This is the story of Disco Donn. The story take place in the late seventies. Today is 5/17. I put up ten pages a day so the story will take about 25 days to put up. Read along or wait.
Two Episodes In The Life Of Disco Donn
Table of Contents
1. Disco Donn Does Deep Elum. 20 pages.
2. Disco Donn Demands Deliverance 200 pages.
Disco Donn Does Deep Elum
Ain’t it the truth,
It’s a fool’s game.
Come see. The night was dark; the city was not. The night was also stormy, but it was the mild off again, on again drizzle that descends in a gentle fine mist from the solid overcast skies of Portland, Oregon.
The lights of the city pitched up against the low hanging clouds reflecting back again in a red infernal like haze. The moon was yellow but it was above the clouds where no one could see but the passengers on the big jetliners cruising along at eight miles high.
Contributing to the light storm of Portland was the giant light frieze of Disco Deep Elum deep in Goose Hollow. A score of phantom dancers depicted in tens of thousands of colored light ball gyrated back and forth in simulated ecstasy, their electric spirits undampened by the laughing rain.
Beneath them on the glittering pavement live partyers flowed toward this great sybaritic church dedicated to sexual gratification. In imitation of Hollywood, Sid Epstein, the impressarion had pressed his hands, feet and nose into the concrete. The DJs had done the same, some substituting lips and suggestive drawings for Sid’s use of her nose with the two little lines next to it. So far none of the citizenry had been coaxed to leave an indelible record of their existence on Planet Earth as Sid and the others hoped.
Goose Hollow had at one time been one of the loveliest areas of Portland but 26 had sliced it in two with its six lanes of asphalt elevated above the Hollow’s floor. What was left was a ruin in which on the West side up against the reservoir sat Disco Deep Elum. If one had been sitting on the dam of the reservoir looking down into the service area behind Deep Elum one would have seen how some of the other half passed their leisure time.
For there lounging among the garbage cans were some eight or nine young men; hommies, just thoroughly beaten up hommies, guys who got their kicks through fatal crashes, mass murders and the like. There among the dented cans, the fetid smells, the little puddles that might at one time have been water, probably something else now, they stood idly far from each other, jealously incommunicative, sullenly waiting, waiting…hating and despising themselves and all that pertained to them. Would the redeemer ever come?
Come see. Donn Contrales was busy putting on the finishing touches of his toilette. Donn lived at 3211 W. Park not too far from the art museum in one of the most charming streets in Portland. The Park Blocks extended from the University on the South end for several blocks to the Gramercy Club at the North end. The Gramercy was where the Old Boy Network headquartered to determine the shape of things to come.
Donn Contrales lived on the fifth and top floor front of the Short Arms Apartments. The Apartments, brick faced, austere, yet somehow relaxed in a state of excitement, as the Oregon Tourist ad once ran, in architectural styling. He looked out his window into the tops of the lofty elms filling the block wide strand separating Ease and West Park. Down through the trees the greensward below shown up.
Donn’s apartment which was a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath was furnished in a peculiar spartan manner. The floors were of a fine old hardwood uncovered except by two small Persian style rugs in the living room one beside his army cot in the bedroom.
The furniture of the living room consisted of a small wooden bench not unlike a church pew, a fairly large flat oak desk which held Donn’s new computer, and a matching oak chair. As Donn was both the classical and pop music reviewer for the Oregon Daily Assassin, the States leading paper, there was a set of shelves four high and about six feet long flanked by MacIntosh speakers with the amp and turntable to the left side. A TV and VCR stood before the kitchen door while another guarded the bedroom door.
The light pink painted walls were decorated with pictures of Donn in various sizes and poses in various states of deshabille,as well as reproductions of his signature. The bedroom walls were decorated in the same manner with a couple of nudes of himself. A collapsible army cot was placed against the middle wall beneath a four by six full length reclining nuce of Donn that he called the Naked Mojo. As the apartment had only a small closet there were several rolling department store clothes racks against the walls that contained a wardrobe for each facet of Donn Contrales multi-faceted personality.
