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I used to bring Nina Simone ice. She was always nice to me. She used to call me "Daahling." I used to bring her a whole big gray plastic bus tray full of ice to cool her Scotch.
She'd peel off her blonde wig and throw it on the floor. Underneath, her real hair was short like a sheared black lamb. She'd peel off her eyelashes and paste them to the mirror. Her eyelids were thick and painted blue. They always reminded me of one of those Egyptian Queens like I'd seen in National Geographic. Her skin was shining wet. She'd wrap a blue towel round her neck then lean forward resting both elbows on her knees. The sweat rolled off her face and splashed on the red concrete floor between her feet.
She used to finish her set with the "Jenny The Pirate" song from Bertolt Brecht. She always sang that song with a deep penetrating venegance as though she'd written the words herself. Her performance was aimed directly at the throat of a white audience. Then she'd aim for the heart. Then she'd aim for the head. She was a deadly shot in those days.

Motel Chronicles & Hawk Moon

posted by Ian 5/02/2003 10:16:00 PM

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