silkietells Tom her story from “No Anesthetic


silkietells Tom her story from “No AnestheticThe Pacific current flows from Japan to keep the Pacific Northwest temperate, but that does not mean that icy cold days never happen. My little friend Sylvia was making my poor head spin. We stepped out onto the cold sidewalk outside the cafe, headed to the d**g store to buy smokes. We were kissing a lot by now. Her breasts were large, unusual for such a small woman and they were a bit wide for her body, so if you reached around to hug her, you could not help but to brush them gently. This is what was happening as I put my arms under her coat to embrace her. She responded by pushing her body against mine and turning her face at an angle so I could put my kiss right onto her mouth. With all the bad, indifferent and in-between sex in Viet-Nam, and all the other places, no woman ever kissed me like she did, and when we did make the kiss, she put her hand in the center of my chest, my heart, she quite literally touched my heart…as if she were going to push me away, but there was no weight to it, nothing that you could even call pressure, just the grace of her light touch ….where did she learn that?.For the years that we were lovers, and all the years after that, that is how she kissed me. She liked to hold her kisses for a long time. I would try to break the kiss, but Silkie was having none of that. I thought of a musical coda, and her hand on me a part of that, holding that note. Her cheeks were pink beneath her freckles and clouds of our breath hung between us in the December air….I thought she must be crazy, had to be….. her stories….who acts like this, talks like this? Wants me like this? Me? Nobody I had ever met. She wanted to know about me and this is what I told here. ” Silkie, let’s get back inside. It’s fucking cold out here.””Yeah, tell me about it, Tom. I’m from southern California. I never saw a cold day in my life until I came to this weird place.”Back in the warm steamy cafe. More coffee. Both of us needed to pee. Unfiltered Camels for both of us. kissing time over. We are staring at each other.Back to the table:”Silkie, this might be the end of us, but I need to tell you this anyway. It’s about that guy you were just kissing so sexy and sweet.””I saw a picture once of two German soldiers, who are at the bottom of the ranks, and, of course, they have to do the dirty work, and today it is shooting row upon row of naked Jewish men, women and c***dren and watching their bodies tumble into the trench. Every so often they need to take a break, have a smoke, get a drink, pee, let their weapons cool off…. When they walk over by the trench, they shoot any body they see twitching…… big deal…..then they sit down to have a smoke and enjoy the sunshine..maybe one of them tells a funny story and all the rest of the guys laugh….” “Silkie, that guy with the smokes, that’s me…… that’s how I feel about myself now.” “What are you talking about?””In the Air Force, first I guarded H-bombs. Warheads. RV’s. In Wyoming. I was reading Ghandi and A.J. Muste at the time, so I thought a lot about my place in all this. Then, around the time Martin Luther King got shot, I got sent to Viet-Nam.””I was loading napalm canisters on these prop planes. Yeah, we used prop planes in Viet-Nam. A-47 SkyRaiders. We called them Spads after World War1 fighter planes. It turns out that jets are too fast to deliver napalm from the sky, never hit the target, and the choppers weren’t really designed to bomb anything, B-52’s are just too huge and distant for the job. This has to be kind of close range killing, as close as you ever want to get to napalm, anyway. So they used these World War 2 prop planes, updated,but still, fuckin’ deadly. Turns out they were just the thing to drop some napalm or what they called ‘whiskey peter” (white phosphorus) on whoever we called the Viet Cong that week. It sure didn’t make any difference from the sky at 300 mph. Whatever was down there, Silkie, we fucking cooked it. I’m a fucking murderer, a war criminal, no different from those Wehrmacht guys. They did all the dirty work, but they weren’t even important enough to be Nazis………..I didn’t fly the planes, Silkie, I drove a little truck thing that carried the napalm containers and lifted them so these other guys could hook them to the wings.” “The Spads we hooked the napalm to droppped them on the Viet Cong, I guess, and on people and their livestock and their thatch huts and their k**s and women and grandparents and aunts and uncles: farmers, herdsmen, six year old girls because somebody, some general, somebody in the Pentagon, who the fuck knows? thought they might be communists. Napalm is jellied gasoline; when it touches your skin or clothing, it sticks, you can’t put it out. We did that. I did that. I did it for a year. I knew what I was doing and I didn’t refuse.” Silkie was stirring her coffee, looking at me. I had not told my story to anyone before:”And you fucking kissed me. What the fuck is wrong with you? I didn’t have much political awareness when I got to Viet-Nam, but the business of being involved in burning people alive because of their politics or nationality disgusted me to my soul. Recover? Oh fuck, Silkie, I’ll be wearing