There was a lot of out there and Donn didn’t want to miss any of it. These were the late seventies. America’s years of prosperity, TV, Movie and Recorded Musical fantasies and endless yammering about some mirage that no one ever saw called the American Dream had produced the psychological type named Donn Contrales. As can be seen he even spelled Donn with two enns to express his individuality and superiority to the scene he both loved and professed to despise.
Reality to Donn was the movie screen. Society had passed from the notion that all the world’s a stage to all the world’s a movie. Real life had lost hits consequence, or so it seemed to Donn. People acted out destructive fantasies as though they were only characters in a movie that could be set aside after the show while the actors resumed their former status. There were people who actually went to prison only to discover to their chagrin that their movie was real life and that they could not resume their former existence.
Donn could separate his roles from such dire consequences, but he did want it all. All was of course what Donn could see and feel and he could not see far or very clearly or feel much. Unlike most of his contemporaries who went around roaring that cliche Donn was capable of getting most of ‘it’, as he perceived it, if not all. He was capable of adopting a convincing and appropreate persona for each of the many facets of his many faceted personality. Hence his extensive collection of wardrobes.
He had some good Harris tweeds for his appearances at the Daily Assassin which gave him a very solid yet sporty appearance. He had some nice black suits with patent leather pumps for his classical music persona. And of course some wild stuff for the disco. Donn himself was a pretty good looking guy. It was peroxided of course but his tousled shock of blond hair couple with a black mustache, full from nose to lip and from just beyond the corners of his mouth gave him a aresponsible but devil-may-care facade. His face was symetrically square, nice smile and his eyes twinkled blue. He was slightly long in the body and thick in the thighs but he knew how to dress around these defects. At five-nine it may be fairly said that when Donn stood up before the ladies’ auxiliaries todiscuss the glories of classical music that a very satisfied body of women sat before him.
The feeling was not mutual. Donn’s desires ran in other channels. Donn was a militant homosexual. He wasn’t in the closet but he was discreet. He saw the utility of appearing straight but not narrow. He was an ardent advocate of tolerance, which is to say that he thought homosexuals should be deferred to. He had seen too much of the results of bigotry here in the twentieth century he was fond of saying not to deplore homophobia.
Yet he employed the means of bigotry he professed to deplore. He thought it necessary to censor adverse opinion and exterminate the opposition. The Daily Assassin thrugh its editor, Mingo Miyriy, who was herself a closet lesbian and several high ranking editors and employees were in the forefront of this homoseuxal revolution. They were determined that it should triumph in Portland and throughout Oregon.
Donn was currently employed in the Assassin’s attempt to destroy a heterosexual County Commissioner by the name of E. (Earl) L. Shaddai. Earl had been elected by an Eastside constituency that was fearful of homosexuality, or as Donn would say, didn’t know its asshole from a hole in the ground. Earl had pledged his voters that he would do the best he could to contain it.
The homosexual community was up in arms at his election. They would tolerate no oppostion to their goals, although nominally tolerant. They wanted E.L. Shaddai removed from office. One might say there was nothing they could do about it, Earl was in office and it appeared that he would have no difficulty in being re-elected. There was nothing fair and square or legal that could be done about Shaddai but as Hitler observed: Everyone forgives a successful crime.
Donn had been used, was being used in setting Shaddai up for the fall. While modern political man professes to despise Hitler they love his methods. Donn had befriended Earl in his facet as daytime pop music editor which was much less formal than his classical facet and more sporty than his office facet but less outre than his night time disco facet. He had betrayed the friendship by asking Earl out to dinner. The Community was establishing a character for Shaddai. Oddly enough they were going to destroy him by making it appear that he was one of them but a hypocrite. Consequently Donn take Earl to the Great Gotham Hotel.
