Bob Bresny's soulmate


In strides a tall, athletic voluptuary with a waist-length auburn mane and a bemused expression. I'm in love instantly. Her emerald eyes are kind but skeptical. Her crooked grin is a work of art that announces that she's uttered a lot of smart-ass benedictions in her time. My fantasies are already going full bore. I'm inventing her from scratch. She's a Qabalistic witch with dancer's instincts, steeped in the magical lore of herbs and the art of turning men into salamanders. She's a beauty queen who renounced her crown in solidarity with her ugly sisters everywhere. She's a stand-up comedienne with a slapstick streak, and she cackles when she comes.

Probably none of this is true, but I can't help myself. Her thick auburn eyebrows and flared nostrils and top-front-teeth-gap and freckled cleavage are the exact features my dreamwoman would have. Her high forehead and total lack of make-up are clear evidence that she's an earthy idealist with a massive IQ. Gorgeous sphinx with a prankster heart; part-Italian, part-Ethiopian, part-Irish, part-Czech, and part-extraterrestrial. Definitely not raised as a Catholic. Her loose-limbed body language says she loves sex and treats herself with joyous respect.

True, the purple baseball hat and purple windbreaker are a little strange -- they're accessories favored by redneck babes-but on the other hand the logo on the front of the hat is a double-headed ax, which is a notorious code, at least in bohemian Santa Cruz, for feisty feminism (having been an important symbol in ancient Crete, among the world's last-known matriarchal cultures). Maybe she's the star shortstop of an all-woman team sponsored by a pagan coven. Hell, maybe she's the high priestess of the coven herself. I picture her skyclad in an oak grove, holding a carved willow-wood thyrsus as she leads a circle of worshipers in a bacchanalian dance under a full moon.

Sorry. I'll stop now. I silently apologize for sculpting her out of my private raw materials. In real life, she's probably a single mother scratching out a living through a combination of welfare payments and a typical Santa Cruz under-the-table job like scraping barnacles off boats down at the yacht harbor. Of course this is also weirdly attractive to the part of me that yearns to save the world by erotically nurturing all the world's most psychically wounded (yet physically beautiful) women. In the interests of objectively reporting on the current state of my lust, though, that's not the specific version of the divine feminine I'm in the mood to lose myself in today.

I command myself to take a tantric breath of fire. It's amazing how profoundly my imagination can blind me. As the first flush of my testosterone-fueled fantasy subsides, I realize I've encountered this siren on at least three previous occasions, each time in circumstances where my receptivity to her charms did not fully combust due to my preoccupation with making a spectacle of myself. The first meeting was the night she jumped on stage during one of my band's shows here at the Catalyst. I was histrionically imitating a homeless person and screaming out the paranoid lyrics to "Get Out of My Head."


Get outta my head Leave me alone I wanna think my own thoughts now Get outta my head I'm never alone My brain feels like a radio
But as I yanked on a long shank of my hair, which was secured in a topknot by a white sweat sock, this wacko babe wearing a baseball uniform-the same voluptuary who now stands before me in the women's bathroom-grabbed the guitar player's microphone and tried to outshout me, chanting, "Brainwash yourself before somebody nasty beats you to it" until one of the bouncers ushered her off.

I also remember seeing her at a performance art ritual, "A Happy Birthday for Death," which a friend of mine staged for about sixty pagan hipsters in a cemetery at dawn a couple months ago. As the sun rose, I caught a glimpse of Gorgeous Sphinx doing a dance on top of a sepulcher to the accompaniment of harp, tabla, and didgeridoo. Even if I'd wanted to, I couldn't stop and stare because I had a major role in the proceedings. I was playing the goat god Pan, complete with furry leggings and horns strapped on my head. My job was to dance obscenely and blow my panpipes and offer everyone sips of wine from my goatskin and in general stir up an orgiastic mood.

The third time I saw her was a month ago, at a party thrown by a local newspaper that carries the stories I write now and then. I was entertaining a gaggle of yuppie drunks with a rap about how I was a dream doctor; that if they prayed to me before they went to sleep, I would make a house call to their dreams and surgically remove the demons from their nightmares. Absolutely free! No further obligation!

Suddenly a green-eyed woman with stunning auburn hair elbowed her way through the champagne-swillers. Though I had never talked with her before in my life, she announced, "You said in my dream last night that I should not under any circumstances play soccer in bunny slippers at dawn in a supermarket parking lot with a gang of sadomasochistic stockbrokers who've promised to teach me the Balinese monkey chant. I'm extremely grateful for that advice, and I wanted to do something for you in return. Please accept this talisman. I made it myself."

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