tuzla escort that jacket for life. If you were in school when I was, Karl Marx and Marxism and or communism was something you only learned about while hiding under your desk for a-bomb air raid drills. After I had directly participated, at a short distance, in the death of so many people, because of something nobody understands called ‘communism”, I thought I had better learn more about it.” We were silent. The sounds of the cafe seemed to dim in the moment we shared.” There was some talk in the papers about vets coming back from ‘Nam being spit on by the anti-war folks. All I could say was that it never happened to me, shit, I was the baby killer they were shouting about….couldn’t they tell?”” I was in lots of airports in the U.S. and Asia, in full dress blues, all I ever saw were Quakers, who were really nice, with some leaflets, which I read, and some Hare Krishna guys acting the fool and selling their book which I bought and also read. I never heard of anybody else getting spit on either. A lot of vets were really mad about the anti-war creeps, but spit? Where did that come from? The way I felt about myself, to have been spit on would have been contact with a real person. It would have been cleansing. Doeesn’t your spit go in my mouth when we kiss? If somebody had done that, it would be like they knew who I really was. I would have been upset, then I would have wiped off the spit and talked to the person who did it. Nothing like that ever happened.””I was just lonely and cut off from everybody. Sometimes I would have to tell people what I did, as little as I could, and then some guy would go all fuckin’ yanky-doodley on me, clap me on the back, shake my hand, tell me what a hero I was … made me want to spit in his face. I grew up with the rich and the well to do. I don’t want to live with them, I don’t want to be with them. All those people that taught me about God and everything else, they gave me that fucking war, Silkie, god damn their souls. I would go home at night and think about fire sticking to somebody’s skin that could not be extinguished, and wish that it had been spit, or pee, cum or tears, anything other than what it was.””What the hell am I going to do now?”” After I got back from Viet-Nam, while I was still in the Air Force, I was riding a lot of freights. I was AWOL all the time, I didn’t give a shit, what were they gonna do…send me to Viet-Nam? Even though this is 1969, there are still plenty of beatniks around. Beats, for the most part, are people with jobs, most of them, and they function as undercover agents of love, compassion, humor and sanity almost everywhere they work.” Silkie was listening, not talking at all. ” There are still a lot of railroad companies, too. Not nearly so many as there used to be , that’s for sure, and everyone I talked to thinks that most of them are going to merge or disappear. Rail yards are full of beats. Some are hoboes, to be sure, but mostly they are brakies, and car men or men with similar job titles.. They guide loaded freight cars around.They build trains, get it? Fuckin’ dangerous, Silkie…” Silkie thought about her trip from Los Angles to Bellingham, courtesy, if that is the word, of the Nothern Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads.”They’re working class people who do dangerous work for a living, every day. One mistake, sloppy move, wrong step, can kill you or lots of other people around you, in an instant. I loved these guys becuase most of them were proud of their skills, saw it as a badge of honor, and had no, I mean no, desire to climb any corporate rungs, but I met quite a few guys who sure wouldn’t mind being inside some place warm, instead of hangin’ by one arm on the rungs of a box car in the winter on that stretch of track between Laramie and Cheyenne. A beat might be an ordinary looking man or woman who you would meet while waitressing or off loading a big ship who just happened, you found out slowly, to know more about the history of the labor movement, or the works of Marx, Eugene V. Debs or Trotsky, or who had read “Finnegan’s Wake” and carried a beat up copy around with the pages all curled, dog-eared and underlined. She might know about William Blake, or astronomy, or the Korean war, or Chinese philosophy, or Matisse, or Charlie Parker than anyone you had ever known in your life. I started meeting people like that who were hidden in the military, and I’m always trying to find them, I found some of them traveling around, but, the kicker is, they never advertise themselves………….forever changed my life….maybe you’re one of them too, Silkie.” 