I stole that line from a favorite movie of mine, loosely based on a wonderful play by some guy. Oh yeah, David Mamet “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”
Which I first saw performed live by a group of travelling U.S. actors and actresses when I was in Sinai, SFM (and after the performance I had all of the cast and crew in my hooch and we all got hopelessly stoned on hash and drunk on scotch)
In the Sinai, and then saw it, many years later, the fucking movie… wait for it… in Chicago, drunk but not stoned.
The Navy had random piss tests back then—for drugs–they gave not zero fucks about your alcohol blood level. That is just my Navy. How it was… maybe still is.
Who knows? Who even cares these days?
When I saw the movie in Shy – Town, It had been bastardized into… “About Last Night.”
Is Just One More Word in A Very Long Line Of ‘Scare-Words’
“Cynical and Drunk?”
“May-hap: C’est moi?”
“What did he say?”
Honestly, when it comes down to it, we all die alone… boring someone in some dark café.
“Jesus Christ! Lance! Some happy thoughts for the New Year?”
“Naw, been there…”
“You’re either too stupid to die, or too stupid to live.”
I like to think that I only write for me.
That is some vain fantasy. Or just a pleasant fiction.
I write to get bed, er… read.
I really do.
I am a “writer”
Or, at least, I think of me in that way.
And I love commas.
And I edit as I go.
Someone once said of “Lord Ernest” (Hemingway),
Someone said he said, “Write Drunk. Edit Sober.”
Now, personally, I think that apocryphal, but what do I know?
Yet, I am going with it.
(at least the write drunk part)
Now, back to Joni:
“Love can be so sweet.”
“Go look at your eyes.”
“Drink up now. It’s gettin’ on time to close.”
Oh, and by the way, The Last time I saw Richard was Great Lakes, Recruit Training Command, ’86, and he told me… something about staying alive while with the Navy SEALs in SO CAL, just before he went to Florida and committed suicide, because He could not handle the Pressure that was (then) the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine Program. Thank God I was in Coronado with the SEALs.
And So Safe
I miss Richard.
He was braver than me.
And nobody ever committed suicide while at BUD/s (Navy SEAL) training: we were just all too busy, you see, just ‘busily’ trying to stay the fuck alive.
“Richard got married to a figure-skater–post-humorlessly.”
Somehow, I live.
His name was “Richard” and he was a real person.
Yeah, I left out the tag line (on purpose):
“when you gonna get back on your feet?”
If you happenstance to swerve into this blog, and catch yourself saying,
“Gee! This guy is cool.”
Because I ain’t.
I’m an asshole.
And I have references
But if’n you do, Do not then… follow the comments.
We spent the rest of that Friday and most of Saturday enjoying the Bluegrass Festival while swilling beers and smoking lots of cigarettes.
During the late evenings we shared burgers, listened to all sorts of music on my little boom box, drank whiskey and had great sex.
We also talked a lot about a lot of things, but nothing too heavy.
We were enjoying ourselves.
Sunday noon we checked out of the motel and slightly sorrowfully, headed west back to San Dog. It had been a truly perfect weekend and we both regretted the ending of it.
Shonnie impressed me more and more with her worldly wisdoms, and in spite of having no formal higher education, she seemed to know a lot about a lot. Mostly about the important shit: Life.
She had not one ounce of insincerity, pretentiousness, nor of ‘I’m a Sexy Diva wrapped in a small, concentrated package. Worship me’ in her small little body. (Small, very sexy, very energetic little body) Both of us were inventive and creative in bed, but she could’ve been some kind of ‘Concentrated Diva’ had she wanted to.
She didn’t want to.
She knew exactly Who She was and Who She wanted to be:
Did I mention the sex with her was fantastic?
Fairly certain I did.
Knowing my duty schedule on the Callaghan, I knew it would be three weeks until I had another weekend completely devoid of any sailor related responsibilities.
I had already formulated a plan to ‘kidnap’ Her when that free weekend came to pass, and me with my ‘Weekend Pass’.
During the ensuing days we kept up our regular rendezvous schedule. More and more I looked forward to seeing her and getting to know her even better. In fact, time spent away from her was beginning to become more and more unbearable.
