One night,
while cadging a lift off a
friend of a friend, and
four of us ending up cramped in a small car:
three nondescript guys, plus Candy
—a sexy and attractive teenage girl in
a very encouraging way—
with the workday behind us, and all of us going back to our respective digs,
scooting along with no particular urgency,
my friend Hal suddenly began an oddly
uncalled-for attack
on Candy, who was in the front seat opposite him,
calling her a “fuck slut” who
gave a fuck to anyone and everyone,
whenever and wherever and whatever
the circumstance.
He seemed upset.
The key idea being that, in his mind,
Candy’s behaviour was depraved, and
that sexual depravity in a girl
“is not a good thing.”

Read the literature:
Shakespeare. Milton. Stalin.
Bob Dylan, the Bible; going from
a “general general” rule, to
the very specific.

Candy looked only very slightly taken aback,
though the “boyfriend,” next to her, doing the driving,
didn’t seem bothered at all.
I thought, what brought this on?
I thought, what’s this about?
And where is it supposed
to go?

All I could do was picture Candy’s bush
—though I’d never actually seen it—
although I would have
loved to have—and I know from the sight
of her face that it was going to be
a really good one.

Well, psychoanalysis tells us that
anger is really just frustration—
but the whole world has always known that,
since at least the days of cave paintings,
if not earlier—
and Hal knew that everyone else knew that, so
to prove that he wasn’t just another
sick sad sick sack, he
told us that he was well aware of the idea that,
truth was, all he really wanted was a Candy fuck—
like everybody else—but
truth was, he wasn’t getting one;
though, as he explained it, the real truth was
that he didn’t really want one, and never did, and that
he wasn’t interested in her physically,
he only really wanted Candy
“to behave,”
and our whole little world would be
a better place for it.
Freud telling the truth to Freud, and telling it
by means of Freudianism.

But none of this changes anything, because
you are ill doesn’t suddenly make you well. And
doesn’t cancel the facts you
had to face to begin with. It just has a way
of filling everyone
with a vague sense of loss,
alongside a disheartening sense of
the deep futility of
all things

Half a slice of toast—what happens to the other half?
Does it fall to the floor,
“jam side” down ?
Not necessarily.

More to the point, Candy’s sure to be still be out there,
somewhere, and still strutting her stuff with
Candy abandon, although, by now, she
will have had plenty of time to go
easy on all that fucking,
if that’s what she wanted
to do, and thought it
best, who knows.