3Silkie interrupted me.” Listen to me Tom. You don’t know me yet. Let’s see if you want to be with me. Okay……… my sister is my lover, has been since we were little. So you’re sitting with a woman who fucks her own sister. I will again, as soon as I see her. Still interested? I fucked my mother, Tom, my own mother, yeah, before I was sixteen, and her lover, too. I fucked them both. Before I came up here I was a little whore in Los Angeles, I did parties and orgies. and made a ton of money. I got on the wrong side of some mob guys there, Tom, this is true, and I had to get out of tuzla escort bayan there fast. They think I owe them a lot of money. They shot my friend and lover who set me up in the business, and I had to change my name and everything to be here. This is why I’m here, though I’d much rather be back in Hollywood. I’m done with the whoring business… Tom, I’ve sucked so many cocks, I lost track a while ago. I have a lover in Old Town who is seventy-seven years old. I do Leo, the guy at the instrument shop down by the harbor. I’ve done a bunch of guys here, I dont even remember their names. Right now, today, I have a woman lover, who lives not too far from here. I’m her sex slave, Tom, do you know what that means? She puts a leash on me, ties me up, makes me do anything she wants. She is nasty. She pisses on me, Tom, she pisses in my fucking face… and I like it, I fucking beg her to do it…””So am I the kind of woman you want to be hugging and kissing like it’s the night of the junior prom?””You think you’re a war criminal, and maybe you are. I’m weirded out right now about kissing you, just like you said. But if you go someplace, people shake your hand, buy you a beer, call you a hero, even if you know better.””Yeah, it makes me crazy…””I’ve been a serious whore, Tom, but I have never hurt anybody. Some people have thrown the ‘slut’ word at me. I know lots of ways to make you feel really good, or anyone else for that matter. But if I’m honest with people about myself, which I often am not, I’m a whore, an outcast. What’s up with that?”””I don’t think I…”” No, Tom, I don’t think you will ever get what is to be a girl and then a woman. You worry about not getting laid or being laughed at or something. I worry about getting ****d or killed. Here is another story. This one is about my dad. My dad grew up in Cleveland. He was a little Jewish blind k** who grew up in a tough neighborhood. His parents were non-practicing Jewish atheists, who didn’t claim to be Jews at all, so he didn’t even have “Jewish” as something he could really grab on to, but in those days, in Cleveland, if your name was Greenburg, you took crap for being Jewish even if you weren’t exactly . His dad decided since the family wasn’t “Jewish” they could live right between a big Polish neighborhood and a big Irish one on the east side of Cleveland. As my dad said :”So I could get my ass kicked everyday.”‘What’s wrong with yer eyes, k**?”I’m blind.” Can you see anything?”I can’t see shit, nothin”’Well whada’ know? What’s yer name?”Noah Greenburg”Whoa, you little heeb, I’ll bet you won’t see this one comin…'”Pow! It was ass-kicking time again. It seems as if this little blind k** had killed Jesus all by himself.”My grandfather told him: ‘When you go out there on the street, just remember, don’t let those Polish an’ Irish k**s run you around. You ain’t nobody’s lunch meat, okay? I’m gonna teach you how to fight!'”When I was in first or second grade, I was so little people thought I was a four year old.””The same day we had gone to the music store and I had gotten my first half-size violin, my dad, who is five-one, taught me to defend myself. His dad taught him to throw a punch, defend himself too. You had to see my pop in action. .Even though he was small and blind, he was very confident and outspoken. He ran into a lot of high-powered people in his job, tuning pianos for Capitol Records, and he didn’t back down from anybody. My mom told me he once had an argument in the studio with Frank Sinatra, they were yelling at each other. and Sinatra was the guy who shut up, walked away and went back to work. He bought me my own little punching bag with a stand. He taught me how to throw a punch, not like a girl, but a real one. He said:” If you can do this right, it don’t matter what the hell size you are, that bully is gonna know he was hit. This is how you do it.””My blind father sized up the distance to the bag and once he did that, he didn’t miss. He just turned that little bag into a blur. I remember thinking: “Like Little Black Sambo turning those tigers into butter.”” He was really fast.”‘Sylvia, that bully thinks your punch is comin’ from your arm… I know you’re not looking, dear, okay, now watch how I move my body, how I have my neck and shoulders relaxed, look! god dammit, don’t stare off into space, Sylvia, look how I position my feet. See, right away, I got an angle on the guy…he’s gonna have a hard time hitting me, He’s big and clumsy, I’m small and quick…and I know what I’m doin’. Watch my feet- I pop in, throw the right- Bang-! See that? I don’t swing my arm, I just punch forward and hard. Before he knows what happened-Boom!