Liars, Cheaters, Freaks & Thieves

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
A woman wanting a decent nights sleep has to battle her children, her ex husbands and group of murdering marauders to get it.

Submitted: July 29, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 29, 2008



They’re usually up there hiding in the trees like Ebola monkeys, telephoto lenses dangle from their necks. They patiently wait up there for me to pick my nose and fuck my lover. Perched up on hundred-year-old oak limbs with cheeseburger grins smeared on their faces, they wait ready to infect the world with ill will and trailer entertainment. Turncoat trees tower over my home like a presence, a ouija board demon. And the moon, laughing, illuminates shadows, radiates waves of evil in its full light. With my shotgun and my diet Tab, I can usually see them on nights like tonight. Pool light off, feet kicked up on lawn ottoman the frogs are jumping into the pool like kids at a water park. The crickets rub their legs together in foreplay – making more babies to live in my air conditioner. A hawk flies overhead taking a vacation from the deep woods. Hawk! Hawk! Some field mouse is lunchmeat, and I still can’t see them. I still can’t see them damn papanazis. But somebody’s out there. One of the others. Standing in the trees, just beyond my depth perception. I can feel them looking at me. Feel their eyes staring icicles on my flesh. Hackling my toe hairs. Sometimes they follow me into the house. Not the tree dwellers, but the eyes. The bodies that house the eyes. Follow me down the great hall like a mime. Turning left into my bedroom. Turning right into my bath. I turn around quick all A-ha! and kung-fu and they’re gone like a breath, like a loss of air. A month ago, I let him. Down the hall, past the bed and to the sink I let one of them. Follow me until he didn’t want to anymore. Bracing myself on the sink, I stood there. Forearms prickly peared, tensed triceps, breath caught and stolen, eyes averted from that lying faggot of a mirror. I stood there excitedly about to piss my pants. His head in my hair, chest to my back, crotch to my ass, lips to my neck – he stood there … breathing on me, breathing me in. He placed his hands next to mine on the marble sink. Big, thick real hands. Suntanned white-man’s hands. Square layout of fingers and clean nails. He put his hands over mine stepping closer to me, putting himself on me. And I didn’t move. I didn’t blink. I didn’t think. I didn’t breath. I didn’t fucking move. He buried his head in my hair and breathed and breathed, and his body began to tense and his head began to nod and bob to one side and he breathed in again and again, deeper and deeper, and I didn’t know what to do. I put my hands over his, clinching them tight like people do when they’re in need and I just held on. I mean I don’t know. He did that bobbing and nodding and smelling thing some more and his knees got weak and I wrapped his arms around me and his legs sorta gave out. My quads got all rigid and my knees locked as he lay on me all heavy and weak. I tried to turn around to better support him and he fought me. His muscles knotted and he held me tighter than should have been possible. I stood there shaken from his strength and when he eased up, I tried to turn around again and he fought me more, and I fought him – hard. I wasn’t fighting for my life. I was fighting to turn around. He was grabbing my wrists and I was stomping on his feet and when I got an arm lose I dug my finger into that nice spot of man that turns from oblique ab into hip and wouldn’t let go. He shrieked like an angel – innocent and unintelligible. I turned around forcefully and he bear hugged me, laid his head on my shoulder with his face turned away. His long hair was wavy like it had air-dried and it was dancing around his head like a wild orphan. I rubbed his head and he rubbed my back. I kissed his head and he kissed my shoulder and my collarbone and my neck. I put my hand under his hair; he put his cheek into my palm. The stubble bit my fingertips. He rubbed them around on my hand slow and hypnotically. I tried to push the hair out of his face and he grabbed my wrist like a domestic abuser. I raised the other one and he caught it mid-throw. I started Mexican hat dancing on his feet and he didn’t