The Hotel was a homosexual bath house. The place was run very discreetly so as not to risk interference by religious groups or the police. Not all homosexuals were allowed in on it and, if any, virtually no heterosexuals knew what went on behind its doors. The dining room was along the West wall facing the public rooms. The public rooms were the showers, pissoirs and stools. Donn disappeared just after entering leaving Earl and an attractive young guy in a bath towel who showed up to cross the public rooms together giving the appearance that Earl was taking his date to dinner.
Earl was stunned at the sight of naked men lounging around while one guy who was urinating flashed him a big smile over his shoulder. Earl turned in disgust to rush from the place only to find himself stranded as Donn who had insisted on driving was gone. Laughter, jeers and catcalls followed him down Stark as he headed for the city’s premier hostelry, The Oregon Trail, and its cab stands.
Nevertheless Earl could not honestly deny that he had to the Great Gotham. Any explanation could be denied by Donn and several witnesses. A step had been taken to establish his character as a homosexual.
For this night Donn’s facet was Disco Donn Contrales. For this one he had a terrific macho cowboy outfit, for Donn portrayed the macho man. For this one Donn didn’t put his pants on like an ordinary guy, one let at a time. The pants were very tight, very form fitting. To get the leg proportions right the thighs had to be cut very snug; thus Donn sat on his army cot putting both legs in at the same time. He had to work his pants over the thighs very carefully. Standing up he forced his fly shut turning to look at this reflection in the full lenght mirror. ‘You’ve got your mojo working tonight, you hunk.’ Donn exulted to himself. Actually his fanny was a little too flat but he blinked twice and it fleshed out.
Satisfied, he felt the need for a coke break. Donn was a very aware guy. Working for the Assassin he knew exactly how the police powers were used. Consequently he left nothing lying around his apartment. He reached won and knocked the ends of his cot apart, shook a vial of cocaine out of the hollowed out frame strut, tapped out a couple lines, then carefully replaced the vial, reassembling the cot before he imbibed. Disco Donn shook his head in glowing anticipation. He was about to mount his cosmic wheels and roll around heaven for a bit. He was about to make his vision of himself a visionary reality. The cosmic power shot up his nose penetrating his brain like the divine arrow of God, suffusing his brain with a flow of intense omnipotence. His mental vision of himself seemed perfect. He was the God/Man. He before whom all should fall. He saw all, knew all and understood all. It was all his, others used what they had at his sufferance. He would brook no contradiction. For these few blessed moments his life shone. Everything he had ever done seemed right.
He flicked on all four VCRs. Instantaneously the same four videos appeared on the screens. Endless non-stop performances of fellation lubricated the screens. The recond was already on the turntable. ( This was pre-CD) He flipped it on moving the needle over to the last cut, Interstellar Overdrive by Pink Floyd. His song. The powerful rumble of the strident notes and chords reverberated through his soul.
He sat down on the his cot to pull on his boots. Thoughts crowded through his brain, not in any order or sequence. Disco Donn could obviously not support his life style on his income from the Daily Assassin. He glowed with satisfaction at the thought that with his new computer he could transmit his articles direct to the Assassin; there would no longer be any need, he tought, to go into work. This invention would leave him more time to augment his salary by other means. This included selling cocaine.
Donn was a key figure in a network that included a couple cells at the Assassin. It was run off the loading dock. Get it? That was an in joke. The Loading Dock. It was right next to the Loading Zone. (Wink, wink) Mingo Miybriy was not involved, nor could it be said that the Assassin Corp. was involved, but it could also be said that Mingo and management were totally oblivious to the fact. It was just expedient to not notice or make embarrassing equiries. Many companies had cells that were either unknown or ignored. Or, possibly used.,
Donn had a box of demo records to take down and sell, too. He recieved thousands of records a year. It was impossible to listen to them all, he chose what looked most promising or what he had been directed to, often with gifts of cocaine from the record companies, and sold the rest. Then around the corner of his mind he glanced up at one the screens, he remembered a memory that gave him grim satisfaction.
