I HAVE NEVER BEEN
Remember that old movie It’s a Wonderful Life? I was like that silly second-class angel Clarence who begged for a chance to earn his wings. But you never prayed for me, Polonia. And then the bells that I finally heard ringing were for another man.
I have been in your embrace. I have never been in your heart.
And now I am adrift in the gulf between this moment of my life and the last time you ever spoke to me, Polonia. I’m an Urbana cop, for goddsake. I can’t afford to be so pussy and so distracted.
It was two weeks before your wedding. It was going to be a traditional Polish wedding. That whole neighborhood of Urbana thought it was zajebiscie! (fucking great!). Your parents tried to be happy for you, but, O Moj Boze (Oh My God), they still invited me. I swear I think they wanted me to break up the wedding. Sure, old custom forbids the exclusion of anyone in the village from being invited to the wedding, but then your parents really liked me. And I liked them.
I’ll never know what you saw in him. Was it “bad boy” sex? Really? It’s me who would read those books you had for your Literature class just so you could talk about them with me; like that Withering, …Wuthering – whatever – Heights.
And you would still say kretyn (cretin) things to me like “He’s like Heathcliff and I’m like Catherine.”
Polonia, the guy’s just an asshole. It was me who took you to those Gershwin concerts. And I only liked “Rhapsody in Blue” for your sake.
You would say things to me like, “You think he’s taking me for a ride. You can’t be convinced of his sincerity. You think I’m naturally trusting and that I believe what I want to and I’m being taken. It really hurts me to have such a beautiful and meaningful thing as our relationship degraded so, and especially by you. Oh, my dear sweet friend, you are immature in some ways, and you can’t really conceive of or understand this kind of love.”
Odpierdol sie ode mnie! (Get the fuck off me!). Wait, I didn’t mean that. I just knew it was wrong. You were supposed to be with me. How could you not understand my kind of love?
So I was primed when my partner and me got the call for a disturbance on Ridgeway Avenue; a wild party. We could hear the shrieking from the street below. We went upstairs and before I could even rap on the door it was yanked inward and a drunken asshole stumbled right out against us and puked on my shoes. What we saw inside was more of God’s glorious little plan for me.
It was his bachelor’s party. A roomful of drunken assholes. He was on his back on the floor, naked except for a grass hula skirt, arms and legs tied to furniture, and there was some hooker squatting down over his face. One of his shit-drunk Navy buddies was hollering, “You’re crossing the equator now!”
In a sideshow his “Boris” was rising up like a charmed snake out of his grass skirt. His other szkorbut (scurvy) friends shrieked laughter and poured a bottle of wódka Polska (Polish vodka) on it. Pierdol sie (Fuck me), I was… was… indignant when I realized that his “Boris” had lipstick stains on it.
I hollered, “Police! Listen up! Knock it off!” but it still took a minute before my words penetrated that disgusting… rozpusta (debauchery).
He was still on the floor and tied to the furniture as the hooker stood up and quickly went to the rear of the crowd. His red-rimmed eyes finally recognized me.
“You?” he snarled, “What the fuck are you doing here, asshole? Get the fuck out! This is my fucking bachelor party, goddamit!” and then he was supported in all this by the chorus of his drunken cohorts. I pulled out my baton and stepped into the center of the ring over him, wagging my baton with angry restraint, “Shut up!”
Then I felt warm liquid on my pant leg. I twisted to look down. Incredibly, he was peeing up onto my leg and laughing! In one reflex I swatted his ugly “Boris” with my baton and then dropped, plunging my baton down onto his poorly concealed nut sack.
The crowd gasped and moaned for him. But he was so numb drunk that when his body convulsed he didn’t seem to feel it. I rose up enraged and I hollered to those surrounding zombies, “Untie him!”
My nervous partner whispered, “What are you going to do?”
I cried, “Assault with a deadly weapon!” and I spewed my gaze like a blowtorch around the room, daring any challenger, chewing my words, “And the rest of you fucking assholes get the fuck out of here unless you want to go to jail too! Party over!”
My partner added lamely, “No driving!”