even flinch. He crossed my arms behind my back, thrusting my breasts onto his chest and held me like that, angry and resilient. He shook his head like he didn’t know what to make of me. He sighed and kissed my shoulder, my collarbone. I turned my head to meet his mouth. Strong and wet, I pushed my tongue into his mouth. I found his tongue hiding meekly – soft and cold. He sat me on the sink and kissed me back. Kissed me like he hadn’t been kissed in awhile. Kissed me like he had suddenly remembered he liked to be kissed. So, I kissed him right. Wrapped my legs around his legs, wrapped my arms around his head, threaded my fingers in his hair, pulled him into me. I kissed him. Soft and long, slow and thoroughly, I kissed him until I couldn’t breathe, until my lips chapped and bled and it hurt. And even then I sat there, eyes downcast, looking at his lips kissing my lips, sucking my lips … biting them. I raised my hand slowly to his face, cupped his jaw in my palm, rubbed his stubble with my thumb then swiftly whisked the hair out of his face. In mid-kiss, he raised his eyes to mine. With green nebulous swirls shrinking to pinpoints and long luscious lashes blinking why, he pulled his lips away. I turned my gaze to his lips, my lips reached for them, but by the time they got there their owner was gone. Like a breath, like a breeze. Gone like the thrill of a fun house mirror. But that’s not him out there standing in the ferns and the oaks and the moonlit shadows. That’s some other weirdo poised and ready to shake up my life. One of his friends. I take my shotgun and my sodie with me through the patio doors of my den, but I leave the binoculars on the table to get rained on. I don’t need the lights on to know where I’m going. Lights only show you where the monsters are. I sit down at my desk, take a big swig of Tab and know that I’m not alone. I sigh – not wanting to be bothered. “The best way to get a man to leave is to tell him you love him,” I say in the general direction of the couch directly in front of the desk. “Where’s Kino?” he says turning on an adjacent lamp. He likes lights. He likes to know where I am. “Serg, I hope you don’t still have a key.” “He’s not in his room,” he says letting his hair fall away from his face like down feathers. He likes it long on top, but he hates it in his face. “He’s probably in Bane’s room. Did you look in there?” “What were you doing outside?” He says, moving over the window taking over my watch. “What do you want?” “You still think they’re out there don’t you,” he says putting his hands up to the glass. He’s probably squinting. “They are.” I say shuffling through my desk drawer for shotgun shells. “You’re right. He’s in Bane’s room. You know he fell asleep in here last night.” “I know.” “He was waiting for you to quit watching the trees. I found him down here and took him to bed.” “You want a cookie?” I say actually finding a Chips Ahoy in my desk, but that’s not what I meant. “You worry him.” “Then reassure him.” “You need reassuring,” he says taking stance in front of my desk. His arms crossed and knees locked. He looks like he’s going to sentence me to detention. He gets that same look when he hasn’t been laid in awhile. I think I’m about to get sent to the corner. “Tell them to get off my property.” “The paparazzi?” “No, tell them to get the hell out of my trees.” “What are you going to do? Shoot them.” “I know you see them. I see it in the lines around your eyes.” “They can’t be shot.” “They visit you don’t they?” “I’m going to check on Kino.” “Don’t come to my room tonight.” “I won’t,” he says before turning out the light. It’s hard enough trying to fall out of love with someone, without having them make love to you. I go into the kitchen for some snacks to go with my tree watching and there is a cookie monster standing on the counter. That damn moon has got its stray beams intruding into my house via the bay window over the sink and it proudly shines up the peach fuzz on my son’s ass. Bane. Eight-year-old warmonger. The elastic band in his favorite pajamas is trying to retire. He’s paper clipped the band to his little tightie whities. They’re all heading south for the winter. “What the hell are you doing?” “Cookies,” he says without even turning around. He always knows when I’m there. I never have to say a word. He still thinks he