrating December 7th with a cake and candles.

My baby brother Michael didn’t care.

“Makes it easy for people to remember my birthday.”

12/7 will always be Michael Charlie Day for me.

Tora-Tora-Tora.

My mother loved that movie too.

ps few young Americans know its meaning either.

TORA TORA TORA 2018


Like JFK’s assassination everyone of a certain age remembered where they were during the announcement of the Japanese attack on the US Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. Many had to ask, “Where’s Pearl Harbor?”

This morning to commemorate their ignorance I posed the same question to younger people on the streets of Manhattan. Few of them had a clue other than two Japanese punks who said it was a group from the 1970s.

“As we get old, we forget. As we get older, we are forgotten.”

TORA TORA TORA

ps Pearl Harbor and The Explosions released “Drivin'” in November of 1979. I saw them perform their debut single somewhere. I think it was at CBGBs.