We emerged, Saco and I from the depths of the subway; the blue light from the darkness sliding up the greasy steps swirling with discarded newspapers, flapping broken-winged birds, caught in the suction of the passing train. Saco was merciless in his passion to drag me towards the next great sexual conquest just as he'd dragged my body as a playmate and a voyeur across all dimensions of time and worldly space.
Saco was agile, so full of energy for his age. At the top of the steps he sprang forward into three rapid somersaults leaving the fourth to propel him over the turnstile barriers at the entrance. Only the thumping of his hands and feet alternately aroused the ticket attendant briefly from his early morning drowsiness. Although Saco had trained me too, I merely shuffled through the exit counter and met him on the other side. I admired our dexterity and how it could move us to heights of passion creating a residue now of erotic moments.
As we emerged the night air chilled me through the leather and fishnet. The deserted street reflected back the flickering neon from grim-coated signs, faded beacons luring weary travelers for an hour's disillusion surrounded by faded wallpaper and fly strip mobiles. I felt a hollowness I couldn't describe as Saco took my hand gently like a lover; a long remembered lover from another time when feelings seemed richer and overflowing. I drifted to the scrape of his ebony steel-toed cowboy boots as I trotted along behind like a girl on a leash.
Saco found her one summer in the park when she was eight and we were ten. He'd said she'd do it so all three of us walked along the railway tracks and climbed the fence and lay together in the long grass where no one would find us. I ran my hand across her exposed body in awe of the soft smooth folds and creases of her flowering parts. But I eventually moved away like one admiring a work of art, while Saco, bigger, stronger, more eager than I, used the canvas lying before us and changed the moment forever.
We'd both been here before, not this place, but others, the lights crying onto the pavement amid the corridors of pain; mauve music seeping out from sorrowful cracks in dusty windows and night doors ajar. I'd followed Saco, he like a conquistador, breastplate smelling of sacrifice, and me a sad-eyed visitor caught up in all the action. And now in a time like any time we searched using intuition, smelling the air for the scent of goddesses in waiting. I think I was searching for meaning. Saco, he thought he was experiencing life.
We walked the corridors of commercial power, towering edifices reflecting the psychic importance of those around us. Streets of concrete narrowed and wound as in a labyrinth until one dark opening beckoned us like a whispering mouth, its faint sounds the rush of the sea, the eternal heartbeat of the world. I moved closer to Saco, feeling less like an animal linked by a chain of circumstance, more courageous up beside him leaning my lean body against his muscle, throwing my arm around him like a lifeline. The darkness swallowed us. I drifted.
Saco found her one summer on a cool evening when the hot harvest sun of the day had given way to breezes across the pastureland. The urban sprawl was slowly spreading like a stain of blood seeping from the centre of a wound. Saco was thirteen and his family had sprawled out to a rented farm house waiting for residential construction zoning and we hung out in the summer discovering orchards, dewy morning fallow fields, camping in the pasture where no more sheep would graze. Saco found her, next door, a little younger but surprisingly eager for the knowledge of our bodies. With the evening sun orange through the screening of the tent, its flap tapping a gentle beat in the breeze, she knelt before us drinking at the well. Many times she came unsolicited. We let her have our flowering parts but we never touched her.
From the darkness that lured us from the concrete and the chrome a door swung open belching out blue haze and a staggering body that smashed its face against the grime on the adjacent wall. Saco knifed through the opening and down the stairs. I followed like a gillnetted fish hauled across the floor of the sea. A little bit of "billieandetta" blues undulated through the smog of another dimension. We moved through a maze of small round tables with lonely rings of condensation and little unemptied ashtrays. Everywhere the girls were occupied. Some were dancing on tiny stools that raised their attributes to eye level. Some were lapping and chatting in a parlour of garden delights or sipping wine and sniffing lines in dark corners. I felt the tug of the net as I moved through a minefield of temptation. We are all fish floundering on a deck of misery, searching for meaning, longing for love amid a suffering that is the fabric of existence.
