» The Benny Poda Years «
Kevin McGowin
Epilogue - New Hampshire

"When you're old, nobody will know that you was a beauty, a sweet sweet beauty. A sweet sweet beauty, but stone stone cold" — Rolling Stones

Well Happy 1st of March, Motherfucker. You thought I was through, didn't you? Well, so did I. But, in one way or another, I've given a chapter to everyone who ever Dotted the Doors of my Life, and with some I was kind and with most I was not, and goddamned if they didn't deserve it. But this time, it's for ME.
        Each man Kills the Thing he Loves.
        It's snowing like a MOFO outside, Butch. I'm so drunk on Maker's Mark you'd think I had Gerhig's, falling into walls and shit. Yeah, there was a time I didn't drink. Then I realized I was just as insane as when I DID, but all you people out there who DON'T, well, you need to Get Started. It's a whole lot less stressful when you find it hard to remember just how bad you fucked up your life.
        I love living here. So long as you have Heat and Cable, this is really a great place to be. Which is not to say I want you to MOVE here. Actually, I want you to move to Rapid City, Idaho, and keep the fuck away from me. Unless, of course, you're a Jewish Ballerina. THEN, well, in THAT case, well, get your ass to Somersworth and waste no time about it. It's lonely here, I've got no one left to torture.
        Oh, but I've of course got my Self. But I swived THAT Sheath 20 years ago, son. I've been torturing myself all the way back to Chaucer, which is where I learned that disgusting little Word up there. Well, Word Up! This IS Chaucer, Fartsucker! Didn't you recognize me from the Subject Matter? Did you think I was here to sing Jacques Brel Cover Tunes to your limp dick, hey?
        Once you show your hand, you will die. Like Marlon Brando in that movie in Paris or Philadelphia or wherever the fuck he is. That is the GREATEST film ever made, because it's the least Full of Shit. You didn't understand it? You don't get it, why Marlon has to take some Lead Salad from the bitch at the End? Because he runs down that Bridge and catches up with her while she's running away and he Shows his Hand. He says his name is Paul and he's 45 Years Old. He tells her he loves her, basically. Well, my name is Paul and I'm 45 Years Old, and I love you, too. You want to strike me Down in Anger, well you know you can. I'm your Man.
        My Father was a Viola player from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and my Mother was a Painter and she too was a Jewish Ballerina but nothing came of it 'cause she lived in a certain Southern City known best for its Race Riots. No, Crackpipe, not Selma. I have BEEN to that shithole. Have YOU? Well, start writing.
        By the way, Lenny Bruce lives in New Hampshire, too. It's the End of the World as He Knows It, and he's STILL shooting dope. Well, actually, so am I. In fact, I just shot up about 20 minutes ago. I get my shit from Barry Mauer. He's my Dealer. He's my Candy Man. And that's not his Real Name, either, you Ball of Shit. Actually, I buy my dope from Jack Derrida. Know who he is? He's a fag, like Nassir. That's all you'll ever know on earth, and All you Need to Know. Know who wrote that? Well, they never gave him a Pulitzer. Sorry Motherfuckers.
        Now GodDAMNED if I'm not about to Dance you to the End of Love. HEY! I've got somethin' to SHOUT! It's better to Fade Away. Than Burn Out.
        Once you show your Hand, your Hand will be cut off and you will Die. That's why we live under a Bushel of Bullshit, decked out in Full Geeshe, and that's why we kill what we Love, so we can Kill Ourselves. We're all Dying to up and pull a Mishama. We all secretly hope a composite of Mario Lemieux, Benny, Jack Palance, Lawrence of Arabia and that dude who sang "I Walk the Line" will burst into our bedrooms at 3 am and fucking MURDER us after our third bottle of Cheap Merlot. Everybody wants a Box of Chocolates and a Long-Stemmed Rose, you know? Well Baby—You Can Lean on MIIIEEE. Goddamn it.
        My name is Rufus Furlong and I am 52 Years of Age at the Time of This Writing, and I love you, and I want to take up Ballroom Dancing with you while plowed on J&B Scotch. So pull out the Baretta. I, of all people, should have Understood. That it's HARD being you, it's HARD being, say, that woman who lives up here near where I do and I never gave a FUCK, I never gave a good motherFUCK about anyone but Me. I wanted a late-night phone call from Richard Burton begging me to send his drunk ass airplane tickets and check him into Detox, and that call never came, so I blamed YOU. Goddamn it, I have about two teaspoons of come left and I'll be fucked if I'm not about to shoot it.
        I am a sick man.I am a spiteful man. I am a MOST unpleasant man. I think my Liver is Diseased. Then again, I don't know a Thing about my Illness; I'm not even sure what hurts. I am a Plagiarist. I'm a Graverobber, too, actually. Where does all the Evil of the World sit around watching Hockey and drinking Milwaukee's Best? At the core of my own heart. Who do I miss? Who, just WHO the FUCK do I miss? Well, WHO the Fuck are You. 'Cause I really Want to Know. Or, then again, maybe I Already Do. You're ME! THAT is who the hell you are. Somewhere, out there in this big fulminating Kettle of Shit in which we struggle against the Riptides, there's a Jewish Ballerina calling me for help because Jesus and Carl Jung sure the shit wouldn't do it, and that Ballerina is ME. Pirouette, Plie, En Pointe. Nijinsky, Ballanchine, Isadora's Arms. I was introduced to Rudolph by Gorey many, many years ago. Now I'm dying. The Sky is the Limit.
        Oh, did I say this chapter was for ME? Well, I am a fucking Liar. No, THIS one, THIS one, is for YOU. Who have you Judged today? Who is it you Want to Fuck? Who is your Lord and Savior? If you died tonight, Where the fuck would you Go? Who do you Miss? And where is all the Evil in the World, Humpty Dumpty?
        Answer the Question, or you can KISS my ass and shut the FUCK up. Who crucified Christ? Who the fuck started the Holocaust? Who pretended it never happened? Who the hell spanked your wet ass into Birth? Who's your Daddy? How does it Feel to be On your Own? When the fuck is Judgement Day?
        Every day. Today is the First Day of all the Losses of your Life.
        No, no, it's not for me. I thought it was but I was Gravely Mistaken. It's not ABOUT me. I, per se, do not exist. And once you read this I suddenly CEASE to exist, Jacques.
        But once, I think I really loved someone. Maybe more than one. I think I miss her. I think I even miss that goddamn bastard Luke Primo. Ah, but I've shown my hand. HEY! It's funny—don't EVER tell anybody ANYTHING. If you do, you'll start missing EVERYBODY.
        And I miss everyone I've ever known.
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