» The Benny Poda Years «
Kevin McGowin
Chapter 16 - Cape Cod

She was a slut and a DRUNK slut at that, and she loved her dope and she didn't much care who she fucked, and I loved her. Perhaps that's WHY I loved her—perhaps that's why she loved ME: because she could sense that, deep down, my Anima and all I've ever wanted from a woman is a drunk and stoned slut to sleep the night with me. If so, she was right. And I was in P-Town and I was high as the Devil.
        Okay, if there's a score to be settled we're gonna settle that score right here, and be done with it. In front of God and 10,000 readers. About me and that woman in New England. I left because you disgusted me. You disgusted me because, like you, I could not give a PISS less about anything that does not somehow get me off. Like you, my life was a mad, drunk, stoned dash for the cheapest possible pleasure and for it I'd fuck who I had to fuck and fight who I had to fight. I left you because I wanted an Out for myself.
        And little did I know then, that What We Are is the same as everybody else in the world. The only difference is that you couldn't handle your booze and your dope, and made a show of it every other night in public, remember it or not. Most Alcoholics and Drug Addicts are not so goddamn GAUCHE. I, for example, am the greatest and most refined alcoholic and drug addict since Millard Fillmore.
        But there it is. You, me and the world. And I'm sitting here telling the world that after the next-to-last guy on earth did you and you were lying there fucked up on vodka and pot, I'd STILL fuck you. And I'd STILL love you. Because I have a heart like the shit in the core of the world.
        Do I congratulate myself? James Purdy of Brooklyn Heights, am I beginning to sound as worn out as Miller? As jaded and trite and fullofshit and old? Do I hear a yes? Yes? Well, James, I am older in my heart than you. And James Purdy of Brooklyn Heights has the most beautiful heart of any man I have ever known. And plus, you KNOW you love reading this shit. Great American Novel? I AM the Great American Novel. Don't let it pass you by.
        So I was in Provincetown and I was high on these grainy off-white pills they used to have there, and Edward Gorey was alive and well in Yarmouth Port. He's not, now. Neither is Allen on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Neither am I.
        I was so fried I started seeing Lou Gerhig stumbling thru my bedroom saying, "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." I kept screaming at him every night until the neighbors called the cops, who never cared because they were so high THEY were seeing Lou Gerhig, too. Well, that night in my bedroom, Lou Gerhig REALLY DID consider himself the Luckiest Man On The Face Of The Earth. The next day, brother, he did NOT.
        My ex-wife, ALS superstars, brilliant morbid illustrators, poets of a racked-up America. Where would I be without you.
        The same place I am now, I suppose . . . Oh! I miss the way—publisher dude, can we PRINT this?—the way she'd rub her clit with VIOLENCE when I fucked her from behind, the way you feel on two hits of X, I miss the way it feels to read in bed at 2 o'clock in the morning with my legs draped across another's, I miss my Life. I miss everyone I've ever known.
        And P-Town? Never go there, son. Never. Even in the company of Kurt Vonnegut. And that's the way WE fucking see it tonight. Maybe she wasn't even a PART of those years, just a part of Someone Who Was. Maybe, just maybe, those years are never really over until I am.
        And is this REALLY what went on? Yes and no, Judith, yes . . . and no. Cause as the man said, In Yes and No Consists All Things.
        And if nothing else, I was consistent.
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