hannibal, mike smith
After going through the mark twain cave, in Hanibal, Missouri, Swann drove to the middle of town to find a phone. She was directed to one bar -the phone had no dial tone and she was too tired to figure out how to use it. The locals in that bar were subtly hostile cowboys. Swann went across the street where the vibe was softer and asked some one how to use the phone. Swann called a friend of her aunt's who lived on a women's chocolate farm in Iowa, where Swann would visit next. While on the phone, she got a flash of recognition, noticing three soft shouldered women at the bar ordering food from a cardboard menu. She sat down near them on a barstool and ordered food. Two women were wearing blue jean shirts with slicked back short hair, fifties style.
Swann sat down and yacked it up with these three fellow inverts. They told her they drank at the Bordello almost every night and people wouldn't let them drive home if they were too drunk. Swann noticed that one of the women, whose name was Jane, had cutting scars from her wrist to her elbow. Jane caught Swann's eye looking at her arm.
Swann was wondering: was this ritual cuttings after too much drinking and too much despair? One dyke badgering the other verbally and the other cutting herself in response? Or too much harshness from the factory, low wages? Or just plain old quantities of suicide attempts?
They didn't speak about this.
Pat: Factory life sucks and we barely make enough to survive. Slavery was never abolished, really. Just rearranged. Ha ha ha ha.
Jane was pleased that her stone butch looking lover, Pat, for the first time in years was smiling, inspired out of her stoic depression by Swann's warm glamour. Swann liked Pat's roman nose.
Pat: Swann listen, is that your real name? Swann. Listen, you must as a traveler not lose your head. I mean things ain't always what they seem. This town may look cute as a baby kitten, but well, let it stay that way for you, don't push your luck.
The third woman was named Red, a woman in her sixties, who wore a pink leisure suit.
Red: She's right, a traveler shouldn't drink or get too happy. Swann, we do have some interesting architecture I'd like to show you, if there's a moment ahead for it. May be you'll decide to stay.
The four women sat for hours eating and drinking. Swann stepped outside around midnight for some fresh air. She heard something thinly wafting through the wind, putting an ear to listen it was a haunting sound, like witches incantations, a wild crying song, a crying working song.
Red joined Swann outside to smoke.
Red: That's the sound of the ghosts of the Mary Magdalene Laundromat that we hear, run just like a factory at this midnight hour. Let me tell you, this bar, the Bordello was the real thing run at the turn of the century. A popular one due to the Mississippi riverboats always bringing in fresh faces from all over. According to Granny, you could get a champagne, milk, seaweed, oatmeal, or even peppermint baths. There were glass floors and ceilings in some of the rooms. Anything you could imagine. Dames and men were on the menu as well as being customers. The reputation was a happy joint with happy workers. The usual bunch from the street urchins to unwed ma's all went to work there. Not the usual thing of the girls being sex slaves, this place was run by good witches. One day there was a witch hunt, according to my Granny. The law sided with this religious group, rumor was the law was bought. The same religious group started the Mary Magdalene Laundromat soon after. They took a large cross from the Bordello and hung it over the inside of the Laundromat doorway. The witches went west. All the new pregnant teens and orphans were taken to live there and run the religious laundromat day and night. All babies born there were put up for adoption, the word was the babies were being sold actuality-. And the mothers, well they didn't know which one was theirs, the priests wanted it that way. Before they closed the Bordello, this town was a flourishing joyous place with a little dark underbelly. My granny who used to work at the Bordello said once"Its been just a dark day ever since that laundromat opened."
She had family obligations and couldn't go west with the witches. And factory work don't pay so well. Now the women have grown old and finally the courts are closing it down, deciding on a date.
Swann is in awe at this bit of history when a woman with dyed red hair, pale warty skin and fifty year old bony hands walked up to the bar entrance with a look that Swann read as"I want a girl." Swann thinks: How come I'm attracted to this witchy babe?
"Hey, you witchy babe!"is what the woman said to her, right out of Swann's thoughts. Swann laughed and thought: Oh, here we go! And followed the woman inside.
The woman said: My names' Rose. You like champagne? Would you like your palm read?
Swann nodded and sat down with Rose. She opened her hands wide.
Rose said: A fellow gypsy. Now I see here you have a cross against your happiness line.( Swann looked like a chess player waiting for the next move before getting upset.) I also see a big dark square. This is a square of protection. Maybe coming from a rich benefactor? No. Protection coming from your community.
Swann: That makes sense.(a bit relieved).
Rose: I see you have to deal with your repressed grief.
Swann said: what grief?
Rose: You see? I think you'll understand in time.
Rose had established her hand touching Swann's, in a soothing way. They both looked at each other in the eye and grasped the others hand. Swann felt as if her heart had a layer of messed up hair that was suddenly combed out as her stomach jumped with desire.
Swann said: Can I pay you with a bottle of champagne?
Rose: You read my mind.
They walked upstairs to a bedroom on the top floor. The Mississippi River, all black and silver glitter lay outside the window beyond the lonely streets. So lets take a bath, aye.: Rose said, while pouring huge glasses of champagne.
After slugging a glass down, Swann sat on the toilet to pee. She hopped into the bath with this woman she felt very familiar with. In the bath Rose had put crystals, pink, purple and clear. They languished their fingers in each others pussies, which were softer than the water. Bringing them into suspended time, they stared into each others eyes and saw each others past lives. Another bathtub activity was the pushing of each others hemorrhoids back inside the butthole. The last bathing event was an unannounced watersport. The older woman stood up and peed while the water was draining out. Swann put her ankle under the warm stream. She didn't have time to consider if she wanted to drink it so she didn't. Then Swann stood up and Rose put her head underneath Swann. Swann was so excited at this woman's submissive pose that she couldn't pee. Swann got annoyed as Rose left the bathroom, shrugging and giving up.
She was thinking: Oh I wouldn't've peed before the bath.
She went to the candle lit bedroom. Sage was burning, reminding Swann of the desert. They continued the sexual exchange.
Swann told her: Jewish dyke sees the virgin Mary in lovers clit.
Rose answered: Really, I was a nun actually!
They continued deep tongue sucking and deep finger fucking. Rose taught Swann a new tantric position, Big toe to third eye. In the morning Rose had to go to church.