Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 1 | Spring 1985

Others do what they want and think what they can. continue to stay in bed for the next few skids, if one of our cars is rammed, then so be it. We all pay car insurance; however, a claim could catapult our rates into the red zone. Rising insurance rates are a threat to us as much as is contracting herpes. The stats are under twenty-five years old, single, and male. The rates screw us over more than we could every hope to screw a still-breathing animal and get herpes. The facts say the remedy is to grow old and let the four-legged creatures alone, respectively. When we stay in bed after each skid we flirt with danger, akin to seducing a young woman in a bowling alley. Three tall windows form a bay within my room. This architectural drama derives itself from the room's original function as a dining room. I painted the built-in buffet black, as well as the walls, to obscure the room’s original use. Light streams in through each window even though the blinds are pulled up. Chicago dwellers see little of the moon. The blinds fasten at the window base and pull up to cover only the bottom half of the window. The top window pane is clear so I can see the moon. I want to see the sky when I go to bed at night. People never understand this need. A room without access to the night’s skies is really just a cube with its occupants twitching around inside. Tonight we can see the sky above from the bed, but not the car crashes below. The swirling snow blocks the moon, yet adds drama to our view of this wintry Chicago night. Harris, the first of three men to work their way into the room and into my bed, disrupts my struggles to fall asleep. I am speeding as a side effect from my latest encounter with hallucinogens. Talking with Harris takes on an asymmetrical tone resulting from my tired hyperactivity and his pronouncing every sentence with reluctance. Hoping this combination will put me to sleep in mid-sentence, I ask how the evening went for him. He sighs, then waits a few seconds, and slowly tells me the events leading him to come home alone. We both tend to denigrate events of the evening unless the goings-on centered around us or at least celebrated our crazy party-going moods. Harris was not the celebrity on this evening. Hence, we talk late at night in bed about he, she, or them. Harris slips onto my bed so it will sides on the shores Washington. Lake make it that much harder for him to face the inevitable: going to his own bed alone. Besides, my head begins to loll to one side as I lose the battle to keep it upright. Now that he is next to me I can steady my head on the pillow and talk out the side of my mouth. Jed does not walk in or slip into my room; he inquires his way in. He asks if I am sick, happy, sleepy, or just enjoying my trip to oblivion. He thinks I spend my life pursuing oblivion or looking for friends to show me the way. Jed himself has partially shown me the way. We misunderstand each other far too often and let it go on. We misinterpret what the other means and call it friendship. He exemplifies the whacked-out existence of having been sent to boarding school in France before he knew how to speak French. He continues to be the sacrificial lamb of our group. We use him as an example of what not to become or what not to do. He uses us so he always has a place to come home to. Tonight Jed is in my bed before I can ask if he wants to stay awhile. He lights up a cigarette and rubs the ashes onto his pants leg. Jed is the only person I let smoke in my room. Cats purr when they are content and smokers like Jed light up when they plan on staying awhile. Bill is never happy even when he smokes. He assumes happiness from others like some people inherit a sick inlaw or a puppy from a neighbor. It is easy for him to feel the hallucinations that only I should be feeling tonight. Harris and Jed begin to hallucinate as they rest their heads on my pillows. Four-man hysteria is easy to accomplish. One talks while the others listen. As each takes his turn the steady drone invades each individual’s thoughts. Snow quickly falls outside my windows and cars still crash into cars on the streets below. Four men ski down a white slope and ride up the chair lift on only one chair. The strong sun burns our lips and dries out our faces. We combine our fears and give them to each other. I cannot speak French and become the young child in boarding school. Bill faces a rock cliff that he has never climbed but heard me talk about too many times. Jed skis over the ledge that Harris did not see. Jed must also feel the pain of Harris’ two broken legs. We share our defeats. Whether this makes us losers depends on if there is some game involved. We never knew of a game back then. Four of us men and none of us knew a game existed. I still do not think a game exists, although the other three seem to know something now about the game I do not. Three men leave my room together, differently than they had come in. I am to sleep and not worry about how they will fall asleep. The snow has stopped falling and the moon appears through my winNo Earrings She shuts the door to the Buick LeSabre and nimbly pushes down the door lock. Her hands start at my waist and travel up my body. My black T-shirt follows her hands until she holds it in her left hand. The shirt goes into the clothes pile on the car floor. She takes out the earring in my left ear and adds it to the pile. She breathes, “I do not fuck anyone with an earring on.” I slowly pull her head to me and take out all five of her earrings and whisper back, “Me neither.” She rubs her hands through my spiked hair and gathers the grease from it. Her gleaming hands now slide down my chest leaving behind a glistening trail from my neck to my crotch. While her hands move, her tongue licks my forehead and her teeth bite my eyebrows. No kisses fall on my lips, although her tongue traces around my mouth. The dress she wears has a forest scene better suited to a tablecloth than a pleated dress. Now that she faces me, her dress unfurls and covers our lower bodies like a lily pad with her head and neck being the flower. I feel my pants and underwear slide past my thighs down to my ankles. She begins to fuck me and I begin to call her Lucy, even though it is obvious it is not dows. The sky still sits outside my windows. It keeps me company. I never want to shut out the sky since I know it will always exist for me. It exists even when I am in bed. When I sometimes awaken from dreaming the sky sits patiently out there waiting. I say hello to the sky whenever I get a chance. I never say good-bye because it never leaves me. My three friends forgot to say hello to the sky when they left my room to continue on their lives. I said it for them—this time.« not her name. She laughs each time I say Lucy, especially when I tell her that this Lucy just fucked me silly. Lucy pulls up my pants for me and buckles my belt, one hole too tight. From her pocket, she brings out a tube of gel and rubs it in my hair. The fingers tickle as she restores my hair to its planar dimensions. Then Lucy rubs some gel onto her lips and finally kisses me. She unlocks the door and slides out. Lucy looks back and asks, “Coming?"■ Jason Patt, a recent University of Chicago graduate, now writes and reClinton St. Quarterly 41