Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Personal / Stories / pk by Age / College Years /
1958ish, @ K. 2002 11 27
There are already a number of stories here that reference the apartment I disastrously tried to share with musician friends (read junkie) while in college at Columbia. This file will now give me a place to add more and tie it all together. The trigger for doing it today [2002 11 27] was a memory that came to me while I was enjoying hypnopompic moments in bed while the coffee brewed.
Suddenly there was a pussy right under my nose: not one I wanted to dive on; one that revolted me. Then the scene jelled: West 118th Street, right off Morningside Drive. Dawn, or damn near. Tony and Darlene have emerged from Tony’s room. Why? To spend a little quality time with Paul? Darlene has wrapped herself in her cute little trench coat. Tony looks like the cat that stole the cream: some time after that cat has fallen asleep. Tony smiles dreamily. Darlene curls herself up in the window space, the sill providing just enough purchase for her outside buttock to keep her from tumbling back into the room. We gathered at the window. The exposure was east: where the dawn was displaying: up there, over Harlem. Tony stood by Darlene’s shoulder. I took the space by her knees, commanding the best view. After all, the living room, adjacent to the dining room I used as my bed room, had been all mine until a moment ago. My name was on the lease. The pad was mine more than anyone else’s here present. Darlene pulled her coat up around herself tighter, showing her superb bosom, her sleepy, dopey, feline facial beauty …
|What’s a tiger?
That’s a pussy that eats you.
… and her bare snatch, the labia folded contentedly into their sheath amid her black hairs: a system Tony had presumably been paying prodigious attention to through the night.
“Umm, err, your … um …”
Darlene says “Oh, excuse me,” realizes that no adjustment of her trench coat will cover either her cuny (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 29) or her behind while she’s curled like that in the window way, gives up, just tries to cover quite how revealed her vulva is by how she positions her legs, gets up, walks around smiling in the dawn, trying to act still like she belongs in this space, and she and Tony leave me in peace: peace of a sort.
Had I wanted to fuck Darlene? You bet your ass I did: the bitch was choice. But I wouldn’t have. Not just because “my” Naomi came around often enough to assure that she got all the milk from this bull. And certainly not because Darlene was “Tony’s.” Darlene was not Tony’s. At least she hadn’t been before the previous evening. Darlene was Myron’s. Myron was my friend. At least I had thought Myron was my friend. I had hoped Myron was my friend: for years. Tony was just my roommate. Darlene was just Myron’s girlfriend. At least, prior to last night, we’d all assumed that Darlene was Myron’s girlfriend. That’s who and what she’d seemed to be when Myron first brought her over.
Let me begin again. Myron was my friend. Myron’s been mentioned at Knatz.com at least several times. I loved Myron because … because Myron was brilliant. He was only fifteen as a freshman while the rest of us were eighteen. Myron stood sixth in our class of six hundred men: and the reason he was no higher was that he’d been forced to take astronomy, hated it, and got only a C. That had been his only grade less than A+! But by this time we were juniors. So Myron must have been around seventeen. Tony was only a freshman. Myron had nominated him to share a third of our rent for us. Myron had found him placing coins to hear John Coltrane on the jukebox in the Lion’s Den: that qualified him. It was a piece from the Blue Trane album: Dee dah de dot dee … pum … pum … Dee dah de dot doh … mum … mum … I forget which title that was for the moment. Maybe it was Blue Trane itself. (The album sits within ten feet of me, but it’s been years since I had the turntable for 33s jacked into the audio system: right now I don’t even have the CD player attached; only the synthesizer, only my beloved keyboard.) Tony’s only importance in either of our minds so far as I knew was to lower our own personal rent from half of sixty dollars a month to one third of sixty dollars a month. Rent in the dorms was a lot higher than that. And here we could feed ourselves: for much less than the cafeteria charged on a meal plan and vastly less than we’d pay in restaurants. And here the chicks came and went. So long as the police didn’t barge in, we were regulated only by ourselves. Tony’s twenty bucks allowed Myron to budget a piano rental for his own room. (Myron, with his piano, put a premium on privacy. So Myron had taken first choice of the bedrooms. He chose the master bedroom. I left the second and third bedrooms for guests and ensconced myself in the dining room. The dining room was two and a half times the size of the master bedroom, but at least Myron had a door. I had loads of space; but no privacy.)
(Jumping ahead: Finally, we had so much freedom, so much economy, so much independence, that we almost flunked out. Seldom has economy been more costly. I did nearly zero work that year, but at least my only drugs were cigarettes and booze. Myron on the other hand, indifferent to alcohol no matter how many cigarettes he was smoking, was simultaneously toking the reefer, glugging the codeine in the cough syrup, and (less visibly) inserting various things into himself.)
