Josephine
Published in Chelsea 59, Chelsea Associates Inc., New York, NY 1995, pp.71-97

Dwayne Loves Johnny Coggio

Johnny Coggio

Johnny Coggio is tough. Johnny Coggio is mean. Nothing can hurt him. Nothing can beat him. He's the strongest, the fastest and the best. Look, here he comes running, chased by the Indians, dodging through the scrub. Bullets ricochet among the pebbles, spurting dust inches from his feet.
<Ptoooee>. That was close. Bullet went through the brim of his black hat knocking it off. Johnny crouches behind a rock and feels around for it. He perches the hat on one end of a stick and pokes it around the boulder. His own head and trusty gun ease around the other side and <POWEE>, he shoots that sniping Indian.Now to get Sally Joe and Ma Hainey out of their cabin and to safety.

Her sisters were slow to understand what she wanted them to do. They were playing house and didn't want to be overrun by Cowboys and Indians. She had to coax them.
"Come on ladies, the wagon's ready. Just a little run across the yard and we'll be hightailin' it outta here."Johnny shephards them out the door. They're so pretty and vunerable - soft curls flying, eyes wide with fear. They stumble awkwardly as they run, skirts held up to show the white flounces of their petticoats.Johnny's eyes are on every side at once. He sees the Indian peek around the barn. He trips Ma Hainey behind the water trough and with a flying tackle throws himself on top of Sally Jo. The bullets fly harmlessly over their heads. For a second he continues to press against the soft warm body pinioned beneath him. But although she arouses his senses, his mind is alert to their danger. Swiftly he rolls to one side. Comes out of the roll onto one knee. <Ptoooee>The gun of Johnny Coggio speaks, accurate and deadly.Her sisters got up shouting at her. What did she think she was doing? She'd scraped Anna's knees playing so roughly, and Helena's dress was dirty. She was a little crazy idiot.She didn't hear them. She was still immersed in her story.

She ran down the path wearing her cowboy hat and hooting and hollering at her father. He was tall and strong with crisp, curling black hair. He swung her up in the air, loving her.
He walked with her around the house into the porch. The girls were there with their homework. When he came in they crouched closer to their books, their heads going down. She felt the hurt and anger begin to bubble inside him.He sat down on the sofa and pulled her up next to him and looked at the little girls. They came slowly to kiss him. He gave each a slap on the butt and roared with laughter."Stupid mice, run back to your books."He had very small, angry black eyes."Eleni! Bring me a beer!"She squirmed to the edge of the couch, thinking to run and fetch the beer, but he stopped her. He didn't look at his wife as she brought the beer. When her mother left, her sisters retreated as well, leaving them alone. Her father's big body relaxed.She got restless on the couch. She jumped off and got her football. He laughed with her, caught her pass and threw her a couple. She ran up the field warding off the defense, then tripping and rolling. She fetched up with a thud against the iron leg of the table holding her father's beer. Through its glass top she saw the glass teeter and fall. It splintered on the floor."You clumsy monkey!" All the tension was back.She scooted out of the way of his heavy hand and cut herself on the glass. She roared too. It wasn't her fault and now she was cut. Her father grabbed her up off the floor and thrust her towards her startled mother."Why can't you take proper care of them - look at the poor child!"Juno bawled as her blood dripped.The girls swept the floor and brought more beer. Her mother cleaned and dressed the cut; applauding Juno's courage because it was very deep. When it was done, Juno was proud. There was a proper bandage smeared with red medicine.Later at dinner she pushed her beans carefully to one side. She didn't think she had to eat them after such a bad cut. Her mother leant towards her and whispered."Eat them. They'll make you strong and brave."She looked at her father. He was withdrawn and frowning, ignoring his family. Her mother picked up her fork and loaded it with beans."Come on dear," whispered her mother."Why are you whispering?" As her father's attention locked onto them, everyone but Juno tensed. She was pleased.Her mother froze, and vaguely waved the fork."Well, tell her to eat. She must learn to do as she's told. You're too soft with her. You let her run wild." He glared at Juno, but she knew he liked her wild. He was pretending he didn't and he was pretending to be confused. "But why whisper - huh? Whispering, begging your children to so the things all ordinary children do automatically. But you, you beg."The voice switched into Greek, first fake and soft and then letting the anger gust on through. Then he was done. Released from his bad temper, suggesting ice-cream. All the tension and gloom lifted leaving only the unimportant strand of her mother's humiliation. After dinner it was Juno's turned to dry the dishes, but she ran out of the kitchen knowing her mother wouldn't call her back. Helena grabbed at her."It's your turn." She whispered. Juno slid away and gave her the finger. She ran into the living room and bounced on the couch close to her father. He looked at her and took her arm, inspecting the cut. Then he gave her a big hug. She wriggled free and settled down next to him to watch television.Johnny Coggion and his pardner are sitting on the bunkhouse steps looking at the the prairie and the moon. Everything is quiet and calm. The women folk and their fears and confusions are far away in the big house. Johnny Coggio is at peace.

