Stephanie

I’ve blogged about the weird experience of finding journals
written by different alternates in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Journals I have no memory of writing.

I’ve recently found a box of audio taped spoken word
performances by Rob Goldstein from the 1980’s.

I know intellectually that I am Rob Goldstein but it’s
the estrangement from that part of myself that makes
listening to these tapes so weird.

I stared at them for six weeks before I ordered
a cassette to mp3 converter.

It took another two weeks for me to use the damned thing.

I listened to a few of the tapes today and I’m shocked.

I have no memory of these readings.

In fact, I have no hard copies of some of the writing I
performed as Rob Goldstein.

Here’s a a short piece named ‘Stephanie’ from a public reading in 1984.

I was in my late 20’s.

This story about Stephanie may be true.

Stephanie
Written and performed by Rob Goldstein
(c) Rob Goldstein 2016 all rights reserved

 

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The Bus Trip: New Year’s Eve

 

Carl
Carl

New Orleans – 12/31

Carl had arrived with a friend, Deanna, at midnight.

We assumed that Deanna was Carl’ s girlfriend.

Carl was telling us about camping on Oahu when Lar burst in and invited us to join him in the swamps.

Peter smiled, “He wants to make up.”

When we declined, he offered us the use of his car rental so we could go alone.

Lar left to get a soda and the delegates discussed his sudden change of temper.

Was this an act of friendship or did he intend to kill us out there?

We agreed to forgo the swamps for extra sleep.

We awoke to the sound of Carl screaming angrily into his phone at Deanna.

We dressed and walked to the Club Brazil via Jackson Square and the French Market.

There was another disagreement between Lar and Peter.

Lar wanted to join the line to get into the MTV party at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Peter wanted to stick to our plan and go to the Club Brazil.

The rest of the delegates stood in silence as East Germany and West Germany berated each other in German.
 
Carl was also arguing with Deanna who seemed smitten with Rob.

We left Lar at the Hard Rock and continued to Club Brazil.

It was New Years Eve and the crowd spilled into the streets.

Just as before, Snake’s lead singer had everyone howling.

She opened her set and we danced.

Deanna left Carl to dance with Rob and when Carl tried to get her back, she ignored him.

Carl collapsed in drunken tears on the dance floor.

Peter and I held Carl up by the arms and helped him to stand and walk outside.

This time he collapsed under a street light and sobbed.

Suddenly a cluster of middle-aged women from Argentina surrounded us.

Some of them collectively patted his face and hands while one of them pulled a used tissue out of her purse to dry his tears.

None of it worked.

Peter went back to the club to get Deanna.

She arrived with a look of annoyed compassion on her face.

“Let me take you back to the hostel.” she said.

“Carl snarled at her: “Get away from me you bitch! You don’t care about me!”

“Carl…I won’t cover for you.”

Deanna tried to help Carl stand.

He shoved her away and ran in a zigzag toward Bourbon Street.

She ran after him.

“I’m afraid he’ll hurt her.” said Peter

I agreed that we should follow them, but suggested that we hang back.

Deanna and Carl fought with each other down the one-way streets and alleys of the French Quarter, while Peter and I watched,  from what we hoped was a respectful distance.

To my surprise, we entered the gay section from the other side of Bourbon Street.

Carl crossed over.

Deanna looked at Carl from the other side and said in a tone that bordered on contempt: “I love you but I can’t cover for you anymore. Besides. You hate both of us for it!”

 Carl stretched out on the sidewalk and wept. “Please, just go away.”

 Deanna called us over.

“Take him to the hostel please. I’m afraid he’ll hurt himself!”

Carl had lain near the entrance to the bar.

Peter reached him first.

He sat and gently lifted Carl’s head and cradled  it in his lap.

RG (c) 2015-2016

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Until the End of the World

Until the End of the World
            Until the End of the World
In my dream I was drowning in Sorrows
But my sorrows they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim

 

 

 

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The Bus Trip – My Walk with Miguel

Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street

12/28

We passed through the French Market and paused to hear a street band.

Miguel stopped and bought a praline.

He broke off a piece and gave it to me. 

We resumed our walk.

We reached the corner of St. Peter and Bourbon.

The stop sign bore two stickers.

One read FAG and the other read DYKE.

Miguel turned to me: “So you’re a homosexual.”

“Sometimes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Maybe I thought I could seduce you.”

Miguel laughed: “Maybe you did! But I’m much too fond of the ladies!”

My Walk With Miguel
My Walk With Miguel

12/28 9PM

Was that Miguel’s hand on the small of my back, guiding me through the crowd on Bourbon Street?

I looked up at him and smiled. We stopped to watch a street mime. I reached into my pocket to fetch a cigarette, Miguel lit it, and I took a puff and smiled.

We went to the World Beat for drinks.

Miguel pulled my chair from the table and invited me to sit down, he took his seat and, when the waitress came, he ordered for me.

I leaned across the table: “Miguel? Are you looking for a job as my personal valet or what?”

“You don’t like my manners?”

“These manners are for a woman!”

“In Argentina when a man likes a lady he does things for her.”

“Well I ain’t a lady,” I said,  “so chill!”

Miguel sat back and grinned.

There was so much sexual tension at the table that I thought we’d ordered it from the bar.

We listened to a band that was in the middle of a set of Cajun Waltzes.

Several couples were up and dancing.

One woman was so graceful that, watching her, I felt taken to the 1800’s.

“She’s beautiful.” I said to Miguel.

“20 years ago.” he replied.

His comment annoyed me.

We strolled up Bourbon Street and were back at the gay section.

I said to Miguel, “C’mon. Seeing the bar won’t make you gay.”

Miguel and I entered the bar but Miguel stopped and said, “No!  I can’t!”

He was in a panic.

We left the bar.

I led him back across the street.

I wondered if Miguel was afraid to cross the street because he was afraid he’d cross over.

RG (c) 2015-2016

 

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