Darlene was a senior at Barnard. Or perhaps she had already graduated. Jewish girl from New Jersey. A very neat package: but one which left a wake of chaos around her. One day she disappeared into the bathroom. An hour or two later she emerged. (Thank goodness no one else had needed to pee in that time.) Wow! A bandbox! Beautiful. Fragrant. An ass to sculpt. A smart girl: could quote Faulkner and so forth. The rest of us were speechless: though not half as speechless as I became when I did need to pee. I had spent hours cleaning the house. I’d spent an hour just cleaning the bathroom. She goes in there to shower and the place looks like Francis Bacon’s studio: an abattoir. Her makeup cases are all spilled and bleeding into the sink. $20 on her face, $25 left eroding on the floor … One last thing about Darlene: I don’t really remember what her name was: but Darlene should do for my purposes (she not being the star here). It was a name somewhat unusual at the time: at least to a WASP from Long Island. She sure wasn’t named Suzy, or Betty, or Mary Jane.
Time and again I swore that this week I’d really get some studying done. But the more people moved into the pad, the more incessant the parties became. Below I’ll tell about the worst of my many roommates that semester, but first I’ll sketch this little contretemps:
I’m the one guy without any privacy, remember. I live in the “dining room.” Either Bill or Bernie, guys I’ll introduce in a moment, was having a party. All black people. I didn’t know any of them, never seen a one before. It wasn’t like I’d half-noticed them in class or half-seen them in the West End. These party-goers were from Harlem: had nothing to do with me: except that they were holding their party in my room. I told Bernie I’d use his room to study. Sure.
I’m in there with my big fat book of eighteenth-century poetry. Dryden, Pope. Shit, I can’t read this stuff. But I’ve gotta try, I’ve gotta. But how can I? They’re using my hi-fi to play my Art Blakey album. Ooo. Bobby Timmons, man. He’s got that church soul, and he can bounce.
There’s a soft knock at my door. Yes? One of the girls comes in. Bernie’s girlfriend’s friend? Good looking girl. Long hair. Decent features. Bright makeup. Tight skirt. And oh that African heinie. Are you busy? she asks. I’m studying. Oh. I don’t mean to disturb you. But I’ve got such a terrible headache. May I lie down in here? I’ll be real quiet.
No, it’s wasn’t OK. I had to study. We were a couple of months into the semester which meant that I was a couple of months behind: not counting the couple of months I was still behind on the previous semester or the couple of months I was still behind on the semester before that one. I don’t know how I ever passed any course but French: I did the work in French. French (and chemistry and physics) were the only subjects you couldn’t just fake it in. (I didn’t care about faking chemistry and physics, so I didn’t try; but coming up blank in a language somehow embarrassed me. If every class had been French, I’d have worked all the time.) But I didn’t then know how to say that it wasn’t OK: especially not to a girl. (This “girl” may have been in her early twenties.)
Um, OK. I bury my face in the book.
|Um, Paul? You’re name is Paul, isn’t it?
I feel just a little stuffy. Do you mind if I take my panties off? I’d feel so much more comfortable.
And now of course I have to watch her. She gets up. Slips her panties off. Kind of discrete, angling her hips away from me, not giving me a direct beaver.
And I try, I really tried to get my face back onto this impenetrable book. Finally, she gets up, takes her panties, and goes away. But by that time I was so exhausted I needed Bernie’s bed to sleep myself.
Uh oh. Was my narrative clear? That last line might imply that I fucked her after all. No, I didn’t. First of all, I hadn’t been sure that that’s what she really wanted. (It’s now, in hindsight, from decades away, that I’m certain that she’d come in to get laid.) Second, I’d sworn I’d study. Now I didn’t study, but I did MEAN to study. And also: getting laid was the last thing I’d had to worry about that semester.
Oh, yes: and I never did get around to reading much Dryden or Pryor or any of those guys but Swift: I read a lot of Swift: poetry and essays as well as Gulliver. Someday I may share a really obscure Swift poem at K.. A beaut. On the other hand, don’t get me wrong another way: I never finished the school work within a year or three of its being assigned, but most of it I have eventually finished: very thoroughly; just not in time to get credit beyond the generally OK grade they gave me anyway.
Back to tell about Bernie and about Bill another time. I’ll just say in preview that Bernie was Myron’s bass player. No one told me that he was a junkie: he was just a black bass player from Jamaica. Every one of Bernie’s checks bounced. He never made a one of them good. Bill’s checks also always bounced but Bill I came to learn was a professional check bouncer. His mother supplied him with huge qualities of blank checks from some bank in South Carolina or Tennessee. I forget which state he was from. At least Bill had the FBI on his tail. They tailed him to my apartment. They tailed him from my apartment. (“Doin’ a dime in California”, the last I heard of him.) Don’t you think the FBI could have warned me?
And Brian. There’s a bunch of characters still to introduce. Lyn Halliday, the great reed man — played for Woody Herman, for Ray Anthony … another stupid self-murdering junkie.
I mounted a string of related files. As I get them up, make time, I’ll link here: ignore temporary code notes
Dope for Brains
Relates to Nightmare