can sneak shit right in front of my face. He pulls out the Pepperidge Farm and starts opening the bag. “I don’t think so, mister,” I say scooping him from the counter. “Go get the milk. You get Chips Ahoy!” He strolls over to the fridge, one hand sleepily rubbing his eye, the other tugging his pants over the crack of his ass. I take a seat at the kitchen table, a big wooden thing that can seat twelve. I’ve got four cookies on a napkin for him and the whole bag of Pepperidge Farm for me. My mom imposed the four cookies a day rule on me until I was twelve. I was fat from thirteen to twenty-two. I’m setting my kids up for failure. He comes over with the blue carton of two-percent milk and I pull him onto my lap. He lays his big head on my chest and we eat our cookies in peace. Drink our milk straight from the carton. Eleven pairs of lips have touched this thing and we still don’t care. “Kino’s in my bed again.” “I know.” “I need a bigger bed.” “I’ll get you one tomorrow,” I say swigging some community milk. “Dad’s coming over.” “Did Billy say?” “No.” “Why is he coming over?” “He’s scared.” Next subject. “You sleepy?” “Nobody’s sleeping tonight,” he says all Sixth Sense. I’m not touching that either. Three weeks ago I found him crying in front of the bushes on the side of the house – the ones with the pink and yellow tulips growing around them. It was noon on a Saturday. Sunny, breezy somebody was grilling hotdogs. His brothers were nowhere to be found. He’s usually the one making them cry anyway. I scooped him up in my arms trying not to cry myself. He looked so pitiful. It took me twenty minutes to calm him down. I asked him what was wrong and all he would say was dead bunnies. I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. I took him in the house and laid him down for a nap. The next day my gardener’s assistant, a twenty year old blond surfer with a lip ring and a couple of more intimate piercings, so I’ve heard, was on his lawn tractor, and with his ears full of Deftones, mowed over some baby bunnies. Bloody bunny bits and sweet shredded tulip petals were all over the side yard. I had a covert operation to clean it up like it’d never happened, but when Bill Bradly brought Bane home at four, he went straight to that exact spot and just stood there like he knew. He put his hands in his little jean pockets and looked up at me, the afternoon sun oranging up his face, and said, “Where are the tulips?” I looked him dead in his big brown eyes and said, “What tulips?” Mother’s a pseudonym for liar. “Why don’t you head up to bed anyway?” “Is Serg sleeping with you tonight?” “Why would he do that?” I say like he caught me in the cookie jar. “I don’t know,” he says scooting off my lap. I just stare at his back as he tugs at his under drawers on his way up the back steps. When I can’t hear his scuffling feet anymore, I grab my Sausalitos and head back to the den. I’m crunching on chocolate chips when I hear books dropping from a height. I put my cookie bag in my pit and plug in my Christmas lights. I got the really cool ones that are round and look like berries. There’s this floor to ceiling bookshelf complete with a ladder on a track. A couple of the shelves have DVD’s and CD’s on them, but the rest are books. They’re my kinda books, though – bestsellers, weirdo books like Death and the Afterlife, Psi Factor d and The Complete Kama Sutra, which is a complete lie because it’s the version without the pictures. It should be illegal to print the Kama Sutra and slather it with a heinous world like complete and not put the pictures in. How do you know what stuff you want to try without the fucking pictures? People only want to try freaky shit if it looks cool. On the eighth step of the ladder, perusing my stacks is one of them. He’s got funky hair that’s cropped on the sides and all long and spiky up top. It’s platinum blond – which is totally a dye job because he’s got some ferocious black eye brows. He also sports those kick ass sideburns that grow along his jaw and point at each side of his mouth. I decided a while back I’d name these trespassers like the seven dwarves even though there are only five of them. That fifth one is elusive and probably doesn’t think I know he exists, but that bastard’s real all right. I call him Ghost. This one isn’t Ghost, though. This bastard is