Wednesday, June 29, 2005



JohnWayne debarked from the Ocho Bus at the corner of Ashby and St. Mary’s and strutted down Ashby in the afternoon’s blazing heat. Palm trees, sassy in counterpoint to JW’s own strut, offered no shade or any other kind of consolation: just a slow sashay of long-limbed sticky hips.

JohnWayne’s skirt was a light blue denim, cut at the upper thigh, tilted forward to reveal more leg back than front: it seemed a calculated decision by the homespun seamstress who, with enough trips to the mirror, had figured out where superiority lay. Stodgy Ford grille at the headlights, Thunderbird fins sleek and longing at the rear. She longed: she wanted you to long along with. Farm boys would know that hiked up skirt from a pasture’s worth of Angus heifers: nature’s will to telegraph the ready somehow, when love notes were not an option.

Those legs were worth another paragraph of their own: a fetching orange, burnt sienna, tan in a bottle. The bottle had gone all to the legs: JohnWayne’s face and arms did not match, not by color or texture. Dark, yes, but farm rough. Garnet ear pendants no match for the cowpoke face. Yes, fruit juice would flow down those ski-slope legs, but there were too many mudflats and salt licks in the upper reaches – Valencia orange flesh torn between the chewed lips would pool and sputter, Amoreena (the fruit juice flowing slowly slowly slowly down the bronze of your body, Mr. Taupin) fizzle-dried out.

Still, those UT-orange legs owned the street and she knew it. Shuffling down in the street, not the sidewalk, her head a bob of Joe Namath curls, blood red drops at her ears, two inch platform blooms on her wide splay-toed feet. Tink, in her baby blue tee and camouflage cut-offs perched just southside of the bikini wishing line, stood on the porch of her sea-foam house and marveled at such proprietary dominion. She remembered the Mardi Gras Phantom of the Opera down on Burgundy in the New Orleans French Quarter, tuxedo clad, a six foot crystal chandelier soaring atop his head. Phantom owned Burgundy: thus did JohnWayne own – daily, mind, not just for special occasions – the neighborhood of Ashby and Paschal. Daily, too, was Tink’s unabashed fealty.

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