3 Nov


The place was called The Blue Ruin. The owner was a fan. He had a tube amplifier left over from a party he’d woken up after sometime back in his very own lost decade. There was a turntable, he was strict about vinyl. His girlfriend tended bar shooting fire-eyes across the counter at anyone who looked halfway living just to make the guy squirm. It surprised everyone that she did the job.

Down front: Claude from the docks played chess with a guy from Latvia who had a beret and a limp, made his whiskey money selling postcard-sized abstract art table to table. He’d tell anyone who’d listen ’bout the time he met Marc Chagall at the Bleecker St apartment of Lucian Carr’s ex-girlfriend. Claude left school when he was twelve and graduated from Maximum Security fifteen years later. They hadn’t caught him since. He learned chess from a Russian inside. He always won.

The counter ran down the length of the main room and turned a sharp corner colliding with the indigo wall covered in old black and white clippings from late ’70s fanzines, old David Bailey monographs. The stool at the corner had some faux gilt-edged rococo gold bullshit ’round the cushion. This was Heidi’s seat. She was here every night.

Heidi’s been here since the place opened twelve years before. Looked to be somewhere on the unpaved downhill road between 39 and 60. Two sharp creases cut diagonally from the powdered crevices around her nose to her jaw. Her skin looked like the sun-blasted skin of a long dead coyote in Arizona but she filled out her black silk dress like Veronica Lake. She smoked Gitanes, she drank Bushalls black label; every night she requested Diamanda Galas. If she ever had an opinion that wasn’t about the style of her life no-one knew it.

It was one of those nights that Hollywood hacks create on sets to illustrate scenes like this one. The sun had recovered as if from a king blow to the cranium and was fighting the wind for the top dog position. Screaming rain played atonal counter-point to the stereo like some rapid-fire snare drum after Tony the Mooch arrived with the bennies. Wind and rain were good for The Blue Ruin’s business, driving in random custom from the street. Many a regular started out that way. It was the perfect place for bad weather. But tonight there was just Heidi and Claude and the guy with the beret.

To be continued…


One Response to “THE WRONG PLACE”


  1. THE WRONG PLACE II « STILL CHAOS - November 4, 2010

    […] Cont […]

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