the sign flashed bright.
Ye Ol' Wine Shoppe.
the gig: a man, a microphone and a message.
"Give us a try...!"
the thoughtful producer to the beleaguered husband, sustaining 20,000 beleagues under the sea.
"your wife should go in and warm up. have a glass of wine..."
irony follows her around like a puppy, wagging and squealing, nipping at her socks.
released from the cemented thick of the freeway, they tore down to the bathroom, bladders bursting, bodies wiggling. the waffle-shirted dude fell to the floor as he slipped on the straight-jacketed host he's been hired to play. and, somehow, you are laughing.
"yeah, cut back to a year and a half ago and you would've been 4 glasses in..."
she tries to ignore to rich, robust back wind that trailed her to the loo. oh! and on a day such as this! crisp calls to springtime on a breeze that needles and pins. poke. poke. poke. ah, to kindle your hands together as the glass is offered to you as sacrifice.
vinegar tart, fire. then calm.
a goblet of calm, a bottle of chaos, chased by a night of vocal gymnastics, vaulting off the balance beam onto the floor you'll land, belligerent and broken, streaming verbal diarrhea all night long; a deflated blow-up doll, flattened, unable to fully worship at your ceramic throne.
the afternoon's light beams through the rustic slats. tinkerbell's spawn frolic upon streams bathing the wooden walls. but, her light dims as the goblet's waterline retreats, pulling her in with the tide, leaving only streaks of sanity dripping around the sides of the glass. rows of bottles gleam, shelved with undiscovered treasure, but not as precious as the light flickering yes, no, yes, no, in his eyes.
not as precious as her pilot light inside.
small, steady, building to bonfire.
the road taken, on lockdown.
the perennially festive freeway, decorated with endless strands of red and white. you are entangled in the arrested flow. angry, hungry, tired. sigh. you clutch at what little hair you have left, he clutches at yours, drowning in the carnival sounds of the traffic jam. heated honking, tires squealing and the cries of the paralyzed; shipwrecked sailors' tongues unmoored behind tainted glass and a big, bad beat.
in your rear-view mirror, a snapshot. stilled reflection of a day melting into night.
night - when your light shines brightest against the darkness of your heart.
they call it Miracle Mile. this stretch of art-deco structures adorning Wilshire.
we are late.
the room is cold, bare, but for a Piano and its Man.
a single bulb hangs from the popcorned ceiling above; asbestos as art, swinging from the chilly, desert air gusting through les miserables cracks in the windows; whistling in time with the Man's soft and serene, blackandwhite strokes. his eyes dance with discovery, before him stands a star.
"pity the child who has ambition..."
a superstar without a stage.
he opens his mouth to sing and you are transported, arriving in the Land of Milk and Honey. it warms like the childhood elixir; the steaming mug of mother's love that would drown all things that went bump in the night.
but, your apothecaries' measure required uncorking, unscrewing of a another ingredient to calm the nerves, to soup your brain.
they call it a hot toddy, you call it obliteration.
his voice spills caramel-thick, inviting you to taste love's testimony dripping from his tongue; to admire the masterpiece he paints with each note. the chill of the room falls off your shoulders like a tattered shawl, lying discarded on the floorboards; the wooden plain he pioneers with talent and grace. pity the ones who have stood before him, embarking upon song, for they topple in the wake of his tsunamied roar. your bare shoulders warm with the flush of infatuation; teenage tinglings for your pocket-sized rock star.
[you carry him wherever you go.]
this night was starless, but for one. him. together you explore a codependent galaxy, when one dims, the other dims faster, traveling at the speed of light towards Her black hole.
but, tonight, sound like the sun singing as it breaks the seal on the darkest night.