(something I wrote in 2016 when I was experimenting with phrases but not yet the hyphenated words)
Lured onto the whiskey rocks was I.
A bar, air carrying voices like oxygen, sucked me in one winterous night. Warmth, seeping from old style radiators slung sculpturally on scraped back brickwork, and escaping from alcohol massaged mouths manipulated by untongue-tied lips, wrapped around my body and dragged me to its bosom. Lighting, lowly bright, snaked sinister around shaped silhouettes, lightening the dark and darkening the light.
I felt eyes flickering sideways, assessing the tenderfoot, a future guessed in seconds, no second chance sanctioned. Bodies walled my approach, daring a siege or assault, my choice of advance another reckoning of personality and persuasion. Walking straight, unnerved by contact, unshamed by silent excuse, marked intruders as distrustful ones. I meandered crooked, avoiding of touch, and sought the bar end, refugee-simulating. Backs turned and drinks lifted, the silent baying hordes returned to role.
The bartender’s welcome came with decades of unknown familiarity, eyes weighed down with a thousand stories, lips creased by a thousand sips. Assimilating into the scene, I bounced coins on counter, watching the watchers, listening the listeners. A drink appeared, in a glass smeared with lost hopes, placed by fingers stained with lives desiccated. I sipped nectar from fallen gods, felt the liquid slide like a saw over a throat parched by the city, and her who walked away one night.
Words crept inside my ears, half spoken, half cried, from mouths spilling lies faster than truths, snatches of histories conjured up to please their audience, old and new. Wives fled, husbands fooled, mistresses abandoned, dreams cracked. No jury could pass judgement on so many words of illusory untruths. Bodies jostled, closing space, opening offers, silent spoken. Eyes conversed while lies filled the air, an air heavy with deceiving deception.
My vision half blocked, you entered my island of insanity. Perfumery in advance of body warmth, a vanguard of passion, unstoppable. You seated alongside, a foot carelessly on purpose grazing my tired shoe. A minute smile explaining as you adjusted and preened, blue dress frame hugging a manikin from Venus, brown-ginger curls circled and back circled, coiffured unto faultlessness, floating on shoulders created to cry on. A long finger unbent, the bartender commanded, a cocktail of colours mixed glided next my golden syrup, a partnership foretold.
You turned, half appearing, long leg escaping dress split, opening gambit played and won, my heart-beat beaten. I voiced introduction, you deemed to reply, a voice silkily dirty, misleading me on. Your accent defeated me, somewhere downstate in a far off state, lilts hiding rasps, clipped letters concealing lisps, yet seducing with half sentences.
Dialogue danced, distanced and discrete, waltzing in slow motion as backstories were told and edited, your spiel seducing as you congaed me into your existence. I held firm, fearing mis-steps and pre-empted elimination, entranced by eyes iced with life and lips like worn books, retelling eon-old untruths. Drinks consummated, we drifted our ways, the neon whispering streets leading me home, alone in body, entwined in mind.
Tenfold times we met, the bar end our restaurant, our bookshop, our promenade, our bedroom. Each night verbal became physical, the touch of words translating tantalisingly with the touch of skin. Our feet spelt sentences of desire under cold-hearted steel of stools, massaging ids to teasing heights, subterranean erotica never designed to surface. I watched sleek fingers slither and stroke wet flute and polished teak, dragging me ecstatic into depthless Charybdis, drowning deliriously.
Each night you dressed anew, sparkles spitting light in night black bar corners. I watched your body, encased sleek and seductive, leading eyes, jealous jaded or lecherous lewd, from entrance to stool, each sway choreographed with careless precision, each step stilettoing my heart. A back flick of hair, an ear revealed with dangling diamonds dancing, like a stripper stripped to skin, an opening gambit invincible, you sung me hypnotic, a Siren seductress, and I never saw the wrecking rocks below.
Long nights opened my wallowing wallet, sugardaddied silly, funding a career careering uncontrolled, stage lights studding an illusory skyline, a body half-talented un-self judged, and flaunting thespian screen tests before couch-tired directors. As money flow ebbed, conversation congealed with mascara-curtained eyes wandering and smiles stimulating seduction moving on, until only your glass, half empty, spilt, sat derelict. Across hazy no man’s land, glimpsed between lips and rye, at a bar counter distant, a silhouette stilled as you sat, sirening another, duping the dupe.
And I drank deep from the bottle of experience, exiting extinguished.