There had been a rock and roll singer in town by the name of Terry Roberts. He wasn’t either a good singer or a good rock n’ roller but Donn had developed a crush on him. He had pursued him relentlessly but Terry, who had girlish good looks was adamantly hetero. He wouldn’t have anything to do with Donn. In fact he made several churlish remarks about ‘fags’ that Donn took expecial offense at. Well, Donn thought, if you won’t go down on me you’ll go down nevertheless and you’re not going to like it at all.
Terry did like his cocaine. Donn could and had supplied him. Rock n’ rollers aroused the antipathy of a lot of people. A large part of the population wanted to see rock n’ rollers behind bars. Donn agreed to sell Terry a couple grams. Donn didn’t show with the coke but a nark did. Terry was busted and given ten years for buying two grams of coke. The joke was that it wasn’t cocaine but baking soda. Terry’s attorney didn’t ‘think’ to check so Terry went up for buying baking soda. As Donn thought Terry was having a very bad time in jail. He’d lost his front teeth on the first day. Within six months he would be found hanging behind the prison furnace to the intense satisfaction of all concerned. More than one way to skin a cat.
The images danced on the screen, Interstellar Overdrive penetrated the walls. Donn stood up. His grey snake skin boots with the tuck and roll on the instep, silver plate in front, silver plate behind were resplendent. The sheen on his grey gabardine pants was perfect. His white cowboy shirt was immaculate, his string tie perfection. Donn put on his belt with the huge silver buckle that covered his midriff. the buckle depicted a cowboy astride a bucking bronco. I’m the cowboy that ain’t never been throwed, Disco Donn exulted.
He slipped into his grey cowboy jacket that looked somewhat like a waiter’s jacket, then he stepped over to the mirror to fluff up the back of his hair. That done he picked up his mirrored sun glasses that the reflected the world back n itself while allowing him to see it. He squared his round brimmed flat topped grey hat on his head fluffing the hair out behind again. He paused for a moment to collect himself on his cosmic wheels, then made sure to turn off his videos. The stereo had already shut off automatically.
Donn went back to snort another couple lines, washing the residue down the drain to as to leave no trace. He stood up, took a deep breath, as he seemed to elongate into the stratospher. He was eight miles high. He thought he could see the big yellow moon behind the clouds just like the folks on that big mainliner up there that goes from sea to sea.
Come see. Disco Donn stepped out of the elevator into the parking garage beneath the Short Arms Apts. He paused striking a heroic pose as he glanced left and right calmly adjusting his mirrored sun glasses. Between his dark, glasses, the protruding brim of his hat that nearly rested on his glasses and the gloom of the parking lot it was amazing that he didn’t trip over his own feet, but he walked with the steady purpose of a movie cowboy coming up the street at High Noon over to his shiny black Porsche.
It was amazing, he thought, that the auto manufacturers of this world should design a car that so perfectly matched his character. It was more, he thought, than a coincidence. With a certain awe for their prescience, he sincerely believed they must have known that he was there.
He opened the door, then standing with one hand on his door top the other atop the vehicle, one foot on the rocker panel he gave one more significant glance around the garage before ducking into his vehicle- his Solar Chariot, his Astral Wheels.
The firing of the engine, the roar of power, somehow meshed with the cocaine running round his brain to boost him to yet a higher plateau. His being was filled with euphoric exultation. As he waited for the gate to rise wahich seemed to rise in icrements of millimeters, retrace its increments and rise again, Donn waxed philosophic. He exulted in his power and the control of his world that he felt. It was all in knowing how to use what you got, he thought. It was uncanny how without any training or forethought he just knew what to do. It was just his destiny to be great.
Cocaine and sex- take just two examples for instance. He could use either to create or destroy, he thought. If he liked you, which meant that you went along with his desires, you could share blessed exalted moments with him. If he didn’t like you, well, Terry knew about that as well as two or three girls who had not treated him with the respect he deserved. Now, their pride gone, they begged for cocaine for which they had to give him more than money. Could it be said that Donn was running a string? Boy, that’s harsh, hey, maybe he just needed a favor for a friend from time to time.
