The following vignettes are meant to be read while simultaneously listening to their corresponding tracks. Each should take approximately the length of its song to read, reading at the speed of an above-average american literate. If read properly, words and ideas will correspond therein.
released May 15, 2012
READ MY LIPS
Jacqueline sat at the end of the bar with a shot of whiskey in each hand. Dainty fingers tipped with cracked nail polish caressed the glasses ever so slightly while the brute who bought them for her rambled on about himself. She fancied herself the Holly Gollightly type, a heartbreaker living life one night at a time on complimentary cocktails and the coattails of her elegant beauty. She hadn’t paid for a drink since puberty and wouldn’t again until menopause. She often acted charmed but actually resented those who she let think so charming. Not-so-gentlemen would approach her at least thrice daily and a baker's dozen times nightly. She tolerated each of them for an average of approximately 2.5 minutes a piece. She found that to be as much time as she usually needed and as much as she could ever stand. She saw the blaze of confidence in their eyes and thoroughly enjoyed extinguishing it. A myriad of unendearing men knew her by a multitude of names which she fabricated as necessary. Jacqueline was never herself to any man who approached her and even enjoyed becoming the characters she’d create. But deep down she longed to meet a man worth more than 2 1/2 minutes. A virtuous man. A man deserving of her real name. Then one Tuesday night at a tavern downtown she spotted a man on the other side of the bar, a man of true modesty. His eyes were void of the usual gratuitous confidence which she witnessed so frequently. His face, though unassuming, was kind and honest and he carried himself with poised nonchalance. He peaked at her over a half drank glass of whiskey and she found the warm gaze of his ingenuous reticence both comforting and appealing. She was immediately attracted to the humble stranger and sat watching him for some time. She noticed his tattered clothes and unkempt hair and found herself dumbfounded by her sudden ability to disregard these superficial trifles. She looked longingly at his kind face and modest eyes and realized It was the first time she had wanted a man's attention for anything more than money or gifts. She looked at the gold Rolex on her wrist, a gift from a wealthy gentlemen whose name she had long since forgotten. Realizing she had examined the stranger in fascination for far more than 2.5 minutes, Jacqueline decided that she simply must meet him. She swilled her first shot, picked up her second, and excused herself from the boring brute who’d bought them for her, and started across the bar.
BLOOD RED DENIM
Charles was sitting at the bar as he almost always did on weeknights. His glass sat half empty in front of him and he looked hopelessly over the rim at a girl across the bar. She swilled a shot of whiskey in one swift gulp, levitated off her stool, and started towards him. Her red dress smoldered on her porcelain skin as she moved with effortless grace arriving almost instantaneously in front of him. Now all at once his glass was half full. He questioned his senses as she looked with affection in his eyes and offered him hers. “Jacqueline” she said, introducing herself. Her voice was curious and genuine. She asked him who he was, where he came from, what he wanted, what he loved, what he hated, all the while fascinated by his nervous replies. She studied him intently and bought him drinks while he clumsily stuttered through their conversation. Her interest seemed to grow exponentially with each sheepish response. He felt self-conscious by her apparent self-assurance and wondered why she would so suddenly show an interest in him. His skepticism faded after several shots of whiskey and he found the courage for real conversation. He asked her about herself and was pleasantly surprised at how compelling and articulate she was. They sat drinking and talking for so long that by the time the bell rang last call they were both rather spirited. He found her fascinating and she seemed irreparably interested in him. She invited him to her apartment as the doors of the tavern swung closed behind them. They stumbled up the hill to her building then up five floors to her studio where she threw the unlocked door open, put on a record at full blast, and stripped immediately. Without missing a beat she ripped his clothes off and pushed him onto the bed in the center of the room. She pounced like a tiger, biting and scratching with lustful ferocity. He knew not if it was love or madness. Until then he had never suffered from either. The fan spun above them or perhaps they spun below it. The room toppled end over end. The curtains flapped in the breeze of the open windows and the music echoed out into the courtyard. The stars shined through the ceiling and the moon lit the room up luminescent. Their shadows danced on the wall while the record and the room spun rampant.
The door burst open at an ungodly velocity. Jacqueline and Charles jolted as a monstrous silhouette hurtled towards them. It tackled the bed ruthlessly swinging fists and shouting obscenities. Jacqueline rolled swiftly off the edge of the bed. Charles fought the monster while Jacqueline tried in vain to pull it off of him. The shadows played on the walls as the three tussled in frenzy. It shoved her off and she sailed into the shelf against the wall. Charles rolled off the bed, grabbing the blankets and dove them over its head. She grabbed a novel off the shelf and proceeded to beat the beast over the head. She bashed it again and again with all her might but it remained unaffected. Charles kicked and kneed the blanketed mass struggling to contain it while Jacqueline searched the tiny studio for a more effective object to strike it with. She tried everything on the shelf. An empty bottle, a framed picture, a small lamp all crashed and shattered upon the writhing mass of blankets, but to no avail. Alas, the record player. She grabbed it off the shelf with the record still spinning and lifted it up above her head. The mass thrashed about beneath her and she could see its head begin to struggle out of the blanket. The record spun and the needle danced along its surface scratching as it went. The curtains blew while the shadows danced on the wall and for a moment the only sound was the music. Then she swung the record player down onto its head with all her might. There was a loud crash and the blankets went limp. The shadows stood still and there was only silence. Deafening silence. The loudest silence anyone’s ever heard. Jacqueline and Charles looked at each other, unsure of what might follow. The silence raced on. No sirens, no screams, no knocks at the door. After all, it wasn’t the nicest part of town. She turned the light on and together they unwrapped the blanket to reveal their attacker. Jacqueline gasped. The face was familiar, apart from the side she’d smashed in. She’d killed him.
