Party in Sierra Madre Canyon

by Jerry Ratch

There was a girl I met, or rather who picked me up, one extremely drunken night at this party in a canyon near L.A. called Sierra Madre, where the water was roaring down the creek beside the house. It was in the spring. I was drinking a whole lot of red wine, because I was really sad I guess in those days, and had just started writing poetry, and drinking lots and lots of red wine as the party raged on all around me. I didn't know a soul there. Can't even remember how or why I got there. Probably heard about it at my poetry writing class with Henri Coulette at L.A State, now known as Cal State at L.A. That's where I first heard Philip Levine read one of his best poems, “Animals Are Passing from our Lives.”

            Oh, this really pretty girl in my class invited me to this party, that's right! Now I remember.

            So I'm sitting on this couch there, really soused, and some girl is telling me she thought she was pregnant, and I told her I had some pills that could do something about that, back at my apartment near L.A. State. Then the next thing I know this really curvy dark girl, a best friend of hers, is driving me back home to my apartment. Suddenly all of our clothes are off and we're getting ready to have sex, when I pour some red wine I am still drinking right out of the bottle all over her pussy, then I go down on her and begin licking the wine off her, then pour still more on her, and so on into the night. “Oh, it's cold!” she said, the first time. But she never said that again, because I immediately licked off everything and she seemed to really enjoy that.

            Then she poured some wine on my cock and took the entire thing in her mouth. Then we fucked, and we poured more wine and we fucked again and again.

            “You're just like me,” she said, as dawn was breaking. “You like sex.”

            “Yes, I do.”

            “So, can you give me those pills for my girlfriend's pregnancy?”

            “Sure. Can I come along with you to her place? She was kind of cute, wasn't she?”

            “I think she's a knockout.”

            We went to her girlfriend's apartment, and it turned out they both lived there, together. When we walked in, the girl who was pregnant held out her hand, and the dark girl gave her the pills. And that was when they kissed. Not just a little peck, but a real make-out, while I was standing right there, a little bleary-eyed and still hung-over.

            I began looking around the apartment. The pregnant girl, who was as skinny and breastless as a girl can get, without being an actual boy, said simply, “Thank you for these. I didn't know what the heck I was going to do. That's what you get, I guess, for fooling around with the opposite sex.” And they both looked at each other and laughed, loudly, while the one with no visible breasts showed me to the door.

            And I drove off alone in the L.A. dawn and went to a Denny's to get some breakfast and try to sober up and think a little about life in L.A. and whether I shouldn't just go back to Chicago where the roots seemed to run deeper.