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Sunday, June 22, 2014

MOUNT ROYAL: There's Nothing Harder Than Love

Mount Royal: A Novel
Mount Royal: There's Nothing Harder Than Love - a novel
by Basil Papademos
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.34
25 used & new from $7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars
A book for readers savage and smart.May 20, 2014
Reviewed by Margaret Wagner
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mount Royal: A Novel (Paperback)
Mount Royal shakes you up like a freight train, hitting you with the brash sounds and hell-bent forward motion of an underground culture fueled by high octane drugs, sex, disobedience, and a singular lack of remorse. The writer manages to capture a very specific place and time, evoking the images of old haunts and projecting the voices of irascible ghosts while avoiding the taint of nostalgia. The dialogue sounds true; you can hear it ringing though the alleyways and crash pads of Montreal. The sex is unsparing and incredibly lush.

It is a love story, in the sense that being honest in the portrayal of human passions and complexity without passing judgment is the essence of love.

“We won by not winning, by debauching and sleeping late, by filling the bars and sexing all over the mountain, our victories constant and gentle and irresistible.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One Day I Will Feel You Tremble In My Arms

Basil Papademos

I’d been living in a garage in a rapidly gentrifying part of Hogtown. One of those garages that’s under the house. Everything in the place was done to the nines – but not over-furished. My ex-wife liked it fairly empty in a stylish way. She and the cat were living in all those big rooms and I rarely went upstairs. We’d stopped talking a few years earlier and it was ghostly. Reminded me of Katherine Hepburn in the movie version of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The way her son hears her upstairs, walking with her dead all night, up and down the halls and rooms, creaking footsteps. A family shredded by booze and drugs, the great American melodrama.
I was making good coin but had a huge junk habit – I mean like an oil-burnin pig. I couldn’t do enough of the shit. In that dark garage, my bike for company – my old school Japanese screamer. She spoke the only language I could hear.
And I was putting out the junk in a large way. It went with driving escorts all night in my shitbox Mazda. Good girls for the most part. Not stupid enough to slave at McDonald’s or any other toxic waste dump for almost no money. At least sellin pussy is honest. Here’s what you get for your money – straight up. Not telling you this here poisonous slop is actually edible. Suckin on pussy, fuckin pussy, bangin ass, gettin head, that won’t give you a stroke or a heart attack or bad cholesterol or make you a fat slob.
So I was in this dark garage with my Japanese bitch and selling junk and running women and picking up my mute wife at the train station every afternoon when she got home from that fucking career of hers. I’d think ‘Whatever happened to my beautiful bohemian princess?’ She got herself a profession and a mortgage.
She rationed words with an eye-dropper, a few syllables of mumbled sideways talk – the heart of our ‘problem’: My all-consuming habit. A tacit understanding developed – a logistical mythology that things weren’t actually that bad. But it is always that bad, it’s always a fuckin disaster.
My only life raft, the novel I was writing about our earlier life in Montreal, when I used to call my ex-wife ‘Slim.’ A novel called Mount Royal, the street drug whoring club art underground scene in that once open city, under that mountain. Nobody had to have a job. There weren’t any anyway. The city was a basket case. It was lovely. The whole nagging feeling you should wake up early and get ahead, that was blown out of the water. Nobody was getting ahead. Such thinking was very stupid, like making firm plans to win the lottery.

