My roommate, Chicago Johnny, and I got along just fine. John owned a boss reel-to reel sound system, and sat in his lounge chair, smoking reefer or cigarettes. When he was stoned, listening to his music, he smiled like a Chesire cat. He was usually rocking to his tunes on Friday nights when I came home from work. He always had a bottle of Vicks Nasal Spray, which he constantly overused, and abused. I'm amazed he never acquired a deviated septum from the many times he squeezed that damned solution into his nasal cavities.
Johnny owned the best collection of blues music I had ever heard in my life. He was a simple man with modest aspirations. He knew what he wanted out of life and was willing to settle for less. He was calm, happy, and likable. I felt he was an excellent choice for a friend and roommate. John chose to be an individualist and aspire to nothing. I smile when I toss this fact about him, around in my "brain box". Another reason why we got along so famously was because his pizza shift ran from five p.m. until one-in-the-morning. Our paths rarely crossed, and that makes for a great relationship between men who share the same residence.
Most every Friday night on the weekends, Johnny, Viet-Nam Bill, and I met up at "The Blue Fox Lounge". This establishment was located on 55th street, a couple of blocks west of Kedzie Avenue on Chicago's south side. The Blue Fox was a late night joint. It had some of the finest "Do-Wop" music on the juke box I had ever heard in my life. The lounge was dark and gothic. The bar was so long that it went on forever. The bar had red candles placed intermittently that flicked like seductive fingers, inviting me to sit on the garish red barstools. The owners had a five a.m. license, so most of the clientele started arriving around midnight. The women who came in the bar wore too much eye makeup and bizarre shades of lipstick and nail polish. Most of them wore short skirts with black nylons and high heels. The girls all had ratted hair, or falls. Some had beehive hair-do's for their "crowning glories".
These gals were a little on the trashy side, to say the very least. They clustered together like a bunch of hens, clucking a mile-a-minute. Their dark eyes were always darting this way and that. They looked around the bar furtively, almost desperately, sizing up everything. They appeared to be on some kind of do-or-die mission. These girls were a throwback to the late 50's. We just loved them!
The men who came in the bar wore gaudy banlon shirts, black leather jackets, sharkskin pants, and pointy black boots with zippers on the sides. Most of the guys looked like aging crooners, with greasy ducktails and pompadours. The general mood of the bar was one of danger and anticipation. Most of the music was soul-type stuff. All of it was sexually charged. A lot of dark lighting and slow dance songs made this bar "tops" with me. All that went on in the place was really sensual. Eye candy and auditory sexiness prevailed in this bar. I listened to Roy Orbison, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Curtis Mayfield, Santo and Johhny, The Platters, Sam and Dave, and Jerry Butler. They were all on the jukebox. This place was a real blast-from-the-past. I loved it, because it was so unique.
Bill and I were always half hammered by the time Johhny would arrive. The three of us drank and laughed and told tales while we checked out all the girls. When the time was right, we made our moves on them. If a "dolly" was stumbling around and smiling at you, or inadvertently put her breasts on the bar while ordering her whiskey, you knew the time was right to approach her.
These inebriated angels danced so closely to you, that thoughts of pre-pubescent basement parties always came to my mind. I thought of those little parties where I explored the wonderful intimacies of dry humping my dance partner and doing taboo things not to be seen in public. I felt the danger of being 14 once again!
For some odd reason, Viet-Nam Bill always got lucky in this place. Maybe it was the sad look in his eyes. Maybe his luck was due to his war experiences, or not quite measuring up to the expectations of his anal-retentive, succesful, sales executive father. Maybe a combination of these things put him in the drivers seat with these needy women.
Sometimes, I got lucky in there as well. It was always hit-or-miss with me. Porr Johnny could'nt get lucky in a whorehouse, with a fistfull of hundred-dollar bills. Maybe he smelled too much like pizza or Vick's nasal inhaler. circa (1973)