Archive

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Brian Westbye:

Merry Post-Christmas, y’all!

Originally posted on brian westbye:


Image Source: Justinsomnia

“This is the strangest week of the year,” Hannah said.

Mick sat down next to her with another round of tea. They were in their apartment on Capitol Hill in Seattle, transfixed by the white and gold glow of a fake tree and recovering from a post-Christmas teriyaki orgy. An iTunes mix of Christmas music from Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Ella, Frank and Bing played and all was right with the world.

“What do you mean?” Mick said, leaning into her shoulder.

“I mean, it’s just….weird!” Hannah said. “Christmas was yesterday! It’s over! But we still have all the decorations up, and the tree, and we’re still listening to Christmas songs and watching Christmas movies and everything. Doesn’t it feel kind of…I don’t know, sort of wrong, somehow?”

Mick stared at the tree. “Yeah, right?” he said. “It is kind of strange. Not bad, but strange. Maybe…

View original 249 more words

Brian Westbye:

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Originally posted on brian westbye:

North Pole, 12/24: Eighty Days? Hah! Try Around the World in 24 Hours, Jules Verne! You couldn’t handle that! The fat man has us lined up, and we’re ready to go. It’s a major grind, but it’s only once a year. Besides, have you ever been to the North Pole? Seriously, I haven’t seen the sun since September. Dragsville, babe. So we get to get out, plenty of fresh air and exercise, get to see the world…oh yeah, and peace on earth and presents and all that happy-dappy crap. It’s not a bad gig, really.

0 Longitude: Well, that was a rough takeoff! SOMEbody…and I’m not naming any names here…DANCER…put on a few pounds over the summer! Way to be a team player, chum…p.

Over the Urals: Somebody asked me recently if I resent Rudolph. Y’know, since we never let him join in our reindeer games before he got all…

View original 420 more words

eagle
Image Source: The Bowery Boys

First Movement

Arrival

On her first night in town Sunny Holiday set out to find the eagle. On her second night in town, she set up and started working in front of the eagle.

Sunny Holiday was the perfect name for her New Self in New York. It was partly a tongue-in-cheek nod to what her clients had in store, of course, but mostly it was homage to Billie. Oh, Billie! Tough as nails, yet ladylike and fragile enough to sing

My life a wreck you’re making
My heart is yours for just the taking

and make you cry like a baby. Billie Holiday took no shit, but she was always a lady. And she came from nothing and made it. Besides, Sunny Holiday, Queen of Manhattan sounded so much better than Cedric Dupree, Nobody from Daphne, Alabama.

Cedric never felt like he fit in anywhere growing up. Part of it was having big city dreams in small town Alabama, but most of all it was just that feeling of being so damn different from everyone else. He preferred his grandparents’ records – Billie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore – to any rock ‘n roll. He preferred reading about the construction of the Empire State Building to Alabama football. And he preferred to look at boys instead of girls.

Cedric graduated high school and enrolled in night school architecture classes, but he dropped out mid-way through the first semester. Eventually he caught on a trawler working the gulf and worked construction.

Sunny Holiday was born on days when Cedric was home and his parents were at work. Eventually she became a prime mover, subsuming and easing the pain.

Eventually she started to work a little bit in Mobile. Longshoremen mostly. A few turns here and there, just enough to make her feel ready for the big city. For Sunny it wasn’t the money so much as it was the thrill of the chase and a lust for reclamation. As Sunny, she held all the power, and she didn’t have to try to fit in anydamnwhere. She could pull a few turns, make some damn money and call all the shots, just like Billie. She wouldn’t have to take being called a faggot and getting tripped on the playground and having the entire class laughing at her. Sunny Holiday wouldn’t take that shit, no sir.

Thirty hours on Greyhound and she arrived at the Port Authority. Sunny had packed light: just a duffel bag with the stuffed eagle Cedric got when he was eight, five pairs of panties and socks, two bras, three white dresses, a slip, two wigs and a white flower for her hair, just like Billie. Tough as nails, but always a lady. She also packed a 007 blade in her boot. Tough as nails, so don’t fuck with me. She headed out the 8th Ave side at 40th Street and headed for 7th Ave.

And suddenly there it was, right where she read it would be: 7th Ave on the 31st St. side, right next to the entrance to Madison Square Garden. Sunny stood in front of the eagle, in awe and lost in nostalgia.

This very eagle once guarded the most beautiful train station…hell, the most beautiful building, that was ever destroyed for nothing. An actual 1910 relic that survived the destruction of Penn Station from 1962 – 1965. Sunny felt eight-year-old Cedric jumping out of her body with excitement, and she felt like she had finally arrived in her own life.

She remembered seeing a photo of the eagles on the façade of the original Penn Station when she was a little boy. When he learned that they tore down the station and threw all the rubble into the swamps of New Jersey, Cedric cried. He became obsessed with architecture and preservation, drawing and coloring eagles and Corinthian columns and Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge, building skyscrapers and bridges with Legos and reading everything he could about the great buildings of the world. He vowed to move to New York, become an architect and build and save great landmarks. And when he read that a few of the original Penn Station eagles were preserved and that one was in front of the new Penn Station, he vowed to pass by it every day.

And here it was… Now at last Sunny Holiday had found her guardian eagle.

That eagle in that moment was everything: preservation, perseverance, protection. It was symbol and metaphor and dream. Mostly it was rebirth and reinvention. It was Sunny Holiday, and it was beautiful.

It was almost 1:00 AM, and Sunny had nowhere to go. She figured she’d get a copy of the Village Voice, find an all-night coffee shop and scan the listings for a room for rent, then call around first thing in the morning. “Work” would take care of itself once she returned later that night to visit her guardian eagle.

She had finally arrived. Her life was unfolding rapidly, and it was finally hers. Sunny Holiday was about to take Manhattan. Little did she know what was to come…

Like!
http://www.facebook.com/BrianWestbyeWrites

Follow!
@BrianWestbye

You try to recreate the memory
sitting in the same place, the same way
playing the same song at the same time
thinking the same thoughts
trying

so desperately
to hold on
to the feeling

But you can’t

You know too much
You’ve lived too much
The song is different
The sunset is different
The world is different

The memory
Is left
Behind

Like!
http://www.facebook.com/BrianWestbyeWrites

Follow!
@BrianWestbye

104 Riverside Drive House
Image Source: Tracy Stoops – peeeple.com

Your stoop was short
three steps from
street to door
shortening the distance
to you

The buzzer always died
third ring
then the door would wheeze open
and my pulse would race

Cooking smells in the foyer
black and white mosaic tiles
junk mail piling up on the floor

Up three flights
to the open door of 3F
where you always stood
waiting to welcome me
home

Like!
http://www.facebook.com/BrianWestbyeWrites

Follow!
@BrianWestbye

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,228 other followers