So with sex. That homophobe E.L. Shaddai was going to be destroyed on the accusation of homosexuality, yet he, Disco Donn Contrales could practice it with immunity. It was almost weird, thought Donn, shaking his head in wonder.
Disco Donn was no longer of this world as the cocaine lifted his mind beyond awareness of mundane affairs. The gate banged up as Disco Donn leaned back his head in a manic grin of unvoiced laughter. He roared out into the street unaware of possible pedestrians or traffic. Fortunately the street was clear. But then as yet he was not moving fast. His world was slowed down so that at 25 miles per hour he seemed to sailing through it. Indeed, all else seemed to be frozen in time but himself. The wet pavement glistened black and silver beneath his headlights. Rays of light bounced from the buildings, ricocheting into the pavement against opposite walls and back again or else escaped into the stratosphere.
Disco Donn was no longer of this earth. He had even left his Solar Chariot behind as he mounted his Astral Wheels to climb aboard the Betelguese Bridge far out into the light year starshine of the great and limitless void.
Elated he recalled the lines of a Donovan song which made him tilt back his head and roar with laughter:
If shitting is your problem
When you’re out among the stars,
The intergallactic laxative
Will get you from to Mars.
Mars? Mars hell, he thought, I’m on the cosmic transmission belt taking the riches of Earth to Betelgeuse at faster than the speed of light. Faster than the speed of light? Oh, oh he thought, if this is an expanding universe maybe the bridge will separate from Betelgeuse before I get there. What a cosmic leap that would have to be. Warp five burst from his mind.
He had been insensibly speeding up as his fantasy dominated his mind. He had flown through a red light at Jefferson and Fifteenth totally unawares. Now as he was about to plunge the pedal to the metal for War Five the lights of Disco Deep Elum loomed before him. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator his mind plunged from his Astral Wheels and entered his terrestrial vehicle. Reflexively his foot moved from the gas pedal and slammed on the brake.
Disco Donn was somewhat short of Warp Five but he was definitely over the speed limit. Fortunately a Porsche can corner on a dime so Donn was capable of making a right turn, at right angles that is, into the parking lot of Disco Deep Elum. Why was there an empty parking space directly ahead of Donn in the crowded parking lot? Why, because he was Captain Disco Donn Contrales of the Space Patrol of course.
Donn, somewhat breathless from his midnight ride into the far reaches of outer space found it necessary to sit for severral minutes while his brain caught him and he could remember where he was and what he had come for.
Donn Contrales was from down in Texas, a state I dearly love. Given his temperament his youth had been difficult; not hard, but challenges of which the less than successful handling had been costly to his psyche.
The central fact of his existence was of course the rape which had set the terms and conditions of his homosexuality and subsequent life, of which, more in a moment. Secondary was the fact that while Bob Wills may still be king in Texas, football is the foundation of the universe. Donn didn’t have the temperament for football. But he had been of good size for his age and it had been demanded that he play. Donn thought he had better things to do with body than be speared under the ribs with a helmet with forty-two gold stars on it. But he had played and the memory of that spearing lived with him every day. His ribs hurt just to think about it.
At SMU Donn, thank his lucky stars, couldn’t make the team, or maybe he didn’t try that hard. He did take up boxing for reasons that weren’t too clear to him, but had to do with his rape. He’d been OK. He had been the intramural middleweight champ. He wasn’t in the same class with anyone named Suger but he could handle himself.
The hits he had taken in boxing rankled him too. He liked to hit but he didn’t like to be hit. So, his rape, which was a suppressed memory, the football, the boxing was a hammering that conditioned his attitude toward sex.
Come see. Now, look over there. Around the corner, down the long backside of Deep Elum to the service area where among the garbage cans they’re still waiting, waiting…patiently waiting, hoping for a deliverer.
