Lips pressed against Canada
The train passed the border and in the special way of Canada to preserve apocalypse in its nascent form the border guard herself rode with us, criticizing our American teas, and recommending against carrying them over, which we did anyway, into the theater troupe—who we had met—and their performance.
I mean it was a well organized thing in its own right—me and my two girlfriends (was it me, or another man?)--
But the performance—the border guard took part and she was not ashamed that she had the smallest breasts of all the dancers for she was the most desperate and abandoned of speakers, a banshee come to earth to sing of her love for men, now all lost.
Perhaps not a banshee, then, for she was all earth and nothing of any nether world or prison, except of flesh. Desire quenched. But still burning. She turned circles over her areoles with her hands as she sang the beautiful song for which the playwright had been given an award, and for which we had come.
The biggest nigger held a massive gun, the size of a soup can was the barrel. He grinned in the part where he killed his rivals, and his compatriots spoke of the size of his shoes in hushed tones—as though he had come from a race of giants.
Outside it was snowing, but very lightly.
The finale was exquisite—the dancers all fled the hall—the hall well dressed and old fashioned and filled with us all impoverished—screeching and hollering, the lead man, my friend, totally nude in the manner of a rockstar, and the rest of the bacchanal flushed with heat, they ran up the stairs at the back into the light, while the blonde shrieked her desperate ballad.
Still I did not want to fuck her, which astonished me. I had a younger girlfriend hardly out of high school and we walked through the snow to look at the ducks, and we shared cigarettes with the homeless encampment. I did not know when the return train was coming; I suspected they would let us keep our American teas. Why had I brought so much? I can no longer remember.
They were sorts of demons, those actors. A heroin binge—no, too much energy. Just divine energy. I wish I could remember the words, or the plot, but I’ve never been good with those things. I only remember the women’s breasts and their faces, and the shapes their bodies made on stage, which was nearly bare, except for the light. The audiences’ costumes were more elaborate than the actors—who were dressed nearly as cavemen, half nude and in furs and earth tones.
They did it for no money at all. We did not pay. We had not been sanctioned by the government—neither in the positive nor the negative sense—we were just extraordinarily well reviewed. How did I become so popular? Well I was popular then; I was young. And good looking. Maybe that isn’t it. I loved them is all, and they knew it. They needed love so desperately.
One of my rivals asked my second girlfriend if she would pretend to be his girlfriend, just for the night or the week, since she lived in her shack alone by the river, but she told him “I don’t think so,” for she was waiting for me.
We walked back from the theater along the blasted black wood of the showhouse and listened to the wisdoms of the homeless encampment.
I could still hear the train in the distance.
I love you too, though I shouldn’t say. I am afraid, you see, of what is happening. What does it mean? And will I always be so desperate and alone? Let us hope so. It is better to given these things than to know security, I think. Otherwise those actors would never exist, in their pure and unadulterated abandon. They had no director. They had no theater house. But they had a writer, my friend.
The troupe—no, the band—but there is nothing else I can say. I do not want to poison it. I can still feel her hand in mine.