So here we were, a bunch of years later and living in Hogtown, actual property owners, sadly having outgrown our sweet elitist slumming in Montreal. Hogtown was a penal colony of the soul. I was flying around town day and night and trained my customers to leave me alone for a couple hours each morning when I worked on that novel. I began writing for a local mag, stories about running escorts and selling junk – my daily life, the only thing I know how to write about. They published a couple stories.
Within moments my life turned four dimensional. The improbable became physical law. Some woman, literally on the other side of the planet, ended up with one of my stories in her email. How To Murder Your Children For Fun And Profit. She deleted it and it came back, five times. She finally read it in the middle of a beer drunk, then wrote the magazine and demanded to know if this shit was real. They ignored her. She wrote them again and heaped scorn on the editors for not having the manners to respond.
They wrote me and asked wtf is up with this woman – why is she abusing us? Do you know her? I said no, not a clue. Forward me the email.
I wrote her back. She was in my face right away, wanting to know if my stories were bullshit or what. “No, it’s what I do. My job.”
And that kicked off countless long emails back and forth for some months before she finally sent a photo. And of course she was a rare sight – long slinky bod, classic celtic beauty, confident, sublime, complex as hell, a free flowing larger-than-life presence.
We got close over the phone, she drunk, me high. One time after dealing with a customer, I forgot to turn my phone off and climbed on my Japanese screamer and raced across town to the methadone clinic in 4pm Friday afternoon gridlocked traffic. She heard it all, came along for the howling ride.
She heard me and my sleeper beauty Suzuki, both of us swearing at the traffic, white line fever. Stop lights, rights of way – feh. That shit’s for tax payers in tin box cages.
Glory. Glorious is when you wrap your legs around her high-compression head and twist her ear and hang the fuck on cuz she will do her best to toss your ass onto the hard road then go skittering off to smash into a bunch of shit, cars and people, while you are run over several times by halfwits in the vehicles coming up behind you. They will aim for your bouncing, crumpled body. It will be passive-aggressive vengeance – for the million slights and insults of sportbikes that have gone zooming past while car driving idiots sit entombed in traffic.
It’s very hot two-wheeled fucking. She launches you into the stratosphere and it’s nothing but time warp. Sound becomes past tense, too fast to be in the present – just future and past. You’ve gone past before it’s happened. You’re already beyond that horizon up ahead. You gulp and feel like you’re gonna shit yourself cuz it is a luscious, drawn out terror, absolute and irrevocable. That ticket gets punched only once. The guarantee is written on the back. You feel a tiny front end tingle – maybe the beginning of a bad wobble that will become a tank slapper, break your thumbs and hurl you into a swimmer’s cliffside deadly dive, arcing far down the road. But you show faith, put the chin of your full-face helmet on her tank and say: “There’s nothin but us, baby…” You coo and cajole, finally sob and wail inside your helmet, blink away the tears. You close your eyes for long moments and dream of how you’ll be together forever if it all stops right now. It’s far beyond romantic. It’s epic. This is the purest glory.
The road becomes a dark gray triangular blur ahead of her nose. On either side, the passing world is a dark flashing history of then. You’re past it before it’s happened – you negate experience. Together you erase time. It’s history before future. There is only you and her empire of the stratosphere. Risk a glance at the gauges – tach and speedo needles buried, everything illuminated a fiery orange red. Right now right here - everything but precisely what you are doing together will kill you both.

I phone her from the darkness. She’s twelve hours in the future. I call from all kinds of roadside shitholes. Gas stations, bars, donut shops, abandoned mom and pop restaurants, shut down and overgrown before they were opened. I jerk off to her voice while standing next to my bike at the edge of the highway. She gets me to cum on the tank, on the seat, on her voice as night traffic thunders past, the endless herd of single-minded horses. I get very hard for her over the phone. I listen to her play with her pussy, hear her knock shit over while frantically reaching from her bed for anything to stick in there, anything vaguely cock shaped, plastic deodorant tube, bottle of face cream, whatever the fuck, dying to tell me those words: “I’m coming, baby. I am coming for you.”
It’s insanely romantic, unheard of, patently implausible. Nobody believes me. She calls long distance from an exploding new universe as it forms on the end of her clit. I cry to her, tell her I am old and dying and I am fevered. She sweet talks me while she jerks off and weeps, pleads with me. But practical also – one more good wank just in case I kill myself on that stupid bike and she never gets to dig her claws into my back. Just in case. Six months of a thousand Victorian novels mixed with a million desperate doomed wartime affairs, missed chances you can rewind and replay to make them real and whole and I promise her: One day I will feel you tremble in my arms.

In an airport hotel room, out in the generic wasteland of Hogtown. I show up with bags full of booze at 8:43 in the morning. She’s a veteran boozer but it’s done her brain and her looks more good than harm, long and tall and perfect breasts and a tight ass and she’s older than anybody but me.
Our first words are only breathing, exhales of relief. It’s beyond cinematic. Even The Night Porter pales next to this. Routine will be hunted down and killed. Reasonable expectations will face cursory show trials then be summarily executed. Rationale is tortured and beheaded before a cheering crowd. It’s a global revolution of filthy whispers. Her mind is a scalpel and easy slices off thin layers of me. She reminds me of being in the grip of elated terror on my bike, middle of a desert night. I feel her tremble in my arms. Her mouth tastes like the future, a larger planet than this one.
 “Do you want a drink?” she mumbles, her lips raised to my cheekbone.
I push her ass onto the bed, yank off her black tights. She rolls with it, unsurprised. She clasps her hands behind her head and looks down, an objective observer. She’s been through an army of guys and has much to compare with. I have ideas of a slow, slithering, very graceful progression from her high arches and lithe ankles, wend my way up those endless legs. But the fire in my head grinds out the words: “Fuck this…” as she catches the look in my eye and slides her thighs apart. The waft of her dripping wet pussy makes my eyes roll back, a pussyhound zombie Frankenstein golem. I’m shaking. My cock leaks and throbs, brain hammers in my skull. I run my lips along that incredibly soft, smooth inside of her thighs. Her surface reaches for my mouth. Her pussy is dark but demure, lovely and modest, nice little quaffed hair-do. The first hint of her taste gets me instantly, lyrically high, like the mythical and impossibly rare opium everyone’s heard of but has never done. She tastes ocean salty, hard pearl clit on my tongue.    

I take her whole pussy in my big mouth. All of her pussy and me, we kiss slowly, tenderly, those full lips full of dark heat. I neck with her pussy, we French kiss. I stick my tongue down her pussy’s throat. I suck up the sound coming from her, the low moan of our underwater world…