The thing about Liz
was that he wanted her bad.Their affair was still fresh, had just
barely started, so he couldn't get enough.Everything about her
was just right.She was petite, exotic, (half Apache) and her hair
reached to her butt.She made him feel like a man.So, when three
weeks later, she'd grown sick of him and had enough, he knew he
was in trouble.He'd known all along he'd only been intriguing
because she'd been intriguable.He'd only been seductive because
she'd been seducible. He knew his limitations. But now he was in
deep, and knew he couldn't go cold turkey.He'd have to taper off
slowly.How? Bysleep ing with her one more time.So he came up with
The first thing to
do was to plant a thought in her mind.So he drove to her work.She
worked for a dude he'd gone to school with.She stuffed tuxedos
into wrappers in a tuxedo shop.When he got there that's exactly
what she was doing.He walked in the back door.
"Hi Baby, what's
She gave him a
stare that read, "Not welco
"You wanna go out
to eat tonight?"
"No, I can't.We're
all going to a movie after work."
"So that's how it
is," he answered tersely, "Well, I just got some rojos.You're not
the only one who can eat them you know."
With that he walked
out, hopped in his car and drove away.Simple as that.Just
mentioning rojos would send up a red flag.Rojos, or reds, was the
street name for seconals, a serious barbiturate.She loved them
but knew he couldn't handle them. Just one would put him out; as
it had that first night they partied. They were her drug of
choice. It was the Apache in her. Barbiturates were the closest
thing to alcohol there was in the pill world. She'd developed the
stamina to stay up and keep on partying, fighting their
effects.He hadn't.He'd always been a smoker, not a splasher.
Barbiturates were not his cup of tea.So she knew he was
"That should be
enough," he thought, and he was right.All it took was his hint
and a couple hours of her imagination to work.That was his recipe
for success, one red flag and a little imagination.
When he called up
Jim, her boss, his instructions were these:
"You takin'Liz and
Robin to a movie tonight?"
"I'm gonna get Liz
over here if it kills me.I want to know what's up with her.Call
to let me know, but give me the signal. Ring, hang up, then ring
again.Otherwise I won't answer."
right after work."
The thing about Jim
was that they were thick as thieves, having known each other
since third grade.It had been hanky-panky in school when they
were younger, now it was hanky-panky in the street.They'd grown
older that's all. When he hung up he looked at his watch.It was
six. He had over two hours to prepare.The first thing he did to
get ready was to roll a joint and make a list.
He needed to think.Like Lawrence Olivier playing Hamlet, he would
make it the performance of a lifetime. He wanted her that bad.He
didn't want to be left alone.
By the time the
joint was glowing half-way down he knew what he needed.It would
all be based on the performance, a bit of scenery setting, and
two props.Where could he get two cans of beer?That one was
easy.There were two empties still in the trash from the last time
she was over.Budweiser.He couldn't stand the stuff.If she'd had
told him she drank Draino there would have been empty tins of it
in the trash.With women he did whatever it took.Name your
poison.He fished the cans out and considered just where they
should go.But no, the car should be first, as that's what she'd
see on arrival.The car would be the first clue.
Out at the curb was
where it was parked.He started it up and turned the wheel toward
the curb till it touched.Then he gunned it a bit 'till one wheel
crept up over the curb.
"Typical way a
drunk would park," he said to himself, "or a dude on
Then, half-way up
the walkway to the door he dropped the first can.
splasher," he said.
Then he closed the
door with the lock thrown, but not quite.You could still open it
but not fail to see that it had been improperly locked. In the
center of the rug he placed the other empty can. He felt a little
like Hansel or Gretel dropping breadcrumbs.
"She'll be hot on
the trail now."
Just then the
telephone rang.Then it rang again, and again, and again.He let
it.About ten minutes later it rang with the code.It was
about you.She's getting all worked up.We got one movie to go,
it's a double feature."
"Good," he replied,
"let them talk."
Why shouldn't they
talk about him?Both girls knew him and his ways.Besides, wasn't
he their best weed connection?I mean, a guy's got to be popular
with the ladies doesn't he? Whatever it takes. Of course they
cared.He was a valuable asset Time, at this point, wason his side
He played a few
tunes, but not too loud.He didn't want to miss the phone.About
ninety minutes later it rang again, about fifteen times.When he
heard that he smiled, not to her, not to the darkness, just to
himself.Then within minutes it rang with the code.
"She's all upset,"
said the Jimster, "We're coming over."
"Whatever you see,
Jim," he counseled, "don't believe it."
"I won't," he
laughed, "I won't."
He turned on the
kitchen sink, splashed some water on himself near his hair, face,
and the front of his shirt.He left it running, then walked into
the living room and peered out the window, up the street, into
the darkness, looking for headlights. He didn't have long to
wait.While they were still a half block away he ran up the stairs
to the bedroom and flung himself on the bed. He waited; nothing.
No sounds.After five minutes; nothing. It was a false
"What kind of jerk
am I?" he thought, and trooped back down the stairs. The next
time it was real.All the way real.
He ran up the steps
again, fell prostrate on the bed, attempting a pose that was as
wasted as possible.Then he heard voices. First they were at the
door, then nearer, then in the kitchen.He heard the water turned
off and empty beer cans hit the sink.Then it was her footsteps on
Right then at that
second was when he knew where he went wrong.He hadn't thought it
"How can I," he
thought, "a guy O.D.ing on a combination of alcohol and
barbiturates possibly hope to perform?I'm almost out cold.I'm a
mess.I'm the last man on earth who can get it up.Oh my God, what
have I done?"
Then he heard her
voice. It said,
"Oh Baby, what's
happened to you?"
Yeah, she coddled
him like a big baby. Why not? That's what he was.Yeah, the others
left.And yeah, he did sleep with her as planned.But in order to
keep her Apache blood from killing him he cuddled up, played
dumb, and there was no hanky-panky as expected.They slept quite
close, like two nestled spoons, and the last thing he remembered
was how warm she felt, and the scent of her long black Indian
hair.The last thought he had before he slipped into a non-drug-
induced unconsciousness was,
"And I'll think of
some way to get her back.After all…tomorrow is another day." He
was a regular Scarlet O'Hara.
Oh, and yeah, it
was the performance of a lifetime.