“This is not good Sailor,” I kept trying to remind myself, “You have allowed yourself to become vulnerable. If you lose this one, you’re gonna have a Very Bad Day-Week-Month-Year—Life.”
She was reluctant to tell me very much about her life, but bits and pieces did come out during slow dancing, drinking, smoking, and fucking, ‘making love’.
Her father had left her and her mother when she was still quite young. ‘He was an abusive drunk type’, was about all the detail I got from her, but I could occasionally catch a glimpse of sorrow and pain in her eyes whenever I asked about her ‘growing up years’.
So I quit asking.
We were living in-the-moment, Our Moment. Hers and My moment. So Fucking Happy Together.
Honestly Happy Every Moment We Were Together.
Un Happy Every Moment We Weren’t.
(Making a hopeful assumption here, regarding how ‘She’ was feeling during the times we were not together)
Happy Together – The Turtles (1967)Vid Share Cred: Cameron Posh
This is what we were all about: The in-the-moment-happy-together-existence. Carrying on as the slightly flawed, yet also slightly perfect, ‘couple’ and ‘match.’
I refrained completely from broaching the subject of her husband-the-biker. In fact, the mere fact that she was married at all had rapidly run away from my brain like so much spilt quicksilver…
One Saturday night she had me drive us to a Mall.
“Okay, what are we doing here?” I asked. “Malls ain’t my thing.”
“Mine neither, but I wanna buy you something.
“Oh Hell-no-you-don’t. I have everything I need.”
It’s Important to ME, damn it!” she replied. You gonna give me attitude now, Sailor-Boy?” You need this, c’mon.”
She led me by the hand to the mall and into a ‘musicland’ record shop.
None too delicately, she immediately attacked the cassette bins. When Shonnie is in pursuit of something, Any Somethingthat is ‘important’ to Her, there is no holding her back, slowing her down, and don’t even foolishly consider trying to stop her.
“What’re you looking for?” I asked finally, as she kept up her ransacking efforts.
“Gimme a sec! Will ya? Oh here it is!” she announced a little too loudly, pulling a cassette from the bin and keeping it from my view.
“You’ll love it. Just trust me.”
“I’m already in-LOVE. With YOU, you crazy Bitch.” (I did NOT say this aloud; only in my head.)
She had in her clutches, Nighthawks at the Diner, she eventually allowed me to discover. It was an album by Tom Waits, an artist I had never heard of…
She made me keep my distance once she had captured her quarry and headed toward the check-out.
“Go stand over there while I pay for this,” she commanded while pointing to the very front of the store.
I dutifully did as ordered while shaking my head. Thinking “Well, That’s My Gal.”
We drove to Balboa Park.
I found a nice, secluded place for the Toranado. Cracked open some beers to go with our whiskey while Shonnie dropped in the ‘Mystery Cassette’ and twisted the volume knob.
“Stand by for heavy rolls as the ship comes about Sailor-Boy,” she giggled.
(I sincerely wished she’d stop calling me that, but itseemed to make her happy to do so and what a small price for me to pay to see her wonderful smile and hear her wonderful laugh.)
I’d taught her that, my most favorite bona-fide ‘sailor-phrase’, although I could not remember when or even why—at least she remembered—and when used properly in context and in a suitable situation, it is a handy phrase to have in one’s repertoire.
Twenty seconds into Waits’ ‘Opening Intro,’ I was a fan. Call it ‘love-at-first listen’, an extremely rare occurrence for me.
But My Girl had me all figured out.
It was just a little disconcerting, how she had so easily tagged, pegged, and captured me, and yet to me she was still mostly an enigma.
“OK. Show me the cassette case now please,”
“Here ya go Baby, she said, handing it to me.
“’Tom Waits’. Never heard of him, but this is some great shit Shonnie Darlin’.”
She smiled demurely at me and said, “Yeah, I know, and now so do you. You’re welcome.”
I grabbed her and kissed her for a long time. Finally she pulled away from my embrace.
“Time enough for that later. Listen to the music. The whole album is one story. Kinda like a thin book. Pay fuckin’ attention.”
“Okay. Okay. No need to get all testy.”
