New York city light chapter 7-8. New chapter


The New York city lights-Set-up and conversation.

A Chapter by Coyote Poetry

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A new chapter.

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  The New York city lights

Me and Dorthy were left alone. Our friendly bartender and the manager of the bar went back to work.  I asked her. Tell me your brother name, first and last? What he liked to do and what you know about his time in the service? She looked very sad and she told me. “He loved baseball. Starting pitcher for the High School team and he loved playing chess. He was a joker with a strong personality. He was always tricking me and making me laugh. He told me to have some fun. Quite studying so hard. His name is Paul. 210 pound of laughter before the war. I believe it is the alcohol and drugs that messed him up. He never spoke of why. He came to my apartment early last year. Pissed off and didn’t want me near him.  He left my apartment and I received a call. The police took him to Albany Veteran Hospital.” She begin to cry and I went to her. Allowed her to release her  sadness as I held her tightly. I lost two brothers to suicide. Both barely twenty years old. I died myself after the second funeral. No emotion or need for human contact till I rejoined the Army.

I liked the bar, the Nuyorican Poet cafe Old fashion feel to the bar. You could feel the ghost still haunting the old bar. I ordered one more whiskey and beer for us. I told Dan. Thank you for your kindness. When I return to New York. This will be my new home. Dan smiled and he told me. ‘Son, find a sweet woman like Dorthy. No utopia in the dark taverns and the whiskey.” He slapped my back and kissed Dorthy’s forehead and he told us. “I hope everything goes well. All we can do is prayer, give love, concern and kindness and hope for a good ending.”

We went to the Copacanbana. Dorthy loved to dance. We danced till 12 midnight. I told her. Big day tomorrow. We must arise early. Dorthy smiled and she whispered. “Thank you Johnnie. I appreciate you spending time with me. I feel tomorrow will be okay.”  At her apartment. She stripped bare in the living room and she danced to Eric Clayton song “Tears in heaven.”  I went to her. Picked her up and I took her to her warm bed. I caressed her like a child. She fell fast asleep quickly.

She awoke early and was dressed in simple brown dress and her hair ties back. I awoke and I saw her. I went to her and released her hair and I told her. Just relax my love. Today will be a good day. She spoke little on the train. She was lost in her thoughts. I saw in her eyes. She feared the outcome. She asked me. “Why did you bring a chess game and the journal?”  I told her. Always plan the mission and have a back-up plan. . Have tools to make the mission a success. She laughed at me and laid her head into my chest.

We arrived at the Veteran Hospital in Albany. Dorthy went to talk to the Doctor. The doctor told her. He don’t speak much. He sit alone and looked out the window. The drugs are out of his system. He is upset at his decisions, his world. The Doctor went to Paul. The Doctor told him. He had a visitor. Paul told the Doctor. “I don’t want no visitors. Tell them to go home.” The Doctor smiled and he told Paul. Your sister came a long way. Please give her some time. It will be good for you. Paul looked out the window and he whispered. “No, please tell her to go home.” The Doctor went back to Dorthy and he told her. He won’t see you. She begin to cry and the Doctor gave her a gentle hug and pat on her back.

Dorthy came back to me. She told me. “The Doctor told me. He won’t see me.” I embraced her and I asked. Where is he? Dorthy with flowing tears told me. “In the break room.” I brought her near and I told her.  I will go talk with him.

I went to the break room. Dorthy described a large man with blond hair. I saw him by the large window looking out at the rainy day. I brought my journal and the chess board. I went to his table and I sat with him. He tried not to pay attention to me. I spread out the chess game on the table. I put the white pieces toward him. He looked at me and he asked. “What the fuck do you want? You ain’t no doctor, are you?” I smiled and reached my hand to him. I told him. My name is Johnnie and I’m looking for a good chess game. If you don’t want to play? I will find someone else.

He gave me a smile and he told me. “I can play chess and I will kick your ass.” He took my hand and he told me, his name was Paul. I told him. You are the white and you must lead off the game my friend. We played in silence and he was kicking my ass. He asked me. “You are a soldier? Damn ugly haircut. What are you doing here?” I told him. My war physical. Ensuring my brains and balls are connected. He laughed at me and he told me. “I know a liar my friend. You are a set-up of a sort. Trying to make me talk.” I smiled and I told him. You are right Paul. I’m here for conversation. Paul smiled and he told me. “Checkmate and let’s play again. You suck at this game, but you are good company. I smiled and I asked him. Where is you family? He looked outside at the rain and he told me. “I don’t deserve no family. I ain’t worth a shit.” I told him. Hard to be alone.” I set-up the chess board and I played the white. This time the game held a heavy sadness. I won the game. He smiled and laughed. He told me. “You played sleeping dog  and I want a rematch.

I looked at him and I took him. Read five poems and I will give you a rematch. He told me. “Fuck off, I knew this was a set-up.” I rose-up to leave. He told me to stay. “I will read your damn poetry.” He read the five poems and he looked at me and he asked.”Can I be saved?”  I told him. You need family to help you and your family needs you. He started to cry and I went to him. I gave him a light hug. He told me. “I told my sister Dorthy to go away today. I wish I didn’t now.” I told him. Dorthy is here. Let’s play the game, regather our thoughts and bring your sister in. I allowed him to win. I asked him. Do you feel you can be okay again? He told me. “I’m trying to get off the drugs and forget the shit I done. I’m trying to be clean.” I told him. You can repair your self and defeat the drugs with help. Do you want to see Dorthy? He smiled and he said. Yes.

