Thursday, October 15, 2015

Long Distance

They keep paging Mr. de la Cruz to the red courtesy phone in the lobby.
He can't come downstairs.
For that matter, he can't come, not anymore, ever;
Mr. de la Cruz is dead.

I'm in a fix.
One minute, holding his smartphone in one hand,
and messing with my boob with the other,
he was handing Mrs. de la Cruz the usual pile of bullcrap.
I love you, I miss you, I'm stuck here in Detroit.

About an hour later, after taking a blue pill,
Mr. de la Cruz blew a tire.
His face got all weird and he started sounding wheezy;
then he died, right there in the hotel bed.
No more being a cheaty bastard.
No more being my business friend.
He won't sit up, gasp, start laughing, and say, "That was close!"
He can't move.
He can't open Windows.
He can't do anything, ever again.

So who the hell wants him on the freaking courtesy phone?
They keep repeating the page.
Who does he know in Detroit?
Eminem? Kid Rock? Aretha Franklin?
I think he only knows me, and Jim, the manager of the escort service.
Jim would tell me to get dressed and book it on out of here.
So I do.

On my way out, leaving Mr. de la Cruz cooling off with the sheets,
I hear the page again. Curiosity killed the cat. 
Mee-owr, I think to myself, and head for the courtesy phone in the lobby.
It's this old red dial phone. 
I stick my gum on the little stand and pick up the receiver.
"Yeah? Uh....this is Mrs. de la Cruz."

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like
if I had married some cheaty fuck and dropped a few kids.
I would have loved him, missed him, 
been sorry he got stuck in Detroit all by himself.
I actually start welling up thinking about it.

It's Aphrodite on the other end of the line.
She's talking about love, desire, beauty and longing,
but Mr. de la Cruz is dead upstairs,
Jim will have some other date for me to meet,
and though Aph means well and seems really nice,
I'm getting antsy
and it's all Greek to me.

for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads.

In honor of Martin de la Cruz, an Aztec healer; the Martin de la Cruz award is given for excellence in the field of medicinal herbs.


Blogoratti said...

A delight to read, thanks for sharing!

brudberg said...

I'm struggling with the connections... Messing with Blue-pills is no good, he should have stuck to Mrs la Cruz' herbal tea...

Mama Zen said...

This is totally trippy! Perfect, perfect closing lines.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This poem is ominously similar to a news story I read yesterday about a celeb husband who collapsed after too many 'herbal' viagras... not sure if it was your inspiration or not but this poem is so on point it is scary.

hedgewitch said...

Still snorting liquid on my keyboard--when will I learn *never* to drink while reading your work, Shay. I was curious what you would do with this, and you have blown it out of the water. Your characters as always are clear-cut and real, even as they epitomize the absurd or perhaps the shallow ridiculousness of even tragedy in the human experience. I was going to start quoting, but you know how that goes--I will just say the entire third stanza kills. Not to mention that snarky last line.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Curiosity killed the cat... and Mr. de la Cruz too, I suppose. I've long held that supplements (be they natural and ineffective or unnatural and efficacious) won't fix the problem at hand as much as finding a better partner.

Besides, didn't anyone tell Lamar that trying to have a multiday boner is too much of a good thing. On the other hand, if I get a choice in my death, I'd choose heart-stopping orgasm too.

Excellent, even though I can never picture you with a man, under any circumstances. La La mosk

Cloudia said...




Outlawyer said...

Oh dear--poor everyone--this is an awfully lot of fun, Shay--if also kind of sad! I am more laughing than the reverse, however--really so clever--k.

Daniel Julian said...

I like the gum on the stand. Sometimes it's the littlest things...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Another great story from the Land of the Inexplicable. I loved it.

Kathleen's Blog said...


Kathleen's Blog said...


Gillena Cox said...

mystery and mayhem all good; a juicy story

much love...

Susan said...

Hahaha! Aphrodite being honest! Brilliant choice! This could be the entire Trojan War.

Anonymous said...

Five aphroditean half-shells! That infernal cross of desire, Juan might have borne it but we keep paying for it. Or mining it's excellent damage. Smartphone, boob, courtesy phone, so many devices, still only one line. Who ya gonna call!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Great voice!

Susie Clevenger said...

This was fun. Aphrodite can be a curse. :)