Wednesday, October 22, 2008

THE RIDGES by Billy Herman

Ridges stand above the highway on either side heading down to the lake basin, and for the first time ever I take them in stride. They don’t dwarf me. That’s not what I am – a humorous little dwarf. I am bright. As bright as her at least.

The people who live in the houses up in the ridges don’t lead lives any more mystical than mine. And for the first time I realize they don’t.

Alyssa has her arm wrapped around my waist and I am showing her a children’s book I wrote just for her. But as much as she is getting it, she’s still not getting it. And how long does it take to see that love is one thing and sex is another? And you can’t have one without the other. And the ridges high as they are, and come on they’re not the Rockies where I’ve been, nor the Himalayas. They’re not the fucking Himalayas. Justified rage. The story is about you and me but you’ll never get it. I can’t admit I’ll never get to the Himalayas, or Uganda where she told me she took rolls and rolls of photographs. The story is about you and me. I simply love you like the donut loves the blueberry.

I stop the car on the right side of the white line and ceremoniously eat a blueberry donut and wash it down with a cup of coffee, and declare victory over the ridges. You’re not that high that I couldn’t just walk up there in a short time. And the people who live in the special houses – most of them are pretty boring because most people are pretty boring no matter where they dwell. But I always found you to be very exciting, even as you tell me I am some kind of humorous dwarf.

I’m destroying a house on the ridge. I am smashing it up like a vandal. I am so angry that you don’t love me and you never will.

Here we are where you came from. Mystic Connecticut with its wealth and ocean breezes. I’m in a manicured bookstore, and am thrilled at the new paperback editions of the James Bond series by Ian Fleming. The covers are fantastic with a beautiful sexy half clad woman on each one. A dozen or so fairy tales he wrote while he was drunk to impress who? There’s a lot of money being thrown around. I just gave up that lifestyle of getting a little drunk and flirting with the cover girl. All kinds of adventures. The pristine blue tide. The heights.

Your arm is not around my waist anymore. I am a man alone on the side of the highway. I wish I didn’t care where you were but I do.

The great adviser has said that there is no you and me. Is it past the time in history where a slightly stoned man can write a few solid fairy tales and get on the map?

After the ridges comes the descent into the lake basin. Where the hell are you inside? The old super-successful martini guzzler got all that fame and success and then he just died.

Alyssa came out of the pristine blue waves and ocean breezes. The cruelest and meanest person I will ever meet. I’ve taken a shower and put on my best clothes. I have decided to do something else with my life that’s not controlled by terror.