Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tom Waits, Boones Farm and Taxis

This month’s Mixology Monday is weird, and I’ve got a weird tale to comply with the weird task.

Andrew at Caskstrength
instructs us:
Let the bawdy, lovely, peculiar and obvious late nightlife inspire you to tell a favorite drinking tale while listening to, or being inspired by Tom Waits.

Summer in Ithaca is like a fairytale when you are twenty-two years old and recently set free from dungeons of the University. The hot sun combined with red wine, late nights and skinny dipping in waterfalls makes you think you can do anything.

I had found myself a damp, basement apartment on the hill, across from my favorite pub (for drinking what at the time was housebrewed porter), The Chapter House.

My best friend Antigone lived at a nearby anarchist vegetarian coop. It was Antigone who introduced me to Boones Farm and to the boy. Skinny and effeminate, with long golden curls, he looked like a prince in tan corduroys. He drove a taxi by day, a pursuit I found so romantic that I called the taxi company and got hired on the night shift.

Late one evening not long after I met him, the boy pulled out a guitar and started playing Tom Waits’ songs.

I don’t remember his name, if I kissed him, or what songs he played. I only remember how odd it was to hear gravelly growling and choking sounds coming out of his heart-shaped pink lips which had seconds before been graced by his girlish voice.

In that moment, I knew we would never be lovers.

I quit the taxi company before my first shift, and Antigone and I spent the rest of the summer drinking Boones Farm by the waterfalls.

The hazy memories are revived only by the sound of Tom Waits’ voice, a stranger’s request for late night drinking tales, and the occasional passing of a taxi.

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