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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Sunday
Sep182005

Play That Funky Music White Girl

Conversation dances around me, I selectively listen. So drunk I'm not even feigning interest. Snatches of sentences wing toward me, three seperate conversations underway. Words mingling, pieces of sentences marrying, giving birth to nonsensical sentences. Peanut shells are scattered across thick wooden table tops. All squares and solid chunks, the kind of table where you can make out the tree it once was, leafy ghost hulking. Dave sips his beer, dark like cider, licks white foam from his lip, He says something. Always pensive. Yet always denying deep thoughts.

Through the haze of cigarette smoke hanging in the air, lazily spiraling upward, I see The Surge respond, his pink rosebud lippy lips closing and opening.. His words jig over and grab Adam's words for a dance. Whirling and twirling, words spin all over the place, pelt me like raindrops.

Dave murders another peanut, pops innards into his mouth. The Surge's big phantom eyes are trained on me, mouth curves upward, smiling sweetly at my drunk daze. My husband. I'm married. Nearly a year later it still suprises me. Sneaks up and taps me on the shoulder at the oddest of moments. The music stops, I strain toward hidden speakers in eager anticipation of my next pick on the jukebox. DJ Monica. I've already forgotten which songs I selected, feeding crisp dollar bills into the hungry machine, plunking the buttons..

We are at the bar.. Our gang. The Brooklyn Buddies.. Down the street, we kinda meet by bodega flowers, dirt poor we don't want no more.. Half the time we will have a time. Came with the best of intentions. Be social. Stayed with the worst intentions. Get drunk. Mashed thigh to thigh, shoulder to shoulder into the circular bar booth with the gang, yet I'm attending a party for one. I'm the DJ, the hostess, partygoer extraordinaire at my private party.

My jukebox selections were made in the afterglow of my third shot of Yagermeister. A potpourri of musical mayhem. Johnny Cash, The Clash, a sprinkling of Sinatra, more Cash please, a dash of The Rolling Stones, here comes The Beta Band, introducing Modest Mouse. Songs dedicated to me. Legends sing the story of my past, bringing back moments so tangibly..better than a photograph. I can taste the dust on my tongue from that weekend of camping with Johnny Cash as the soundtrack. Can feel the wild winter wind molest me as Max and I drive through Utah's purple mountain majesties, radio all the way up, windows all the way down..

I snap to the present, insert myself into conversation, not really sure what I'm saying. Must have been funny, The Surge is laughing. I hug myself, basking in the warm glow of making him smile. Open up and say ahhh.. More Yagermeister. Dave, the liquor bully is having his way. Candlelight flickers, illuminating bits of the various faces gathered around, casting other bits in violet shadow. I finger my water glass, dab at the dark circle it sweats onto the table. The busy room swirls around me. Streaks of color, peels of laughter, the beery odor of yeast wafts toward me as Paul downs the last of his golden hued selection and exhales contentedly. At this moment, life is good.

Reader Comments (2)

Argh! I love this post. You have a wonderful way with words.
September 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

If I have lived that same weirdness, drunk and lost in the music in the presence of people I half know, I can't recall much but it feels oddly familiar.

May 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

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