Jesse Jarnow

the motel party, no. 9

“I Bid You Goodnight” – The Dixie Hummingbirds (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

I wondered briefly what the night manager might think, and only then could I envision it as a series of comic events, of characters trooping by, past his ice machine, to room 302, around the back and upstairs, my room. Could there possibly be anything more exciting going on in the seaside town? The question wasn’t so much conceited as it was a way of marveling at Peabody’s ability to make this coastal outpost feel like a happening place. I pushed myself off the wall and tried to find Peabody, who was talking to a florist, just arrived with a psychedelic bouquet he positioned next to the mirror. Peabody put his arm around me. “What’s it there?” he asked, happily, a definite question. When I didn’t answer, he smiled and nodded slowly, as if prompting me. “C’mon, what’s it there?” he asked again. As he repeated the phrase, the intonation the same, it reminded me of a recording of Harrison reading at NYU just before returning to his father. Peabody suddenly looked much younger as he leaned back and laughed against the lamp, which had somehow acquired a gypsy shawl and was shining silver moonlight over the stucco ceiling.

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