6 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Time Out Even at sunset,

Time Out Even at sunset, Hagg Lake was green. Green pines and firs bristled from ridges. Algae stained the water. Red and yellow light stood out hard behind the mountains. Tayla and I shared a bottle of wine. “You did the right thing,” she said. “I was so scared,” I said. Tayla smiled. “People are going to talk about this forever,” she said. Tayla needed the world to see her. All I wanted was a corner to hide in. The thought of people talking about this made me more than a little sick. “Can you make it stop?” I asked. Tayla laughed. “This is a good thing,” she said. “You’re a sexy dyke goddess.” I trembled. Not a goddess. A sacrifice maybe, a goat on the altar.

Spells in the Corner The music was enormous, filled with ragged bones. It was dark and dangerous. Cigarettes painted the room gray and blue. Old men and scrawny women sat at the bar guarding their drinks, smoking too much, talking about work and religion. Everything smelled of kitchen grease. Tayla wove spells in the corner. She played with her eyes closed. She was there and not there at the same time. I could almost see her ghost hanging in the rafters watching the whole thing. Her body knew the secrets she was trying to tell. She didn’t need to listen anymore to the music her hands made. People bobbed and nodded at the tables, letting the notes rock them like children waiting for sleep. Tayla cut through them with a blue and silver wind. She got me in by telling the door guy that I was her sound person, which was dumb because there were no mics or speakers. Tayla didn’t need tech to capture folks. I sat at the bar smoking a cigarette, mesmerized. A thin man with a pot belly over narrow hips eased up to me. He looked like a four-legged spider. I wanted nothing to do with him. Spiky black hair covered his head. He smelled of cigarettes and beer and bad meat. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asked. I shook my head. “One drink,” he said. He pushed his face close to me. “That’s my girlfriend,” I said, pointing to Tayla. “Girlfriend?” “Girlfriend.” “Jesus.” He walked away. That was how it always ended. Disgust and judgment.