Once Henry had typed-out a line of thinking on a naked page he would edit but never delete— he wrote on the edge mentally and there was no turning back, the brightness of a naked page terrified him as if he was being chased by ghosts.
When he spoke it was the same, he didn’t blue pencil it, he spoke quickly putting it all out there regardless.
As a kid he was left alone with a deaf baby-sitter who couldn’t speak. His mother would get boozed-up and disappear for months with drifters she met at Bowery bars.
Henry lived in silence when his mother was away. His deaf baby-sitter Helen, communicated by scribbling notes using pencil on notepads, things like—
I’m going to the store
Go to bed now
I smell something burning
Did you flush the toilet?
Your mother is a drunk
The silent times— living in the lonely dark house with deaf Helen gave rise to Henry the blabbermouth and flow of consciousness short story writer who was scared of ghost.
He didn’t like living in the past, preferring to block it out.
Henry abruptly wakes from a bad dream at about 1035PM startled, remembering a portion of the dream— he was sitting in the kitchen with deaf Helen and she served him a plate with a fried chicken-head and neck, 3 chicken-feet and a curled-up rat’s tail on it.
He didn't know what the symbolism was.
By 1100PM he is sitting in Chaim’s Deli feeling black inside, chatting with his regular waitress Ruby saying,
How’s tricks kiddy-cat?
Ruby fluttering her eyebrows as she puts her head close to his saying,
Henry you’re so full of shit, Valentine's Day is just a week away who's going to be your Valentine?
Nobody but you baby-doll, you know you’re the only girl for me!
She then says,
Henry you must have poured a cup of sugar on your Cheerios this morning!
Can I have the special and a double Jack and soda?
Leaving Chaim’s Deli he walks towards Manhattan, feeling like he had been walking for days.
He could see the orange-red Roosevelt Bridge ahead, there was a blue mist steaming up from the water that swallowed-up the bridge.
He crosses the Roosevelt bridge reaching 29th, Street ducking into Billy Mark’s Place, sitting at the bar ordering a shot of tequila which he drops into a mug of beer, a Tex-Mex Boilermaker.
The place unchanged in 50 years— a wooden bar, red upholstered booths, chrome stools with red cushion tops. There was a long mirror covering the wall behind the bar that oddly was covered with cheap framed pictures of the Beatles and the Kinks— there was an old NCR cash register on a long liquor cabinet as well.
Henry bored shit-less walks to the back of the bar into the men's room, going into a booth. He takes an 8-ball of cocaine out of his jacket pocket and snorts it up in seconds, magnificently jacked up, feeling like he could do anything in the world.
Back at the bar he pays the tab and leaves.
Outside and walking again he sees the famous Plaza Hotel up ahead, as he walks in the doorman eye-balls him, Henry nods, walking in the hotel like he owns the place, going directly to the bar.
The Plaza bar was covered in dark stained Walnut siding from ceiling to the floor, it had the feel of a 19th Century executive club or smoking room.
He sits in a green upholstered chair at the bar, the drinks were expensive so he orders a Bud Draft, sipping it slow, cheap Charlie like. An older women, a MILF, shapely and wearing a business suit walks in and sits next to him and says,
I’m here for the ReMax convention at Midtown Center my name is Liz, I was a Platinum agent last year, can I buy you a drink? What’s your name?
He smiles knowing he was getting hit on and says,
Henry Lucowski, I’m a writer and life long Queens resident.
I’m from Wisconsin, New York City is such a lovely place, nice to meet you Henry!
You don’t know the half of it baby, he thinks to himself.
Liz orders 2 Gin Fizzes, Henry feeling like the sweet drink was going to make him puke, but he wanted to paint a good face on things— they tip and clink tumblers and toast New York City.
Then Liz says,
I’m really tired lets go up to my room and have a drink.
They take the elevator to Liz’s room on the 10th floor, she is in a standard room that cost 900 dollars a night, they empty the wet bar and begin drinking everything alcoholic in it, it is 4AM.
Henry sitting on a love seat looking at Liz who is standing in front of him talking away with a drink in her hand, she quickly turns walking a few steps and flops down on the made up bed, lifting her skirt up over her head saying,
Fuck me Henry!
Henry gets up off the love seat and goes to the bed, laying next to Liz, they strip and suck face with deep tongue action.
In the morning they wake up at noon, Liz says,
Henry I missed the ReMax meeting at the Midtown Center.
They go for lunch in the hotel bar, ordering steak sandwiches, onion soup and Budweiser Draft which they mix with tomato juice.
Henry, I’m married you know, I blacked-out last night and really can’t remember what happened but I know we woke up in bed together.
Well, we all do crazy things loaded, things we wouldn’t do sober. Look at it this way Liz, if you don’t remember it, then it doesn’t exist.