What’s a woman like you doing in a…


April 24, 1982


Her name is Liz and she’s 34 and she works in a bar in Passaic called the Coo Coo’s Nest, which is probably the most appropriate name ever given to anything.

        It is a go go bar and I go there because the place has tables where I can drink and write without anyone bothering me, too much.

        Liz, the hostess, delivers drinks to the tables and she sees me writing and bends over me with more than just a literary interest.

        It’s a strange place for a woman like her and her sweet smile. She doesn’t fit here. She doesn’t look older than 18 either. This makes her seem even more innocent. I ask how she stands the place. She smiles and tells me she’d tell me later, and later, she hands me here number, saying we should have coffee together.

        Yet, she’s here, surviving this world and its hard faces, surviving me and the strange man beside me, and the man beyond that.


        She mentions vaguely that her husband left her and her seven year old child.

        I want to ask why a man would leave a woman like her?

        But I don’t.

        Those words won’t come out of me, and shouldn’t.

        You just don’t make those connections in this world. You sit; you listen; you take what you can get.

        And she likes me. You can’t ask questions like that when someone leans over you with that bit of sexuality in her eyes.

        A week ago, I told her this was a rotten place to pick people up in, too much raw energy, too mush lust.

        She only smiled with that compact smile of her sand touched my hand, and all I kept thinking of was of weeds and flowers, a whole lot of weeds and this one tender flower growing in the least likely place of all.

        So now I have her number and a piece of her heart, not a lot, but something, and it strikes me strange how a human can make contact with another human even in a hell-bent place like the Coo Coo’s Nest.

        So maybe I’ll called her, maybe3 I’ll reach out this time and make contact with the single lovely flower and maybe I’ll find out why such souls spend their lives alone. Why their husbands leave, how they survive in bars like this.






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