A Springtime Bourgeoisie

by dschapman

Catheads and rattails and daffodil stems sit still like faggots in their pack. “Hand me a fag,” she says, and I slip out a stick for her to light once set between her lips. I haven’t dreamt much lately; poor Delilah’s been dreaming for months. She dreams of caviar and bicycles built for two, and her nightmares are the works of Milne and Silverstein; rickshaws and tassels and guilt. I, too, feel guilt; guilt for the things I have and have not yet done, for things I will never live to do, for all the lives that will go unlived. Mine’s inspiring and inescapable; her’s petty, wicked, and lethargic. “Delilah, dear, I would love to remove my mask – if only you would promise not to scream, nor cry, nor flee from, what you see. You may disapprove and you may laugh; but please do not flee from me. I’m a corrupt and dichotic sinner with a heart of gold, and you are like a freshly stretched fine linen canvas propped willingly against the wall, waiting for me to run my brush across you from bottom to top. You’re a lovely sort of womanhood, and I think we are both well-enough off to pick up such a noble cause. Commit with me, and I’ll hold you close while we shine our lights into the madness that froths up from my soul, throw our clothes atop a log, and dive in for a swim, just you & I. You will rise with me, or you will fall with me; and you must love me all the way. From up high, I will be awe-inspiring and dignified; from below, I will be charming and lovable. We will tail the seasons across the globe so we may always live in spring, of autumn if you’d prefer.” Delilah’s silkie has long gone out, so I re-light it in the ensuing silence.

Delilah doesn’t know how deep my pockets go. I’d like to tell her about the punting, the house boating, and the hot air balloons; the tweed suits and the seersucker ties. Next time I’m smoking and reading a map I’d like  to be interrupted by her long and unmarred legs, and next time the window panes are bit by frost and the fields are blanketed in white to the tops of the trees, I’d like to turn to her and say, “Darling, would you like some hot chocolate?”

Call me allegorical, or metaphorical, or fun-loving pastiche; or perhaps just call me a mockery. Spread me on stale bread and call me jam and butter.

I’ve a penchant for armadillo eggs and peacock feathers but my finer side permits no such over-indulgence. Nary in favor of excess nor deficiency, we must strive to find the virtuous mean between the two and thus be self-described the Virtuous. I have but one friend, and one Delilah, and one darling whom I care not to talk of, and one virtuous self; I must treat them with respect and not delinquency. We are all wolves in a one-acre wood and unless we obey such artificial constructs as courtesy and society then there will be nothing to suppress our feral needs and we will ne’er make it out of here alive, not pitted against each other, for we are each too powerful to let the other live a victor while we die; the bet is all-in. Call me sir.

“Call me early in the morning to tell me about your night, but I would prefer to listen in person, with my eyes closed, and our heads nestled together. While I listen to you I listen to the hum of the ceiling fan and the tick of my watchface, and the harmonics between the three of you is superb. It reminds me of a lullaby, or Bobby Womack from a 45. You taste sweeter than a mint julep and your tits are tipped with iodine. Iodine lipstick, iodine brass; your fumes are violet as a Violet, doll. I’ll make you a library for your birth-day and fill it with the finest hand-selected first-editions of the finest dead and long-dead authors. Would you like that, darling? Would you like that?”

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