©2001, by Jeff Glovsky

I don’t know anymore how to do it. Can’t seem to sit down and write some things…

The worst is that the vibe seems gone! Don’t want to put a pen to paper…Want to write a thought or two, or feeling.

I just sit and stare.

Blank ignorance, can’t even think…Just mumble in my jumbled half-awake state, numb, not even dreaming.

Portugal speeds by, a week in Athens…There’s a carnival. But nothing seems to slake me to the core, or rake my senses. Sate me.

Happy memories flood a little: Pedro with his gimp, and fleshpot offers (‘Zhu wan’ womens?’)…There was Voula, on that balcony: thick stockings ripped about high waist and sweating as she blew me (hair like flooding hay cascade), full moon over Kifissias! Greek smiles, and an ancient tongue…

Oh! Pray to be alive still.

Think of Dila: “…want to kiss you,” as we flew into the sunrise. Miles high and lonely seatmate (nine years…Too young to be married!)…“Soulmates”…

Flew and shared our rising, undry Lisboneta breakfasts.

And then eating…in that Spanish town, bad olives (Bobadilla!); and overnight, the swirling, nauseous train up to Valencia…

Gin bathtub full of nothing-left-but-bile, stench-of-sick reminders…Headache that went with it grew impossible to bear! And so lay heaving, like a fat and guilty rapist…Like an unsung drummer, caked in drunken sweat, lay stinking, beat up, leaked and violated.

…Happy memories flood a little.

Still, to feel something would be half the battle these days. So I smile at the teenager. Can recognize the mother in her…

This unblacks my cockles, makes me warm a little bit.

She’s French, or Austrian…Got that rebellion. Smoking in that fuck-you, smiling way they do (snide indolence)…My bird flips at the thought of scowing through that trash veneer…She’s drinking beer, it looks like!

I run over…

She starts, at my pounding, slapping wrist thing (…need to know the time!); she lifts hers…flexes like a muscle. Twists so I can read her watch…Says, “I don’t know, in English, how the times are.”

Then she’s proud of me: “American…I can’t believe I’m really having talk with an American!”

Oh, Baby…Don’t you read the news? Watch CNN? Where does your pride come…?

“Promise with my brother, never speak…He hates, your CNN!”


Still…She’s drinking beer, and got it going, vaguely, on.

Implore her: “Can you stay (and drink some more)?”

“Why not? I’ve not much other things (to do…).”

“You’re French…”

“No, Austrian.”

“…Got that rebellion!”

“I’ve got not so much, I think.”

We drink…until we can’t see straight. I stumble to the rest room, where I pee on my reflection in the hokey little mirror. “Gonna get it,” leering all the while…

Out again, I find my new young friend under the table. She has passed, from diabetes, out, it seems and no one’s helping her.

I blithely join the nonchalance and fade into oblivion.

But don’t know where it’s went, the vibe! The vibe seems gone…Without the vibe, I’m spent, like a light paycheck; like a rent past due…I’m just not there!

I haven’t any means to pay attention, make sense, anything. Or otherwise engage

Just feel helpless--hopeless, numb--

and stare.

The flight to Italy is full. Of screaming babies, refugees, large students, ignorant, loud tourists: trousers snapping, pooping contemplations, half-drunk sleep attempts and bitter wants for wishes left unsaid (goodbyes, and broken promises)...

Slow, Dolomitic stillness in the chirping, morning hills outside Spoleto…There’s a carnival, but nothing seems to move me. Sit and contemplate cold cappuccino.

Dio, I can’t take myself…

Italians on loud, mental little scooters whip by innocently. Tearing Dolomitic stillness…filling up fresh sonic cracks with blood from gaping soul wounds…Breakfast over, I walk back to where I’m staying, near Il Duomo.

Blue in hueing, and the swarming birds like Hitchcock…Clock screams eight o’clock.


Spoiled little bitch! Rich daddy’s smile, and her own deep cheekbones…Dream to suck white teeth each night! White grappa down lewd lips, past gum…Smack fevered, fisted, thinking of you…

Pounding every night alone, rude reveries. Dream thinking of you…

Drinking doesn’t help me lose (or find) you.

…Just stay numb, and stare.

I tear around this shrinking globe…Screech nighttime, though it’s morning where I pour my breakfast loads in.

Hear you pray to be alive still.

* * *

originally published (2003) in Underground Voices

To Natalie, who inspired the title and Patti, who inspired me ... and everyone else who appears in these stories and in me, in some way, to this very day ...

Underwear Woman Digs the Sea

(These Are Some Travel Stories!)

©1999-2013 by Jeff Glovsky.  All Rights Reserved.

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