After his addiction and heartbreak in the face of my cruelty put the decorator in a bronze urn, I embarked on my thirties with a nice fat inheritance. My alcoholic Sugar Daddy was dead, and I was free to live on my own terms. But it turns out that I’d been getting high for so long, just to put up with the drunken old man, that I’d cultivated addictions of my own. I graduated from cocktail companion to roached-out stoner to dope sniffer within a year. I sensed my timeline winding down, and would occasionally check my palms for stigmata.
When I turned thirty-four, I found that I wasn’t dead, just really impaired and more susceptible than ever to fractured religious destruction myths. I could no longer count on myself or the decorator or his dwindling money for answers – or questions, for that matter. I fashioned my own nails out of pure white powder, the purest you could find in New York, procured by a South American boyfriend. I drove them into my head instead of my hands.
At one point as I’m walking along the seafront in Barceloneta, a young boy points at me and says “Mira Papi, un pirata!” and his father calmly responds “Si, es un pirata.” On the eve of my birthday, I go to a nightclub, dance all night with cute Catalan boys, and then go home with one, a skinny kid with a Mohawk named Ferran. We have a hushed romp in his room- he has two roommates, one on either side of him, and they both have to get up early for work. I awake to the three of them having breakfast at the small kitchen table. Ferran’s roommates are identical twins. One works for the phone company and the other works for the sanitation department, and they are both dressed in their respective uniforms. It’s the morning of my fortieth birthday, I’m a Gemini, and I’m having coffee with impossibly sexy blue-collar Catalan identical twin brothers.
“I never heard from Cherry again, nor did I ever seek him out. All these years later, I like to picture Cherry having really raucous and funny sex, with boys who deserve him, with a wide smile replacing that tight grimace. I’d like Cherry to know that under other circumstances, I’d have paid him for a taste of his sweet heaven. So here’s to Cherry, my star pupil and my favorite sweet pulpy tangy juicy little drupe.”
“…offers exactly what the title advertises.” – Captain Scorpio
Pros(e) was the original title of the journal of the Red Umbrella Project, now called Prose & Lore. Three short pieces appear in Issue I, the inaugural edition, edited by Melissa Petro. “Vitis Vinifera ‘Fantasy”, “Cali Boy”, and “A Dialog, Gouverneur Street, NYC”. 2012.
from “Cali Boy”:
I lost him, my twitchy, hot-running, gangly body all knees and elbows, hapless homebody, computer nerd, talisman collector, game-playing geek boy, with skin redolent of skate parks and sugar and dew. My not-particularly-my-type Cali boy’s bright, unsteady blue eyes are now reflecting some crooked man’s light two thousand, eight hundred and twenty-seven miles away. I would walk for one thousand hours– hike mountain passes, cross plains, cut through forests, and trudge deserts– for a fix.
“One doesn’t have to have nursed an unnamed lover back from withdrawal to appreciate Dominick’s beautiful cadence in ‘Cali Boy’, but we can recognize the echoes of being addicted not to a drug, but a person.” – Claire Litton