Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
The froggy bottom of oak month livid and loathing as yesterday’s mother down on her knees in whodunit logo rhythm spiraled out of the faucet like a sinister storm with sixteen epicenters gasping for breath and screaming for Saigon noodles. I put up with it for as long as I could and then took off with some fried chicken in a brown bag and a thermos full of Lucky Lady coffee sweetened with cactus flower honey and laced with Mezcal. The honey said it was imported from an underground desert beneath the streets of Cincinnati. The Mezcal said it was good for everything bad and for everything good too. You can’t believe anything you hear these days. I had to get out of Jackson quick.
Mobile bound I hitched my way southeast in a variety of vehicles not worth mentioning except for the pumpkin scented Plymouth wagon shot full of holes on the driver’s side and perfectly suited for snoozing in between red lights. The driver was a piss ant naked from the waist up with a good set of teeth and miniature ears plugged up with cotton or so it appeared. I gave him the remnants of my fried chicken which by this time was smelling pretty raunchy though he didn’t seem to mind cause he was starving man and sick to death of hamburger. I got out ten miles short of my destination because he had to make a hard left and pigeon-toed it up the highway taking in the atmosphere as best I could without letting on that my infrared was on the blink and my wing nut had rolled down the embankment. My luck ran out years ago but I had a hunch I would find it again in Mobile. My endorphins were blooming.
Twitty Prist did not meet me in the morning as planned but Biggie Matilda gave me the lowdown. It turned out I stayed in Mississippi a day too long. Twitty took off for Memphis yesterday abruptly right after the mail came without even saying toodleloo. Matilda was out on the balcony having a smoke with Old Lady Dick from the 2nd floor. “I heard the door slam," she said, "and that was that. No goodbye no see you later no thanks for everything, no nothin'. And she went and took my suitcase that I never even got to use yet. My brand new red suitcase. What a nerve. What a nerve. What'm I s'pose tuh do if I wanna go tuh Vegas or somethin'? I never even got a chance to use it. After all I done for that girl. Old Lady Dick here says her son Buddy saw Twitty down in front of the bus station talkin’ to some weird lookin’ guy in a skirt. She was sittin’ on my suitcase an' it looked like it was about tuh bust. She‘s got warrants yuh know.”
Matilda was the tallest woman I‘d ever seen. She had to duck when she went through a doorway. She was wearing a sleeveless lime green mumu smeared all over with big white orchids. Her armpit hair had collected a lot of foreign matter in a variety of hues and she had an odor about her that was hard to pin-point, pleasant and putrid at the same time. Her feet were bare and surprisingly well maintained, pale blue polish on the nails of her long slender toes. Her hands were a different story, rough and wrinkled with short fat nail-bitten fingers, mitts, paws, anatomical atrocities. A diploma on the kitchen wall claimed she was a certified advanced rolfer. A photograph of a kind looking big bosomed gray haired woman hung next to it. “That‘s Ida,” she said, and then “Have yuh ever been rolfed?” I thought about it for a minute and said “No, I don’t think so.” Matilda thought that was hilarious. “Aw, honey,” she said, “yud know. It isn’t somethin’ yud hafta think about.” And then she started clearing the table. “Come on,” she said, “climb up here. I’ll rolf yuh right now if yuh want.” She reminded me of Julia Child getting ready to prepare coq au vin. Reaching for a bottle of red wine. Salivating.
"Why do you do me like you do?" It was a phrase I couldn’t get out of my head, it kept ringing in there with no particular rhythm or melody that I could nail down, just dancing letters rolling across my frontal lobe marquee fashion, sometimes flashing neon pink and green making me think of a jacket I wore when I was six years old running behind the mosquito truck in a fog of DDT. Talk about nostalgia. Even now as Matilda tried to coax me up on her table I couldn’t shake the words loose and feared they might become embedded on a cellular level and I’d be stuck with them for life. Stuck inside of Mobile, in a psyche ward dreaming about Twitty doing the highland fling with some guy in Memphis. Matilda was scraping dried egg yolk off the table with a practically nonexistent thumbnail. I was numb and spinning in an olfactory nightmare of insecticide and Evening in Paris. “What the hell,” I thought, “what have I got to lose.” But just then …………….