Saturday, 20 June 2009
One of my kind. What a concept.
I made a lot of money that day.
Didn't see the man again that day.
I went home after my happy day in the park.
I am not a lone.
This concept, not alone, was foreign to me. I had accepted I was the only one of my kind so long ago, I don't know when it was.
I got home.Miles was on the coach. Freedom was in her room. She is always in the bedroom when I come home.
I went to pick her up.
"Damn, Miles, she has a full diaper again?! Do you ever change her or wait for me to come home? "
"She must have just filled it baby, you know she's a little poop machine."
I change her. She has a rash that has not gone away in weeks.I give her a bath. I give her a bath every day. It eases the pain from the rash. I don't believe he changes her. I don't believe he touches her. But I don't want to believe her father would not take care of her.
I feed Freedom. She smiles at me. I pump milk at the same time. I have a gig in a few hours at the club. I am engorged from the 4 hours I was out with her. She is very hungry. She always is when I come home.
Tonight Eric is brings a bunch of his boys to fill the audience and try to create buzz about me. I had been handing out leaflets at the park. I was half hoping one would find it's way to him. Him, I don't know his name. His face. It is all I have.
I finish up with Freedom. I dress her and bring her into the kitchen to make supper before I leave. She loves to watch me cook. I tell her everything I am doing. Miles says it is stupid to think she could understand what I said,. He says she is like a puppy, no ability to understand. I know he is wrong. I just don't get why after 6 weeks he doesn't seem to feel a connection to his daughter. She ,must be so bored left here with him. Maybe I can find a way to have some of the boys help watch her while I play.
Fantasies are going threw my head of the man showing up at the gig. Then 17 different scenarios ensue, until Miles brakes the spell. "Shouldn't you get ready for the gig?"
"Yeah you going to be o.k. with Freedom?"
"Yeah, my boys are coming over. Did you make enough food for everyone, we get hungry, you got the chips for me?"
"I didn't have enough food stamps, they have to last me more weeks." I look away from him so he can't see my expression.
"Come on baby, you can't eat that much, you girls eat like birds. Don't be selfish, what are we suppose to do,starve?"
"I am feeding a baby!"
"Yeah and your milk bags give her food for free, see you don't need all the food stamps."
"What I eat,she eats, I need to eat healthy."
"Don;t be silly, babies in Africa hang of their mother's tit and they have almost no food, they still survive. What kind of woman lets her man starve as she eats all the food, a pig, that's what."
I don't want to get him mad before I leave him with Freedom alone. I grab the $20 I had left for food and hand him the food stamps. "That's all I have, there is no more until next month. Don't spend it all." I smile at him.
"That's better, baby. But I don't know if it will feed my buddies too, do you have any money from today."
"I already gave it to you." I said, turned from him again. " Have you looked for a job today?"
"Don't nag me, I can't deal with the stress. For that I wont look tomorrow. You have to learn to stop nagging!" it that he acted all indingnat and walked back into the living room.
I breath out. I feed Freedom one more time. As she starts to fall asleep her little hand holding my breasts I place her gently into her crib, and kiss her goodnight.
"I'm leaving now. See you after the gig. Freedom should be asleep a while. She wouldn't be much trouble." I say as I start leaving out the door. I notice his buddies have already started arrive. "Hey Dave."
"Hey Danni, good luck or brake a leg or what ever you say. What's for supper?"
"Lasagna's in the fridge."
"Cool, did you put sausage in it this time?"
"Nope, still vegetarian, but you are welcome to bring you make next time."
I left. They never get the hint. I started telling them I was vegetarian when I realized they ate all my meat the first night they came over. It was just easier that way, and cheaper. It never bothered me not to eat it around them.
The walk to the T station and to the club seemed to fade into a world of what ifs. I still had dreams of 'him' showing up. I came up with all sorts of fanciful names that might be his. Before I knew it I was at the club. Went in the back door.
In all my dreamy state, I forgot my make up, other than some lipstick , red of course and black eyeliner. My cover up pancake makeup was still at home. I was kind of lost.
I started walking out towards the stage. Eric and his boys were coming the other way.
"Hey false face." He said as he hugged me. "Where is your mask?"
"I thought people know me well enough now to handle some truth." I said saving the real reason.
"You forgot it at home, didn't ya?" He said laughing. "It's o.k, BUTTERFLY, it suits you to be yourself. That way your own kind can spot you easier." He said with a smile. He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, "We'll be yelling the on floor. Play something good for us. Something I never heard you play before."
He and the crew turned to leave.
"Oh just make it easy for me, " I yelled after him. I could hear him laugh after they were out of sight.
I stepped on stage.
"Hi, I'm Papillion. Or Butterfly if you will." There was a great cheer from the boys. Oh I could hear Eric loudest of all. " I wanted to play some songs for you. I'll star with some I wrote a few months ago. "
I started out with three New wave type music I had written.
They went over well.
" So now I would like to play a song, something my friend, Eric, has never heard me play before. This is an old song. It was written by a man who I was born on his birthday, Bob Dylan."
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying.
Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proves to warn
That he not busy being born
Is busy dying.
Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
That you'd just be
One more person crying.
So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.
As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all
Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.
While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have
To stand naked.
An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.
Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you.
You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks
They really found you.
A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
Insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not fergit
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to.
Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.
For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.
While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him.
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.
Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony.
While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Must get lonely.
My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me?
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
I emphasize a piece of that, Eric Cheered after I did. I did my own turn, a bit punky a bit new wave a bit blues. A Lot of me.
The crowd liked it. Well why not, he is the master of words after all. I finished off with 3 more Dylan songs. not as easily known, Ones that are not played on the radio usually. Baby Let Me Follow You Down, Dink's Song, and Tough Mama.
It was all received very well. This was my best set yet, people were cheering that did not come just for that purpose.
I was on a serious high from life that night.
Eric and the boys and I walked outside, talking laughing and just enjoying life when I saw him, across the street. I could barely tell Eric when I was already crossing the street towards him. I could hear the conversation as I got closer.
"Hey, my name is Kim Elliot."
All of a sudden I see lights, hear car horns and am pulled backwards fast.
"Hey!" I screamed.
Eric started yelling at me in a few languages before he got to English. "Girl you almost got smushed, than where would Freedom be? Huh? You girl need to keep yourself alive if she is to have a chance."
"Who is she?"
"He, the guy. THE GUY!"
"The guy is named a girls name?"
"No it's a guy's name." Eric just looked at me. "Di you not read, o.k. see the movie Kim? Kipling? Anyone?"
A sea of blank stairs.
" Never mind" I say. "The guy is right over there..." I pointed across the street, but he wasn't there.
"O.k. honey, what ever you say. " one of the boys said.
"Come on, one of you had to see him?"
They all nodded No.
"Maybe he's a ghost, you might be psychic. Gifted. That is totally bitchin! Do me next."
I couldn't tell if Eric was kidding or not.
"Not with a 10 foot pole!"
I walked the mile home. I know his name. Kim. His name is Kim.