» Town Full of Hoors «
Kevin McGowin
30 ... In Which Fleetwhite Expresses Nebulous Health Concerns ...

I just haven't been feeling well, this week. At all.
        I was worried I had the New Orleans Marsh Bug Virus, but my Doctor told me no, that wasn't it. He told me, Raphael, you need to cut back on the Weddings and spend more time focusing on your Health.
        I've been Burning the Candle at both ends, and the shit I eat's been coming out both of them, too. Maybe it's an Ulcer. I was sitting here in my apartment on Burgundy sipping a nice Rosemount Shiraz, and thought that maybe I need some Prozac. Or some Paxil. Or some Celexa. Or some Zoloft. Or some Luvox. Or some Wellbutrin. Or some Valium. Or some Cylert. Or maybe I need some Xanax.
        Or some Ativan. Or some Klonopin. Or some BuSpar. Or some Serax. Or some Librium. Or some Heroin.
        Christ, it's been a Long Week, and it's only Tuesday.
        In my own way, I was sorry that Frankie and Fenton had to Meet up with Kermit before Halloween. That, and my Hoors are getting skankier, and I need some Fresh Troops.
        So since I'm the one writing this Book, Town Full of Hoors, I've decoded to Come Clean and tell you a few things. First, it was I who wrote Chapter 1. I know I said I was Frankie Minot, but I was lying.
        Second, if you want to Come to New Orleans and be a Hoor, I'll take Good Care of you. E-mail me. It's . You can also get in touch with me thru the French Quarter Wedding Chapel. Dot com.
        I guess as I Approach Fifty I'm starting to Regret some things. You can Relate, I know.
        I never got married or had any children, and the Month's almost over.
        So we Made it Thru October. Or Almost.
        Maybe mainly, I'm just Tired. I've lived in Nola way too long. I don't have the drive I did on the Fifth of this month, I'm lonely.
        — And New Orleans is the Loneliest City in the World. Otherwise, we'd all be sober and Running Track. See? This is the Place where your Loneliness takes over your Mask.

* * * * *

Enmity Indeed. Between Thee and the Woman. You know Satan in Paradise Lost? Well, he's pretty cool. More so than say, Mick Jagger. And I feel like Satan with a Brandy Hangover.
        So I think the Time has Come for me to Close this one Out. I wonder how that guy who used to be the lead singer for Jethro Tull is feeling right about now.
        I think I wanted to tell you about a little more sleaze I've pulled, marrying people, making Speed, shooting dope, shooting people Dead.
        And if you could see me, you'd know why I'm done with telling you SHIT. Come to New Orleans. Find out for yourself what this place'll do to you.
        — I think I miss Pennsylvania, when I was right with a God who still Existed and everything was right with God. But God packed all his belongings into His nice new shiny Black Truck, parked it near Decatur, and walked right the fuck into the Mississippi.
        This is the Place where the Loss of your Soul is a Big Relief. Maybe that's why you're reading this shit. Like everyone else in New Orleans, at the End of the Day, I Have Wasted My Life.
        But what the fuck is it, exactly, you'd have had me DO? Run for President? Broke Stocks? Give myself a new Liver and a new Kidney? Cause World Peace? SHIT, I always told myself I was doing the best I could, the Best I Could At The Time.
        Where have we heard THAT before. Well, brothers and sisters under Heaven, I did NOT. And neither did you.
        I'm a womanizer, a self-centered Bastard, an alcoholic, and a Felon, and I chalked it all up to The Way Things Were. And I may have been right! I well may have been right all my goddamn Life.
        I am NOT right, now.
        My name is Raphael Fleetwhite, I am 47 Years of Age, and I Hate you. I hate you in direct proportion to all the chances I've pissed away, and in Direct Fucking Proportion to all the Chances that YOU have. Add it up, and we're both Pretty Well Fucked. But I'm not gonna tell you I'm Sorry.
        I am no more sorry than an Edith Piaf Cabaret, a Nuclear Winter, a Boil on the Ass of some Defected Christ. Yet I Refuse to Retract. And I will never Die.
        The bus is waiting to bring you here, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina. The Cards are on the Table Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi. The Bread is in the Oven, California, Illinois, New Hampshire! Dinner is Served, Tennessee, New York, Vermont. You hear it calling your name.
        And I hear something Very Different.
        I hear a Voice, and it's mine, I think, saying DEATH IS FAR TOO EASY FOR YOUR SORRY ASS.
        Remember the faded photographs, the ones of us at twenty, smiling senselessly into the Mechanism of some Unbranded Future, remember our Hope? Remember our Nights on faraway balconies of distant eras, sipping gin and waiting for the World to say I LOVE YOU? Remember all the karmas we thought we'd never have to pay, the glistening vortex to which we were oblivious, the lilting voices of Last Century's Night.
        And that we never die is the hottest hell that only we ourselves could conjure up to torture us.
        To all of whom I have written, to all the Names I've Named, I have for you no advice. Almost Fifty Years hustling under the dwarfstar sun and my answer to you is a complete nothing, a Silence. But I leave you with one thing —
        There are THOUSANDS of chances for us to find what it is we thought we were looking for in This Life, but we will none of us ever Take them. Because we think there's always a Tomorrow.
        And there is NOT. There is never a Tomorrow for you OR for me, and never was.
        Or am I Gravely Mistaken? It won't have been the first time. Yes, you're right! This is October 30.
        And Tomorrow, Dear People, is All Yours.
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