Little shows at the Philanthropic
Person liked to come around and see Helen Franklin's little shows at the Philanthropic. He liked the soft rattle of their wooden instruments and their plucky accouterment. He liked to tell the other Auxiliary, The chairs might be hard but the coffee's deep. He'd stopped at the Tartlette afterwards. He might have some cake or a tart and sit at the counter with his white porcelain plate his shiny fork listening to the idle talk of some foul economist and crazy astronaut. If he was lucky he might even see Helen sitting there in the back after she had changed. She liked to have a glass of red wine and watch the round clock from the end of the counter.
Helen writes these lamentable vignettes that are really fragile and skittish. Yet they sing to him from tough lines like overdun roses that resonate very deeply. Sometimes in August or September when the weather's being short and he's set in a particularly dipsy mood then from his seat in the odeum with the Philanthropic's heavy doors opened wide the sound of people moving along the BLVD will pull at him. The stories he prefers are quiet shoe box affairs draped in dusk and organdy. Several of them will be set side by side in the small raised area behind the vestibule. Each one with its own beginning middle and end.
Across the Platz in the Conkidor above Pillory Hoag's is Owen's room looking out the mixed brick backside of the hotel. On the left side of his window Owen can see the tops of the hopper sheds. Their lines poking out, reaching into parts of the west like they're long legs in a short bed. The tenants in this room before him were kids really just empty headed smokers and layabouts. They left a pile of wet towels and a mattress in the kitchenette but Owen moved the mattress into the bedroom.
The mattress is the only furniture Owen has and it smells just like Lindy Johnson smells. It also smells like more sex and urine and greasy peanuts than anyone should have to smell at one time ever. The first time Lindy stayed over he told her that the mattress wasn't his. She didn't care. In fact afterwards while they were sprawled on it like 2 beans she sang to Owen,
Who ate your peanuts Thomas Mann Thomas Mann Who ate your peanuts Thomas Mann Did you get her tender Did you find her dam Who ate your peanuts Thomas Mann
Owen had never read Thomas Mann but he assumed that Lindy has. When Lindy wasn't around Owen would sleep in his bathtub. The bathroom is tiled in colors that reminded him of apricot and street. It was just like the fake pornography that he found under the sink. Lindy works downstairs. She works in the basement bar, Pillory Hoags. She knows all the going rates for everything and still has strong enough legs to prove it. But tonight is Wednesday's.
Lindy just puked in here and all of a sudden it got really really hot. Owen saw the contents of her stomach while he held her hair in his slim hands. There was a swirling ball of mucus and flecks of cilantro swimming around in eddies of pink translucent soup. She was crowned in a fluorescent nimbus that smelled like used dinner and bee's.
After she puked Lindy said, There's a thing with the other stuff in my bag. It's like an umbrella but it's not that. It's especially not when it gets wet or hot or wet and hot. She added, It's the color that's like fuzz and it makes me want to wish you had an air conditioner Owen.
That was what she called him, Owen. He sobbed as he thought about it later and decided that she meant that he needed a gun. Either that or a very protective air conditioner. Even a loud air conditioner might do. As long as it looked aggressive it might be as good as any gun with wet bullets. She never really woke up after that. She rolled over on the tile and stayed that way until I got the oldster from the front desk.
Did she do this before, He asked Owen. His clip on tie looked like it was about to fall off. The thing was being held together with brittle rubber bands.
I might be witless and timid but I love you Lindy Johnson. Your Monstre loves his goldenrod. Then he turned to the oldster and said, Frankly that's insulting.
But I can see her breathing still, The Oldster said. She's moving a little even.
In the morning Person woke to the sound of the bells at the south end of Lac du Park. After he bathed in his small cubicle Person Vaughn Darling thought it would be best if he went to see Priscilla. There was nothing to be gained by leaving things as they were. John Lee could be stiff and he could be brash. John Lee might not be a good man in any way of it's being thought or deemed but Person was certain that was why Laslow had selected him. Last nights entanglement at Pillory Hoags only set this matter to it's proper wick. Seeing Helen with Bud+LU after that only helped to further settle things. The Conkidor is situated on the Platzflow beside the North Water's hopper station. It's right out on Garden Point in the tangle of the theater district. The old hotel used to be a small inn that was beside the Platz' original ferry crossing. It was named for Solomon Barbadoon the Ottomian Padre who came out to the Platz shortly after dirt first found its way here. Barbadoon lived here on the Point until succumbing to old age underneath a much older tree limb that itself was the victim of a passing storm's gyrating plasyms. The posh longstory that replaced the cottage inn was a clerical center for many years until the local markets went flat. Then it very narrowly avoided being converted into another prison by becoming a shabby hotel.
Until she got her word to return to Glory Hollow, Priscilla was staying right on top. Priscilla opened the heavy door. Her room was flush with corners and it had piles of rich hued rugs between all of them. There were a few shadows hiding from all of the tall windows and a massive bed was loaded with more soft than he had ever seen before. Priscilla opened the heavy door and Person suddenly felt an embarrassing erection under his robes. This was not what he expected.