The Toxic Shock Serenade
Zoom in on the Laudville Tavern on a Sunday night. The blurred faces of the passing pedestrians puttering down the sidewalks under the street lights to the faint sounds of car horns and sirens. Throughout the scene, the outside of the bar remains dark as the passersby slowly fade in and out…And only the flickering, buzzing pink neon that reads BEER, gives any sign the place exists.
The camera zooms further into the open door and into the barroom, revealing only the dark emptiness and the faint sound of Billie Holliday from the jukebox along with the flies. The wood floor creaks under soft footsteps from within the dark. "Ahem…" The music stops and the record changes. And a light in the center of the bar flickers on.
There she sits, a second-hand Angel, draped in an old Folkloric dress. The withered petals fall from between her caramel legs and ripped lace stockings, softly floating to the floor. She rocks back and forth on the barstool, smoking her Pall Malls under the dangling light bulb while that jukebox chokes on Red River Valley.
♪Don’t hasten to bid me – Don’t hasten to bid me – Don’t hasten to bid me…adieu♪
Like a cry for that second-chance Lamb as he migrates from the old crucifix above the mantelpiece for the winter, rising in Dolce & Gabanna’s burgundy silk gazar dress. Rising in Prada lipstick-red saffiano peep toe pumps. Rising in Louis Vuitton underoos and feather boa…Resurrection never looked so damn good.
The street vendors catch a glimpse of him floating over West 83rd and shout out from the kiosks and shop fronts, "Pásale! Pásale!" holding grapefruits and Elvis figurines up to the sky, squeezing so hard the juice runs down their arms and on to their bare feet. He floats over the county jail and the red brick clinics, casting a shadow over the clap cases and the arms outreached between the bars like a buzzard over a prairie mouse.
♪Just remember the Red River Valley...And the cowboy who has loved you so true♪
The chicks in the bagnio fog up the windows as they press their tits against the glass and make obscene gestures with their tongues in their breath. That cat in the alleys picks his teeth and tilts the brim of a Panama hat, "I got whatcha need, dig?"
Just south of Sodom, he does his little turn on the catwalk…and the Virgin pops a Midol and smiles.
Koal Gil found writing at age fourteen, working for the school newspaper before he was banned a few weeks later. Now, Seven years later, he continues to write poetry, short stories, and whatever you call it and is currently working on a novel. He resides in Eugene, Oregon. This is his first publication.