As we grew older, Saco and I, we decided we'd participate in the game, the male to male, the female to male, and the voyeur of the female to female. We entered the garden both saying, " I am." I added, " I'm afraid." I'm not so sure of Saco; he was always never afraid to kiss the cobra on the nose. Our garden was rich. The serpent guided us toward its treasures. Its back slid through our lives, our veins like water; its tongue flashed fire; its skin shed and fell down upon us like a shadow.
Many times we searched for and found the goddesses. Many times we shed them like skin.
I watched Saco pan across the bar and knew from the dullness of his eyes that nothing special exhaled breath throughout the room. We moved out through the main entrance leaving "My Funny Valentine" trickling under the crack in the door and sliding faintly across the marbled floor of the subterranean concourse connecting the megaliths of power where the big fish hunted prey.
Nothing special was the dry period for Saco when the serpent remained hidden beneath the cool rocks of the desert. The time of sleeping in the sun alluded us until Thailand called Saco from some ancient cave of memory.
We went together. I didn't have the fishnet and the leather then but rather Ralph Lauren and Polo and short androgynous hair. The goddesses at the sound of a whistle crawled out of little holes in the wall and sat on benches; little athletes lined up to play some vague sport. From a distance they were truly beautiful but sad, like pale marble. It was a feast at first, of eyes, and smell, and taste and touch. Ambivalent sounds were there too. The sound of skin, the indecipherable cooing in your ear, the trickle of a tear escaping from the corner of an eye turned toward the pillow. Saco ate up the little athletes one by one until there was nothing special. I did too until once in response to the averted tear, as I lay connected like a spoon against a smooth brown body. I asked, " Why do you do this?"
Her eyes told me that her family brought her to the city to make money. She was their survival.
For a while I was something special for Saco, but now he dragged me from one encounter to another like a slim adornment for his passion, like a tree to which he is attached, like a flightless bird strung around his neck. We search together for the goddesses; sometimes I prey, sometimes I watch. It is an addiction.
The blues followed us along the winding labyrinth, curled along the polished subterranean floors that wound passed aluminum-barred kiosks, mmuffins, novelty shops, fast food takeouts, eat-in lunch bars, breakfast nooks for the hurried, harried seven to six crowd eking out its paradoxical underground, high rise, downtown, out of town, suburban yo-yo, gut consuming, vomit existence; making money and paying for it. A set of stairs brought us to the surface; I gulp the stale street air, a stranded fish, and my eyes swam in the loose light of the goddess intersection. Saco scented them, twins, two slim cyberbarbies waving frantically at passing cabs. He smelled their desire experiencing the life for one more time and I was once again leashed to destiny no closer to its meaning than earlier moments of the flesh.
Their black-capped heather heads, hair cut like boys caught my attention while I knew Saco followed their short leather chrome-studded leather jackets, collar-up, down to the silk, red shorts vacuum-packed to their anatomy, thin muscular legs perched tiptoe on battered heels that spoke to me of lifetimes of corner trekking the urban darkness.
One of them whistled and the other waved like two parts of the same body, a duality inseparable. Saco flipped his somersaults, one two, three, and on the fourth sprang high over their heads landing behind them, dropping like Batman without the cape. I sauntered up beside them. A cab screeched up on cue. Saco in his urban ritual spread his money out like a hand of cards in one and giggled the polybag of coke in the other. Then like a magician the allusions were gone and he had them in his arms and all four of us enclosed in the cab racing for the centre, crossing a bridge lit up like a chain of stars leading toward the edge of the universe.
No one gave the cabby directions; He took us in our mobile cave bundled up in smells of leather, flesh and lines drawn through crisp rolled twenties from a cosmetic mirror. We viewed ourselves close up and rushed toward eternity, The Eternity Motel, along the waterfront where the tankers docked and freighters slumbered on oily water reflecting back the stars. We arrived with our goddesses, the cabby a part of the action, a fare, and a kick back for delivering us like sides of beef.
I drifted somewhere between the chain of stars and the edge of the universe. I could see the edge forming into an emerging centre and I was there being led through the portal, down into the vortex.
