By the time we booked into the Book-Cadillac Hotel, I had totally lost track of time. It was nighttime, the right time, and I was with the one I loved, but in terms of reality and rationality I was nowhere fast, my head spinning, and after we came down off the crushing bridge, with Girl and BBJ arguing over what exit to take--"Get on Michigan, Girl, dammit." "I don't like Michigan. I like Grand River," we were engloved by the city itself and I was beginning to attach myself mentally to Girl in order to have hopes about our soon arriving at the most expensive hotel in Detroit at that time. And I thought briefly about money--I didn't think I had any left--though I should have had at least a hundred bucks left from what I'd brought with me; I was that detached from everything except the smell and sound of now downtown Detroit, Michigan. I was still catching Girl's eyes no matter how I approached her, you know what I mean? Like, I could just look at her and she was looking back to see if I was looking back to see if she was looking back at me and we were looking for each other's eyes and our eyes were meeting in flashes or in little long stares or in just plain wide-eyed anticipation, of what I knew what I wanted, but of what she wanted I knew not, except I did really, you know, instinctually.
Suddenly we were in the pits of Detroit. In the middle of town, going down a very main street (it was Grand River) and I was looking up at the starkly dark buildings, old buildings, turn-of-the-century buildings mixed with pre-WWII-sky-reaching-stone-and-brick-and-gargoyled rather gothic-leaning structures in admidst a scattering of post-WWII architectural experiments, though at the time I had no idea about any of the architecture that passed and whizzed around and by me out the car's window, which was wide open and letting in a cacophonous blatting of hoots, blarings, screechings, sirens, regular-car-honking, some big limo honks, and a lot of taxi honks.
The Book-Cadillac Hotel was a monster slab, like a giant accordian sitting unplayed--once the tallest hotel in the world at 33 stories--though at night it didn't reveal its height; in fact, all I remember seeing of it was long canvas-canopied entrance and a winking sign above it saying this was definitely the Book-Cadillac Hotel--I know, I stopped mid-sidewalk and looked up and read it letter for letter--"I grew up with Cadillacs," I then shouted at that sign, as if trying to get the Motor City's attention in order to impress it, "My daddy loved Caddies and during my childish life he bought three, all of which I drove, one of which I wrecked! I've wrecked three friggin' cars in my short life." I just wanted the Motor City to know about growing up with Caddies, and, damn, there was a big El Dorado parked smacked dab in front of the hotel I suddenly coincidentally noticed, letting out a babe wearing a leopard-skin coat, I assumed was real, though fake fur was big with hot chicks in those days--moutons--but the real moutons were lambie pie wool weren't they?, but the hometown girls liked the phony ones, too. Then I spotted the drugstore--it was still open--"Look at that," I yipped, "The Supphose Drugstore." "That's Sooop-rows, you silly boy goose," quipped Girl, as she jumped along, swishing her hips as if beckoning me to follow her.
Girl and I unloaded what little baggage we had from the car, me and BBJ's army bags--and Girl had nothing but that little black dress with her, and as we were pulling my diddy bag out of the car the cognac bottle slipped out from under the bag to ping down against the sidewalk and then splat out, glass shattering, to explode like glass rockets across the sidewalk's sky, glass and what was left of the cognac all over the Book-Cadillac's doorman's shoes, too. "Don't worry, ma'am, we'll clean that up." His eyes were all over Girl. She was so gosh-awful attractive. Bated your breath. Her hair was still tossing about with every frisky girl-like movement she made; she skip-to-my-lou-danced along, she didn't walk. BBJ then drove off to park the car and Girl and I bounced into the Book-Cadillac lobby--an awesome lobby that really didn't impress me the Texan from Dallas where we had the flu-flu Hotel Adolphus, built by the Budweiser Buschs in the heyday of the Jazz Age and named for the pater Busch whose name was Adolph, and the Adolphus was a gold-gilded menage-de-trois of mixed-bag styles, though more whorehouse glitzy than the Cadillac, a Motor City hotel devoted to automobiles--why look, over there, the Motor Bar. "God, that Motor Bar is calling me something 300-horsepower fast." "Cool down, Wolfie, and let's get checked in then we're headin' out to the Roostertail and you'll love it out there--it's on the river...." We reached the desk. Girl went into her cheerleadery extra-charming act and soon we were just standing waiting for BBJ to return from parking the car and I couldn't take my eyes off Girl as she stood there fidgeting, looking over at me, our eyes still meeting and talking to each other, love, I hoped. In my hazy-crazy head she was expanding, surrounding me like a hungry amoeba, taking my various brains over.
As you will note in the comment on this post, the commenter caught the Wolf Man in a lie. Of course this is not what the B-C lobby was like when he was there; if he was ever there; it is fiction, isn't it? No. It's not fiction, but it's a kind of dream-like remembrance of times pissed...the above shown lobby is from back in a time when the Wolf Man wasn't even a thought in anyone's head anywhere. Thanks to our commenter for setting us straight. THE STAFF. Perhaps, as in the old days, we should preface these episodes with the "Any resemblance to anything or person living or dead and pretending to be real is purely coincidental."