Dwayne

Dwayne only existed for one night. He was quite as much a surprise to Iso as he must have been to the other guests at the party. But he was so complete, she slipped into him, or he into her, so easily, that she must have germinated him long before.
Iso lived in a squat in South London with Amy and Amy's silent, older boyfriend. Amy and Iso grew very tight that year. So tight that Iso thought Amy's boyfriend might be jealous. She knew the two of them weren't getting along too well, and pretended to ignore the fact that Amy was spending more time and more attention on her. Amy and Iso spent their time working out a perfect social/sexual system. There would be three categories. First, cerebral friends; these would be stimulating, mind-stretching people. Of course, they would have to be women. Second, there were people you lived with. Like a family, you didn't necessarily like each other, you could just depend on each other in sickness and adversity. These could be men and women. Third there were lovers; to go out with, to have fun with, to do drugs, have sex, fall in love with, but never for very long. These people could also be men or women. They dwelt on their invention, polishing and honing it day by day.It was a radiant summer. There were lots of women around to share their idea with. So many that they seemed a defiant majority; reclaiming symbols of girlhood; redefining symbols of sexy - baggy shorts and singlets, big boots, decorated bras, thin silk dresses, beads, bangles, and many, many braids. Amy, Donna, Simone, Margie and Ginny - wearing lipstick as agression, travelling in a girl gang. They could drive men of sexism into paroxysms of fury. One day, as they ran down the underground steps on their way to a party, Donna spat on the ground in answer to a passing comment on how nice their bodies were. The aggression escalated until one of the two men who opposed them was holding the other back. The second was screaming, "I'm going to cut your cunts out!" Even the men of their own so-progressive community looked askance. "What was really cooking?"And Derek was around too. His 16 year old ability to accept this blooming girlhood cut him off from the established men in their 20s and 30s. His openess, his interest in what they were thinking, made him one of them. A cerebral friend, though a man. He was slight and fair, working class, from the East End of London, from a committed political family. He was sharp and close. Told stories about the big girls at school who frightened him with knives, because he knew it pleased them. He was political on all fronts, class, race, sex. He listened to them intently, laughed with them, made connections about weakness and oppression.One day Amy, Iso and Derek were drinking in a pub in North London. Iso came rushing back from the toilet spluttering with excitement at the wonderful writing on the wall."I fucked ten men last night and drank a pint of spunk."They luxuriated in this graffiti - victim made conqueror. It all depended on your point of view really. Derek could see from their point of view. His blue eyes squinted and laughed. His bony body rocked.The riots the year before had changed their neighborhood, making it into a symbol, a focus of anger. A lot of people, the middle-class, white people, were moving into new squats away from the Front Line. Iso and Amy broke into an enormous and beautiful house. They put their lock on the door thirty minutes before another set of squatters turned up. They cleaned the cat and dog turds out, brought in an exterminator for the fleas - the previous tenants had lots of pets - and began to move things in. There was one hold up. The electricity company had turned off the supply in the street and wanted a hefty deposit before they would turn it on again. While negotiations dragged, they half lived in the new house, away from the boyfriend.In the summer in England, daylight goes on and on. Even without light it was perfectly possible for Iso and Amy to get ready for a party. They had all the essentials. Amy had plastic bags full of clothes and shoes. They had brought over a mirror. They had make-up.They were lethargic, couldn't think what to wear. They pulled out dresses, blouses, shorts, held them up, discarded them. They needed to establish a mood, a theme. Iso's mind was very blank. Then Dwayne had emerged, crawling out from inside her, full grown, full of bravado, full of shit. She identified with him immediately. He put on black trousers and black boots with a heel because he was embarrassed about his height and especially didn't want to appear shorter than his girlfriend. He put on a grey flannel shirt, a narrow grey silk tie and a grey jacket. "Sharp," - though Dwayne. And there he stood, complete with nervous mannerisms and a fantasy family rising around him, radiating discomfort, distrust and aggression.And of course Sharon was the logical extension of Dwayne - Iso could feel that going way deep. Dwayne could not exist without a girlfriend. He might call her an appendage but he would know she was his core. He filled her so he could pretend to have a center too. And Amy, like Sharon, was a real woman, she fitted the part.

Sharon decides to help Dwayne with the knot of his tie. He's patient with her fumbling for a minute then he tries to push her away.
"Leave it out Sharon,. You can't tie ties, you just can't. Let me do it.""No." Sharon always insists and usually gets her way. She continues to tie the tie - she makes it too tight. When she's finished Dwayne pulls at the knot. She glares at him.He sticks his chin out at her and bugs his eyes. "I'm fucking suffocating, Are you trying to strangle me or what?""He murmurs "Stupid bint," under his breath, but leaves the knot alone.Sharon is getting dressed now. She takes a long time. Dwayne is bored. He puts all his things in different pockets, money, cigs, matches, comb, chewing gum. He lounges in the open window and strikes a match, letting it burn close to his fingers then tossing it outside. He watches it fall. He moves his neck around in his collar and darts Sharon a black look. He takes out his comb and squints over into the mirror."Got any grease, Shar? She gives it to him and he slicks his hair back.He takes out a cig and lights it. He holds it between thumb and fingers, dragging deeply on it - he stands legs apart, braced, bouncing on the balls of his feet."Come on Shar. It's getting late."She doesn't seem to hear. She comes and takes the cigarette. He hates that. He wants the cigarette to himself. Now she'll take it across the room and leave it somewhere, balanced. She won't bring it back to him. He'll have to go over and get it."Oy Sharon, don't." Dwyane whines.She takes no notice. His irritation doesn't touch her. Although he's annoyed, a secret part of him likes it when she acts this way. Dwayne is in awe of that essence of Sharon which means she gets her own way. She seems so sure of herself, so complete, so self-contained. It's as if he's nothing. As if nothing else really effects her. He wishes he was like that but he's not. He's swayed by every emotion and desire of the people around him. He never feels he gets his own way because he can never figure out what it is. It seems to get lost in the confusion.Sharon's nearly ready. She looks very nice - neat llittle pleated skirt, blouse, cardie. She's putting on eye-liner, blusher, lipstick - not too much - it looks good. Now she's doing her hair. It's long, beautiful and long. She's tying it back. She's alright. She doesn't dress like a tart. She's got respect for herself. She's alright. A bit of a nag but alright. S'funny, his mum likes Sharon. Best to keep the two of them apart though. Together they rag him something rotten. Putting the pressure on about getting married. He's got to watch out for that Sharon,, she's the type that'd get pregnant to trap him into it. Now Sharon's asking if she needs to wear a slip."How should I know."She gives him a look which says, "Don't start." Obediantly Dwayne scrutinizes her as she turns."Naw - can't see nothing - you look fine."Their friends laughed when they saw them."What's going on?""This is Dwayne," explained Amy, " And I'm his girlfriend Sharon. Dwayne and Sharon, ready for a night out."For a while Iso felt Dwayen recede. She laughed and joked about her clothes and her new persona. But soon he began to gain confidence. He felt accepted. People liked him and encouraged him to come out.

Dwayne relaxes, begins to expand, fills with self-importance. He cracks jokes with the boys and offers cigs all round. He's a little uneasy with the girls. What do you say to girls? Can't talk to them really, except to Sharon and not even to her really, not like another man. Of course it's different after he's had a few beers - then he's a proper lad. Still he can't help noticing Donna's looking nice tonight.
He sidles up to her. "You're looking very nice Donna." He says softly, his eyes taking in every detail. He nods appreciatively then looks directly into her eyes. "Very nice."She laughs, "Thanks ... Dwayne." She goes upstairs with Sharon - they're going to fiddle with their make-up, again,Now they have to wait for Derek. Derek is Dwayne's friend. He's just a kid really, only 16. But he's OK. He's a Londoner like Dwayne - same kind of background, but from the East End, not South of the river. He's a bit too skinny, but he's smart and ready for anything. Dwayne likes him a lot.Iso worried for a second that Derek would think Dwayne was taking the piss out of him. But Derek was visibly amused by her transformation and got on with Dwayne immediately. As for Dwayne, he felt happier with Derek than with the older, middle-class men.

"Come on Del. It's time we were moving. Oy - Sharon!" Dwayne shouts up the stairs. "Sharon we're going on ahead." He winks at Derek.
He doesn't make a move to go. Sharon would kill him if he didn't wait."You've met my girlfirend Sharon, innit Del?""Wait for us." Sharon and Donna come downstairs. "I don't know what your rush is, it's early yet."They walk together in the late, late twilight. A laughing group going to a party. On the way they stop to buy beer, and at last they arrive.