These are the ones who have abandoned hope. they have lost all aspects of dignity and self-respect. They have chosen the garbage cans as their assignation place because they feel like human garbage. They have made garbage their symbol. While some old shields used to have a lion rampant? These guys would have had an old dented garbage can rampant. They had been beaten, stripped, pushed down not only the straight world but by their fellow homosexuals, until now their only shred of human dignity is to conceal their hopes of dignity behind a shield of compusive lying. Their only hope of obtaining parity is to conceal everything behind a shield of lies where prying eyes cannot deride them further. They won’t even tell you their names. They are know by innumerable aliases. One may injure their bodies but without their correct name one can’t reach their true selves.
Nello Nitti leans against the wall with Brando leathers, aloof and disdaining his fellows, as the ‘Man.’ Chancy Flegenheimer, who has been dancing nervously back and forth for hours is known as Frisco tonight.
Over picking through the garbage cans, tearing open plastic bags, looking for a choice morse. or two is Soupy Feensteen. Soupy retains his own name because he has attained the somewhat specious dignity of being the founder of the Jewish Queers Against Fascism. O, look, he moved aside some lettuce and has found a whole drumstick, not even a bit out of it. His eyes light up as he lovingly brings this delicacy to his lips. God has been especially good to him.
Bullet Bob studies the water streaks on the wall. Some fresh, some surviving from the weeks of constant rain, some terminated in long deltas of mold. Stands of putrid water interlace with the higher levels of the asphalt. Bullet Bob looks down to see his reflection in a little puddle of fetid water when an electric thrill goes through the assembled ‘girls.’ It was as though they split in two and came together again at his appearance.
Down the long backside of Disco Deep Elum the grey eminence of Disco Donn Contrales could be seen, fire seeming to flach from mirrored sun glasses as though from his eyes. Insterstellar Overdrive still rumbled in is ears. But Disco Donn could easily carry two tunes at one time in his multi-faceted brain. As he slowly paced off the disatance between the them in measured steps at a measured pace with all the drama of John Wayne walking into town with his saddle at this side he sang a verse of the old Slim Whitman song, Rose Marie, in a sardonic fashion.
Oh Rose Marie, I love you,
I’m always thinking of you.
Of all the ‘Queens’ who ever lived
I’d choose you
To rule me,
My Rose Marie.
He chuckled and sang at the same time in anticipation of his confrontation with the ‘girls,’ for Disco Donn believed he was one supremely clever guy.
They watched his slow approach with bated breath, half joyfully, half apprehensively, swallowing hard for one never knew what ‘he’ might do. What ‘he’ would do or who ‘he’ would choose. Frisco stopped dancing, the Man remained leaning contemptuously against the wall. The others with the exception of Soupy Feensteen stood tensely waiting. Soupy was too proud to nitice the stranger; he contined his search for delectables.
Then He stood before them silent, unsmiling, commanding, overpowering them with His superior presence. They felt small. They felt insignficant. They felt dirty. They stood trembling in anticiption, waiting for Him to speak, make a gesture. He said nothing, he did nothing, he stood there immobile relecting them back on themselves from his silver eyes. A faint smile flickering on his lips compelled them to speak first allowing Him to keep the upper hand.
Frisco was in awe of the Presence. The grey was beautiful against the lowering skies and under the floodlights. The glasses made Donn seem mysterious. Frisco knew the game, he swallowed what passed for his pride.
‘What do you want?’ Frisco muttered, looking down and away.
His question was met by a deep chuckle. ‘No. I think the question is what do you want?’ Disco Donn said sententiously pushing his glasses up with his middle finger. His leer gave Frisco hope.
Frisco jammed his hands into his pockets rendering him defenseless, looked down and glanced over at his buddy, the Man, against the wall.
‘Do you want it?’ Disco Donn demanded.
The lump in Frisco’s throat was too big to speak around. He nodded dumbly.
‘Well, it’s there. All you gotta do is reach out and take it. You do know where it’s at, don’t you?’ Disco Donn forced out in guttural as the rut overtook him. ‘Well, don’t you?’