She softened her voice and cooed, “Pay fucking attention, please. How’s that?”
“Better,” I said, as I tried to kiss her again.
“For fuck’s sake. Listen to the Goddamn story.”
“I am. I love good stories and when folded into great music. Bam! I was just pushing your ‘Shonnie Button’. And I am paying attention.”
She sweetly glared at me.
(“Should I tell her now?” I was asking myself. “No.” was the answer I received. “Wait for Vegas. Then tell her. You will know when the time is right.”)
Then I hung up the phone in my head and hundred percent focused my attentions on Shonnie and Tom (And the Jim Beam I was enjoying.)
Warm Beer and Cold Women
After the sun set we started our make out session. Then she did something very much unexpected. She unbuckled my jeans and started giving me head.
This had never happened before and to say I was quite pleased would be an understatement bordering on the felonious.
Just as I was really getting into it, she stopped suddenly, looked up at me with those piercing blue eyes and said solemnly,
“If you come in my mouth, I will kill you.”
Well, that kind of ruined ‘My’ Moment, but actually in a good way. It struck me so funny that I just could not help bursting out laughing. It was priceless.
Make out session temporarily put on hold and my fondness for her greatly amplified.
The next weekend (my ‘freedom’ one), we met at our usual rendezvous point. She, on instructions from me given over a pay phone, had brought along a bag with extra clothing items and whatever else ‘tricks of her trade’ she needed for a sustained two-and-a-half day ‘excursion’.
She also had a signed ‘liberty pass’ from her mom relieving her of motherly duties for the weekend. (Ok, she did not have an actual ‘signed’ document—I made that up—but she did have verbal permission and even a blessing from her mother.)
“So Cowboy, where are we going?”
“Vegas,” I said. “’Sin City’. Should be right up your alley. My turn to ‘educate’ you My Love.”
‘Love?’ How did that slip out?
Had I already told her that I loved her? While drunk perhaps? Pretty sure I had not at that point, but it was on my ‘To Do List’ and a weekend in Vegas would put me in the perfect environment to take such a gamble with my heart.
I just have to remember the old gamblers mantra in-case she did not love me back yet:
“Never throw good money after bad.”
Perfect Metaphor for Lance and Shonnie Together
“Woolworth Rhinestone diamond earrings and a sideways glance”
–Greatest line from any song.
One Might Also Describe Our Relationship in Terms of “Opposites Attract.”
Some Bonus ‘Added Value’ below for all you Waits Fans out there in ‘Radio Land.’
“Emotional Weather Report”
And Yet Even More ‘Added Value’ Below:
How I recall the Mystical Magic That Life Held for Me During My Time Spent with Shonnie:
Commentary Below From The Original Post.
For Continuity, Please Start at the Bottom and Read Up
And Thank You if you have made it this far.
LAMarcom June 20, 2014 at 18:31 Edit
Thank you Sadie 🙂
Yep, after all my years and all my wives, I still do not quite understand women. I guess if I did, some of the magic would go away. (No. That is not sexist–it is just that the female mind fascinates me)
~ Sadie ~ June 20, 2014 at 17:44 Edit
Loving this story, Mr. Marcum 🙂 “It was just a little disconcerting, how she had so easily pegged me and yet to me she was still mostly an enigma.” — love the way you worded this & YES we women can be awfully good at that, at times 😉 Can’t wait to read more!!!
lauramacky June 20, 2014 at 09:16 Edit
LAMarcom June 20, 2014 at 09:12 Edit
Thanks for the kind words Mark. Movie eh? Writing it and remembering those days does run like a movie in my mind.
Cheers My Friend
LAMarcom June 20, 2014 at 09:10 Edit
Waits is definitely one of my favorites. I have Shonnie to thank for that!
lauramacky June 20, 2014 at 09:05 Edit
I haven’t listened to Tom waits in ages! 🙂
markbialczak June 20, 2014 at 08:33 Edit
This is shaping up as a pretty interesting movie, Lance. Really. Especially if it keeps getting better, as I suspect. Write on!
LAMarcom June 20, 2014 at 08:11 Edit
And ‘Chocolate Jesus’ 😉
Thanks for your visit! And for your comment.