Snoopy; he’s always in my shit. Last week I went into the vault in my bedroom closet and he was trying on my wedding rings – I kept them all, fuck my ex-husbands I earned them. He was particularly fascinated with the one Javier, husband number one, gave me. I met Javier when I was twenty. A dark and brooding, hairy Spaniard, he was sitting in a café in Madrid when I spilled coffee in his lap. He had this long dark hair waving down his back, tufts of the stuff bushing out his shirt, a tight ass that I swear he must have hot waxed. He was a superstar over there even then. He’d stand on stage for twenty minutes, not utter a note, a moan, or a sigh. Just stand there indifferently like he could be somewhere better – like the shitter – and women would faint. I didn’t know who the hell he was and I didn’t speak a lick of Spanish. When I spilled caramel cappuccino in his lap, he cursed me out in French. I brought him a cup of ice with the intension of wrapping it in a couple of towels to cool his scalding balls. I dropped that in his lap, too. He screeched louder than the first time, but he held the ice there. He sat there in that chair holding his balls, huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf, and giving me the evil eye. I was lighting a cigarette in the alley when he grabbed my arm and took off running down the street. We ducked into this youth hostel and he turned me out. He divorced his wife and we were married the day I turned twenty and a half. We have a son named Deo. On his first birthday, I caught Javier sticking his dick in the caterer. When he was five, I tried to explain to him why daddy had to go away. He said he already knew why. He had a “bad penis.” Javier’s got good taste in jewelry. That ring’s set in white gold with a three carat emerald cut diamond; it’s got two triangle cut peridot on the side. Now this jackass, Snoopy, had my other four rings pushed up to his knuckles while he’s fingering that one like a jeweler. The light coming in from the closet only shined up to his neck, but he looks at me with those eyes and they beam blue. “Peridot’s ugly,” he said and dropped it on the floor. “Why don’t you do that thing where I blink and you disappear,” I tell the little shit. He walked past me slow, deliberate. He rounded the corner before I remembered he was still wearing my other four rings. I ran out into my bedroom and he had already vanished. “You still have my fucking rings,” I screamed out into the hallway. My rings came flying at my face like hail from nowhere in particular. Prick. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing,” I say crunching on another cookie, making my way over to him. He’s got his ears pierced with the diamonds my mother gave me for my high school graduation. There’s blood crusted around them. I climb two tiers and grab an ear. I flick some blood off my earring. “You keep these.” “Oh, you thought I was giving them back?” “You want a cookie?” I shake the bag in his face and he leans away like I’m offering him poison. “Cute. You have shitty taste,” he says tossing more books to the ground. “Grisham, Crichton, King? Why don’t you save yourself some time and just write them a personal check? “I don’t read all of their stuff.” “Why? Afraid you’ll get bored? Rice? Uh!” “What’s wrong with Anne?” “That bitch needs an editor. She thinks her words don’t stink. Poe, Hemingway, Fitzgerald…Kafka, Dostoevsky,” he says with bravado. “The Great Gatsby blew chunks and Gregor deserved to die.” “He did not!” “His family should have bricked him in his room when they realized he wasn’t going to work.” “You like Poe. There might be some hope for you, yet.” “The man had a brick fetish. And Fyodor should have named all of his characters Jack Smith and Lucy Miller.” “He didn’t write it for you,” he says tossing more books into the pile. “Good, cause I didn’t like it.” “Bill Bradly’s here.” “How do you know?” “I can hear his sneakers on the concrete drive.” “You can not.” “Can so. I can also hear his unusually large penis shuffling around in his shorts. Holdup,” he says cradling his hand to his hear, “there he goes coming in the out door.” He begins to snicker. “You’re a perv.” “Hey, I don’t cop feels from mutes in bathrooms.