Frisco shook his head yes in open mouthed wonder as his glance went around the garbage cans from eye to eye. With a kind of wondering awe he put out his had to lift the immense belt buckly to unzip Donn’s fly. Anticipation dominated his mind, his breath was coming heavily when he heard and then felt the fist smash into his cheekbone and the musty wter on the pavement seep through his dirty jeans.
Disco Donn was reenacting what he couldn’t remember: his rape. In that long ago time he had helt the fist of his uncle come out of the blue for no reason he could understand. His innocence had been ripped from him and cruelly thrown back in his face. His uncle saying: ‘I’m going to do to you just what was done to me.’ had beaten him so that his eyes were black and blue, then grabbing his ears his uncle had manipulated his head in fellatio. Then throwing Donn back down he said: ‘You better tell everyone that you got those black eyes from tripping and the stairs and sliding down them on your nose.’ that Donn would do. Than as he turned to walk away he said: ‘God, you queers disgust me.’ By ‘queers’ of course he meant himself as well. He, like Donn, was capable, sincerely, of denying the act as soon as it was done.
With his uncle’s words reverberating hin his ears, Disco Donn pounded Frisco around the eyes until they were black and blue. Then as though repeating an oath behind his uncle’s dictation he intoned as he hd many times before and would many times again: “I’ve done to you just what was done to me. You better tell everyone that you got those black eyes by tripping on the stairs and sliding down them on your nose.’
Frisco lay choking and sobbing as Disco Donn pulled and pushed his head back and forth by the ears. Donn who was squatting lost his balance several times wetting the knees of his pants.
Having finished he threw Frisco’s head away from him and stood up, zipping his pants.
‘You queers disgust me.’ He repeated after his uncle.
Frisco lay sobbing as Shaky Jake stepped our from among the garbage cans. Shaky Jake looked like he souldn’t be alive. He was five-two and so emaciated from personal neglect that he didn’t break a hundred pounds; maybe he couldn’t even hit ninety. His body was wracked by the perpetual rounds of gonorrhea and antibiotics. He had no resistance to diseases. He sniffed and coughed uncontrollably from a cold that had begun six months before. He wore a pair of black jeans with zippers everywhere. the cuffs were zipped tight around his ankles; he had zippers on the knees, his thighs, pockets, across both cheeks, it was hard to tell where the zippers ended and the pants began. He even had zippers on the sides of his shoes. The top button of his pants was open and the fly half unzipped, no underwear. He wore a leather jacket that was also covered with zippers. He wore it open, no shirt. Various chains hung from his shoulders down his legs, crisscrossing his body and anywhere that they didn’t make any sense. Shaky Jake didn’t care about this or that. There was nothing in his mind but chagrin and remorse for his seduction. shaky’s seduction had been gentle and loving creating a wonderful feeling in him, but his subsequent rejection had been cruel and brutal destroying whatever masculinity Shakey might otherwise have salvaged. Around his neck he wore a sign that read: Red is a mean, mean color. Nobody had ever been able to figure it out and Shakey Jake wasn’t capable of telling them its meaning.
Now, standing well out of Donn’s reach Shakey sternly admonished: ‘Heh ma’. Whas wrong witchoo. You can’t come back here in our domain and do that.’
‘Can’t I?’ Disco Donn asked in his most quiet and commanding tone.
‘No!’ Shakey Jake expleted.
‘Why not? Are you going to stop me? Do you want some of the same?’ Disco Donn laughed motioning Shakey Jake forward.
Shakey Jake took a brave stance shaking his finger at Donn: ‘Don’t think I couldn’t. Your just lucky the law won’t allow me.’
Donn laughed contemptuously: ‘The law won’t allow you? How’s that?’
‘I’m Black Belt.’ Shakey Jake said. ‘My hand’s are dangerous weapons and they’re registered with the police. If I were to kill you, which I surely would, I would be charged with first degree murder rather than self-defense. So you can consider yourself one lucky hombre.’