The party was a combination of Iso's new London friends, and a group of people from her time at the University of Norwich who had all eventually trickled down to London. It was amazing how the second group reacted to Dwayne. They hadn't seen Iso for a couple of years and she could feel their frantic thoughts as they very nearly backed away from her, "Oh, that's what she's become now." Smiling she pointed across at Amy, "And that's my girlfriend Sharon."

When Sharon's not watching Dwayne dances with all the girls, pressing close. Well, at least with all the short girls, and the ones that'll let him. He winks at Derek and whispers, "Lot of it about, tonight!" Derek smirks. Dwayne sees Sharon in the distance and quickly puts a little distance between himself and his dance partner. He waves his beer, "Alright, Sharon?"
The party is hot and bright. Time speeds up as Dwayne drinks. Very late he hangs around the door, saying goodbye to groups of girls as they leave - getting a kiss from each one. Very, very late - he and Derek are shaking cans to see if there's any beer left in any of them. They find a couple that are half full and lean against the littered kitchen table drinking them.Dawyne is drunk and maudlin. He looks at Sharon, who's talking earnestly across the room.. "She's a good girl, Del. I complain about her, but I'm lucky really. You know how I was telling you, that my mum and her's nagging me to get married? Well- don't tell anyone Del, but I'm going to ask her. Her birthday's next month - it'll be like a present. "There's a pause, as Dwayne and Derek reflect on the enormity of Dwayne's statement."Then maybe they'll get off my back about getting a job!"They both crack up laughing - which releases the tension the confession has created.

Madness

The sun was shining. The road was straight. Juno had taken off her jacket and drove in shirt sleeves, one arm resting on the open window, tapping the side of the car in rhythm to the radio. She was feeling relaxed and confident. Auditions were lining up, parts were visible in the distance. Everything was possible.
She had her new pieces with her, planning to practise for the auditions as she drove. At first she had thought it too audacious to read from male as well as female roles. Her teacher had encouraged her."They add something to your repetoire," he said. "They demonstrate a range, a confidence. Your style is very masculine. To read men shows you're not scared of that. Let them know it's an asset - then hit them with the female roles too. It'll work kid."She flipped the radio off, lifted the scripts out of her bag and set them on the seat. Time to get into character. She accelerated, speeding into the left hand lane, past a truck, back into the right line, past someone cruising too slow, back to the left, past three more cars. Let the exhilaration fade, die, disgust take over. Get into the left land lane and crawl slowly, ignoring the startled faces of the cars that you just passed, passing you."I have to talk to someone Mom. I have to talk to you both. And Dad, this time you have to give me an answer. I'm in terrible trouble. You know that big high Bluff near Miller-Town junction? It was a question of honor. They called me chicken."She wondered how her mother was. Now, when she went to visit her in hospital, she felt like part of an All-American ritual. She was one of the many children driving to visit their mad mothers. She hated her mother for being so weak, for running from them to the hospital, for giving in. It was such a symbol of her father's triumph. He had succeeded in breaking his wife. She hated her father."They called me chicken - you know chicken! I had to go or I would never have been able to face those kids again."Her father couldn't stop being a bully. But when he finally turned on her, treated her like her mother and sisters, he'd miscalculated. He had made her too strong. All those years he needed an ally and an audience had fed her with his power. And when he turned, she turned faster, full and raging and she saw he was a sick, old man, an old, sick, unloved man who couldn't hurt her. Who merely disgusted her."So I got in one of those cars and a boy called Buzz got in the other. We had to drive fast and jump before the cars went over the edge of the bluff. I got out Okay, but Buzz didn't. He was killed."And her mother? Was she really very weak or very strong? Was her mother fighting so hard with weakness? Juno didn't know how anybody dealt with weakness. She wasn't exactly afraid of it. It just wasn't natural for her. It wasn't comfortable. She liked to be in control, to direct, to know what was coming."I can't keep it to myself anymore - I've never done anything right. I don't think I can prove anything by going around pretending I'm tough anymore, so maybe you look like one thing but you still feel like another."And in some ways she liked weakness. It was their weakness that made women attractive to her. She despised them and she desired them. When she had a woman those two elements were mixed, sinfully, wonderfully. And they liked her because she allowed them their weakness, allowed them to give her all their power.She shook the script to center herself and glanced down."Are you listening to me? You're involved in this! I want to go to the police and tell them I was mixed up in this thing tonight. We're all involved, Mom. A boy was killed! I don't see how we can get out of it by pretending it didn't happen."But were they really weak? Her contempt for them was almost a defense against the awe and incomprehension she felt. "You're not going to use me as an excuse again, Mom. Everytime you can't face yourself, you say it's because of me. Now I want to do one thing right and I'm not letting you run away."How could a woman be like that? Full of waiting ... waiting for .... It must take strength just to wait for the unknown to take you. Strength and faith in your own concreteness. If you didn't control what was coming, how did you survive? How did you learn about and prepare defences? And if you didn't need defences, what were you?Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate. Start at the beginning. Do it right. All this thinking was bullshit. She knew what she liked, she knew what she wanted. That's all she had to worry about. Stay in the moment.She felt the wind ruffling her hair, cut short and square by her ear. She saw her thighs resting comfortably on the seat, the dark material of her pants, her loafers. One hand resting casually close to the crotch, a capable hand, bound at the wrist with a wide watch strap. She held on to her self-image. Hair swept back, forceful, angular sunglasses, a definite nose. She relaxed."You better give me something. Dad. You better give me something fast. Mom?"She almost missed her turn into the hospital grounds. Her tires screeched as she took it much too fast. She couldn't contain her grin. Given half a chance she would still drive like a teenager. It was the way Johnny Coggio would drive, pretending he could handle it, betting on his skill and his luck. It was reassuring to know that that reckless, confident presence was inside her. A clear and simple refuge.Was it Johnny Coggio who got out of the car stretching, freeing his muscles, pushing the sunglasses up onto his head, before striding towards the entrance?Her mother hugged her as she came into the room."I knew you were coming," she said. "I was looking out of the window and I saw you in the parking lot. At first I thought you were a boy, but then I recognised you."As they drew apart her mother smiled at her. She was warm and broken, but no longer threatened. Juno listened as her mother reminisced as her mother told her all the stories."It's funny that I thought you were a boy - but good. You look strong. You can take care of yourself. You always could. Remember Juno? Remember when we went to stay at your grandmother's house? You were very young and you wanted your father. You cried and shouted, until your grandfather called your father and he came and took us back."Her mother's face is gentle and harmless as she remembers. She doesn't seem to be blaming Juno. She is just amazed by her daughter's strength.Juno's grandfather sold her mother to her father. Their marriage was never happy. Her mother ran away again and again. After that first time, she no longer relied on her parents. She left the children with their father and ran alone. Later on she didn't run away, instead she would go into hospital to "rest."Both her father and grandfather came to America during the war. Her father was alone, cut off from all ties and responsibilities. In wartime all the rules were abrogated. He could make money easily. He could have fun. He traveled all across the country, working, learning, getting ready for his new American life.He mixed with a lot of different people back then. And he discovered something he liked - Puerto Rican women. And so he dated them, he slept with them, he lived with them, they were his life. But it was a secret, shameful life. It was not his real life. It was like a vacation before real living continued again.After the war he met Juno's grandfather. He was getting older, still unmarried. The grandfather had a daughter in Greece, a virgin, a proper wife for a Greek man, a proper mother for his children. The grandfather needed help to bring his family to America. It was a great bonus to have a daughter's future settled. And so Juno's father turned along the correct path. He collected his bride, took her to Virginia, watched her grow pregnant and deliver daughters, and made her life miserable."And your father Juno? Your father now, what should I think about him? Is he happy with his girlfriend?""He's unhappy, Mom. He has no friends. No-one likes him. She doesn't even like him.""It was different in the past, somehow it was more difficult. When I see you Juno, I'm glad. You can do as you like. You're strong - stronger than your father even. And you're beautiful. But how funny, when I saw you in the parking lot, I thought you were a boy. It must be the way you walk - determined like your father."

