09 January 2009

When the guy that thinks he knows everything realizes he knows nothing at all.

My eyes began at her feet. She was sitting in the window of a coffee shop. Nothing fancy. No bullshit poetry. Just a coffee shop. I knew it was her. No one else wore actual Capezio Pavlowas in the winter. Her crème caramel stretched out baby legs. I remember the first time I'd asked her about her skin. She said it was just left over from the summer before. Days spent at the beach soaking in the salty sun. Said she "held a tan well." Effortlessly everything. Two years later her skin was still tan. I laughed. So coy. Bashful. Caramel is made by heating sugar slowly. Like love it builds and bursts like fireworks. Gunpowder and confetti. The word "confetti" comes from the Italian confection, confetto. Sugar-coated almonds like pills. Like strufoli on Christmas Eve. More fish on the table than swimming in the ocean. In the Netherlands they call them "hagelslag". In Australia they call them "hundreds-and-thousands". Down south they're "jimmies", but up north we just call them "sprinkles". Smiling like a sleeping child dreaming of a magic world with dancing cupcakes, lions eating cookies, bears making donuts, penguins sharing ice cream, and otters lapping up vanilla rice pudding while swimming in a sea of seltzer. She described it all so vividly. Just about every morning she awoke with a new tale from the land of slow-wave sleep. She grew up on black, apples, art and Go-go. She ate apples for dinner and little else. Maybe a cigarette for dessert. Go-go is a style of funk that began in and around the D.C. clubs during the mid to late 70's. A handful of bands contributed to the early evolution of the style but Chuck Brown from the Soul Searchers is widely agreed on as The Godfather of Go-go. I had no idea what it was. I'd never heard of it. I knew The Go-Go's but I didn't know go-go. All these groups like E.U., Rare Essence, Trouble Funk and Aggression. There was Mass Extinction, Yuggie, Redds and the Boys and Hot, Cold, Sweat. Chances were if you weren't from DC, northern Virginia or suburban Maryland you had no fucking idea what it was. Like some secret cult. And that blew my mind. The guy that thinks he knows everything realizes he knows nothing at all; that blew my mind. That and her Capezio Pavlowas and the steam from the coffee brewing on the window. It looked warm where she was. Then again, it always did. And when she jumped out of bed, I'd roll over to her side where the sheets and pillows smelled like yellow cake.