Donn laughed again but the was stymied. He couldn’t reach Shakey Jake and he wasn’t going to demean himself by chasing Shakey around. In frustration he made a feint against the Man against the wall. Nitti in his hurry to escape tripped over his own feet tumbling onto the putred wet pavement ruining his leathers. Donn laughed again turning to leave.
But as he turned the sight of Shakey’s sign: Red is a mean, mean color, triggered a series of synapses in his mind. visions passed through his brain with violence and speed as though he were standing on the ties as big ten wheeler blew past. The roar of the engine, the force of the wind from the drivers and giant wheels blew him back. He saw all but remembered nothing distinctly. The vision was one of himself with a sign saying: Red is a mean, mean color around his neck while he thought he saw his uncle with Donn’s goands on a chain around his neck. The red blood from from the testicles dripped down his uncle’s shirt. For a brief instant he understood what Red is a mean, mean color meant.
Then a miracle occurred. The memory of his rape had been suppressed with minutes after it had happened and been converted into a fixation with symbols Donn could not understand. Now the corridlor of his memory which contained the incident opened and for a very brief moment allowed Donn to witness the scene of his rape being reenacted. If Donn had been able to retrieve the memory and retain it he might have freed himself from his curse. But as he turned to enter the corridor in his mind to see better the entrance oozed shut. As Donn tried to push his way through the soft tissue a voice seemed to say: No. You cannot enter here, the drug has blocked your way.
Overwhelmed by his emotions and the cocaine, Donn’s head swirled, he staggered a step and then regained control of himself. As he walked, somewhat unsteadily down the long backside of Disco Deep Elum the words of an old Hank Snow song came into his mind which expressed his fears and his hopes:
No use to deny
I wanted to die
The day you said we were through.
But now that I find
You’re out of my mind
I can’t believe that it’s true,
I don’t hurt anymore.
But if his relief was real it was only temporary. the next tune that would come to Disco Donn’s mind as he opened the door of his Porsche would be: ‘It just keeps right on a hurtin’ every minute of every day.’ No, Donn’s relief was not just a motion away. It couldn’t come from powders, pills or bottles. For just a fleet moment it was there before you but the drugs kept if from you. Now, if undertaken, it would require years of analysis.
Come See Donn Home. As the door of Donn’s identity swung open Interstellar Overdrive ricocheted out of his mind. The cocaine’s expenditure from his system dropped Donn down to Earth hard on his silver plated heels. The soft persistent drizzle again began placing little stinging cold droplets on Donn’s hot hand. His euphoria could no longer support this facet of Disco Donn’s many faceted personality.
He flipped his mirrored sunglasses onto the passenger’s seat. The memory of what he had just done came back to him as a vision of something which he had just seen. He believed he had witness the brutal act but he wasn’t aware that he had done it. It filled his heart with sadness that such criminal homophobia could exist in such a beautiful world. It made him angry. Donn thought he should do something about it. He eased out of the lot as an ambulance pulled from the curb in front of him.
Frisco/Chancy Flegenheimer reported the incident to the police as though a man had leaped from a car and assaulted him as he stood taking to friends. The police report was picked up the Daily Assassin and published as fact. As is usual in these situation there was no attempt to corroborate the story. It was assumed to be the natural act of a ‘homophobe’ and reported as true.
Donn expiated his guilt by incorporating a denunciation of homophobia into a review of a new version of Beethoven’s Ninth.
Donn was emotionally and physically exhausted. As he sank further he took off that strange grey hat and lay it on the seat over his sunglasses. She shook his blond hair and ran his fingers through it to fluff it out. As he did so he caught his reflection in the rear view mirror. He smiled at himself and his spirits revived. The satisfaction he had felt earlier reasserted itself overriding his sense of remorse and sadness.
Donn threw back his head and emitted a short barking laugh.
‘Live is just too damned beautiful to wear a long face.’ He smiled out loud.
Of course that depends on which end of the stick you’re on.
End of Part One.
Go to Part Two: Donn Demands Deliverance
and meet Maggie Spingold.