Rib Nite 2
Pig Bill, usually a bear hug guy, comes over, shakes hand, shakes head. No bear hug, Pig Bill? The air fills with talcum. It follows him everywhere. He reckons it adds mystique to the place.
Nothing doing, he says.
Tickets for tomorrow’s gig, he says. It’s a no-goer. And, again, shakes porcine head and does his snort. It’s sold out solid. Talcum tumbles.
Not to worry, I says. But, beneath the nonchalance, I’m upset. I roll the general scenario around in my head while I’m playing zither to dim wit rib nibblers, surf n turf scoffers.
And I’m still rolling it around when I’m zipping zither back up in zip bag. Thing is, if I’d had my shit organised, if I’d kept an eye on the forthcoming, then I could’ve bought a ticket several months back, the night (nite) they went on sale: but, no. I can organise not eating after sunset. I can abstain from alcoholic beverage. I can zip zither into and out of zither zip bag and walk, a coastal mile, in a howler (bowling round the bay). I can play zither at Rib Nite to dim wit rib nibblers, all this, and brush Pig Bill’s talcum from my sequinned second-best Sunday best. But, I cannot organise this shit.
(Yep! You read it correct!)
Live at The Eight Kings
One Nite Only!
Tickets had gone on sale 11:59pm, October 30th, and, naturally, what with The Eight Kings being only one hundred through the door, the gig had sold out in, oh, six months I imagine. I mean, come on! The Moth (Yep! You read it correct!)? Live at The Eight Kings? One Nite Only? What! I must’ve been sleeping! I must’ve been dreaming! I didn’t get a look in.
The Moth had disappeared several years back: winged it into the night. It was rumoured that he had flown east. I’ve heard London. Berlin. Copenhagen. I’ve heard it said that he went west – a suburb of Cardiff. Land’s End. New Orleans. I heard, somewhere, the moon, mentioned. For awhile, it was speculated that he was just plain old dead. Maybe the dust just got him in the end. Flew too close. So, maybe, it was the sun, not the moon.
You play long? Some old dear enquires as I shoulder zip bag.
Not long, I says.
Nods. Eyes me. Didn’t think so, she says.
You? I says.
Nein. No. My lover, ja. He play. She takes a sip from smudgy brandy glass. Looks me up and down, like this. You have something here, she says. She dabs a finger at the shoulder of my sequinned second-best Sunday best.
It’s talcum, I says. She looks suspicious at this. Licks her finger, dabs again, says, ja, ja. Talcum. Looks wistful for a little too long. Says, You want I give you a ride?
The howler has picked up something chronic, and now it’s really blazing. Seabirds turn on the blue night like newspaper sheets. Also some newspaper sheets, too. We get into an old orange V Dubya and I put the zip bag with the zither in on a big pile of musty old clothes that she’s got on the backseat. We hit the coast road.
You not from round here, I says.
She looks at me askew, like a horse might do. Hmm, seen right through my accent, ja? I’m here on business. When she says business she stretches it over three syllables. It all collects at the final ess like the breath escaping a horse head balloon.
Oh, right. Business, I says. I says it like I know business, which I don’t. So, after awhile, for something to say, I says, what kind business you in?
Reconnaissance. She makes it five syllables. Ja, something like this.
She horse-eyes the rear view. Blurs the bay. This old orange V Dubya’s near to take-off at times – on the potholes and the bumps and what with the blazing howler bowling. This old bird’s riding the seat like a jockey. She’s slapping the wheel, she’s going, Ja! Ja! Still, the wind’s at our back and I figure I’ll be home before I know what’s what.
So, what is that accent? Sounds European.
German, she says. Ich bin eine Berliner.
I try to think of something to say. But all I can come up with is – I heard that that actually means, ‘I am a doughnut.’.
She pulls the reins in, slows down, fast. Gives me the full-on horse face. Bares a box hedge of teeth.
You know, when Kennedy was in Berlin and he says –
You some kinda wise cracker, she says. A cheese cracker, ja? You can get out here if you are some kinda wise cheese cracker. She reins the orange V Dubya to a canter, then to a trot.
No, I says. I’m just saying that Kennedy got it wrong. That’s right, yeah? Maybe I’m wrong?
But, we came to a standstill on the coast road. And the howler bowled and the howler blazed, hard.
Ever been in an orange V-Dubya with a stranger? With a dear old Berliner. A horse faced doughnut stranger. No? Well, it’s pretty intense I can tell ya. She leans across my lap and opens the door. Gives it a pretty good hoof.
You want I let you out here?
Now, I don’t really want to get out here. But I don’t want to upset her any further and she’s sort of killing the buzz and whatnot. So, I start to climb out the old orange V Dubya. And, before I can say danke, verzeihung, auf wiedersehen, or even close the door, the dear old German, she is high-ho, Silver. Away! Ja! Ja!
I’m standing, I see now, right where the Pot Noodle hoodie crews are all parked up. And, if that ain’t enough, I realise that I’ve left the zither in the zip bag on the backseat of the orange V Dubya. Left it on a pile of musty, old clothes. But, it’s too late.
Hey, there, fuck face!
The one with the greeting is right up in my space. I feel my scalp tighten; I am ensnared. He is snarling. His skin is grey. His breath is ashtray. His pupils, graphite; one, astray. I wonder the grace of a neck tattoo. I scratch my throat for something to say.
Your mummy’s a fish and you’re a bitch.
He ponders this construct for an age. Then begins to pound my face, like a fairground chimpanzee might a snare drum for peanuts, or less. I lay on the cold ground. I see the sole of a training shoe come down, come down. I wonder the wit of folk who leave the price sticker on.
I see stars.
｡･:*:･ﾟ★ ｡･:*: ･ﾟ☆