Back to University

Iso wanted to study love, women and love. She went back to university to do post-graduate work in the field of women's studies. She went to America to study.
Love is not a university subject. She knew she would have to take an interdisciplinary approach and find it wherever she could. She took courses in the History of Sexuality. And found Desire in the Literature Department.Desire was part of the new, true religion of literary criticism. The elect mastered the language of the theoreticians of the word, quoting from the arcane texts of Lacan and Derrida. Fierce ontological battles were joined, new sects were formed, inquisitions, excommunications, burnings of heretics were carried out. Every week at the appointed hour, eager neophytes file into the seminar room, most are tall, white, American men, a few are tall, white American woman, then there is Cha-hye a woman from Korea, and Iso, who is very small."Dearly beloved, we are gathered together to contruct and to decontruct. To give thanks to the Word. To praise the Logos.""AMen.""In the beginning was the Word, the Logos. The Word moved on the face of the waters, structuring the conscious and the unconscious, forming language in its own image. Let us give thanks to the Word.""Praise the Word.""Imagine the infant child, the "homelette." That child before He speaks, before He understands, Brothers, lives in hell, in an undifferentiated but blissful chaos.""Have mercy upon us.""Through pain and suffering the child reaches for the level of the sign. The infant gurgles at His face in the mirror, at the moment of SPALTUNG, the splitting of chaos into self and other, the symbolic rupture of the imaginary.""And let our cry come unto thee.""The first stage of manhood is accomplished. But His most difficult trial is yet to come as He faces the perilous passage through the Oedipus Complex. Oh Oedipus, have mercy upon us.""And grant us thy salvation.""Prelinguistic and unformed the child desires his mother.""Have mercy upon us.""Then comes Salvation. The comes the Word - the law of the Father.""Oh Word have mercy upon us, and inlcine our hearts to keep this law.""His lips tremble, "mama," he says, "papa." And that child is SAVED. Saved from chaos - the ghastly, feminine, chora. He says papa and acceeds to the law. Papa - the law, the power. Mama - the forbidden object of desire. The child enters language and in so doing enters a righteous pact with his father. The child gives up His mother and accepts, in exchange, a phallus.""AMEN. Praise the Phallus.""And the word is made flesh. Although this is a critical point often distorted by unbelievers. The term Phallus is not to be confused with the penis. No, no and no. It is a symbol, both of our desire and our humanity. Oh Phallus hear our prayer!""And let our cry come unto thee.""And the Phallus is the first difference. A random symbol of difference, around which arise all the other differences, that serve to differentiate experience and form language, culture and the unconscious.""Praise the Phallus.""Let us give thanks for successfully negotiating the Oedipus. For any serious fault in the Oedipus rivets us to the first relationship, denies us existance as speaking and sexual subjets, renders us incapable of making the symbolic substitutions inherent in language. It short makes us not human. The word be with you and with thy Phallus.""Grant us they peace."And the women say. "In terms of the Oedipus, isn't being a woman the most serious fault there can be? Which means, according to doctrine, that women have no access to language, women are not speaking, social or sexual subjects. Can't you see that? Isn't that what the theory really says?"And the white men nod sympathetically and with polite interest, but don't really seem to think that this is a flaw.And the women slowly realise they are shut out from the eternal flame of righteousness. They begin to circle like wolves closing on a camp fire. Tongues of flame light their hysterical laughter, their insane anger. They begin to lash out at the men's complacently and power. "If I scratch you and it hurts, will you admit I exist?"Iso loves to be a wolf. She is the most frenzied. Her wild, cruel eyes shine. Her sharp famgs and claws have drawn blood on white throats and shins. She twist and leaps, glorying in her savagery.Turning, she sees one woman sitting quietly apart. It is Cha-hye. She is positioned next to her own fire. From there she looks with interest at the white men and the wolves. She is so serene. Her existance is so solid, that the men and wolves are distracted from the big camp fire and go to join her for a moment. Iso slouches her long grey body onto the ground next to Cha-hye. She rests her slavering jaws in her lap."I brought some Gertrude Stein to read." Says Cha-hye. "Iso - feminist Iso - please read the sections I have marked."The wolf reads.

To the wife of my bosom

All happiness from Everything

And her husband

May he be good and considerate

Gay and cheerful and restful
 
 

The wolf reads Patriachal Poetry left

Patriachal Poetry left left

Patriachal Poetry left left left right left

Patriachal poetry in justice

Patriachal poetry in sight

Patriachal poetry in what is what is what is what is what

Patriachal poetry might tomorrow

Patriachal Poetry might be finished tomorrow

Dinky pinky dinky pinky dinky pinky
 
 

The wolf reads And is there any likelihood of butter.

We do not need butter.

Lifting belly enormously with song.

Can you sing about a cow.

Yes.
 
