A fucking fuckless bitch

lola's tequestaThis past Wednesday, August 2nd, two people, Betsy and Gerome, took me out to a restaurant in Tequesta called Lola’s.

It was very nice of them; it was a sort of a goodbye dinner, as I am moving on September 5th to parts abroad.

The meal was delicious — I had Fish and Chips, which perhaps jogged my memory to England — and the conversation pleasant enough.

However, at a certain point my mind drifted to another Lola, or more precisely Lolo, a girl I once knew in London in the late 70s.

I met her by chance in Hyde Park.

Coincidentally she had been on the same Laker Airways flight with me from JFK, and I’d immediately noticed her, and thought O what a Lucky Man her boyfriend was.

I was surprised the next day, as I strolled aimlessly around a large pond with querulous swans, to see her walking alone with a brown horse.

It was unusually forward of me, but I approached her — at the risk of coming across like some harassing creep — and introduced myself, in that informal way people in their 20s can pull off with ease.

I mentioned we’d traveled on the same plane together the previous day.

Hyde Park horsey set

Yes, I remember you, she said pleasantly.

I didn’t expect that.

We sorta checked each other out some, while talking, and then she said that she was just getting off work and was about to take the horse back to Hyde Park stables.

Her name, she said, was Lolo, and she spoke with a charming Danish accent with American intonations. It turned out her father was a Scandinavian diplomat, and her mother from the US.

Care for a pint? I said.

So we walked back to the stables together, and I noticed other guys in the park looking at me like I was the lucky man that day.

We found a pub somewhere near Bathurst Mews.

It went well.

As we got up to leave, she suggested that I meet her at her parent’s house the next evening. She said there a new disco style club was opening on Finchley Road. Lolo had been invited to attend, and needed a date.

I was to be it.

Mount Street, London 70s

View from my parent’s flat on Mount Street, Late 70s

I spent the next day around Mount Street and Cadogan Square, but limited my pub crawling in preparation for my big date.

This was not an opportunity to blow.

I picked this golden mirage of a girl up at her parent’s place on a warm London summer night, and off we went.  The young owner of this club — it was called Les Elites —  seemed very nice and very Asian and we got in for free, thanks to Lolo, which suited me nicely, as I was sort of broke, but left me wondering how she knew this guy.

You can see in the picture below Lolo and I chilling at Les Elites, as polka dot strobe light patterns from the swirling disco ball bounced off our clothes to the thumping of a funky bass line. Things were looking up.

L-o-l-o, Lolo!

But at some point in the evening, there was trouble.

The Asian owner was married, but had some sort of English girlfriend on the side, and someone had made a pass at this woman.

There was a loud confrontation and suddenly everyone stopped moving like you see in the movies and knives were brandished in a rather menacing way by the owner and this other Asian guy who had hit on the girlfriend, so I suggested to Lolo that this might be an ideal time to depart, because I was from New York, and in Chinatown, these Asian gangster types are crazy motherfuckers.

Which we did.

Back at her parent’s place, I thought the evening’s sensual vibe had been ruined by the Ninja contretemps.  Lolo poured me a generous Scotch from her father’s bar, which soothed matters.

Nice promenade

Voyeurism on the Prom in Nice, summer 2017: I will be there in 30 days! Foto Electro Squid

We chatted about the knife thing but Lolo soon dismissed it.  She talked a bit about her parents, but the unsaid was an open question hanging in the air with increasing persistence.

Would we do the nasty on our very first date?

It was well after midnight, so I asked Lolo when her parents would be returning, and she casually said, oh, they will be in Denmark for the weekend, and produced a bag of dope.

I rolled a joint, and we chatted some more — these were the days when I could be quite charmingly debonair, and capable of eliciting from time to time the undivided attention of a beautiful young woman, even when I didn’t have two farthings to my name.

Suddenly she went to the bathroom. I heard the tap water run, and the toilet flush, and when she came back, Lolo was wearing only her undies.

Her body was even more gorgeous than I had imagined it would be, but writing about this aspect of things today would make me feel like a lecher.

I want you to teach me about sex, she said.  I’m not that experienced yet, and I want to learn everything.

The improbable wet dream phantasy of a virginal blonde Lolita goddess offering herself to me was not something that happened every day of the week.

Though I was only 27, and Lolo about five years younger, I did for some reason feel a wee bit pervy James Masonish at that particular moment; the feeling soon passed.

Everything, she’d said.

Everything.

Everything.

I focused back on what Betsy, who is rather attractive too, and Gerome were saying at Lola’s in provincial Tequesta.

Lola's restaurant - Tequesta

I thought how nice it was they were inviting me for dinner, and how pathetic it felt that Betsy had not shown the slightest frisson toward me, given that most of my life, well to be bloody direct about it, I was not a bad-looking chap, and used to having an effect on attractive women, often just by glancing at them with the proverbial toothy grin.

leaving amerika

The Come Hither, stoner look of my late 20s. Notice I wore the same vest when I took Lolo to Les Elites.

