Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Paradise Rooms 2: The jungle, the green blanket and the smoke

In this room it is always 2 a.m. verging on dawn.
The window is open to perpetual fog. It is the end of November, mud and snow.
The room itself is cinderblock. You get in by scratching on the screen.
You get in through the dorm-room door, and pass beneath the fronds of a pothos overgrown, grown so long it hangs in Tarzan-strands, blocking the doorway, a curtain of vines that thrive on smoke.
A single lamp. It is green and dim. Mirrors on the closet, a straight chair with an ashtray on it, a single bed. A green velvet blanket. Two pillows, side by side. And a plume of smoke rising from the bed. The source of paradise (perceived) is that spiral of smoke. The exhalation that bellows exultation. Of course all this is false. It is a fool's paradise. But for the moment you don't care. You drop your wrap. You kick off your muddy shoes. The green blanket is a warm-napped pool. You dive in. You dive into the heat and the corkscrew of smoke.

You smoke while getting head. You smoke before, after, during. Your throat is raw. Your nerves are stripped, like the rest of you, and you smuggle your nakedness across the room in the green blanket. You drink fog from the window. Cascades of vines. Cascades of hair. And that killing smoke, enervating you. You light his cigarette. He lights you. And the dawn is the grey of the ashes in the bottom of the cruddy glass ashtray he swiped from a Denny's. And your fingers tremble as you put your necklace back on, and you go to your first class reeking of paradise, green blanket, green vines, smoke and mirrors, incandescent with illusion, stinking of hope.


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