Those perverts stumbled out, stepping over and around him, making the sign of the cross, wishing him the traditional “bread and salt” wedding blessing. I could hear them thundering down the stairs outside. I yanked him to his feet and glared into his blindly belligerent excuse for a face. He was lucky that my partner was still there. Together we ‘cuffed him and lowered him down the stairs one misstep at a time, him still only in his grass skirt. When I rumpled him into the backseat I told him that if he puked he was going to wear it.
My partner asked soon enough as we started to drive, “Where are you going?”
I said, “To someone who will be glad to see him.”
My partner moaned, “Oh, no. Not that. You can’t do that. You’ll get us both in trouble!”
But I drove to your parent’s house where you were staying while you were away from college for the damn wedding. I told my partner, “Wait here.” I grabbed him from the backseat, deliberately banging his head on the door, then him yelling, “Hey, fucker!” I really hoped that your parents would answer the door with you.
You alone opened the door and gasped, “O Moj Boze! What happened? Is he alright?”
I asked, “Are your parent’s home?”
You didn’t get it and replied, “They went to a movie, dzieki Bogu (thank God)! Bring him into my room. Why is he handcuffed? O Moj Boze! He stinks!”
As we both supported him down the hallway I gritted my teeth, saying, “You have no idea.”
He suddenly started to struggle against me, mumbling, “You get the fuck away from us! Leave us alone!”
I sat him on the floor against the footboard of your bed and ‘cuffed him to the two posts. I stood up and looked around your room. Your mama and papa still left it a girly room, still with the lace curtains and dolls on the bed. But there was that monolithic bookcase with all your “literature”. And your flute, displayed on your high-school music stand, surely by your mama and papa.
You finally stood right in front of me, demanding to know, “What happened? Why is he handcuffed? Why did you bring him here?”
I said gravely and slowly, “He was… you should have seen…it was out of control…there was…” I exclaimed finally, “He peed on me!” pointing to my pant leg. And then we both saw the vomit stains on my shoes.
You reached out and held my forearm and then you burst laughing. I couldn’t help it: I laughed with you. You look down at him and started to say, “Poor…” when you noticed his lipstick-stained “Boris” joining the party once again.
You looked back up at me and you raised one eyebrow. I just wouldn’t corroborate that pained quizzical expression. But I reached for you with my other hand and I pulled you toward me. You stared into my eyes and did not resist. I embraced you and I kissed you hard, bending your neck back, and you did not resist me.
You did not resist me. I pushed you gently backwards until the edge of your girlhood bed buckled your knees and we fell slowly together. I could not stop devouring your tongue. I slid my hand up your thigh, raising your skirt. You moaned and I felt you try weakly to push me away.
I lifted the crotch of your panties using my thumb and forefinger like a napkin ring. I stroked you with my knuckle. You were breathing fast through your nose, but you did not stop kissing me.
I released your panties and I groped to undo my belt buckle. You grabbed my belt-loop. You shed my pants wiggling them past my buttocks like a snake-skin. I held the crotch of your panties aside and I plunged into you.
I heard myself gasping, “O Moj Boze! O Moj Boze! O Moj Boze!” over your counterpoint, “Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh!” Your girlhood bed was oscillating like a steam jackhammer. Then we both finally noticed the loud bump-bump-bump-bump-bump! each time we merged, and him complaining, “Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!”
His head was being knocked over and over against the foot of the bed. As appealing as that was to me, that ruined it for you. You laughed. I laughed. We both exploded laughing. I sat up, resigned. But I was left with “one in the chamber” as we came to our senses (if nothing else). I kicked the foot of the bed one time, “Ow!” but you stopped me, not laughing now.
You said, “Mama and Papa will be home in a half hour. You must go, take him. Please do not hurt him. Take care of him tonight, please? For me?” adding, “I am so sorry.”
My partner had been in the car all that time. When we got back to the station he told the sergeant everything. The rest of the night I had to watch him and make sure he didn’t choke on his abundant vomit. I couldn’t even sit down because of my cramped “blue balls”, thank you.
Of course, he became a heroic legend to all his Navy buddies after that night.
Out of respect for you, Polonia, I did not attend your wedding or the reception. But you, you have never spoken to me again. When I drive by you will not wave and you pretend not to see me?
I have been in your embrace. Was I ever in your heart?
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