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Saturday, November 30, 2013

You LOVE Jack

Greenwich Village, 1958.

"The door behind us opens, and a blonde in pedal pushers and a sleevelss leotard pokes her head out."
--Ruby Tabeata in The Beat on Ruby's Street

Oh, Honey. I know you love him, everybody loves him. 

It’s the kind of thing where people don’t even want to say it anymore. Whether it’s the writing or the man, you belong to him. That’s how he makes you feel.

So what are you thinking, I’m along for the ride? You think he’s got a girlfriend and I’m his second? I’m the first. Maybe not the last one. Maybe not the marrying one. But I’m here now and I can tell you he loves me.
 
How do I know? They always do. They say, Lou, you really know how to live, don’t you? How to live and love. They say I’m fun, more than anyone they’ve known, and they say it like they mean it.  And I say, yeah, I know how to make it fun. That’s what you’re here for, baby.
 
I met Jack at the San Remo after a reading. Dark, Friday night at the end of winter. He read something about a great black bird outside his window and knowing we’re all going to die and all the while, he’s looking right at me.

I wanted to smile, you know, give him something, but the words were too serious and I started to cry. Just these big tears rolling down my cheeks and I was so embarrassed I got up to leave as soon as it was over.

And you know how it is at readings, people swarming all around you? But he must have brushed them off because I was only half way down the block when he caught up to me. Took my arm and we just looked at each other; by then I wasn’t crying anymore. “You know what I wanted to do tonight?” he asked me.

I didn’t say anything.

“Kiss those tears."
When he’s in town, when he’s out of town. I see him. Not all the time and not only him. But when I see him, he’s mine and I belong to him. That’s how it is for both of us.

When he’s at a party or a reading, he’s got all these people wanting a piece of him. And that’s okay, it’s a good thing. ‘Specially for the kids, like that girl we met, Ruby. You could tell she really needed something; you know what I mean.

She had that same thing he does, that lonely that makes you write and cry. Trying to bring the world to you, when nobody gives a fig about you.

Jack knows how to find those people, the mad ones made just for him. They know he’s not going to preach or tell them lies or tell them to lie down and it’ll all go away and they’ll feel better.

They just know he’s feeling it, like they’re feeling it. Sometimes that’s all you have to know.

I don’t cry anymore when I see him. Well, yeah, maybe sometimes. When he goes.

Lou
(Just Lou)