Friday, September 21, 2012

Some kinds of repetition


But get this — three days later, Abby and Sean and I are at home and Sean says let's go to the block. What do you mean, I say, ready to read. But it turns out she means she wants to turn a trick. Yes, her parents are rich, but she needs some extra money for her coke habit. I can't tell if she's just playing games, but I figure I'll suspend disbelief so I put on some outfit that disguises my glamour and we head over there.

The block in Boston is weird because it's the right in the Back Bay by the Park Plaza and the Public Garden, kind of a posh area for a hustling strip, right? It's even called St. James Avenue, although it's not much of an avenue since it only lasts a few blocks There's only one other hustler there and he doesn't look happy about our arrival — whatever, honey, we can share. Sean, Abby and I spread out so people can approach us separately. I suggested a hundred dollars an hour but really I'm not sure what you can get on the street in Boston. Cars keep approaching Sean and she talks to them, but no deal, and then some guy pulls over to me, I say 100 an hour and he says he lives in Roslindale, is that okay?

I've never even heard of Roslindale, so I say how far is it. Twenty minutes. I say as long as you pay me by the hour, including travel, and drive me back. 100 up front. He says I'd like to see you for a few hours, and I say sure. We drive a few blocks away and he counts out five twenties, I think about how you can be a bit more demanding on the street.

He tells me he chose me because of my bandanna, reminds him of the ‘70s and am I a counterculture type of guy? It's funny that I was trying to hide that part. It feels like a long drive but strangely calm even though we’re not talking that much. His house is at the top of a hill, and when we get inside it’s still pretty dark even after he turns on the lights because all the bulbs are red, he must not like the light because he has dark curtains over all the windows and I can tell he never opens them because the plants are trying to push their way through.

He asks me if I want a drink, sure, a screwdriver sounds good but he says how about a greyhound since I only have grapefruit. I didn't know that was called a greyhound, and he says do you like music? I always think that the funniest question, I mean is there anyone who doesn't like music and he wants to know what kind. Mostly I listen to dance music — house, techno, ambient – but I also like blues. Oh, blues, he says — I love the blues. And then he puts on Etta James, which I don't really think of as blues, but his sound system is amazing and we just sit there for a while and talk about the music. Maybe a half hour of Etta James and then he starts playing Aretha Franklin and Edith Piaf and Serge Gainesbourg, turns out he lived in France for a while in his 20s, and then he asks what I think of classical music, I don't know, so then he puts on Brahms and at first it sounds kind of ominous but then he’s pointing out every instrument as it comes in, actually he's talking about each instrument like it's a person and then I start to think about cartoons with classical music but also I realize something about how all music is really the same, right, I mean some people complain about house music because they say it's so repetitive, but really punk is just as repetitive, right? Music is repetition, that's the point. Everyone hates some kinds of repetition, and loves others.

I start to feel myself kind of sinking into the sofa like I'm high but all I have is this cocktail and Brahms and I don't think he laced my cocktail, did he, and after a while he takes my hand and we just sit there like that for a while in silence, listening to the instruments that somehow sound like voices, it all builds and flies and falls and I'm thinking maybe I could go to a classical music concert like on those billboards by Bread & Circus, is that the symphony? I mean maybe I could go if it wasn't for all the awful people there.

I wouldn't mind another cocktail, I wonder how long this is going to go on although I guess I could sit here like this for the rest of the night if he wants to pay me, just close my eyes a little, yes that's the best way to hear it all, the speakers booming in all corners of the room and I can feel my breath in my chest but also his breath in his hand and then eventually the music ends, I think he said it was a symphony, right, not a concerto although what's the difference, maybe I'll ask, but then he says do you want to go in the bedroom?

 

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