JUST DON’T FOLLOW ME HOME
What it had come down to was this:
I was trying to just pass the days,
Those last days in Jakarta, in southeast Asia.
Maybe it was some wicked joke,
Played on my by some sick god,
With a sicker sense of humor than mine.
I couldn’t leave my rooms.
The whores were everywhere,
And they just annoyed the hell outta me.
They were working at the hotel,
staying at the hotel,
Working in the food stands,
sitting on the curbs.
They’d approach me while I was eating,
And I’d shake my head and they’d disappear,
Back into the shadows, the darkness.
But then I’d been in my room,
Drinking the day away and hiding out.
I needed food, and I needed it bad.
So I went out to a restoran,
Shaking them off along the way,
Their dark, narrow, clutching fingers, ugh!
I made it to my spot and ordered my food.
Indian food, I fuckin’ loved it,
But not as much as I loved the sambal,
The hot national hot sauce.
I nearly just drank the shit.
But I had this thing about me,
This physiological fuckup,
Where when I ate hot food I sweated profusely,
Great rivers coming down my face and neck.
I sweated like some fool about to be fried.
But I loved the hot sauce too much.
So I just kept pouring it over my food,
The rice and the samosas and the chapattis.
I went through napkin after napkin,
Wiping the sweat away.
But it kept pouring out of me as I drank tea and beer,
And the whores kept coming up to talk.
There were thin ones and fat ones,
Boy ones and girl ones, gay and straight.
The ones I’d met the night before gave me new names,
The gay ones tried the straight approach,
The straight ones tried the gay approach,
And all was madness.
All the time there was this little black man,
Who just kept laughing and laughing at me,
Stopping only to light new cigarettes,
And pull at new beers.
“oh my god!” he’d shout, slapping his knees,
“oh my god! She’s his friend! She’s everybody’s friend!”
Distorted through drunkenness and nationalities,
I thought he had a hell of a sense of humor
And I began laughing too.
Laughing and sweating, just pouring sweat.
It dripped from my nose and into my tea.
It ran down my neck and my cheek bones
and soaked my hair.
I told wild lies to the whores,
About my great fears of water and hobbits
And how I was married but had lost my ring,
How I was traveling the world,
Retracing my steps from my first trip,
Trying to find the ring.
I told them I had eight kids at home,
And I couldn’t even remember all their names,
Or how many were girls and how many were boys.
But the whores, they had come backs for everything,
Could create conversation better than used car salesmen,
And I knew I was toast.
Finally I finished my beer and listened to a harangue
By a fat little whore,
the one who’d knocked on my door the night before, telling me she loved me.
She spoke about her husbands and her kids,
About how she’d been attacked by black magic,
And then saved again by white magic,
how she was really just looking for true love,
And that god would grant her true love
If she kept on looking.
I nodded and tried to remember her words,
Because they were so fucked up and shit-filled.
She asked me what I did and in a moment of sobriety,
I told her I was a writer.
“I am too!” she shouted. “I want to write about my life.”
“everybody wants to write about their lives,” I laughed.
“but nobody wants to actually live them! Ahh hahahhaa!”
It was all a big joke to me.
I was in the final stretch, the last hundred meters
Of a long, desperate fuckin’ race.
All their lies were so transparent
That you couldn’t help from laughing in their faces.
In my mind echoed the words from Banch,
The Japanese guy I’d met a few cities south.
“they like keets, man. Keets! I can’t believe it!”
They were like kids.
And like kids, you almost felt compelled to believe them,
If for nothing more than to experience
their childish insanity,
Even if only through their minds and their eyes.
“keets! Man, they like keets! They so full of sheet!”
While the girl was talking
I packed up my stuff into my hat.
My glasses, my cigarettes, my lighter,
And a pen I planned on stealing.
I’d been a penless writer for too long.
“These words had to be written down,” I thought.
“oh, oh! Am I talk to much?” she asked.
I was all laughs like a drunk being tossed back
into the same drunk tank he’d been in the night before.
countless beers on top of already going insane
had really done it to me.
“no, no!” I shouted at her, laughing and laughing.
“no, keep on talking. Talk all night! Ahh ho ho ho!
Stay here and talk all night,
Talk your fuckin’ heart out, dear,
just don’t follow me home! Oh, ho ho ho!”