Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Camano Island

Camano Island

“The fog had
the sand by ten”
—Samuel R. Delany,

Somehow I ended buying the beach-house—the little shack down on Whidbey Island. With a view of Camano Island—so noir & full of hippie moody innuendo.

Not far from Coupeville—the Chicken Capital of the Pacific Northwest. Down there on the beach—near laidback lonely Penn Cove. My little Fernando’s Hideaway…

I spent my summers down there in that little rundown shack—getting away from Seattle and all that rush-hour traffic. Sometimes I worked part-time at the Blue Moon Tavern on weekends—for awhile I was a bartender at Shelly’s Leg down there under the Viaduct by Elliott Bay.

When my generous yet aging Sugar Daddy kicked the bucket—I said what the hell. I took my million dollars inheritance—and moved outta town. I said adieu to the swank condo—up there on Capitol Hill next to Volunteer Park. I might as well live down here by Penn Cove I said to myself—in my little Shangri-La shack getaway on Whidbey Island.

I didn’t have anything else to do—I was pretty much a failure at everything I tried to accomplish. Even being a kept man—wasn’t exactly one of my greatest successes. He liked me for some reason—I don’t know why. But I did buy the beach-house—and a new sailboat. Probably the best investments—I ever made.

Seattle Noir and those endless monsoon rains—had slowly but surely rotted my brains. Not that I had anything left up there anyway—after all my decadent hippie dayz abusing myself with too much hookah and wine. Yes, there was something very stoic and laidback—about being brain-dead and living down there on the beach. I was good at it—I had a lot of hippie practice.

Whidbey Island was a good place to mildew and rot away—after all those long Seattle Lost Weekends and the usual hangovers. I could feel my body slowing down—getting more and more disillusioned and desultory. Moodily metamorphosing myself—into nothing more than flimsy flotsam and jaded jetsam riffraff.

Feeling washed up—like some old derelict shipwreck. On some lonely beach—on some deserted unknown island. A beached whale—a lazy piece of ho-hum waterlogged worn-out driftwood. Who cared? I didn’t care anymore—I was tired of the fast lane…

The sailboat bobbed happily—moored to the rotting dock. The rotting firs and cedars behind the cabin—kept leaning and looming as usual moodily over my humble rotting abode. Rotting fish and rotting seaweed—kept washing up on the beach. Coming and going.

Like I said—I was in a rather noir mood. And there’s nothing more noir—than a noir Pacific Northwest cloudy day. There’s something about the monsoon season up there in the Straits of Juan de Fuca—it made me feel like Elizabeth Taylor—in The Rains of Ranchipur. Rain, rain, rain—low scudding clouds…

All those old mansions of the retired sea captains—continuing as usual their rotting away too. Just like me deeper and deeper—into the calm oblivion of nearby Coupeville. Whidbey Island itself—with its ancient Puget Sound history keeping its own pace of slowly rotting away very nicely. It all had its own intimate decadent zeitgeist—and charming decaying nonchalance.

Rat Boy, my mangy lazy cat—agreed totally with my aging hippie attitude toward life. “Yawn” he said—as I gracefully rotted away and yawned back at him. We were both into ho-um rotting-away entropy mode—a kind of picaresque typical local existential rotting “doingnothingness.” Why do anything—when nothing else was doing anything?

I’d forgotten all about Kenny a long time ago—his grandparents had long since passed away. Coupeville was becoming more and more a chic retirement community for retired baby boomers—looking for a decent Fernando’s Hideaway like me from busy Seattle. I really can’t blame them—Whidbey Island beckoned and called to them.

Then one day outta the blue—came a knock, knock, knock on my front door. I was totally amazed by who it was—talk about Out of the Past!!! It was this kid—the spitting image of Kenny from way back when. A decade and a half later—surprise of surprises! It was young Kenny all over again—reincarnated in the flesh! He’d come back to life again—this time as a kid again. A truant youth—standing there all sulky and moody on my front porch.

It was Kurt—Kenny’s teenage son. A troubled young bedraggled dirty—helpless runaway from home. He’d had a falling-out with his father and mother—one look at his pouty face and I could see why. He was too much like his father—to get along with them. How could his father understand him—when Kenny himself probably still didn’t even understand himself? And what had exiled him—from his own parents? Kenny had settled down, got married and all that—but so what? Estrangement is a Family thing…

Kurt had that same bored, smirky look—that Kenny had way from back then. He was a little wiseass know-it-all—it was smeared all over his pouty face. He was shifty-eyed and sullen—we sized each other up right away. We were both sociopathic users—and the first thing we did was to figure out how much we could get away with from each other. I offered him some tea—he wanted a cold beer.

Yes, Bad Seed ran in Kenny and Kurt’s Family—all the way to the Bone. It was the worst kind of Bad Seed—I could tell Kurt was going to be a hard nut to crack just like his troubled father. That awful tasting kind of Bad Seed—the kind that’d surely gag any normal self-respecting Maggot.

But I wasn’t a normal Maggot—I was full of Bad Attitude. I liked Bad Biology. I liked Bad Seed—the way it oozed and oozed—from one doomed, snotty, runny generation to the next. Something had to give!!! Somebody had to do it!!!

Kenny, his father, must have known—intuitively what to do. He sent Kurt to Whidbey Island—hoping I’d straighten the truant kid out. Either that or the kid heard rumors about yours truly—about how sinfully, rudely and hopelessly gauche I was—as the local Miss Sodom and Gomorrah. Who me??? Did I say that???

I batted my eyes—trying to act shy and demure. As if I were Blanche DuBois—putting the make on the paperboy in A Streetcar Named Desire. It didn’t work though—Kurt saw right through the rather impromptu tacky cheap Façade.

