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12 June 2008 @ 03:07 pm

Until this weekend I hadn’t been able to track down Luther Brixton since last we spoke in Shreveport, Louisiana, on 4 March 2008. At that time he had recently been released from custody in Nam-pwat, Myanmar for a complicated series of offenses involving the illegal cat meat trade. It’s a long story, but he said he was framed and I believe him. While I know he still harbors a grudge against me for leaving him in stir without posting his bail, we have remained strangely inseparable.


James Power: Luther, you’ve cleaned up! Look at you! Shaven, suit and tie! What’s up?


Luther Brixton: 63 years ago this month America was entering its first summer after the war in Europe ended. The year was 1945.  The world held so much promise. A time I’ll never forget.


James Power: Christ, Luther, how old are you?!


Luther Brixton:  Anna Belle Lee was her name. She was young. She was pretty. And I loved her so.


James Power: I’ve never seen this side of you Luther …. Can you put it back under wraps?


Luther Brixton:  As much as I tried, Anna Belle refused all my amorous advances that summer. I used to say, “Anna Belle, you’re the most beautiful woman in the Creole”. She’d smile but always said she didn’t think we were "that kind of match". Every woman I met after I moved away from Bayou Goula was just a poor man’s imitation of her. I never felt that way about another woman…  She refused to get to know me. She didn’t know anything about me other than that I was interested in her... but I was never the fashionable, good looking kind that a woman would want on her arm.


James Power: No kidding.


Luther Brixton: Fast forward about 30 years. I’m buying a lawn mower in Sears one afternoon. I still remember the song that was playing in the store that day. ‘Muskrat Love’ by the Captain and Tennille. In walks Anna Belle Lee. This lady I had loved so much years before. She sees me and doesn’t know what to say. She looked much older, mind you. The years hadn’t been too kind. So I said, “Hello Anna Belle. You’re certainly a sight for sad eyes”. I immediately realized my verbal slip-up. I meant to say, “sore eyes”, but I saw the tears build up in her eyes. Before I could say anything else, she turned and quickly walked away. I caught up to her and said something like, “Anna Belle, I hope everything’s alright! Is everything OK?” She smiled, and I could see faint traces of that youthful beauty I loved so dearly years before. She said, “This is all there is now, Luther. This is what becomes of homecoming queens”. As she started walking away I said, “Anna Belle, you’re the most beautiful woman in the Creole.” She turned towards me, walked back and hugged me…. I never saw her again.


James Power: Yeah.


Luther Brixton:  Her funeral’s today... I read it in the paper yesterday. She never married and her sister died long ago.... Anyway, I’m heading over there in a bit.


James Power: Sorry to hear that, Luther.


Luther Brixton:  Do you remember that old song?

        Though I ain’t no great romancer,

                                 I know that you’re bound to answer when I propose,

                                 Anything goes?


James Power:Good authors, too, who once knew better words,

                             Now only use four-letter words writing prose,

                             Anything goes


Luther Brixton: “The world has gone mad today


James Power:And good's bad today


Luther Brixton: “And black's white today


James Power:And day's night today


Luther Brixton: “And all the guys today


James Power:That women prize today


Luther Brixton:Are just silly gigolos


James Power & Luther Brixton:  “So, though I ain’t no great romancer,

                                                                I know that you’re bound to answer

               When I propo--se!

                                                   Anything go--oes!!!


Luther Brixton:  I like songs like that. Songs that tell the truth.


James Power: Yeah, but he wasn’t really telling the truth. That’s Cole Porter. He wasn’t even interested in women.


Luther Brixton: Well, he knew women prized guys that were no good.


James Power: Speaking of which, isn’t Anna Belle Lee waiting?


Luther Brixton:  You’re a cold, cold man, James Power …. I’m off.


James Power: In more ways than one … Take care, Luther.

Dedicated to broken hearts everywhere.


Current Music: Pilgrim of Sorrow - The Soul Stirrers