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “You know that guy that likes to smell you and stick his tongue down your throat,” he says hanging off the ladder like a monkey with a secret. “Were you?” “Of course. God, this house is open season.” He jumps to the ground and my patio doors blow open seemingly by themselves. I meet Billy in the hallway. He’s got a gym bag draped around his chest and he’s breathing heavy. “What was all that?” he says turning the hallway light on. It’s really more of a trendy lantern. “Cockroach.” “Were you shooting at it?” “Only with a .22.” He drops himself and the gym bag on the floor. He still hasn’t caught his breath. “You got a body in there? Running from the FBI?” “No. This place is creepy at night. I ran from the car.” “You’re a chicken shit.” The man’s six-five, two-eighty and a football player. He’s scared of his own fucking shadow. Ex-husband number three. We were married for a year. I divorced him because he slept with the lights on. Okay, he was fucking three of the cheerleaders, too. They were fired. The NFL thought I should be pleased. One of the girls, Suzanne I believe, showed up at the house one day. She was lucky I couldn’t find my shotgun. She said she didn’t sleep with him, but she knows who did. She hands me a copy of Sports Illustrated. Bills on the cover with, Helmun, the quarterback of his rival team. They’re mean mugging each other. All the NFL wives call Helmun, Daddy Fat Sacks behind his back. His wife, Lorraine, got drunk at a wedding shower once and told the bride to be that she hoped she had already slept with him – make sure she wasn’t getting swindled. Lorraine had waited until the wedding to find out Helmun had a lot of baby supply with nothing truly sufficient to execute it with. She had walked in on her mom’s pool boy once, taking a nude swim at midnight. “No two dicks are created equal!” she said waving her finger and her glass of champagne in the air before sliding off the cream leather love seat onto the floor. No…two…dicks!” she proclaimed from the floor before chugging the rest of the sparkly. I laughed all the way home. She quit drinking once she stole her mother’s pool boy. I told Suzi Q to take her sporty mag and her side-splitting twat off my property. I no longer cared where Billy was sticking his dick. No one is allowed to watch football or say cheerleader within two hundred feet of my house. “Fuck you. I feel like I’m being stalked,” Bill says to my crotch. “You are.” “I’m serious. I unlocked my suitcase at the hotel in Dallas and somebody had cut the crotches out of my underwear.” I try halfheartedly not to laugh. He doesn’t have the kind of package that can go around without proper anchoring. “That’s not funny. The wrote “Topsies” on the mirror. Who would have done that?” “The crotch bandit.” “After I came from buying new underwear, all I wanted to do was go to bed. Somebody went into my room and stole all the light bulbs.” I just burst out laughing this time. I can’t help it. “I’m glad this amuses you.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of the dark.” “I’m not.” “Whatever.” “Where’s Bane?” He gets up off the floor and walks up the stairs. I follow him. “Probably in Kino’s room.” “Kino scared again?” “Yeah, Serg’s up here with him.” “I don’t blame him. Shit, I’m a little spooked, too. What the hell is going on?” he says walking south to Kino’s room. “How in the hell should I know?” I say walking north to my own. Once I get there I go to the nightstand for my other pair of binoculars then to the picture windows. I sweep the trees a couple of times, but I still can’t find one single photographer. I go to the bathroom window to get a better look. I had a fourteen-hour day on the set. How I’m still alive to be awake I don’t know. A shower looks good about now. Bucket naked I jump in. I like my water hot and steamy like a good porno. I stand in the spray a good twenty minutes before I even think of washing anything. I’ve got my head under the fall, letting the sound of it drum through my skull – obliviate me from my surroundings. Some naked human slips in. Their toes brush up against my heals. I know who I want it to be, but I don’t have to open my eyes to see who it isn’t. He puts his arms around me and I keep my eyes shut tight. He sticks his head in water that should be falling on me. It’s Thomas, husband number two. He’s a hog. A water hog, a cover’s hog. He always drinks the last of the