If a “Smirk” can tell the truth—Kurt’s long drawn-out Smirk truly read my scandalous beads. Rather than mess around with him and all that stupid gossip and innuendo—I made love to him right away. Rat Boy was jealous, of course—he hated the competition.

I was curious about Kurt—he was just like his father Kenny from way back then. But just how much was Kurt like his father dontchaknow? Curious minds wanted to know—desperately. Soon I found out…

If Bad Seed can run through a Family Tree—then maybe other things do too? It didn’t take long to discover—the horrible Shocking Truth!!!. That kid should’ve kept all that Meat—in the fucking refrigerator!!! Talk about an obscenely monstrous huge Geoduck—I had an extremely difficult time controlling myself and trying to keep Clam as Captain Ivar used to say.

Kurt smirked at me some more—like Kenny he soon got to know me all too well. He may have been awkward and goofy—like his father used to be. He had that same kind of long gangly lollygagging body—with a jugular vein big, thick and writhing up and down his thick neck. It appealed to my perverted ogling Vampire eyeballs—my jaded Transylvanian Trick instinct sizing him up quickly. Why hide the truth—I was truly the one and only Daughter of Dracula!!!

Kurt was kinda shy and self-conscious at first—somewhat ashamed of being in bed with somebody like me. But after the first time, some wine and a toke or two—I had him convinced he needed me just as bad as I needed him.

Pretty soon, I got him nude in the bottom of the sailboat—moaning for more out there in the choppy, white-capped Saratoga Passage. The poor farmboy from Yakima was simply starved for love—famished for a little human affection and attention. There was no hurry—there was plenty of time. I had nothing else to do—and neither did he.

After awhile, with the nice hot sun beating down on us—he told me his sad vagabond story and cried his eyes out. He hated Yakima—and working his ass off all the time. He just wasn’t the farmboy type—harvesting wheat, trucking it into town, dumping it into stupid elevators, plowing the boring stubble fields afterwards and all that shit.

Kurt’s father was understanding—up to a point. Kenny knew his limits though—he didn’t have much patience with Kurt . Just like Kenny’s father had been the same way—stoic and resigned to having a troubled young son. The best thing for Kurt to do, he thought—was for the kid to join the Marines and get outta town. Before he got into real trouble.

It was the same old story—each generation’s angst and attempt to be happy. Nothing was easy—everything was hard. Kurt was lean and tan—the August harvest had left him quite the bronze Greek god. He didn’t know his own strengths and weaknesses—but I did.

Kurt didn’t want to go back to school—so his father put him on a bus. Kenny gave him my phone number and address—told him to get outta town to Seattle. He’d hitchhiked and taken the ferry—over to my dumpy little joint on Whidbey.

And now here he was—sleeping in the bottom of my sailboat. Living with me in my beach-house—getting to know my reclusive, sad-sack life. Poor kid—I felt sorry for him. In a kinda greedy, selfish way…

Talk about delicious déjà vu!!!

It tasted like—an acid flashback. It was like that first time—back when Kenny was a kid. Sailing in Saratoga Passage in that first sailboat of mine—and now it was déjà vu time all over again. I couldn’t believe my luck—talk about Paradise Lost and Found. Like some spare change outta the blue—thrown down just for me. Youthful Folly—from the I Ching.

It felt like falling down an elevator shaft—that just kept going down, down, down. Faster and faster—past floor after floor. Free-falling my way back into time—accelerating down, downward into myself. A dream within a dream—a movie within a movie. A flashback within a flashback—such strange déjà vu.

It felt like Jack Nicholson—in The Shining (1980). Like what happened during that spooky, snowed-in winter—in the lonely, empty Overlook Hotel resort. Seeing himself in the Gold Room mirror—in an old photo on the barroom wall. In that ghostly old flashback nightclub—having a flashback of himself again. Jack getting a glimpse of who he really was—and Jack finally understanding who he used to be?

It was all too much—like a fortuitous storyteller’s gangbang convention. There at the Poughkeepsie Poetry Workshop. All my flashbacks coming together just for me—one more time. At the Overlook Hotel—lost in the maze. A story within a story—a nice juicy mise en abyme plot. Plopped down from heaven—just for me.

There I was in this boat—a bug-eyed, ogling, old octopus. Wiggling and throbbing—my voice trembling with good luck. My Slan tentacles writhing in my head—all mine suddenly just for the asking. Making me weak in the knees—and only too willing to please my young guest.

It was a Family affair—I picked up on the vibes right away. Sullenly slouching his way down Madrona Lane—then down the slope to my little love shack near Penn’s Cove. What a catch—I swallowed it hook, line and sinker. All mine, mine, mine—once again. Talk about proud, haughty, spoiled—Norma Desmond wishing for her Hollywood comeback again. Bad seed always tasted good to me—from one generation to the next!!!

What can I say—what could I do? I didn’t have to say or do anything at all—I just sat there and waited or him to wake up. So I could be slowly, brutally—Rotor-Rooted to Death again. It was all so spontaneous and meat-telepathic—it’s amazing how much can be said without saying anything at all.

Déjà vu triggered itself—like an old toothache from deep in the crypt. It had been buried prematurely—now it was back again. I sat there with my flip-flops—watching him take a swim. I puckered my lips like a pouty old Coupeville queen—licking them moodily like maudlin Marilyn Monroe. He slipped off his Speedo—and there it was.

When you’re on the same wavelength—a light-year or two doesn’t make any difference at all. Miss Einstein would have been pleased—how easy it was. To think faster than light—to actually be there right away. Ahead of time…

I had to slow him down a little bit—there wasn’t really any hurry. Kurt got pretty good at it—after being a virgin hick from east of the mountains for so long. Pretty soon he was good at it—being laidback and noir like me.

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