The girls had been all the same from early childhood until now, giving away their little treasures in acts of survival, desperate manipulations, expecting the worst sometimes for random acts of kindness. I'd searched for goddesses, lithe flawless forms, breathy and bewitching and found over time blurred images, negatives piled upon negatives. They were all young ones, far away from home, moving from one lover to another like parking spots at a shopping mall, knowing they'd never be staying long enough for complications, explanations; just long enough for sustainability, not memory.
The string of stars across the dark water had carried us into the void. Saco had charmed the goddesses with white powder goodies. We'd mingled in a carnival of flesh, all parts joining, moving tasting each other. Now on the other side of the river, deposited unceremoniously with the oily smell lingering in our nostrils, we scraped our feet giggling across the grit of industrial sediment toward the neon sign for The Eternity. Two beds, one room by the hour, two men one chained to the other, and two goddesses.
Saco, I knew untended to linger longer than an hour in the garden of eternity by the amount of cash he slipped toward the haggard-faced attendant closeted behind the front counter like a bored ticket-taker at a cinema. I could feel our descent down corridors of green-puke walls; flies hanging on amber strips stuck for eternity. The room, the garden of Eden, two ordinary double beds, night tables with tiny lamps with dusty orange conical shades, linoleum peeled and scraped exposing the wood below, a window bricked, one bare overhead bulb, an angry sun hanging from frayed wires.
We started all together Saco and I a part of each other like two old lovers rekindling the memories, the twin goddesses, symmetrical, parts indistinguishable from parts, their bodies layered onto each other like folded leaves and then we moved toward the eternal temptations of the flesh and sampled all the fruit from all the organisms that grew and swelled and groaned and flowed together in the garden. The lone eye of the sun watched us, a symbiotic tangle of roots and limbs amid the furled jungle of soiled sheets. The garden had no time, no sense of passing, past or future just an "is", a being, a now that flowed like water in a stream, never ending, repeating its luscious gurgle its moist communion.
Somewhere in the dance we danced, I drifted.
Those first flowering parts laid out for the taking on a bed of grass beside the railway tracks, the little girls who touched me as a small boy playing in their mother's garden, the young goddess drinking our fluids in the backyard tent on the farm, the girls we paid for, the girls who bought us, brought us home in cabs, the Thai children crawling out of holes in walls, their breasts just newly formed, not yet ready for such loss of innocence, our long searching, the honeyed sickness of our addiction like some hot-wired genetic obsession trapping us like time, like flies on fly paper, insects in amber.
I awoke as some kind of insect suspended, drowsy with drug. The view of the room seemed strange. I was looking down from one corner where the two walls beside the bricked window meet the ceiling. Tiny filaments, a latticework of fiber looped and linked below me across the room. I hung face down, back curved into the ceiling corner with strands of the filament like translucent wire wrapped around my wrists and ankles, spun into a sack to hold me aloft. A stickiness seeped into my skin dissolving and adhering to my pores like cotton candy on the lips. Through the sack the light blurred the movement below, images of shadows crawling and wriggling like close-up view of tent caterpillars wriggling or a mass of worms. I licked the filaments that bound me, creating slowly a greater opening for the light. Saco lay on his back on the double bed, naked and encased in a gossamer layer of filament. Beside him the twins, naked, glossy with exertion were kissing him; kissing him to death, sucking at his skin, moving over his epidermal layer, pulling out the juices, injecting foreign fluid, taking in his energy, his genetic fruits. They spun more webs, creating tiny sacks and laid their eggs beside his mouth and eyes. They were beautiful, terribly beautiful creatures, tiny goddesses; their small round breasts, the shadow line down their spins, their tight buttocks, the mounds of fur, those gateways, openings into darkness, the entrances to the garden. They'd spun their webs and we were trapped. Over time Saco's form disappeared, amalgamating itself into an amorphous husk of dried skin, its contents reduced to a reservoir of food for all the babies, the tiny twins to be.
I turned my head slightly from side to side. Sacks of eggs hung like constellations about my head. Nothing moved yet. I hung in a world that is but its shadow, the falling skin, awaiting reincarnation, regeneration, death and life out of death, new life spawned out of forbidden things.