Her name’s Jane or Janey or Jana or some J like that, and she’s crazy short, like all of her could fit inside of me and still have room for half another chick, but mainly it’s the hair. Jane or Janey has red hair straight as nails all the way to her butt, and she’s holding the joint behind her back, all skinny-armed and cruel, the wrist tendons showing naked and sharp, with the monster joint I just rolled in her hand. She’s hiding it from the doof and that’s how I know she wants to sleep with me. This pleasure we got? You don’t get any. That’s what she’s saying to the doof. That’s the kind of cruel I like. Knows what she wants and wants it all for herself. I can dig that. Any second now she’s gonna light her hair on fire, which is something I’ve never seen, and I’ve seen women do things you can’t imagine. Strangeness under the moon with ropes and pulleys and animal pelts, and I’m thinking I should warn her about the joint, but first of all is the name. My name. Doof here spelled it wrong, and now it’s wrong on all the posters with the gig in five hours, one night only, so I’m stuck. Worse, the band is stuck, and that I can’t abide.
It’s all about the band, check.
“First of all,” I tell the doof, “my name is Tom, not Tum. And it’s two words, asshole. Tom Borbo. Not Tumburbu. “‘O’, not ‘u’, get it? This ain’t no jinky-ass bongo crap. None of that world-beat doo-dah, okay? Wipe Tumburbu from your mind. It’s Tom Borbo. Tom Borbo and the Bourbons.”
The doof doesn’t seem to care. All he says is, “Well, you’ve got lousy handwriting then.” He pulls a slip from his pocket and tries to show it to Janey. “He doesn’t close his ‘o’s.’ See? ‘Tumburbu.’”
This is world-class bull, and Janey’s not buying any. She doesn’t move. I’m amazed her hair’s not in flames. Maybe red hair doesn’t burn as fast as normal hair.
She’s standing in front of me, and I’m looking at the joint, how it’s cupped in her small hand, and what else will be cupped there once she gets Borbo-ed, which she most certainly will, and looking beyond her at the doof in his hikey-type sport clothes, his cargo shorts and his all-American jaw and doof blonde hair. We’re standing in the delivery door back of Rinkos, him out, us in, the amps behind me, but we’ve got no juice because Joe’s not here to juice us yet. The weed’s blowing out where doof can smell, and I can see that he wants some. I can see a pair of tennies on the powerline over his head. I can see him jacking off with a girl named Brittney. I got righteous powers. Special abilities no one else uses. Comes from being a singer. My looseness, my power. If you took a picture of me right now, all you’d see is my brain and my spine and my johnson glowing green.
Doof says, “Well, it’s all worth a laugh, I guess,” which is what you’d expect from a guy who wasn’t getting paid anyway. He made the posters as a favor to Joe, who booked the band as a favor to me. Tom Borbo. Two words. And the Bourbons. One night only.
Give a favor, take a favor, that’s good old Joe. He’ll never get anywhere, check.
The joint is more like a cigar. It’s johnson-sized, almost. Not my johnson, which is livin’ large, but yours maybe. The more it burns, the more it gets in Janey’s hair. The ash is long and scary-scraggly, and the glow is right up in her red, in that mane we’ll have to manage when our bodies start rolling. That’s some precious weed not getting smoked, but I’m cool because of the way she hides it. Turns out she and doof were in some dogshit class at Dogshit U, and the more he blabs on, the more I’m waiting for the fire to take hold, and it turns out her name is Katrina. Never Kat or Trina or Kate. Katrina, always. Full meal deal or nothing with this chick. Full meal works for me. Tonight we’re making The Making Of with little Katydid here as the star. The Wide Receiver. She’s hot for Borbo. She’s got a bad case of Borbo-rygmia. Hornier than a three-legged dog, is crazy Kate.
When you’re righteous, you meet no resistance, check.
About now Joe shows, and then he and doof are off in the corner passing the joint, and I don’t even care because I’m closing in on Katy, or ready to. She’s got the stack of posters and she’s tacking one by the door, and I’m using my powers to make her turn around. Sending a karmic message. Unresistable. Come for the mind-blowing, 3-D johnsonopolis with extra bacon, stay for the righteousness that is Borbo, Tom. Two words. Say Tom. Take a breath. Say Borbo. You are there.
And then the doof and Joe are laughing, sailing even deeper in the corner, and she’s too far away to touch and not so small anymore. She’s more tall than small. “I kind of like it,” she says.
“Like what?” I say. The amps are still not juiced but they’re buzzing in my ears, mixing with the yip of a dog, parked right there where the doof was standing under the tennies.
“Tumburbu,” she says. And I don’t expect it, but the syllables hug me hard, each one tighter than the next, the way I’d like her skinny arms to hug me. She’s got the staple gun raised like a hammer and suddenly she looks perfect that way, doing two, three, four posters in a row. “Tumburbu,” she says. “Tumburbu, tumburbu,” and I don’t ever want her to stop.
Katrina, check. This chick’s on fire.
* Essenesse is a nom de plume for Scott Sparling
, author of Wire to Wire