In the evenings, after my son has gone to sleep, I like to sit outside in the cool air and sip wine while thinking about the life that I could have lived and the women I could have loved. There's the girl who always spoke with the voice of a child, barely a whisper at times, who would call me from across the world just to hear me say, "Hello." We would talk for hours, or rather she would talk for hours. I would listen to jazz and try to imagine what it felt like to create something that would touch another person's heart a million miles away. While Coltrane blew his horn her voice would mingle with the words creating a dream that never became reality.
Then there was the girl who liked to slide her tremendous bottom across my crotch and giggle as I reached for her with trembling hands. She would pull her shirt up letting me see her tiny breasts in the sheer bra while she bit her lower lip and made me whisper words of adulation into the valley between her tits. Her auburn hair would tickle the back of my neck as she lowered her lips to my ear and told me the secrets of the cosmos but I never listened to her. I was lost in her eyes, swimming in the depths of her soul even as she kissed me goodbye for the last time.
There was the raven haired nightmare that tore at my soul while teaching me all the sins of the flesh. Night after night she would climb into my bed and speak to God while I tried to remember if the Devil did the same. Blood was shed on those sheets and she laughed at my panic. In the morning she would pat me on the cheek and say, "Tomorrow is for love, but tonight? Tonight is for us." She scratched her name across my spine and tattooed it in the pit of my soul always telling me, "You will never be without me." She was right.
So I threw myself off a bridge and prayed that Flannery O'Connor was right.
Two tones of sexual repression and angst found me on the banks of Obed. She pulled me into her car and laid my weary head between her breasts while I shivered. "Don't worry," she cooed, "I've something special planned for you." Then she pushed me against the door and buried her head in my lap and sang bebop while I wondered if this were Heaven. When she came up for air she breathlessly whispered, "It is, it is," but when she lowered her head again all I could see were fires surrounding us and my flesh felt hot as I screamed for salvation.
It always goes that way. My mind working backwards and tripping over the impossibilities of paths not taken until my wine is gone I hear Chet Baker call out, "I'm old fashioned," while my Darling Bride calls my name. "Charlie," she says in a voice that dances to its own rhythm, "I need you." So I get up out of the rocking chair, smiling at the cool breeze the comes across the field, and go back in for the night, content with life I've chosen.