Acid Heroes

October 3, 2009

Peggy Sue: Part 1

Filed under: Random Archives — Ace Backwords @ 4:14 am

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originally published October 12, 2002

The last successful romantic/sexual relationship I had with a woman was back in 1982/83. So you could say it’s been a pretty rough couple of decades for me. Somehow, I was always doomed when it came to the women. It was a set-up. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I yearned, it always blew up in my face. Often spectacularly so.

I first met Peggy Sue back in October of 1982. She was hanging out outside this hip, trendy, so-called “new wave” club, the Berkeley Square, talking to this friend of mine. I was there to deliver copies of Twisted Image #2, a punk/art tabloid I was publishing at the time. So I talked my way past the doorman, and scammed Peggy Sue into the club with me. I hadn’t realized that my friend had been trying to pick up on her too, and that I had horned in on his act (which would lead to another weird story later, but you don’t need to know about that).

We sat in a table in the back of the club, me and Peggy Sue, this beautiful young chick. I was feeling very cool as a drank my bottle of beer and listened to the new wave rock band on stage (skinny ties, weird sunglasses, remember 1982?). Peggy Sue was cute, but kind of crazy — I could tell that right off the bat. She suffered from some weird form of dyslexia. The words spewed out of her mouth in this non-stop, gobbledee-gook jumble. Completely un-rational; she talked like an avant-garde poet, in symbols and weird metaphors, but you sensed deep emotional feeling underneath the blather. Later I would describe her as: “She had the soul of an artist. But not the talent.” Some crazy people are like that. They experience the same vivid, soaring emotions and inspirations of the great poets; they just lack the ability to capture it in a medium and communicate it to others. Peggy Sue showed me her notebook with her doodles and scribbles and song lyrics and weird poetry. She was an art girl. And I was taken with her. After awhile I stopped listening to the words and just dug her vibe. She was very cute. Girlish. She had light brown/reddish hair, with bangs that went all the way down to her eyes (sometimes she would let the hair grow down and cover her eyes like she wanted to hide behind a bush or something). And she had pink-tinted glasses. I can still see her face in the neon electric sheen of the dark club. It was one of the few times — maybe even the only time — that I had actually picked up a chick in a bar. So I felt very cool. For all she knew, I was a smooth operator who did this all the time. She took out these four little, porcelain Beatles dolls that she carried everywhere in her big purse and showed them to me. The early-years Beatles, clean-cut Fab Four. Peggy Sue’s role models were sort of Jane Asher and Marianne Faithful and the rock star girlfriend/muses of the 60s. And there was something of the fragile, porcelain doll to Peggy herself.

Somehow we ended up back in my apartment. I forget if it was that night, or if I ran into her later that week. I had just moved into apartment 26 on University Avenue, 26 years old. A new phase of my life was just beginning and here was this woman, Peggy Sue, who had somehow stumbled into it. She didn’t have a place to stay, was in and out of the Women’s Shelter, one step from the streets. And there she was. Somehow, we ended up standing their together in the little cubbyway/hallway that separated the main room of my studio apartment from the bathroom. We were sort of groping around. I had the top part of her frilly little-girl peasant dress pulled down, and her big, round, beautiful breasts were suddenly hanging there. I still remember that. Peggy Sue sort of pulled away from me for a second, stood there facing me, with her breasts hanging there, and said: “I’m afraid of sex.”

I could certainly relate to that. Even as I was pretending to be Mr. Cool. The odd thing is, I don’t remember much of what happened next. Its weird how the memory selectively pulls out certain images that you remember forever. But I’ll always remember me and Barbara standing there facing each other at that moment in that cubbyway.

Well, Peggy Sue moved in with me for the next two months. Love and sex. Every night. It was one of the few times in my life when I actually lived as sort of Man-and-wife. I’d go to work at my bicycle messenger job in San Francisco, and Peggy Sue would stay in the apartment, cooking deep-dish bacon quiche in the kitchen, and organizing my apartment, adding a women’s touch to my skuzzy bachelor pad; flowers in vases and candles and doilies and her little porcelain Beatles dolls. It was the closest I’ve come to that kind of Ralph-Kramden- going-off-to-work-while-the- wife-cooks-dinner thing. And she loved to fuck. What a doll she was. Oddly, the thing I remember most is lying there in the dark with her on my big, brass bed in my decrepit old apartment. There was a haunted pop song that used to play on the radio; “I hear the secrets that you keep/ ‘cuz you’re talking in your sleep.” And I’d look at this creature — this angel, this animal, this woman, this strange, strange creature — and wonder who she was. There was just something so haunted about my life…

Then one night we had a big fight. I forget what it was about. She wanted to have sex and I didn’t want to. I kept hiding in the bathroom to get away from her. And she’d come screeching into the bathroom, in her sexy negligee, harassing me. She really was crazy, and she could drive you nuts with her non-stop female prattle when you weren’t in the mood to find it cute and endearing. When she got hysterical she put out this suffocating vibe, like a high-pitched dog-alarm that was like a silent scream even though human ears couldn’t hear it. You felt it. And we both had the emotional-maturity of children. The whole scene felt like children play-acting, playing house. My nickname for her was Brat Girl. And I played at being the stern Father who dominated her. There was a definite S&M aspect to the role-playing between us. But sometimes the roles got confusion when our nerves were shot and it got too real. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore, she wouldn’t shut up, wouldn’t stop harassing me. We were both loners really, living in our own little worlds, but somehow we were trying to live together in this cramped little, decaying studio apartment. Finally, I just grabbed her by the arm and started pulling her towards the door. I guess I was going to throw her out into the hallway. But as I got the door open and was pushing her threw the doorway, she smashed the glass window-pane at the top half of the door with her fist, shattering the glass. CRASH. So now, we’re standing in the middle of the halfway, screaming at each other, amidst the broken glass, her in her sexy negligee, the manager and his wife are peaking their heads out the doorway; the neighbors down the hall are out in the hallway staring at us. The one nosey, old busy-body who always stuck her nose in everyone’s business was there too, of course. Just one more weird scene in the hallway of a decrepit old apartment building where people are quietly living out the madness of their lives.

So Peggy Sue packed up all her stuff in her big bags, including her little porcelain Beatles dolls. And suddenly she was gone. I sat there on my decrepit old couch later that night, and I immediately missed her. Fervently wished I could turn back the clock and start the whole evening over. But, alas, you can’t. It was over. Later Peggy Sue would tell me she spent the night riding back and forth on the BART train.

Later still, in 1984, Peggy Sue would come back, and we’d have an even more tragic Epilogue in that very same haunted doorway. But that’s another story.

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