 

It was during this semester that Iso first made love to a woman.Oh."Lifting belly enormously with song."The power of it. The universe moved and she was holding it up.Because up until now they had told her how to act. They had told her what her nature was. They had told her about being desired and they had given her boyfirends and she'd tried very hard. And the instructions seemed to work. "I feel his desire and therefore I must bask in it and feel wonderful. I do a little, if I concentrate, no, if I don't concentrate, if he concentrates. But now he's stopped concentrating and disappeared into his own orgasm, so where does that leave me?" And she had felt that her perfomances were a hollow sham. Could they tell she didn't know what she should be feeling?But this was different. She didn't have to work out what feelings she should be having, but , for the first time, the feelings were just there, all the way through. Desire itself, hot and panting. Desire for a woman. Because isn't that what desire is?And control. She could take that woman with her hands and mold and move her. She could see the pleasure unfolding under her. She could act to secure her own pleasure and the other's pleasure. She could use her focus, her concentration, her power.Back at the main camp fire, the crazy wolf is jumping through the flames without getting singed. Hot dusty paws patter indifferently over the laps, chests and faces of the phallologocentrists.Smug and riotous the wolf howls at the moon."I have a woman. I have had, have and will have a woman."What does that make me, what am I now? Do I have the phallus? Am I that thrusting phallus, symbol of law, symbol of desire?"And when she calms down with her head in Cha-hye's lap. She thinks about making love to a woman. She thinks about her new power and possession, the watching, controlling, creating. But she also thinks about something else.By watching, by taking this other role she has learnt something about being desired. She has seen how a woman can enjoy sex, how inward it is, how they can be their pleasure not watch it, how they are at the center of it, undifferentiated from it. She sees it and it looks good.And she thinks. "And I've been denied this too. All the time I was trying to be a woman having sex, that was what I was trying to do. I didn't understand it then, but now, I think I'm getting the idea. I think I could do that, be there, in the center, too. Maybe I could."And she is filled with envy and wants that thing.

In The Bar

I am going to work - it's 3:30. I shower and comb my hair. My hair's getting long. Soon I'll get it cut. I run my hand up and through it. I'm wearing blue pants, a grey/blue shirt. I slip my watch on - it has an elasticated metal band. My finger's are square. I have short, clipped nails. I have a signet ring which belonged to my grandfather. I put on my big, dog-toothed jacket, my leather walking shoes. It's warm, but raining, so I take my umbrella. Keys in the pocket. I leave.
At the restaurant I put on a white shirt, bow tie, and apron. I like setting up. There's a busyness and competence to it that's soothing. It's a tradition. At this time of day, thousands of New York bartenders are getting ready for the evening. You can see them. Men worn tough and quick by their years with drunks are cutting fruit with little knives - like small boys helping in their mother's kitchens. Stocking the bar seems a more appropriate activity. I go down and get cases of beer, of mineral water, of soda. I can feel the muscles working in my arms and across my back. I have strong arms. I see myself in the mirror - flushed, handsome.One of the waitresses comes over to the bar to get some soda, she smiles at me. She's new, but she knows about me. She'll make some comment, anything, just to speak to me. I can feel her curiosity curling out. She's like all the others. They all flirt with me. I sometimes wonder if it's conscious or not, that instinctive, feminine drive to provoke desire - happy if they succeed, piqued if they don't. I have a lot of piqued waitresses. I gratify them very seldom. I like it that way. I like their struggles to attract me. I like their curiosity, but I'm not giving something for nothing. They don't understand that."Do you think it's ever going to stop, Juno, did you bring an umbrella?"I merely nod and turn away.The crowd begins to come in. The regulars with their regular drinks, the dinner tables. The evening wears on. I drink club soda.It's 11:30 when Alexandria comes in. I've been expecting her since ten. She knows I'll be checking the door for her. I look up and she's there - standing just inside the velvet curtain that keeps out draughts, smiling. Her eyes don't leave mine as she crosses the room. She leans across the bar to kiss my cheek. As she settles herself on the barstool, I notice the man behind her is with her. He's also an actor. I know him slightly. I wonder if he's expecting to get laid. I close my hand around her forearm and look at her. She plays with me for a second, refusing to meet my eyes. She is good at this, knowing how to extract the frisson of jealousy without tapping in too far. At last her eyes meet mine and accept my message. She arrived with him, but she'll leave with me.I see the new waitress watching us. Alexandria intrigues them all. She is more feminine than them. She enjoys men, handling them deftly, with an ease and sophistication these girls dream of. Yet she sleeps with me. I love her. I love the impact she has on them all. She is so desirable. They know she is so desirable. And I win her. But never completely - that's what I like - I win her again and again. When I take her home, I will fuck her and her ecstacy will be loose in my mind, in my house.She goes to the ladies room and I talk to her friend Ralph. We talk about our mental health."It was the weirdest thing," he says. "Like an out-of-body experience. I had no control, I cracked completely - like an egg. You had a breakdown though, didn't you? You must understand."Yes, I had a breakdown, Daddy. You see, I know madness now and it's not so bad after all. I survived. You see, now I am like her not like you. A breakdown. It depends on how you look at it - shameful and to be hidden or romantic, a growth experience. You forced my mother to be ashamed. I had a breakdown and I'm not ashamed. You see, your most powerful weapon did not blow me apart, it made me more interesting."Yes." My face is boyish, but there is experience and pain in my eyes. I act the part of someone who knows breakdown. And of course at one level all the rationalizations, the shame or the embracing of the learning process, are an act. The acceptance of an experience that terrified me - the acceptance of it, packaging of it, offering it as a piece of social intercourse, something to chat to a stranger about, a healing for me and for him - we have the uncontrollable taped."What do you think caused it?" He asks."Pressure and disgust."I was working as an interviewer then. When I first took the job, I knew it was going to be very temporary. I didn't like it but.... A friend of mine ran this agency - modelling, TV, theatrical, advertising. She was more of an acquaintance than a friend - basically she liked me a lot. She would laugh and say you have to find a need and fill it."Do you know?" She would say, "How many Blacks and Puerto Ricans there are out there? And they notice the Black kid in the diaper commercial, and the Puerto Rican extra in the soap opera and they believe the world is opening up to them. Do you know how few jobs there are and how many people are out there hoping? Sure, I'm legitimate. I've placed people. The rest, I'm no worse than the lottery. I take their money and they have a billion to one shot."And I knew It would only be temporary. I needed to be flexible because of my career. She was willing to be as flexible as I wanted and she paid me pretty well.At that time I was flying - high and untouchable. We had a strategy, me and my agent - a blitz, a blitzkreig. Every audition, every chance, every day. An up, up, up market propostion, full of potential, talent, energy, range. Always there, always pushing, always confident. My break was waiting for me. I knew it wouldn't take long. I could afford this little piece of sleaze in my life because I was so far away from it.You see, where I grew up, segregation was the norm and I didn't think about it. At drama school there were a few Black students and they mixed in with us. They were my friends and I didn't think about it. The only people who get suckered are the ones who let greed and desire blind them. They have to look out for themselves. I can't do it for them. Besides it really was a chance. Whatever it was, it was nothing to do with me.But my break didn't come. Everything always looked so promising but we never made it. And for months and months I worked in that office. And it did me no good. I told myself I didn't care. I really didn't care. But it was disgusting. Everything began to unravel.In the daytime I stepped out at those auditions, confident, brash and beautiful - mouthing my poured-over lines and smiling, smiling. The directors would shake my hands and smile back and surround me with warmth. Then at night young Black men stepped into my office, confident, brash and beautiful, mouthing their lines, smiling their smiles. And I smiled back, asked questions, surrounded them with warmth.And it began to trickle through my brain. I have no more chance than these bastards. I'm tricking them here and uptown they're tricking me. That's not true, how can it be true? I'm making money off these guys. No-one's making money off me. But perhaps they don't want money. They just want me. They are eating my soul, getting fat on my inflated, confident soul."Pressure." I say to Ralph. "And disgust. I was in the middle of this interview with this Puerto Rican guy and suddenly I felt this unbelievable pain in my head."I act holding my head - my hair is like a bird's wing feathered over my strong hands and big signet ring."I sat like this. I couldn't move. I just had to hold my head. "Are you alright?" the Puerto Rican guy kept asking. "My head." All I could say was, "My head." It was so intense.""But it wasn't a physical thing?""No, it was my mind. I was out of it for months. I stayed home, didn't work, used up all my savings. I felt as if I was very small, shrunk and hiding inside myself. As if there was a long tunnel between me and the outside, and I was peering down it to see out. I was sick for a long time. I still don't feel completely right. I still haven't filled up my body completely."After I close the bar, I take Alexandria home and make love to her. She is talking about going out to California. She is planning to go soon. It will be difficult when she goes away. But I have a shirt that goes with my gold cuff links. I have pants, jackets, shoes. I look strong - my features are strong. I look calm. My voice is calm. It's only if you hear it recorded that you can hear the high screaming behind it like melting sugar. If you look at me, you will see Johnny Coggio. If you listen to me, you will hear Johnny Coggio. And you will be reassured. You only have to give yourself to me and I will take care of the rest.

