“Ashtrays, whiskey and the pen
Ashtrays, whiskey and the pen
I loved downtown Austin, Texas. No-one is a stranger. Just people seeking good booze, music and opportunity. I like the comfort of a cigarette, Jack Daniels and time to think and write.
The people in the taverns talk to me like a old and missed friend. I must have a safe face to look at. I don’t believe they know me. My paper and pen bring the people near wanting to hear story and someone with a listening ear. I do have a thousand stories to tell.
A young college girl with eyes of hazel green sat next to me. She asked me. Is love true or just a myth to create false hope? I smiled and I wrapped my right arm around her and I told her. Love is weightless, new love is the real bounty of the lucky. Old love doesn’t exist, only remnants remain. You can’t be forgiven or forget. You must hope for the mercy of sweet kiss and embrace. Hope the love is true.
I have been rolling my cigarettes lately, not for the sake of saving money. It feel good to roll the tobacco in my hands, like I’m create some sort of pleasure. A lone woman sat with me. She asked did I think she was still pretty? I saw the pain and disappointment in our eyes. I told her she was the prettiest girl I seen today and I gave her a fresh rolled cigarette. She looked at the almost filled ashtray and I ordered two double shots of Black Velvet. Her face brighten up as I lite her cigarette. I looked into her eyes and I study her face and told her. I love your face. Had the balance of hard times and true beauty. True beauty are eyes and cheekbones that tell the truth and can leave yourself unprotected. You have a gentle face. She gave me a smile and raised the drink and said.To the moon, the sun and the river and you. I touched her glass and we drank the whiskey.She smoked the cigarette inhaling the smoke deeply and she asked. I know you drink and write. Can you leave the dirty ashtrays and show a girl a good time? I smiled and i told her. It would be my honor to dance with a Texas beauty. Whiskey and cigarettes are always near. Rarely can I dance and serenade a beautiful woman. Her eyes seem brighter and more hopeful. I saw the first real smile and some real emotion as she laid her head upon my shoulder. She raised her face up and gave me a quick kiss. She told me. Thank you Johnnie. You can bring back the dead.
I sat by the lake in Boeblingen, Germany. I brought a ashtray, cigarette tobacco and paper. I had my pen and paper writing down new words and thoughts. I was rolling a fresh cigarette when a pretty German girls with her red scarf appealed. She sat down with me and was staring at my face. I didn’t look at her. Even with time an distance. Her face could make me break down. Not to tears. Just to sadness. She questioned me. Where have you been? People said you were sick and went crazy? Rumors had it. You gave up. I reached over and kissed her cheeks than her mouth. The taste of her lips awoke emotion and closed scars. Her memory was already tattoos forever upon my heart and mind. I told her. Remember when I blindfolded you with the red scarf and you told me to be wild and free. You are mine and I’m yours completely. You told me you wanted to be blinded from the light and movement. You wanted my hand and mouth to take you to new places. I didn’t know you were my fire and I was the wood. I would yearn for you forever. She smiled and told me. Roll me a fresh cigarette my lover. We knew coffee, cigarettes and true nakedness. We had nothing to hide. We got too old too quickly. We transformed to the tall sky of hope and we had no-where to fall. Remember we made love for three days and nights. We locked the doors and allowed no-one in. I remember faces, legs, arms and thighs. I remember silky and innocence skin trying to become one body. Do you remember me Johnnie? I gave her the cigarette and rolled one for myself. I like the personal feel of tobacco and paper in my hands. I told her her, damn cigarettes feel real. Your memory feel like fiction. I remember the slow and sweet nights. You were my pureness of perfection. Now I have reflection to pen and paper. I write to paper with deaden ink about the moon and the sun. I find despair in both. You taught me love wasn’t forever and I do remember pale skin and locked doors. I lite her cigarette and my cigarette. Two people, now strangers watch the lake gentle move.
I sat alone in Austin, Texas. I’m not held down by sadness. I have learn. Love can condemn you or propel you to places of promises. I still dream of red scarfs and long nights. I begin to roll a fresh cigarette and look at my pen and paper.
Cigarettes feel real and she like fiction. .. I’m sold on the beauty of this memory, John. So well told, once again.
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I quit the cigarettes, I still like the whiskey and the pen. Thank you Audrey for reading and the comment.