Mud People, No. 7

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Mud People, No. 7 (2019). House paint on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

King’s Club King’s Club! Ain’t a king no more, don’t wanna be. Wish I’d known before.

The words repeated over again in his head and in sinc with his steps. He was marching away, for good this time but no one knew. To the coast, all the way west this time, not just to the Badlands and back, but all the way. L.A.  Airsoles might be heavy out there but they sure add bounce to his trip over here, on the colder, harder pavement. Bricks bricks bricks he’d miss them, the color changing bricks that are everywhere here. Gold to red to purple to blue, morning to night and then sometimes neon-kissed under the club marquees. Alien bricks or at least garish immigrants among their cousins. There were still old street lamps in this neighborhood, the city was late to change anything around here, and the golden glow above, a hundred dying suns, would be missing out there, replaced by a boozy, sinking disc seen against the smog’s dirty screen. He’d buy a pair of swim trunks – everyone swam in cut-off’s here, and maybe a Vespa to glide the few blocks to the beach. Perhaps later, a big hog, or a Bel-Air with a rag top to head up and down the PCH. Up to San Fran and down to Tijuana. Ain’t a king no more, and nobody knew. How could he tell them. How could they understand. Anything different scared them. A hundred black leather greasers lined up against the alley walls around here, all watching the world go by. And now he’s going by. Bye. Past the corner and across the gas station lot, through the prairie yard over the viaduct, past the water tower and the guy with the gun, under the fire escape jungle and down the gangway. To the depot.

Wish I’d known before, wish I’d known before, the depth of the shame and the sadness, the opening that next morning and the promise of reckoning, sunlight, and escape.

King’s Club King’s Club! Ain’t a king no more and don’t wanna be.

 

-Danny Grosso

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