I am walking down the sunny streets of old downtown Milwaukee. Tessandra is by my side, holding my hand. We are hungry and looking for a place to sit down and eat before the show. The air is clean for an old city and the sun is hot and feels good on the skin. Our mood is convivial, and the streets are shockingly clean except for one empty Jack Daniel’s whiskey bottle lying like a dead soldier next to a rusty grate.
The grate looks like the bars to a subterranean prison cell and I wonder whom or what might be lurking down in that cool, stinky dungeon when the air around us changes rhythm and I look up to see two young men passing us by on the street. They have nice wavy hair, are well dressed, wearing sunglasses much to big for their faces. The two men are smiling, holding each other’s hands as if they had the whole wide world in front of them. Tess and I exchange a glance, smile, and sigh at the sight of two fools in love. We appreciate like qualities in other couples, no matter what gender they are. Man, woman, Man-woman, Woman-Man, it makes no difference to us. Every human being deserves the kind of love, the kind of all-or-nothing blooming romance which the two of us share with each other on a regular basis.
We cross one street for another beneath the empty-clouded, sun-split blue sky which is inhabited only by an occasional airplane. The streets are shockingly quiet, almost barren. Everyone has gone away to the nearby carnival. We have accidently stumbled upon the very best time to visit Milwaukee, I think to myself. One doesn’t need the people to understand the city. To examine the still standing ruins is good enough for us. To observe the 19th century masonry work of the old buildings and to take in the historic air of the grand downtown hotels is a treat which tastes far better emptied of its occupants.
We locate a restaurant and sit down to replenish our famished bellies. The restaurant has a French name which I cannot seem to remember, and there are posters all over the walls in French. One of the posters features a goddess in fancy dress, posed majestically above the face of the globe. She has a bottle of Chablis in her outstretched hand. “La Chablisienne!” in bold type at the top of the poster, with the bottle casting a glorious luminescent glow. “Ses Chablis Authentiques” reads the bottom. A thought occurs to me regarding the unabashed blasphemy inherent in this fine liquor advertising. Then a waitress comes by our table and the lovely Tessandra orders a water and I order a tall glass of beer. She orders a salad, and I a bowl of cheesy soup.
As we wait for our food, we talk awhile, and I am admiring Tessandra’s dirty blonde hair that has gained slight tints of red from the summer sun. Her ruby red lips I study voraciously, a temptuous image forever burned into my eager and lusty eyes. She is beautiful. How many times have I come upon this fact as if it were a sudden surprise? And how many times more shall my mind be nearly cracked in two by this realization of her eternal, sexy glory? Forever, I suspect, I hope. One cannot help but watch the shape and curve of her figure, watch the blonde hair wave and curl to the tender shoulders, her breasts an irresistible beckoning to my stupefied, male brain. And one could never forget the tiny freckles upon her adorable cheeks! Each and every freckle appears like a shining star, making her face glow a warm and seductive radiance. And those blue eyes, bluer and better to soak in at the dinner table than to gaze at some faraway ocean paradise.
I gaze into those eyes quite often, trying to communicate without the use of the primitive and useless English language. She gazes back and we have an understanding that the feeling amongst ourselves is of mutual admiration and love. O’ glorious love! There is no greater state of being to be attained than this, I am thoroughly convinced. Through an endless serendipitous parade of miracles and synchronicities, two human beings radically different from each other, the male and female creature, respectively, come together in a harmony that may not be permanent, but is nonetheless beautiful in an existential sense that is grander than anything to be discovered in the human lot.
Soon the waitress comes by with a platter of goods, her black hair tied into tight knot above the head. We thank her kindly and she goes back to tending bar. We are seated next to a large window facing the outside patio and the sun-drenched street. A group of suits are having some sort of meeting at the table nearest our window. Two guys and two ladies are seated there. The guy on the left, the fatter of the two males, looks miserable and understatedly unwell. He is dark and hollow eyed, with sweat dripping from the fat creases in his neck. He appears as one great, leaking ball of putrescent suffering. The worst thing about this scene is that the man appears to be attempting to look casual and inconspicuous, all the while sweating buckets and failing tremendously. I wonder at his story and a whole movie centered around his life begins playing out in my head. Tess and I decide we feel quite bad for this fellow, whatever his predicament may be.
I peck at the contents of my cheesy soup, but it tastes like a moldy Christmas ornament that’s been stuck in a dusty box for a year too long. Tessandra tries it however and likes it. I give her the rest of my soup to go with her salad and I work at the cold beer instead. Soon enough I feel the urge to take a leak. I excuse myself, take some corners, and just before the bathroom I notice a plethora of amateur paintings on the hallway walls.
The colors are bright and easily catch hold of the wandering eyes. I am not sure if they are done in acrylic or oils, but I like them for some reason. My favorite on the wall features a mysterious woman wearing a bright yellow dress, with a heavy black and green mascara upon bulging eyelids. She is lounging awkwardly in a kitchen chair, her baggy blouse draped over the arms. The chair is placed upon a black and white checkered floor. The floor contains the entire background of the portrait. I admire the slender black eyebrows that are sly and sleek. There is a bit of fat to her pinky calves and I think about trying to paint something like her myself when I get home. The wheels are turning in my cracked mind, but I abruptly break from my trance and enter the adjacent bathroom. After all, I really need to go. I get in there, unbutton, unzip and let ‘er free. I am sighing and smiling at the relief of emptying my beer-full bladder. It is, after all, the little things that one must attempt appreciate to the full. Few things are more pleasant in life than this particular sensation of relief — aside from the orgasm of course. Ahhhh…