Dragging The Corpse
Jacqueline and Charles wrapped the body in the blood soaked blankets and rolled it off the bed where it landed on her wooden floor with a thump. He desperately needed to be disposed of. She remembered that there was a furnace in the basement of the building. She had seen it when she did laundry and would often use it as an ashtray. The dead man was heavy. Together they dragged him out the door, down the hall, and down the stairs to the basement. His head knocked and bounced on each step as they descended. Down five floors to the ground level then down another to the basement. Six flights of stairs. Finally they reached it. It glowed with incredible intensity and heat emanated off of it like light. It took the two of them to lift him up. First the head and torso. Sparks flew and the fire crackled. They looked at each other while the furnace smoldered, counted to 3, then with one great shove forced the rest of him inside and shut the door.
Anthony was a tall man with a deep voice and strong features, a man of confident constitution. A brute. He looked not to give love but to make it, in the most vulgar and figurative sense of the phrase. He frequented a variety of bars and fetched a physically attractive female specimen from one nearly every night. His steely eyes and athletic frame towered assuredly over the crowd at the bar. After only a couple shots of vodka he spotted a nice little skirt at the end of the bar and advanced immediately. She wore a red dress, black bowler hat and matching shoes. She seemed to smile as he approached. He introduced himself “Anthony” and abruptly insisted on buying her a drink. “Tiffany” she said “and I only drink whiskey.” He ordered 2 whiskeys and 2 vodkas at once before proceeding to tell her about himself. He mentioned his impressive service record and his various athletic accolades. She seemed receptive at first, caressing her glass sensuously as he spoke to her. She listened attentively but after a couple of minutes she drank one of her shots, grabbed the other off the bar, and excused herself. He watched in astonishment and fury as she proceeded across the bar to a diffident young man in ratty clothes and worn out shoes. She looked at him with longing eyes, the kind Anthony had never seen. He looked on infuriated while she engaged him in conversation and presented him the whiskey that he had bought her just minutes ago. The man accepted it timidly and bashfully responded to her inquiries. He clearly lacked the aplomb that Anthony held so dear. And yet, she was captivated, enchanted by his every word. Anthony was enraged in disbelief. Last call came and he watched in astonishment as she invited him back to her place. They left together and Anthony trailed behind them. He felt cheated and angry at the site of this lesser specimen effortlessly bedding a woman he desired. A woman who rejected him. Anthony couldn’t stand it. Following them up the hill and into a neighborhood, he watched as they laughed and stumbled exuberantly. Despite being frequently drunk, Anthony never allowed himself to stumble. He considered it a sign of weakness. Their happiness and weakness infuriated him. Their laughter echoed in his skull as the sound of atrocity and sin. He felt the rage swell in him as he followed them. And as it swelled his heart rate elevated and the vodka pumped faster and faster through his boiling blood. By the time he reached the door he was seeing red.
OH LORDY LORDY
The sun rose and shined in through the open windows. They slept well into the afternoon on the blanketless bed before awakening in wonder if the night’s events had been merely a bad dream. But the bed and broken record player were evidence of reality and so any doubts were shattered, along with everything on the shelf. Neither of them said a word. Jacqueline cleaned up while Charles made breakfast. The sound of the neighbor’s radio drifted in through the window. By the time breakfast was served, it was as if nothing had ever happened. The apartment looked essentially the same as before with the exception of a few missing items off the shelves. It was the first time either of them had seen each other in the light of sobriety. The sunshine showed the damage from the prior night’s struggle and they admired each other’s decorated faces. Charles had a black eye and a broken nose while Jacqueline had a fat lip and a few bumps and bruises. They laughed as they struggled to eat. Both drank the orange juice simultaneously and immediately winced as it stung their fresh wounds. The neighbor’s radio played as they ate and then cleaned themselves up to go for a walk stopping first at the furnace. Any evidence of the dead man was entirely incinerated. It was as if the devil himself had reached up and swallowed him into hell. The fire crackled and blazed with resolution as they turned and ascended the stairs, strolled down the hall, and exited the building into the sunshine.
Recorded live in Izaac's living room for your listening pleasure or displeasure.
Cairo - Guitar & Vocals
Jon - Drums
Izaac Ciro (Straight Dimes) - Bass
Johnny Doomsday (Black Boots) - Lead Guitar
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