Blonde

Iso is walking along Broadway. There are signs all over her. They say: Blonde. Desirable Blonde. Look and Touch. Love me True. Kiss me Quick. I am Yours. Real Love. A Blonde right here.

All the men stop working. They turn and stare. They comment.

Oh Blonde, what big eyes you have.

All the better for darting soft, shy yet knowing, glances in your direction.

Oh Blonde, what long, wavy hair you have.

All the better for catching the breeze as my head falls back under the onslaught of your desire.

Oh Blonde, what red lips you have.

All the better for falling open, quivering at your touch.

Oh Blonde, what sumptuous breasts you have.

All the better for heaving as they tumble out of my dress into your waiting hands.

Oh Blonde, what a round butt you have.

All the better for pushing up into the air to receive your caress, your punishment.

Oh Blonde, what sharp red nails you have.

All the better for raking your skin as you plough me with passion.

The desire sniffs her as she passes, running along behind, nose uplifted to thrust itself under her dress.
It was strange drinking in this attention, wanting it - but it wasn't hard. She counted it worship, making it hers, letting it fill and enlarge her. She sunned herself in its heat, like a butterfly emerging from a tight cocoon. Because for years she had armored herslf against that desire, only reading the thread of threat and menace it contained, refusing to take any pleasure from it. Now she risked it. Confident she could take what she wanted and leave the rest. Let them shower the energy of their longing on her. It felt good. She would take it with her for tonight.

