We were at Never-Have-I-Ever’s pad when Myerson told me Trombone wasn’t gonna make it to Leroy’s Hijink. I asked him why not. He leaned back and said he couldn’t quite think at the moment. It was bright orange lasers out. There wasn’t much to skirmish on. We were all sufficiently tendoned. I for one was very. I can’t even say for sure how biting it was that night. I was far too distracted. Trombone was sliding around the elevated dancing surface, making me germy with heat. Trying to focus, I said, “It’s okay, Myerson, I still will build Leroy’s Hijink with you.” He laughed crazily. He was more than sufficiently tendoned. His skin looked very refined in the light. Never-Have-I-Ever remarked that Myerson was glowing, yet not blinding. Still, I was crotchety. I was not let-going anything, especially not Trombone, who was de-pantsed at this point. Her Demeter was looking fabulous, especially above the gleam of the dancing surface, now lubricated and ten spokes higher than when the music began. My hardest memory of the night was when Trombone balanced a roll of quarters on her tongue while slipping out of a hot pink tank top and into an ebony tank top, both of which matched her pretty hair perfectly. Trombone, so talented, so far up. One more glass of Woodbright and I was going to burst like in the days of bombs. I could do nothing but blab-blab-blab to Too-Good. I told him that seeing Trombone made me strive to be better, not quite as good as Too-Good, but better than what I was, which was plainly good. I slumped into my rain chair and took in the wafting Woodbright, sour, spiced, the way Never-Have-I-Ever always served it. I was coming to a reckoning. I didn’t stand a glosser’s chance with Trombone. Everyone at Never-Have-I-Ever’s pad was taut with germiness for her, not just me. I drank, decided I’d try anyway.
“Hay, Trambohn,” I shouted. “Wil u cum 2 Leroiz wiff mee?”
“I am otherwise engaged,” she yelled.
“Nah u ain’t,” I hollered back. “I ain’t ceen no rang.”
“Y u tawk’n like peeple yooce2?” said Never-Have-I-Ever. “U krazy?”
“Fuk u,” said Out-of-Nowhere.
Too-Good frowned and went home. Trombone surfed off to a far-out galaxy for the night, maybe a neighbor’s galaxy, maybe her own. The rest of us lounged on, orgiastic with talk and the tingle of Woodbright. But deep down I was ornery about the whole Trombone debacle, even though she briefly appeared, right in front of me, right in the lasers, flipped her hair, and again surfed off. That’s when Myerson’s eyes snapped full-on into bloodshotedness, and he broke down and admitted that Trombone was indeed going to make it to Leroy’s Hijink.
“U wuz fukkin wid me,” I said.
“Nah,” said Myerson.
I blinked, the wreckage all around, empty glasses, a corpse playing Sonic the Hedgehog, stockings of the living balled, slobbered upon, regurgitated. What a night. The lasers were letting up.
I like to count. I counted: 4 exhumed Joyce scholars, 1 stonemason, 17 journalers, 401 kids in umbrella-goggles, 2 emperor penguins, and 98 liquidy boys dressed up like degrees. Also on the bus were a stadium full of Hootie and the Blowfish fans, too many to count, an aloe plant that kept asking if anyone spoke English, a bucket of wet sand, Joe (don’t ask me what he was doing there), Doug Funnie (who’s good pals with Leroy), Never-Have-I-Ever, Too-Good, Trombone, and me—sitting nowhere near Trombone. Also on the bus: a bearded man was sharing a fruit medley with a corpse. An erudite preteen used a high heel as a soupscooper. A lot of hunger apparently. A skirmish between the highly revered eight-eyed-lady and Tom was resolved by tiddlywinks. Things got hot for a moment, but the lady with eight eyeballs was very understanding. There were many empty seats.
I was somehow shoeless, feeling the cold air that flew in through the grates, my only solace the literature on the naked woman beside me. Written on her skin in the dried blood of a chicken from earth was a poem by Henry David Thoreau. I needed my reading glasses to attain full measure. At least I didn’t lose those.
Leroy’s Hijink was not so great. I got so tendoned I don’t even know. The last thing I remember is watching Trombone walk down the rainbow steel slide, followed by Too-Good, Never-Have-I-Ever, Myerson and Joe, and then Too-Good resurfacing ninety minutes later bragging that Trombone got carried away and scalped all four of them. I was crushed. Four men shorn clean by one pretty girl.
Everyone was tendoned out of their minds and some (not me) were raw with razor burn and post-lube libidinousness.
Too-Good asked Lauren Belski if she wouldn’t mind taking us around Lady’s Quadrangle Apiary for a while.
“The poplars are popping,” said Too-Good.
“For sure,” said Lauren Belski.
She was smiling.
But then she took the bus in a completely different direction.
“I told ya to stop at the bumble-bee, dontcha speak English,” said the aloe plant.
The secret of living, AKA an egg, spilled out.
Lauren Belski just winked at him.
“Colleagues,” said Too-Good, “It is time.”
Myerson whipped out his germy scholarship.
Trombone said, “That is very pretty, Myerson, is there another?”
Myerson felt inadequate. He knew Trombone was the kind of girl who required two, not just joked about it.
And still everybody wanted to sleep with Trombone. She was so slidey and brass. The wood in the wind settled. Kilby’s bet went up to five per cuss. Never-Have-I-Ever was like, “Fuckcuntpodunkbutt.” Kilby said, “What bet?”
“It’s in his hat,” said Out-of-Nowhere.
We all meditated upon it.
“Tell the tale, Too-Good,”
Too-Good told it. He told the tale of the men in green who came to the house in the old land and stole him from his.
Then the bearded man told of his stealing, and all the while Lauren Belski was smiling and taking us around Lady’s and the animal hedges spun like a planet.
We were a planet.
We built Too-Good’s Hijink. We spread down many masseuses and were all so tendoned we could barely laugh.
I turned 99 screws. I no longer wanted to be better. I wanted to be bad. I wanted to spank several topiaries on the butt.