U.B. spent her vacation with her parents in Grado, in Italy. I took time off, too and went to Greece for the first time. I went there with a small group of friends, who were invited for a wedding somewhere there. They booked the journey for me, too, it was the perfect trip for masochists. We took the bus for twenty-six hours. Straight after they went to the wedding, and I had to take a ship for seven hours. As I arrived at the island Skopelos (next to Lesbos), I was in the state of an awake coma. I can not say how I got on the top of the steep mountain with my bag. I immediately fell asleep for twenty-six hours. As I woke up, I already missed U.B. terrible. I spent most painful two weeks in Greece. I got a sun allergie additonally, and was only happy when I finally could go home. In the letterbox I found her love burning letters to me. As she called me one late evening, I asked her „what would you say to a breakfest for two tomorrow?“ She said „You are totally crazy!“ but I didn’t hear that anymore. I jumped in my car (I still had my almost oldtimer) and was on the road again, although I hated to drive during nighttime. I drove my car on the highway against a scary storm, I floated through opaque clouds of fog, I just could intuit the road, I hardly could see anything. At three o’clock in the morning, the car said „no benzine“ and stopped. I hitched a ride with a truck to the next gas station and back. No other incident till the Italian border. There I got stuck in a traffic jam. The tunnel was closed after the heavy rain due to a dangerous landslide. I had to wait there for seven hours, I missed already the breakfest time. I arrived not until early afternoon in Grado, and found U.B. sunbathing on a beach chair at the terrace of her hotel in company of her aunt. The joy of our reunion was pretty short. U.B. was not happy at all to see me again. We rented a room, but the second night she didn’t want to spend there anymore. She appeared so different to me, that I became suspicious, she could had cheated on me. I was right, she did it. She said “you can’t understand that“, but I understood it very well. That was not the first time she had an affaire. She had several „cold cases“ still from her past, which she solved one after one. But that was not all yet. She couldn’t take it, me and her family on the same place in the same time. Although her aunt did like me, she got panic that her father could show up. She said „better you leave!“ She saw her double life in danger. Our dispute ended in tears. Deeply hurted and at the same time inflamed with rage suddenly I could cry. Next morning I drove away, as she wanted me to. Her cold-blue eyes followed relieved the departing clouds of my car. I never had seen such ice cold eyes. Her face had never seem so strange to me. I just could drive to the next village, I felt so sick that I had to take a room. I spent the whole day in bed, in the following night I got back to Vienna. I was driving my car since four years. Although it was not licenced anymore, I didn’t want to sell it yet, cause I did know, I won’t have any other car /as it happened that way/. The old Ford brought me always home. Even that time only to the city limit of Vienna. That was the last journey I did with my (almost) oldtimer, a journey I already bitterly regreted and damned. I still blowed smoke, that the best solution would be to stay together in her apartment. U.B. mentioned occasionally, that slowly it would be time to search for a new stay. I just didn’t have the time to search for. I illustrated my first schoolbook. I didn’t work for the edition anymore, I taught during the day, and did the drawings during the night. U.B. and B.P. rented a studio together with a brasil guy, they didn’t ask me, if I would like to rent it with them. I didn’t have a place for doing my art. On an excessively Sunday afternoon I put out U.B. from her own apartment, I drank a half bottle of Whiskey and did some wild drawings with black ink. I was deeply depressed, because I did know, the story with the „somebody else“ was not from the table yet. I anticipated, the danger was all around me, and was just waiting for an opportune moment. One week later (that night the war in Iraq started), I came home and found the bottle of whiskey empty. She hardly was drinking alcohol, so I did know, she did it. I couldn’t believe it! Oh, it hurted so much, I hated her infinitely, because I didn’t want to share her body with anybody. But she was happy, her dream came true finally, and she was letting me know, she would do it again, and again. I had to say her, it's ok, if she needs everybody else, but then she certainly does not need me anymore. On the next day, on All Saint’s Day I packed my stuff with stormy speed, I moved in a subleased room to an unlikeable old lady. Although I hated to be there, I realized, the only chance of getting over the shipwreck of our relationship was to live n o t together.
TOM WAITS • GOIN' OUT WEST