Monday, March 15, 2010

The Invitation

The life of a junky, so complex and harrowing. So agonizing, and yet so provocative. What makes one begin this life that we all know is so bad? The allure of the lifestyle is what reels us in, reaching out to us from a doorway down a darkened hallway of a very old place. She slowly peeks out, raising her delicate finger, and beckons you to come inside. Sit down, stay awhile.
When you enter, you are confronted with a 1920s bordello parlor decked out with deep red velvet curtains and ornate golden couches with tapestry woven upholstery. Ceiling fanes gently swirling way up clinging to the tall, tall ceilings. The breeze is blowing through the room, gently spreading out the scent of old and flowery perfumes. Smoke and incense rise in the air. Fresh flowers are in vases on every table, and the coffee table is full of dainty little snacks. And it appears that there are several snifters of something warm, and dark, and inviting…
Come inside, sit down, and stay a while. The air is thick with the sweet scents of various burning herbs, the sweet smell of cannabis rising like smoke signals from somewhere in the darkened corners of the room. Pillows line the ground in places, making palates for relaxing. Sweet, sweet smell of something bittersweet hangs around in the air. The sound of metal clanking to the ground, sounds like a spoon hitting the hardwood, chimes from down another dark hallway.
Velvet edges. Red, and gold, and deep purple. Ornate metal and opaque busts that seem to glow in the lamp light. Drapes all over everything, the end tables, the doorways, the couches. Draping velvety colors, deep reds, and browns…tones of the Earth. Bright contrasts of purple, deep like the veins of the heart. A baby grand piano in the corner, with a lamp to light the keys. The lamp is gold and intricate, with a shade made from deep, deep blood red, with tiny golden tassels dangling around the edges.
Stepping out on to the balcony, the sun is shining bright. I squint my eyes as they adjust to the contrast. The balcony is made out of old wrought iron, its pattern swirling like vines inside their appropriate squares. Plants hang from the ceiling, in baskets that are held up by ornate wrought iron. The plants are lush and green, overflowing from their pots spilling out into the afternoon sunlight. The balcony overlooks a tiny street.
On first glance, it is an old street. The air is warm and muggy, and the sidewalks below are old and worn. The buildings are bright and narrow. Perfect little roofs with windows all over…old antique glass refracting the light in all different directions. The objects inside look slightly bubbly from the balcony. Dark edges, all around the glass middles with wooden window panes. The greenery is very lush to be this far in the heart of a city. Tiny streets below with cafĂ© tables and back alley gardens. Looking back into the parlor, it looks pitch black.
The smell of bittersweet, slowing cooking down the darkened hallway is calling out to me. Quietly whispering in my ear…begging me to come back inside. Come back inside where it is warm and insulated. Come back inside where it is fuzzy like a dream. Come back inside where it is dark, and our truths can be hidden well inside our cloaks. Come back inside; sink into the luscious soft sofa. Put up your feet, and we will close the shades.
Inside it is dark. But it is warm and liquid, like a womb. Insulated, protected from the world outside, where the sun is blazing. Shining light into my cracked surface, making the light refract everywhere. Inside, it is cozy and safe, as I become enveloped in the fantasy. Dark and hazy…just come inside. Make yourself comfortable. Stay a while. It is okay with us if you stay much longer than you planned. It is okay with us if you never leave. You can stay here forever, insulated in this old fantasy.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, This is the one! Such detail and color and then of course; the implied relation to our real lives. Funny how my drug/drinking friends in the past were always more than happy to have you stay long overdue. Come on in, stay a while, stay much longer than you planned. Everybody always felt much better that way because then the illusion of "this is great!" lasted on and on. The moment someone mentioned real life and obligations, that person became the buzz kill... Powerful allusions! The fantasy we build in our minds is so overwhelming and you put it down on paper (or electrons!) Really neat writing!! I assume this is based off of some vision or place in NOLA. Keep up the good work! This kind of writing puts me right in the situation, mood and feeling and I don't even have any idea where this was or what it was.