Part three. New York city. “The Chelsea Hotel”
The Chelsea Hotel
A Chapter by Coyote Poetry
The third chapter. I hope you enjoy.
We were served the Lombardi’s pizza. We chose the deep-dish pizza. Recommended by the dear Italian woman. She watched us taste the pizza. I told her. The best pizza I have ever tasted. She came to me and tapped my head and she gave me a kiss on the cheek. She told me. You are a good man and soldier. Thank you. Dorothy laughed and she reached over taking my hands. Told me, next stop will be your Chelsea Hotel. Some folks say the hotel is haunted by Joplin? I told her Janet isn’t here no-more. She is hanging with Morrison, Hendrix, Karen Carpenter and Elvis. Harry Chapin, Jim Croce and her are in a good place. Making music for the ages. Nothing left for Janet Joplin here.
Dorothy smiled and she asked me. Do you believe in God? Heaven or hell? I see a man who believe in what he see and can touch. I raised her hands up to my lips and kissed them both and I told her. She was right. Heaven or hell? I believe we create it here. We won’t know if the gods are waiting for us till the final road trip. I do believe in karma. I have paid in three-folds for my bad deeds and actions. I walk a polite walk now. Two dead brother taught me. Negative words and actions leaved you swimming in wishes you were kinder and a better human being.
She sat in silence for a few minutes and she told me. All of us walk on a silken thread. We will make mistakes and know many pitfalls. Love is a treacherous edge to be on. It will make us dance in joy and cry in great sorrow. I don’t believe you had anything to do with your brothers deaths. They just you with the sorrow of losing someone you loved.This is why I need you Johnnie. I’m scared. My brother won’t talk to me. I need you to make me stronger so I can face him. I told her. I will do what I can.
We left the Lombardi’s Pizza place and Dorothy flagged down a Taxi. We got in and she told him the Chelsea Hotel please. The taxi driver was a old timer with a Insignia of the Marine corp on his big arm. He turned and looked at at my high and tight haircut and said. You ain’t no Marine. Did you serve in the war? I told him yes. He reached over his big right hand and shook my hand. He told me. Old Marine honored to have a Army man in my taxi. I told him. Glad to meet you Marine. He smiled and he told me. I’m glad you are home safe and sound, son. I thanks him.
He open up his glove box and he showed me his purple heart. He told me. I served in the Vietnam war. War isn’t no good. I agree with him. He got quiet and drove. He still maintain his Marine haircut and spoke to people with respect. We arrived near the Chelsea Hotel. He turned to me and he told me. I hope your wars are done. I’m tire of fighting wars. I want all our boy to come home safe and sound. He reached his right hand to me and he told me. Have some fun and be safe. I thanks him as he drove away. He gave me a half-salute and the taxi faded into the New York city traffic.
Me and Dorothy looked at the Chelsea Hotel. The hotel looked ghostly even with being very active. Her structure maintain a old fashion look. I wondered did Cohen and Joplin see the same place? I crossed the street with Dorothy following. I touched the hotel walls. She laughed at me and she asked. You are not going inside? I told her. No. I wanted a coffee shop or tavern near by. She pointed at a Deli/Coffee shop nearby. We went to the place and we ordered two triple espressos. I asked her. Dear Dorothy. You know my internal secrets and my sad story. Please tell me some stories of your life too? She smiled and she told me. Very little to tell. I was raised outside Boston. Good schools, good grades and I went to Boston University. I did have some fun. College life was fun and easy. I had good friends, danced and celebrated being alive.Then real life took over. I came to New York five years ago. Good money, few friends and I’m trying to write. I told her. You are young. You have time to travel,test life and have some fun. You can’t take the money to the grave with you. She smiled and asked me.
You joined a war to escape? Not all people are fearless Johnnie. Some of us are locked-in. I reached over and I whispered in her ear. The quiet and the tamed are just hiding their fire. Just waiting for the excuse to leave their secure life. A captive life just need a escape route. She gave me a quick kiss and she asked. Do you see a woman ready to devour life and runaway to unknown destinations. I can’t dear Johnnie. I have heavy burden here.
Me and Dorothy are holding hands. We are looking at the Chelsea Hotel. I wondered did Leonard Cohen think of this place. Maybe just one of many deep memories and places implanted in his song.