Again I noticed the drugstore, this time the lobby entrance and I just out-of-nowhere started worrying about should I buy condoms in case...how licentious was that? How pompous? But, hell, my daddy told me when I was a boy that I was gonna be a ladies's man and I might as well get used to it. I had two chicks in love with me back home though one of them was cheatin' on me, the one I liked best of course, and when I went home on my first furlough, later, I found she had gained weight and when I said something about it she started crying. You can figure it out, right? I never used a condom with her so at first I was scared--oh shit, I knocked this 16 year old up, now what? But, I was saved. She told me it was His baby. "That bastard," I cried, "I'drather you'd'a fucked any other asshole in town but not that dry-brained asshole." He was a disc jockey on the new FM station and he thought he was so hip and cool. I hated disc jockeys. Disc jockeys were dumbasses; hell, they were jocks same as athlete jocks. God I hated that bastard and had horrible hallucinations about him screwing her after she told me. Dammit!!! Even now I get fiercely aggravated thinking of that jilt...but that came later and anyway I was Army thinking in terms of condoms. Damn right I used one in East Saint Louis the week before; the cross-eyed bitch charged me 10 bucks for it. "That's a fifty-cent Shiek, dammit," I protested as she tugged it on me. "Hey, we only use the best around here." That shut me up; that made me actually love her for a few minutes when I first slid into her. Then I looked down into those crossed eyes. Girl's eyes weren't crossed. God no, Girl's eyes were eyes reflecting beauty from within coming into form without, into a black-dressed and frolicking form, a form of curves and symmetry and nerve-wracking attraction. Dammit, I felt like I was King of Detroit.
Then BBJ came in from the street and we elevatored up to our room--I don't remember what floor it was on but I remember it was a long elevator ride full of Girl's smell mixing with BBJ's and my smells, a threesome smell, hers leaping out from ours to perfume us enough we were aware of how dominant a woman can be even with her smells. Come on, I thought, surely BBJ's had the hots for his sister. I was getting so vile. But, hell, I was in Detroit, a thousand miles from my home, hundreds of miles from the Army; I was cruisin' and up ahead was a Cadillac of a woman in the Book-Cadillac, a Cadillac of hotels, and I was soon to learn where the fishtails on 50s Cadillacs came from; at least that's the story I heard after we finally got to the Roostertail down on the blackened Dee-Troit River.
To be continued as is always continued as if in a floating continuing present.
for The Daily Growler
A The Daily Growler Biased Sports Report From marvelousmarvbackbiter
Well, doubters and BoSox fans, the Yankees made the playoffs for the 13th straight year tonight as they clobbered the fiesty Devil Rays 12 to 4 to tuck away the Wild Card even if they don't win the East championship, which they could if they win their next three and Boston loses their next three and then the Yankees would be tied for the championship and the Yankees would win it because they won all their series with Boston this year. But as a Yankee fan and like the BoSox fans were crowing when they thought the Yankees were gonna sweep around them and into first a few days ago now I'm sayin', who cares about the championship, no big deal, the Yankees are in the playoffs and that's all that counts--I, as a Yankee fan, am getting more baseball--at least 5 more games--probably against Cleveland, a team they consistently beat like they beat Boston. Boston will play the Angels in their first series, a team Boston handles better than the Yankees. This way they're settin' up for a Yankees-BoSox rematch for the AL Championship. Life is good tonight if you're a Yankee fan.
On the other side of the East River the story's different and really scary--I mean the god-damn Mets suddenly can't win; it's so bad, they're losing to the worst teams in the Nat'l League, the Marlins and the Nats. Holy Cow, Willie. Your pitchers suck; you gotta horsewhip 'em or something--especially Wagner; and Glavine sucks like the over-the-hill has-been he may well be; El Duque is being El Puque at the moment--is he injured?--and Wagner is totally unreliable. That leaves Oliver Perez and Pedro. Can you trust those two? Willie has to it looks like. "Come on, Willie, get those pitchers off their asses"--Jeez, if the Mets don't make the playoffs--poor Willie; and except for pitching, the Mets are a great offensive and defensive team.
The Yankees right now are the winningest, scoringest, home run hittingest team in Major League baseball. Their problem: you guessed it: PITCHING.
Whatever happens, it has been one hell of a great baseball season; one of the best yet, unless the Yankees get blown away by Cleveland and the Mets lose the rest of their games. And I wanted a Subway World Series this year. What a year for that, with the ex-Yankee Willie Randolph against ex-Met Joe Torre and ex-BoSox Clemens and ex-BoSox Pedro and El Duque the ex-Yankee--wow and A-Rod and David Wright.... I've got me rabbit's foot out and I'm rubbin' it like a crazy man. Damn, that is my rabbit's foot isn't it?
Willie Randolph as a Yankee.
for The Daily Growler