Tommy Normal needed a toothbrush so he slipped into the market on the corner with the number “Huite” on it and bought one with nice firm bristles. His current toothbrush had lost the quality that he needed in a toothbrush since Tommy Normal needed one that could star him like the hero in a movie. He stayed across the street from the red café, the café of the two monsters and headed down towards the little Chinese food place where he was to meet the other Tommy, the one called Tommy Toilet. The two had been friends since they decided to be roommates during the great hippy invasion in Tucson, Arizona toward the end of the millennium. They would have a little snack before heading off to their respective workplaces. They had a party to discuss.
Tommy Toilet would go off to his porn shop on a side street of the main drag between the Moulin Rouge and Le Chat Noir. Tommy Normal would descend into the bowels of Paris at the Blanche Metro entrance and come back up for air at Plaisance. He liked the idea that he could go in at that broad boulevard filled with pickpockets and petty thieves and emerge at a smaller one filled with fewer of the same low characters. It was a type of purification that he enjoyed although he could never be persuaded to move nearer his office and leave the honesty of Montmartre for an illusion of being a gentile Parisian.
Russell Ragsdale lived up above the Rue des Trois Freres like some lunatic bum camping in somebody else’s studio. The rumor was out that he would be throwing a party tonight and, despite what you could see of his lifestyle, this party was definitely due to be a mad one. He was a poet and everybody knows there is no money in poetry, but somehow he was able to throw these crazy parties that were a bit too interesting and wild. They seemed to court the kind of decadence one might have expected to find a century earlier. Because of this, they seemed misplaced and out of sync with everything else. But if you looked at his lifestyle it was not hard to imagine why.
The magnificent view of Sacre Coeur afforded by the skylights of his studio had been covered over with metal shutters. He said it gave him some relief when he dreamed of Dali, which he did every night. The Dali he saw in dreams was blind like Oedipus and would paint the visions of his mind without being able to see what was on the canvas. Dali always said this finally made him the artist he had always wanted to be. Of course tonight those shutters would be open and the white dome would glisten in the moonlight. Tonight, he said, the blind would see.
Russell Ragsdale needs an apartment in Montmartre and kindly asks neither for donations nor gifts but just that you will buy his Book of Aliases at some e-book retailer of your choice. Thanks. Now keep your eyes open for further installments of this story which should be appearing here soon.