In the small, quiet ballroom, away from the whirling disco floor, Blonde waits for a lover. She has arranged herself, in this particular chair, at this particular table, her yellow chiffon dress, billowing around her. She is absorbed in creating herself. She shifts, suddenly unsure as she hears footsteps. Is she really perfect?
The figure that enters the room is wearing a white suit. Look carefully and you can see that the pants and jacket do not match. The jacket is long and wide, hanging from broad shoulders. The sleeves have been rolled back to reveal strong fore-arms. Juno walks with a boyish urgency, as if very secure of her path and leans against the bar, crossing her long legs. He shirt is untucked, her hair is untidy. She is raffish.Their eyes meet. Aons pass, galaxies whirl by. Juno's body tenses. It looks as if she's about to push her elbows against the bar, pivoting herslef forward, about to make a move towards Blonde.Couples flow into the room. The stream of bodies breaks the eye contact. Blonde looks down. When she looks up the other woman is talking. Her great ballon namend "Hope of Absolute and Final Fulfillment" droops and sags to the ground. Blonde feels nothing. Then despair rolls over her. The moment is past, irretrievable, ruined. She cannot sustain the illusion of her own loveliness. She knows it is ridiculous but she feels choked and tearful. Blonde shakes herself and recovers. How silly she is, how foolish. Sitting and waiting and assuming that the first woman who walks in is THE one. Now the little ballroom is filling up. Blonde gets up and dances. She notices she is attracting attention. She begins to feel better. She begins to glow again. She is hot, white hot. Something is going to happen to her."It's easy. I don't have to do anything. I just am. I'm a plum ready to drop, to be squeezed sucked. Oh ...! Is she watching me dance?"Juno is dancing nearby, positioned carefully, waching her prey. She catches the sly look and the pleasure. Good, the hook has entered the tender little mouth - the hook of being desired. First let her run with it. Then a quick tug to see if she is securely wedged.She deliberately keeps her eyes away from the shivering Blonde bundle. But she knows exactly when Blonde's gaze returns, and returns again, emboldened, to take in the broad shoulders, symbol of her ability to desire (reel in the line), the limber dancing that shows her strength and passion (and a little more). Juno turns neatly, her hand going up to brush through her hair. And as she meetes the girl's eyes, she lefts her eyebrows inquiringly. "What are you gazing at, little girl? What is that shining hook doing quivering in your lip?" The hook digs in.Blonde has surrendered. She looks defensive, vunerable. She has no choice now but to trust her captor. Juno stares back, her face blank, giving nothing away. She luxuriates in her power. "What if I turn away in indifference now, little girl? After you have betrayed yourself to me? I could just throw you back." Then she grins. Blonde's lip quivers slightly as Juno reels her deftly in.Juno has broken the tension with a smile. Her face is a comedy mask, wide, welcoming and safe. "You're cute," signals the grin. "And I'm the best thing that could happen to you."In a second the girl smiles back, seduced by the face. Juno gestures, "C'mon over here and dance with me," her gesture says - an actor's gesture clear and sweeping.Blonde hesitates - coy and retiring now she knows the desire is really there. Should I, shouldn't I? Then nods. OK, I'll come. I'll dance with you.Soon Juno stops dancing. They move away from the dance floor. They stand awkwardly for a second."Hi, I'm Juno." Juno holds out her hand.Blonde takes it, "I'm Iso, Isabelle."She looks down as Juno keeps hold of her hand."Shall we walk around a little? I've never been here before. It's enormous." Blonde suggests ingenuously."You haven't? I'll show you everything."Juno follows close behind Blonde as they walk out of the little ballroom. Juno is smiling."You're fun. You know, this'll sound crazy, but you really remind me of someone I used to know. Her name was Alexandria. And there's something about you. I don't even know what it is." She says to the uplifted throat of Blonde who gurgles with delicious laughter. Hold onto your Alexandria now, because I'm going to supplant her.Blonde and Juno buy drinks then walk lightly and sedately amid the bustle around the main dancefloor. Blonde should be wrapped in her world with Juno, cut off and self-sufficient, admired and envied by the rest. But she is not - her attention is wondering. She is staring greedily at the women who pass by. Her desire for desire is caught by a black suade fringe on a denim and leopard skin jacket, by the sunglasses, high, dark cheekbones and chopped, horizontal haircut of the woman who wears it. Her desire for desire is caught by tight leather pants stretched over thighs bound in muscle, by a singlet delineating stomach and pectorals, by round, tawny biceps rippling under long tendrils of dark hair. Has she chosen right - will Juno give her the most desire possible?Oh Blonde, beware, there are more traps here. Now she is looking at a woman wearing a toque, black hair caught under it, black eyes, white skin, red lips. She haas black stockings, a tight black skirt and above it a short cape with a high chinese collar. Blonde turns as she passes. The cape is just slung over her shoulders. It is unfastened at the back, revealing an inverted V of skin. Blonde stares, does she envy the woman or desire her?What are you doing, Blonde? Blonde catches herself. Juno is watching her. There is an odd look in her eye. What's wrong with you? Why aren't you concentrating on me? Juno holds out her hand and Blonde takes it, trying to pretend she wasn't ogling the other woman's back. They move out of the crowd to the foot of some spiral stairs that lead up and away from the dance floor.As they climb towards the balcony, three hearty girls barrel down the other way, confident, ruddy, aggressive. They jostle Blonde as they pass and a few drops of club soda splash out of the glass onto her dress. She is shaken. Did they do it on purpose? Are they so untouched by her allure? Are they condemning her fragility. She glares after them and swears under her breath, "Don't even fucking think of starting anything with me."Juno is quickly by her side, frowning. She helps her up the last few steps. She takes the club soda."I'm sorry, I should have been carrying that for you." She looks very contrite.Juno's concerned brown eyes, make Blonde feel exquisite, a priceless thing to be taken care of. She shouldn't be looking around or worrying. She just has to be with Juno. She just has to accept that she is lovely, worth protecting. She dimples at her companion and dances over to lean on the balcony rail. Confidently she turns her back, and looks down at the dancers.From below comes the steady throb and hum of the disco floor. Suddenly Blonde's eyes widen. She looks at Juno then away to the sound. It's her favorite tune."Oh, I want to dance to this." It is a command.Look they are flying down the steps to the dance-floor. Juno holds one hand out behind to guide Blonde. Here they come - the girl, in a white suit, who looks like a boy, brown hair flopping, strong face smiling, brown eyes warm. And the girl who looks like a girl, in her party frock, blonde hair streaming as they run. Look they have reached the dance floor. The beat reaches out to them and embraces them - beloved, chosen, golden. Don't you wish that you were them?
 

Cross Examination

I am sitting, feet drawn up on the sofa. Her arm is around me. We are in her house. I am waiting. I'm ready now. Warm and langorous. Everything will be alright. Her arm is strong around me and her lips are on my neck. I pull my hair aside to let them move freely. In my mind I anticipate their path - down my neck, onto my shoulder. Her desire fuels me. Her desire drives me. I am passive in her hands, waiting for her to bring me to life.
She begins to speak again. I feel uncomfortable. I don't want speech. I want sex, desire and worship. She is not kissing me now, but looking at me too closely. Are the lights too bright in here? Do I look nice? She asks me what I'm doing in the US. It's an effort to answer. I want to sink into sensation, talking might spoilt it. But I have to go where she leads. She is asking question after question."Why did you come to the US? Where did you go to school? What did you study? What are you doing now? Where do you live?""Chicago, Women Studies, Brooklyn, wait tables." How earnest it sounds, how frigid. I don't want to discuss my life.Now the questions change. Her voice is insistent in my ear, penetrating me with questions. "How do you like to have sex? What do you like to do? You're not promiscuous, are you? You're not easy? Do you sleep with men? Do you like sleeping with men? Go on, you can tell me."Her hands are rough. She demands answers. She presses me, then draws away. I am confused. I don't know what to say to make her want me. I don't know what the right answers are. I want to tell the truth but I don't want to antagonise her, lose her. I want her to stop talking. I want her to want me, to take over, to take control. Stop asking me what I want. She's hard. I am nervous. The questions frighten me. If they were a prelude to sex, they would excite me, but I suspect they are a test."When was the last time you slept with a man? Why did you do it? Did you enjoy it? Did you let him come inside you? Do you like that? Aren't you afraid? What did he do? Was he a good lover? Did he take you from behind? Did he excite you? Did he satisfy you? What do you need to be satisfied? Are you into all that leather and bondage stuff? Do you like to use things? Do you like to be penetrated? Do you like to be fucked? Do you want to come now? Do you like this? Do you want me to fuck you?"I am gasping. I don't know what I want. Can I let her take me over like this. Do I dare?"Do you want me to fuck you now?""Yes ... but be gentle.""Sometimes I'm gentle," she says, "But sometimes I like to fuck hard.""You can do anything you want.""I can do anything I want."She holds me like a baby. I am completely softened and submissive. Her mouth is by my ear, like crystallised sugar."I can do anything I want."I wait and she does nothing. She does nothing.The questions begin again, "What do you really like."

