Monday, July 02, 2012

From The Pen Of Joshua Lawrence Breslin- Romance Down Sonora Way

Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of Bob Dylan performing his early To Ramona.

To Ramona by Bob Dylan


Come closer
Shut softly your watery eyes
The pangs of your sadness
Shall pass as your senses will rise
The flowers of the city
Though breathlike
Get deathlike at times
And there’s no use in tryin’
T’ deal with the dyin’
Though I cannot explain that in lines

Your cracked country lips
I still wish to kiss
As to be under the strength of your skin
Your magnetic movements
Still capture the minutes I’m in
But it grieves my heart, love
To see you tryin’ to be a part of
A world that just don’t exist
It’s all just a dream, babe
A vacuum, a scheme, babe
That sucks you into feelin’ like this

I can see that your head
Has been twisted and fed
By worthless foam from the mouth
I can tell you are torn
Between stayin’ and returnin’
On back to the South
You’ve been fooled into thinking
That the finishin’ end is at hand
Yet there’s no one to beat you
No one t’ defeat you
’Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad

I’ve heard you say many times
That you’re better ’n no one
And no one is better ’n you
If you really believe that
You know you got
Nothing to win and nothing to lose
From fixtures and forces and friends
Your sorrow does stem
That hype you and type you
Making you feel
That you must be exactly like them

I’d forever talk to you
But soon my words
They would turn into a meaningless ring
For deep in my heart
I know there is no help I can bring
Everything passes
Everything changes
Just do what you think you should do
And someday maybe
Who knows, baby
I’ll come and be cryin’ to you

Copyright © 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1992 by Special Rider Music

“If you see that bastard Be-Bop Benny tell him, and tell him straight, that he still owes me fifteen hundred dollars for that last shipment I delivered up norte. And tell him he better come across quick because my guys don’t wait for late payments. Don’t wait at all,” yelled Selena, with no guile in her voice and no concern that anyone or everyone within earshot might hear her, across the Hotel Sonora lobby as I checked in at the main desk for a conference that I was attending. And, as if to emphasis that last point, she said the whole thing over again in Spanish for the locals, and me.

I am sure more than one companero was taken aback by the dead death-rattle tone in her voice coming from a senorita whose looks epitomized any virtue that came out of the old time Spanish conquest. Dark black hair, dark skin but mixed just right by generations of mestizo blending, big ruby-red lips and a toothy smile to set them off, all topped by those dancing black Spanish eyes that tore the heart (and soul) of more than one man, companero or gringo. Hell they almost had me just then and I was nothing but a convenient whipping boy caught up in some ill-fated (or apparently ill-fated) international drug deal that had some loose ends sticking out. Yes, Be-Bop Benny was in serious trouble if he ever showed his face south of the border, and maybe any place until this issue was resolved.

It was not always that way though, not by a long shot. It all started out as innocence and wildflowers when Selena, fresh in town, stepped up to Be-Bop Benny a few years back in the middle of Cambridge Common and asked him point blank if he wanted to “share a joint” with her. Said not in that death voice that just strung me out across this lobby floor but in that sing-song voice of hers then that spoke of transport and swirls. As well as along with those eyes, that skin and those ruby-red lips. He did, and they did. That was the start of it, simple. A good start for the times, and the times were full of little innocent starts like this, some still burning in the trying 1970s night others, well, others, wound up like this bummer of a scene that I have found myself in the middle of. And no way to fix it, to fix Be-Bop Benny’s problem.

See I don’t have clue one where one Peter Paul Markin, moniker Be-Bop Benny, is in this year of our lord 1976. The last I had seen, or heard of him, was in late 1974 when he was just getting in a little over his head and was making mutterings to me about splitting for the coast (West Coast, of course) and getting clean, ocean clean. But mainly to get Selena off his Selena-obsessed mind, and get out from under his “product” problem. I also knew that he had “borrowed” fifteen hundred dollars that he was supposed to pay to Selena for her to give to her distributor, and so on up the chain.

Damn, it all started out so innocently. A couple of joint “joints,” some wild Spanish perfume and a couple of tumbles in some silken sheets and Be-Bop Benny was Selena’s slave. And then his money ran out, and hers too. That was when she brought up the matter of employment, lucrative employment to keep those sheets swishing and the wolves from the door. The idea at first was for her to head home, Sonora, down in sunny Mexico, pick up some dope (weed, mary jane, herb, whatever you call it in your neighborhood) bring it back and sell to a few friends. And then back to the swishing silky sheets. Then those friends brought their friends around, and those friends their friends until they were selling, selling hot and heavy (for the Mex dope was primo, Acapulco Gold), to strangers and their friends. So the business got out of hand after a while. And Be-Bop Benny got tired of his mule work, got tired of the trips to Sonora, and got tired of Selena sharing her joint come-on and have some fun with every guy who walked in the middle of Cambridge Common. Hell he was crazy for her, and she was just crazy. She tried her routine on me just to spite Be-Bop one time after some fight over dough just to do it.

So if you see Be-Bop Benny tell him for me to keep moving, moving fast, and keep the hell away from Sonora, down in sunny Mexico. Okay, amigo.

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