- I hit him with the left. Same way short and fast and hard……. and, like this, with my feet, I’m back in position, so it’s hard for him to get something to hit, if he’s not on his ass or deciding he doesn’t want to fight today. It’s called a combination, and I’m gonna teach you how to throw it and not get hit. He’ll probably get mad after that, and make some kind of wild stupid haymaker ’cause he just got his lights punched out by a tiny girl, his buddies are standing there and they’re laughin’ at him, see? When this happens ya gotta do somethin’ brave, Sylvia. escort tuzla He’s gonna miss with that shot, I promise, and then he’s wide open, off balance, and there is no way he can recover. You step inside, POW! A short left to his nose. If you do it right, short and quick and fast, you’ll break his nose, Sylvia, you’ll bust his damn nose, and bullies just hate to get their noses busted. So his nose is broken, blood everywhere, his pals are crackin’ up, they’re cheering for you ’cause here is a litle girl with balls like the great Zeppelin.”Unless he’s a trained professional, in which case you got no business there in the first place, he’s gonna bring his hands up to his face, like this, ’cause you just busted his nose and he is bleeding everywhere. Maybe nobody ever popped him a good one before. You’re not done yet. You don’t want this big monkey chasin’ you down th’ street, right? Get blood all over your nice clothes? Okay, he’s got his hands over his face, he’s a little dizzy.’cause that’s what happens when you get your nose broke like that. Step inside, grab both his arms behind the muscles, right here. Ya gotta be quick here. WHAM! Up with you knee hard and fast, right down here. Don’t worry about hurting him, you just don’t want him hurting YOU! Trust me, Sylvia, he’s gonna feel it, and that’s the time for you to get the hell out of there as fast as you can run!”This move and the speed bag is what I’m gonna teach to you and your sister when she gets old enough. Rachel is too little now, but she’s gonna be a tiny thing like you, so I’m going to teach her too. See that punch, it ain’t coming from my arm, the arm is just the follow through for everything else. Naah, honey, it’s coming from the muscles in your back. It’s comin’ from your hips as you rotate them, not there, no, ya gotta move HERE, that’s where your power is comin’ from. It’s coming from the muscles in your butt and lower back, Sylvia it’s coming from the angle you use and how you use your feet. You may be small but you have a lot of power when you use your body this way.”He said one other thing that was real important to me, not just for boxing, but for life: ‘Don’t you get mad. Learn to control that, starting now. The bully, embarass him, let him get mad. When you are mad you make dumb mistakes.The part of your brain that has judgement and balance, that kind of shuts down. So you need to learn to stay calm, keep your focus and balance. Same with your fists, Sylvia, same with your music….the same with every other problem you have to deal with, love or sex or whatever. ”But listen’, he said, ‘I knew I was never gonna go toe to toe with those guys if I could help it. One thing I know about you already is that you have something I had too, from early on. I was smart, I was funny. Somethin’ everybody who is not very big should know. You can’t teach it. I call it: ‘bull shit, grit and a little mother wit.’ I learned that line from Sammy Davis Jr., He is a guy just like that. Bein’ that way, it kept me from having to do all that punching stuff that I hated learning. But the thing is, I knew I could, got it?””I knew I could.””Okay, dear, you did great. I wanna play you a song, here, guide me to the piano, honey.'”My dad sang me a song, a really funny one, with a lot of dirty words, about a monkey fighting a lion called “The Signifyin’ Monkey”. The monkey teases the lion, calls him all these names. The lion gets all mad, finally catches the monkey , and is about to kill him. The monkey tricks him, gets away, runs up the tree and starts teasing him all over again. My dad made faces and did these funny voices for the lion and the monkey. “Sometimes my dad was like “Colombo, you know, on the TV show. He always had “Just one more thing””Sylvia, he said,” here is the truth of life, right from your old man. This is what’s really important. You’re gonna win some and lose some. Just like all the rest of us. Mickey Mantle strikes out, okay? I know you’re gonna fall on your face sometines, but I also know you have this gift..I’ve got it too. Make a story out of it…that’s what people love, that’s what people remember, that is what’s gonna pull you through all the crap you’re gonna have to deal with in your life.”” I didn’t know what “sex” and “crap in my life” and some of these other words meant , I didn’t know who ‘Mickey Mantle’ was, but I knew his words were important.”” I loved my dad for showing me all that, but I was a little k**. I was so mad at him for keeping me away from my violin for a stupid jump rope and punching bag. He got me a speed bag, we hung it up in the basement and he showed me how to use it. You think I’m such a girly-girl…I had to practice with the bag before I could sing or practice any instrument, 30 minutes, and my mom and dad checked on me too. Tom, you’ve seen me with a typewriter or a guitar, right? I’m a blur, not bragging, but I am so fast. When you come to my house, look in the bathroom . My bag is always hanging there, wherever I live. I use it every day, Tom. When boys come over, thinking it’s just going to be nookie, nookie, nookie for them, I show them what I can do with that speed bag………..””Listen. Don’t treat me like your old lunch meat, ’cause I ain’t. (laughing) Sometimes I want some strange stuff for sex, but I don’t want to be disrespected, ever. I will leave you if you do that . I’ll be gone. I’m telling you this just one time. You will never find another woman like me.”

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