orange juice. I turn around like I don’t know it’s him. Eyes still closed, I smooth his sandy blonde shag away from his face. I pin him up against the shower wall and plant a wet and sloppy on him. I take my time, too. Let the spit linger, leave a trail. I pull away, then open my eyes. “Thomas!” I say smacking him on the arm like I thought you were someone else. I turn back around indifferently, “Get out.” “But,” he says as I push him out of the stall. He stands there naked and proud with that dumb Kodak smile like he doesn’t quite understand. He’s got water rippling down his body like a stream over rocks. He always comes over and tries to fuck me when he’s been unsuccessful on a date, or when a girl is making him wait because they heard about his reputation or when it’s raining outside or it’s too sunny. Thomas was my I’m over Javier husband. My fuck you, Javier, you suck husband. Never marry an actor. They only know how to act in love; they don’t know how to be. We both should be up for Academy Awards. Our son, Thunder, is ten. He’s brown, athletic and has curly blond hair. He’s a heartbreaker. I hate taking him to the playground. All the girls drop their double-dutch and stare. My son stops double-dutch. Jump rope is sacrosanct to young girls. I can’t have him ruining their lives. Thunder is the only person on the earth Thomas truly loves. He even hates his parents, though he parades them around premieres like they’re best friends. Image is everything. He’s got that I’ll fuck anything that walks, perhaps the right woman could change my ways, I have great respect for my mother persona going on. The first part’s right. He never cheated on me, though. There’s only so many times you can have sex with a person when that’s the only reason you’re together. I still let him in the house. “Date didn’t work out?” I say. He’s holding the shower door open. We do this kind of talk like we’re neighbors standing around a fence, like we’re not both naked. “Naw, some dude showed up. Picture this – ,” “Oh, Lord.” “We’re on her couch, some flowery deal, I got my right hand on her breast,” he’s squeezing the air like there’s some imaginary melon tree I don’t see. “I got my left hand –” “I don’t want to know.” “In her hair.” “Her pubic hair.” “Hair is hair. Anyway, this dude bursts through the door like he’s DEA and shit. She says she swears she don’t know him. I’m not going to stick around and find out. This guy is seven feet tall, got this thick long orange red hair, a little matching goatee going on. He looked like a fucking biker pirate. He’s got these leather steel toes on, tight ass holey jeans and this sleeveless Confederate Flag T-shirt. But it’s so tight it’s wripping at the sides, like he stole it off some skinny person. I’m like, Fuck This, I jumped on my bike and jumped in the shower with you. I almost did a Keanu Reeves getting over here. I can’t take curves like I used to. I must be getting old.” “Freaky,” I say turning the water off and stepping past the idiot naked man. “Yeah, I know.” I yank a towel off the rack and throw it at him. I nail him in the nads. “Hey, watch Mr. Mister.” He wraps the towel around his waist and heads to the bedroom. I pull on my robe and follow him. He sits on the bed, legs ninety degrees pulling the towel apart. He’s leaning back on his arms and he’s looking at me like that’s suppose to do something for me. “No sex?” He asks like There’s no bread. “Get the fuck out of here.” He stands up and rubs his belly, “Sergio gets all the pussy?” “Out.” I haven’t been with Serg in months. My coo keeps screaming obscenities at me so I won’t forget it. “That fucking Puerto Rican/Germ. He still blames you, though, doesn’t he?” “Out!” “I’m going. I’m gonna check on Thunder and go raid the fridge if you change your mind. You still got any of that peppered turkey breast left?” I throw a house shoe at his ass and nail him dead center. He just rubs it and keeps on going. “I need some house shoes over here.” I go over to my dresser to find some under things. I’m thinking something white and cotton. No, the lacy black thong. What? That’s not my thought. I turn around and guess who’s in my picture window. Freaky, A.K.A. pirate biker. I throw a few unmentionables in his direction. “I fucking swear, what is up with yall tonight?” Cotton undies suck. “You wear the thong. And