Johnny Coggio brings the girl back to his room. Will he take her? She is begging for it. She is a plump hen, ready for his cock. His. It's so easy.
He's tired. His desire comes and goes. She's cute, blonde, pretty, nice to talk to. She should be able to excite him, but something doesn't seem quite right. Somehow he can't get interested enough.He talks to her. He likes to talk about sex, ask questions about sex. She seems shy. That's irritating. He smells her neck. She's wearing some odd sort of perfume. He asks what it is."Givenchy Gentlemen."What? That's for men. Why is she wearing that shit. He shifts around. She's heavy on his arm. He asks more questions.At first she lies. She says she doesn't sleep with men. He reassures her, tells her more about Alexandria."She liked men. I like girls that sleep with men,"He asks her again and she confesses that she slept with a guy a couple of months ago. That's better - or is it? She has got up and is walking back and forth with sudden energy. What's going on? She says, "What was great was the date. I never really went on real dates. We went to the movies and to a disco - he paid. We held hands, we kissed. I love all that stuff about heterosexuality - it has such a nice rich erotic system. Dinner, discos, movies and all in public. Masculinity and femininity. That was the most erotic thing. The sex itself was like a payment for it all."Johnny doesn't want to hear this crap. He is getting suspicious. At first the girl seemed interesting but some of the things she comes out with are weird. Obviously she didn't really enjoy that guy. He asks her what does turn her on. She is getting nervous. She doesn't answer. Instead she asks him what he likes, which is stupid, it's obvious what he likes. He soft peddles at first."I guess I like roles ..." What is he saying? He's being as wishy-washy as her. "He corrects himself. "No ... I like roles a whole lot. And I'm picky about who I sleep with. It has to be right.""Do you ever swap roles?"That's a dumb ass question. What's it supposed to mean? That she does? He doesn't want to swap roles. He doesn't need to swap roles.He asks her again, what turns her on? Women. She says women turn her on. Wait a minute what is this? Men turn her on too, right? She says she likes differences, men and women, butch and femme, but she doesn't really get off on men and she doesn't mind which role she plays. This is beginning to seem like a very bad idea. Now she's asking him why he only sticks to one role."I like the way I have sex. I like to fuck. I like women like Alexandria."Maybe she'll get it this time.The way she looks is right and the way she moves, glances out of the corners of her eyes, everything. But what she says, the way she smells, something is very wrong. He needs to check something. What did she do with her old girlfriend - did they use things to fuck with. Johnny has his favorite toy - he likes to fuck with it - he likes that best. Is she into that?"I'm not sure," she says, "I'm not very used ... penetration isn't my favorite."So what the hell does she mean? What does she want? What did she do with her old girlfriend?"Well it was more the other way around - I would more ususally penetrate her."Yuck. It was just a glamor, a golden glamor around the outside. A golden star, but inside ants are creeping. Inside Dwayne is lurking. Johnny Coggio has smelt him. Johnny has heard him faintly, now he can make him out, squatting there, trying to look ingratiating, trying to take up very little room - nasty little faggot.Johnny Coggio backs away.Johnny Coggio is disgusted.Johnny Coggio is full of distaste.Look out Blonde, look out Dwayne. I think that's Johnny Coggio getting on his horse. Goodbye Johnny, Goodbye. Don't cry Dwayne. Don't cry Blonde. Johnny Coggio is riding off into the sunset.

Fantasy

Iso waited for Juno to call her. On the surface they'd parted amicably. On the surface Juno had been apologetic but warm. She was tired, had a big day the next day, they should do this some other time.
Iso's thoughts chased themselves around and around."It's not fair. I really wanted this. I was trying really hard. Now calm down. You don't have to get so worked up. First of all you hardly know her. Second maybe she was feeling tired and a little sick. Maybe she will call. No, I blew it, I blew it. I played it all wrong. I should have worked out that she liked women who fuck men sooner. It's just not fair, I dared to do this. I dared to be the object of desire and it didn't work out. What gave me away? How could she tell? I can't do it, focus on myself and my pleasure. I get frightened. She's watching me, watching me perform and then I feel nothing. I don't feel the pleasure so I have to act it and I feel so hollow and worthless. Look, stop it. Either she'll call or she won't. It doesn't really matter. But I want her. I want her. I want her, and I haven't got her."Time passed. There was no call.Dwayne got mad. Dwayne got so mad he planned his revenge - dark red pictures flashing through his mind.Imagine this: I go to a movie. I'm alone, wearing jeans, a jacket, hair greased back, looking mean. I see her in the line, see her in the line with some dumb bint with dark hair. It's Alexandria, vacuous, cow-like Alexandria. I walk over smiling - hey the biggest, jackpot winning smile on my face - stretching my hand out, laughing. "Hi, my name's Dwayne." And, as she unawares gives me her hand, I pull her towards me and slam my left into her stomach. Then I snatch back my right and smash it into the long, strong jaw of Johnny Coggio, pounding my fist into the arrogant, aquiline nose of Johnny Coggio, who reels, bloody and falling, out for the count - Alexandria screaming and Dwayne running, running and laughing fit to bust.Or this: I go to a disco and I see her. I'm wearing sneakers, looking tough. She's there and I go up to her smiling. "Hey, how're you doing?" I smile, but there's menace in it. She's nervous, trying to block me out, eyes shifting. My smile deadens, "You upset a friend of mine," I say. "A close friend. Seems that you were very rude, very unpleasant." She's moving uneasily, wanting to get away and Dwayne grabs her by the collar, smashes her against the wall. "Do you hear me, asshole?" He asks quietly.Blonde was sad. Blonde was so sad she invented excuses and reunions - clouds of fake fog in her head.What if she finally calls? What if she was very ill, got a concussion, lost her memory, can't remember me, can't remember my number, didn't get the message on her machine, her machine didn't record it, she lost the paper my number was written on? Then she calls to apologize? I'll be cool, mean. I'll make a list of demands. It'll be a game. The game will be on again. One- you pick me up in a limo on Saturday night. Two - you wear a tuxedo. Three - you bring flowers. Four - you take me out to dinner. Five - you don't talk about Alexandria. Six - I get to sulk and pout until dessert and you coax and flatter me out of it.Maybe I'll wear my hair up and look cold and chiselled, or down and look wild and sensuous. Blonde, blonde, it is the important symbol, it tells you to love me, to desire me. Sink that energy into me, create me. I know it's not impossible. I've done it for other people. Now I want it. Desire me. Me Blonde, me - it's not hard.And my hair up or down, and my earrings gold and my eyes large. I'll walk along the passage and she'll see me and be lost to me. And invisible, coming from my stomach will be a grapple that enters her and closes around her intestines, joining her to me, so that she can't escape, so that she feeds me and feeds me that desire through our twisted, intertwined cords of love.And when she sees me, I'll be cool. We'll go out to dinner and she'll cajole me and want me and inside I'll start to burn, but I won't show it. Then she'll be the way she is, hot then cold, sexy in little spurts that leave you hanging open. I won't know if she wants me any longer, but I'll hope so. But in my bag I'll carry my jeans and my jacket and we'll go back to her apartment. And she'll be blowing hot and cold on me. Coming on, then backing away, uncertain like those stupid fucking boys, and I'm doing my part, playing and playing at being blonde and I know I could do their part better. Then she'll piss me about too much and I'll smile. I'll take my bag and I'll go to the bathroom. I'll wipe the shit off my face. I'll scrape back my hair. I'll put on my jeans and I'll walk out of the bathroom and I'll stick out my hand, "Hi, I'm Dwayne." And I'll pulverize her - I'll smack her around - I'll spread her across her fucking apartment.