I left him and I went to Dorthy. I told her he would see her now. She fell into my arms with joyful tears. I took her hand and I led her to her brother. When she saw him. She released my hand and she ran to him. She embraced him with loving force. I walked a away. I left them, crying in each other arms.

John Castellenas/Coyote

The New York city light- Happy ending?

A Chapter by Coyote Poetry

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Just words

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                           New York city lights- Full circle

I went to the Hospital cafeteria and the Doctor who talked with Dorthy came to me.  I try to stand-up and to salute him. He waved me to sit-down and offered me his hand. I took his hand and he introduced himself as Doctor Paul. He told me. “Rank mean little here. Most of us are here to help the soldier. I wanted to thank you. You opened up a closed door. What did you do?” I told him. I asked Dorthy what her brother pleasures were. Just used the tools of human kindness and the game of chess. Sometime people play hide and see. Better to forget people we loved and need than to add burden. I know his place, but I have been a asshole for my complete life. I have accepted my demons. Some people can’t.

The Doctor smiled and he asked. “Are you okay? Can’t hide your disappointment and anger forever? Some demons hide inside the mind and one day can escape and break your back. You did a good thing today. Here is my card and if you need something soldier. Please call me.” I took the card and I shook hands with the Doctor and I was left alone to my thoughts. I was glad Dorthy’s brother accepted her. Sometime people don’t come back. War and life steal the hope and the will from us forever. I have met other men like Dorthy’s brother. Become locked in the need of drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol. Just a slow killer for the soldier who saw too much and is trying to forget. I wondered how Dorthy and her brother was doing?

Dorthy appeared and she came to me. Her perfect make-up had rolled down her beautiful face with her fallen tears. She told me and she embraced me tightly. “Thank you Johnnie. Me and my brother Paul had a long talk. He told me. He would try to do better and I can visit every weekend if I wanted. He told me he wants to go home to mother and father. He wants to talk to you again. Can you talk to him again?” I smiled and I told her. No problem.

Paul was sitting alone with the chess game ready. He gave me a odd smile and he told me. “I want a real chess game. Show me what you got. Please sit-down and play this last game with me.” I sat down and he led with the white. I told him I was glad he talked with Dorthy. She was very concern and needed him in her life. He looked at me with a serious face and he told me. “I’m a drunk, a bum. I fuck-up everything in my life. I don’t believe I can be saved. After I arrived back. I tried to kill myself. This is why I’m here. I told my family to leave me alone. I know I was wrong. I told Dorthy to call my mother. I will see her also. Do you believe I can be saved John? You are still a soldier and I can see in your eyes. You have seen and known hard times. You keep fighting. Why?

I told him. Keep you eyes on the game. I’m boxing you in and you can be okay. Hardest forgiveness is the person looking back at us in the mirror. No angels upon this earth. I have a heavy burden myself. Dead brothers and left kind women alone because I wanting too much. War didn’t effect me. I followed the tanks and the helicopters. Little danger for men behind the tanks. You need your family. Your sister is a strong woman who loved you with all her heart. You have support. Are you still active and getting paid?

He looked at the chess board and he smiled. He told me.” You kicked my ass brother. I promise to see my sister if you return with her sometimes. I like the conversation and the chess games. I want a revenge match. I can talk to you without regret. Are you station near here?” I answered. “For a short time only. I’m waiting for orders. I came back last month. My unit was kicked out of the Middle East too early. I was serving with the reserves in Kuwait and Fort Dix, N.J was my only options till they find me a place to go. He looked sad and he asked me. “You will be leaving the East coast and Dorthy. Does she know? She loved you a lot. You will break her heart.”  I told him. She knows I must leave. Me and her are walking on shelled eggs and we are trying to be careful. Dorthy is a successful woman and I have little. I gave-up everything to escape my life and find a better death. Dorthy saved me. She is a wonderful woman.

Paul smiled and took my right hand and he told me. “‘Death will come when death wants. Please come again and bring my sister. ” Dorthy showed-up with  her make-up perfect again and hugged her brother. She begin to cry again. Her bother caressed her like a child and he whispered. “I’m sorry Dorthy, please don’t cry. I will be okay and I love you my sister. I won’t act a fool, no-more.” Dorthy kissed his face cheeks and we left the hospital. Dorthy held my hand tightly and we held silence till we got on the New York city train in Albany.  She laid he head into my chest and cried. The cry was for release. I held her tightly and I allowed her to gather her thoughts and mind.

When we got close to New York city. Darkness had overtook the city. She was lite-up and so beautiful. Dorthy told me. “this is why I love this city. So bright and shiny. Make you forget the problems of living. Tonight we will go dancing and we shall drink. You are my Johnnie and best friend. I know you must leave soon. Please promise to be my friend. You have helped me and I love you honey. I won’t forget the kindness given.”  I whispered to her. Dear Dorthy. You have saved me my love. I wanted to drink myself to death in self-pity and hide in dark and safe corners. You made me face the light and know laughter. You are my Irish wish and dream. Dorthy smiled and she asked me. “Next week. Can we go back to Albany and see my brother. I’m still a bit nervous. He still looked not right. He looked weak and lonely.” I answered her. Till I leave Fort Dix, we can go every Saturday. Your brother will be okay. He need you and your family. I love you Dorthy and tonight we will drink and dance, than open the window curtains of your apartment when we return home. Watch the New York city lights together.

John Castellenas/Coyote