Sunday, January 22, 2012

Overheard at the Counter: Christmas Cards from Hookers

"Verble!" says Steppenwolf, "I can't believe you missed this one: Tom Waits's 'Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis'!"

Niall Carter says, "Dude I didn't know you were into Tom Waits!"

"Not much," he says, "But Neko Case did a cover, and man am I in love with that lady!"

"I remember that song," says Lucky Moran. "I thought it was way cool, every song on that album was pure poetry. Totally blues and beatnik combined. I even read it in my junior year creative writing class in high school."

"I bet that went over well," says Niall.

"Not really. Teacher chewed me out in front of the class. Told me I always seemed to act with 'questionable intent.' Strange, though, after class, she handed me a book. Anais Nin's Delta of Venus. Told me to read it, if I were really interested in such things."

"Lucky!" said John, "She was totally hitting on you!"

"Took me years to realize that, yeah," Lucky said. "A decade after I graduated, one day it suddenly hit me."

hey Charley I'm pregnant
and living on 9-th street
right above a dirty bookstore
off cuclid avenue
and I stopped taking dope
and I quit drinking whiskey
and my old man plays the trombone
and works out at the track.

and he says that he loves me
even though its not his baby
and he says that he'll raise him up
like he would his own son
and he gave me a ring
that was worn by his mother
and he takes me out dancin
every saturday nite.

and hey Charley I think about you
everytime I pass a fillin' station
on account of all the grease
you used to wear in your hair
and I still have that record
of little anthony & the imperials
but someone stole my record player
how do you like that?

hey Charley I almost went crazy
after mario got busted
so I went back to omaha to
live with my folks
but everyone I used to know
was either dead or in prison
so I came back in minneapolis
this time I think I'm gonna stay.

hey Charley I think I'm happy
for the first time since my accident
and I wish I had all the money
that we used to spend on dope
I'd buy me a used car lot
and I wouldn't sell any of em
I'd just drive a different car
every day dependin on how
I feel.

hey Charley
for chrissakes
do you want to know
the truth of it?
I don't have a husband
he don't play the trombone
and I need to borrow money
to pay this lawyer
and Charley, hey
I'll be eligible for parole
come valentines day.

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