And now, I was the older guy being given a pleasant sendoff before he went overseas, and there would no everything in store for this gaffer, not that night, or perhaps any other ever again.

Age, man; it’s a fucking fuckless bitch.

Tell me what you see

Ethics no longer matter.

It’s an old story.

Doing right seems to be immaterial nowadays.  In fact, there is no right or wrong.   Only a Darwinian ethos survives, they say.

But you are different.

You have good reasons for wanting to leave.

You might say:  I cannot tolerate the disappearance of privacy.  Or, I cannot abide living in a society that is enamored with false gods. Or, I cannot stand living in a country that is constantly at war. Or, I cannot tolerate living with social injustice.  Or, more simply, I can no longer stand the noise.

You might say, also:  over there, that is where the answer is.   That is where I am going to find peace.  That is where I am going to be free. That is where everything is okay.  That is where I am going to be happy. The man on the streetcorner told me so. No, not that one: the other one, over there.

But you know that is not the case.

For you know, as does everyone else, that human beings are rapacious monsters, incapable of doing good except in the small, and obsessed always with the score. Yes, that. Someone always has to win the cricket game, they say, which means someone has to eventually lose. Long innings are not played merely for the sport of it, they say. Everyone wants the beautiful girl. The Instagram iife. And at the end of it, the golden parachute. The one that confirms it: you won.

There’s something else.

Human beings are not only cruel; they take pleasure in cruelty, particularly when the notion of vengeance is involved.

You have seen them all.

The terrorist who blows up the innocent and thinks he will go to heaven.

The handsome preppie who goes to a bar in Germantown and ends up with such red hands.

The sadistic judge who sentences the prisoner to a hanging then has ice cream with his family. The buzz cut jailer who keeps the prisoner in chains and buys his girlfriend flowers, this before escorting her to his favorite BDSM club.

The policeman who protects only those who live by the water and arrested you last year and then enjoyed testifying to a lie even though now your life is forever ruined.

The trailer park enlistee who shoots turbaned convicts in the head on a hot summer afternoon just so he can buy a shiny motorcycle when he gets back to America after his tour of so-called duty.

The dirty politician who sees to it that the unwanted poor, crippled and old die off from hunger and lack of health coverage, as a bunch of tennis-playing toffs flaunt their bling in a court of corruptive privilege.

No-one wants to hear the litany, they say, and besides, all of these things are necessary.

Because we are by nature pack killers, and we need rulers to keep us from going over the edge. Without rules and ruthlessness to back them up, there can be no civilization, only chaos, they say.

old egyptian man

Stolen from by his own sons

And so we agree to entrust the few to safeguard and speak for the many. It does not matter if what they say is a lie, so long as we survive, that’s the ticket, and dominate whenever possible.

And then we witness the trust abused, which inevitably happens, especially since we have not won a war in decades, which leaves us angry and looking to blame someone, preferably the helpless, so long as they play victim and are not in a position to retaliate in any serious way.

Sometimes we seek retribution for the betrayals, or when it becomes necessary to pretend that the playing field is level, and then the pointless cycle starts over again, endlessly, in every society that has existed in every moment in time, they say.

Human beings seem to think that they must demonize each other for survival.  The weak are fodder; the idealists, naive fools.

If you do not take steps to protect yourself, they say, you will be at the mercy of those who care not about ethics.  It is not just the impudent murderers and thieves and rapists who kill and steal and maim and ruin lives for toffee, they say.

It is everyone.

Even you, the blameless one.

But that is not possible, you say.

I am fleeing America or Africa or Asia or Europe because I am more ethical than those people.  I am better than those people,  Those people are not like me at all.

And so you run.  You bury your outrage,  You swallow your shame.  You say, I will focus on this now, on going away, and minding my own business.  I will start a new life and shave every day and wear a clean suit on Sundays. All these other things no longer concern me.  Besides which, it is all hopeless anyway.  Isn’t it all the same everywhere?

It’s just a little less worse over there.

One day you might notice something is still off.  You might even stop participating in that ridiculous cross-country motorcycle trip, that election in which you know the fix is in, that career path that you know will end up in disappointment, that love affair you know will sour eventually, and you will suddenly think of yourself as a speck of dust on a dying planet hurtling through the black void of space.

But that thought will not last.  It is too frightening.  If you thought this way too long, you’d turn into a good little souse, you would, and no longer recognize the wasted face in the mirror behind the bar. All thinking, they say, must stop.

And so you continue, unthinkingly, miserably, with all the little compromises, those little adjustments, those little lies, which added up, one by one, from the time you were small, till now.

Now.

Now that you are a responsible grownup, at last.

Look at yourself, Dorian.

Tell me what you see.

cat