LAMarcom June 20, 2014 at 08:09 Edit
I will! I will!
happierheathen June 20, 2014 at 03:56 Edit
Dammit, man, get to writing! 🙂
Diana June 20, 2014 at 02:58 Edit
ohhh….”please call me baby” and “the heart of saturday night” – – my two favorite tom waits songs.
LAMarcom June 19, 2014 at 23:44 Edit
Means a lot coming from you.
Teela Hart June 19, 2014 at 23:42 Edit
I will most definitely stay tuned.
How could I not?
You tell a damn good story!
LAMarcom June 19, 2014 at 23:38 Edit
I’ll give you a hint…
You just gotta stay tuned.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Next to Lenny, Tom Waits is my Hero.
Along with Janis, Jimi, Jimmy, Willie, Waylon, Kris, Jim M., …and on and on..
Teela Hart June 19, 2014 at 23:35 Edit
I knew nothing of Tom Waits until visiting.
I really love his sound.
I’m loving the saga, we never know what’s comin next.
LAMarcom June 19, 2014 at 23:01 Edit
I have left little pieces of me all over Las Vegas.
Thanks Friend for your visit and comment.
quarksire June 19, 2014 at 22:59 Editeducate er loose 🙂 LoL 🙂 .ya neva know! 🙂
As mentioned in the previous post, Viva Young was a tiny joint about a block or two off Magsaysay Boulevard.
Upon entering, immediately on the left was ‘Mama San’s ‘Office,’ which was simply an enclosed counter with an ancient cash register, a small table lamp, a perpetually over-flowing ashtray, and a counter sign which read: “No Credit.”
Every bar or club had a ‘Mama San’—‘Manager’ to put it into Western Parlance. I had a bit of a history with this Mama San.
(Yeah we were ‘Fuck Buddies’)
We were roughly the same age and found each other mutually attractive. She did volunteer work for the mayor of Olongapo and was quite astute. She wanted a career in government. But first, she had a bar to run and girls to manage. In this regard she was all cold business.
When on liberty in Olongapo I generally spent the night with Mama San. She lived with her mother and a sister and a brother and a few children in a fairly decent (though small) house about a mile from Viva Young.
She was supporting the entire family and was never ‘hesitate’ to hit me up for contributions to her domicile. I knew ‘the score’ and happily donated to her cause.
What did I need money for anyway? We had a convenient relationship and genuinely liked each other. And to my mind, she was doing good work.
Running the length of the bar was the ‘stage’ or ‘cat walk’. Or picture a runway, similar to what one might find in a very low-rent fashion show.
Bordering this runway on three sides was a narrow counter top: narrow-minded and horse-shoe-shaped. The open end faced the door and Mama San’s watchful eye.
Bar stools (ancient and uncomfortable) finished the Spartan scene.
The bar girls would line up on the runway and dance to the music from the equally ancient jukebox. Yes, this was best unflatteringly described as a ‘Meat Market’.
But then, that was Olongapo in 1989. Matt, Rogers, and I knew all the girls. (Just not in the Biblical sense). I suspect some were under age. If you’d ask one hundred bar girls in Olongapo where they were from, you’d get one hundred same pat answers:
“I from da Pra’bince (Province). I make money so go to college.”
I never met a single gal (see how easily I throw in some Texan vernacular to cover up the horrible reality?) who told me she wasn’t actually from Olongapo.
Nope, these were all ‘country gals’ with aspirations–from ‘The Province–the true aspiration was to marry a U.S. Serviceman and get the hell out of the Philippines.
And who could blame them? Many a young Sailor or Marine, after having his first sexual encounter fell in love with a Filipina and did fulfill her dream.
They would marry and the new bride would move to San Diego. Within a few months the rest of the family would be sent for. This was called the ‘Filipino Pipeline’.
Sadly, more often than not, once secured with U.S. Citizenship and the rescue of her family, the new bride would divorce her Sailor or Marine and make her way into the American Dream, leaving the husband wondering what the hell had gone wrong.
I never felt sorry for the cuckolds. I was a cruel son of a bitch back then, and secretly, as a perpetual con and huckster, I was always for the Filipinas.
Actually everything always went wrong with such agreements.