Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Molly felt weird waking up in an alley with blood on her dress, but it wasn't like it hadn't happened before.

She could still hear music through the back door of the club, so she figured that she hadn't been out for that long.  The muscles of her thighs and lower back ached like she had been exercising.  She smiled to herself.  A very particular type of exercise.

There were small brown dots in the crook of her elbow, and she rolled up her sleeve to look at the recent track marks.  No problems there, the insertion points had healed fine, she didn't really feel strung out, either.  She didn't worry much about the heroin, anyway.  Jimi did it, Janis did it, Keith did it, and they were all fine.  She had that much under control.  It was fine.

Most of the blood was on her collar and legs.  Her thighs felt slick with a mingling of it and other fluids.  She cautiously lifted her skirt.  A short gash on the inside of her left thigh, just below her crotch, still trickled a little red.  It looked dark, which meant it was

almost done, she'd seen that before.  Molly dropped the hem of her skirt and put a hand to her throat.  Under her jaw, not far from her left ear, was another cut.  It didn't feel bad, had stopped bleeding in fact, but there was still that stain along her collar and more, plastering her blouse to her breast.  Her nipples ached, and the one under the blood was clearly still warm and attentive.

She thought about going to a hospital, then thought again.  Track marks, beads and bangles, no stockings, no identification. She used to have a driver's license, but she burned that along with her bra last summer.  She couldn't really remember why.  Still, too many cops and too many questions at a hospital for the way she looked.

Leaning on a garbage can, Molly pulled herself up and put her back to the bricks.  She thought her knees would hold, if only the alley would stop swimming.  It settled down enough for her to see her raincoat balled up on the other side of the trash, and she shuffled over to it.  Bending over brought another lap in the alley pool, but when the water cleared from her eyes she had the coat around her shoulders. She wrestled with the sleeves for a while, her rubber arms too big then too small for the holes.  Buttons were beyond her.  That was fine.  She was fine.  There was a belt she thought was more reasonable anyway.  A string of the fringe from her suede boots clung to her calf, stuck there by who-knew-what.

"You're a fright, Molly," she said to the alley. 

One hand on the wall, she made her way to the end of the alley and out onto Bleeker.  The street bubbled with people, laughing and stumbling and glowing.  The lights spun with facets Molly had never noticed before, and she had trouble keeping her eyes on the pavement in front of her as she stumbled toward Sixth Avenue.  With each step she could feel her left foot getting warmer and wetter, but when she turned around, nearly losing her balance, there was not trail of red footprints behind her.  Still, she wondered if this was what Ginsberg had been talking about in "Howl." 

On the avenue cars hissed at her in passing so she waved at them placatingly, hoping one would stop.  A taxi finally rolled up and she mumbled her address.  When the driver stared at her, she dug into the raincoat's pockets and threw paper at him until it turned into money.  Outside the cab, streetlights dragged orange contrails, and every pedestrian's mouth gaped in screaming fits of laughter.  Molly was suddenly very thirsty.