take that fucking shirt off.” I got it off some guy. You wouldn’t have a liked him. “Would you open your mouth. That telepathy thing is weird.” His body raises two inches in the air reminding me there’s no balcony out there. “I’m not impressed.” Gotta go. Husband number five. “Sai? Who you talking to?” a voice says from the door. “One of my many imaginary friends.” I turn around and it’s Anthony. His face is all worn and his eyes are puffy. He looks like his dog died. I run over to him. “What the hell happened?” “He’s gone. He’s gone.” Anthony says sobbing on my shoulder. Anthony’s my rebound from Sergio. Lead singing rock superstar, he’s sporting black roots and blond tips and all the requisite tattoos. He’s your average tortured soul. We met at the lowest point in our lives. Sergio, the only husband I had a shot of going the distance, hadn’t gone as planned, and Anthony’s girlfriend of thirteen years, Kimmi (ugly I know), had took up the hobby of shtupping the drummer of his band. We met at a bar one night and tried to drink each other under the table. Somebody drove us home and we slept on the tiles in my foyer. Nice way to find mommy the next morning. Deo cooked us breakfast. Two days later he’s got my sons wrapped up in a rousing game of basketball in the backyard. We were fast friends. I caught his show in Vegas and afterwards as sort of a joke, we tried to drink each other under the table again. I woke up handcuffed to his foot with a ring on my finger. His wedding ring was on his toe. I got a daughter, Anias, out of the deal. She’s three, two feet tall, has long soft curly hair, her dad’s big brown doe eyes and a mouth like Sophia Patrillo. She also thinks jump rope is sacrosanct. “Who’s gone?” “Johnny. Johnny’s dead. He’s dead!” “What happened?” “We’re on our Hondas up on Mulholland when some jerk in a big red pick up cuts us off. They pull over and we stop. Johnny’s up in the guys window screaming “Shithead, where’d you learn how to drive?” The guy steps out and it’s this fucking Viking. The guy was eighty feet tall with big arms and red ass hair. He takes one look at Johnny’s shirt and he’s like, ‘That’s not a very nice shirt.’ Johnny starts going off. I’ll wear whatever the hell I want. What the fuck are you gonna do about it? The guy says, ‘What am I gonna do about it?’ Then somebody gets out on the passenger side. This guy isn’t big like the other but he’s twice as weird. He’s probably six feet, thin and wiry like a runner. This Celica drove by, lit up his face. His hair was short on the sides and spikey on top. It’s blue black and I swear to God, his eyes were navy. He’s says, ‘Yeah, Freak, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?’ And that’s how said that last part. He sung it like Bad Boys. Called the big Viking Freak like that was his name. Then he gave this wicked grin. His teeth were all shiny like he’d been licking Vaseline. Freak looked at Johnny and said, ‘Get in the truck.’ Johnny stood there a moment kinda twitching like he was wrestling with himself and he got in the truck. I couldn’t believe it. I just stood there about to piss my pants. ‘What do ya think, Dude?’ Freak says to the blue haired one. ‘You know you can’t touch him,’ Blue Hair says. They were talking about me. I start to back away. Freak gets in the truck with Johnny. Blue Hair says, ‘Where you think you’re going?’ I say, ‘You can’t touch me. You can’t touch me.’ He licks his lips real slow, gets right up in my face and says. ‘He can’t touch you. Who said anything about me?’ Freak gets out of the truck. He’s staggering like he’s drunk and he’s got a smile on his face like he’s about to cum. His eyes are rolled back in his head and he grabs his forehead like he’s got brain freeze. ‘Shit, dude, shit,’ he says slow. He licks this red shit off his lips. Blue Hair sees me notice, but don’t say nothing. ‘Just like it was the first time,’ Freak says. Blue hair just smiles. ‘Don’t you have someplace to go?’ he says like he knew where I would go. I get on my bike and peel out. When I passed the truck, though, I saw Johnny slumped over the seat. His eyes looked like dried prunes, and his whole body looked like one of those shrunken heads Bill brought back from New Orleans. He’s dead. He’s fucking dead.” Anthony had stopped crying, but he was on the verge of insane hysteria. Underwear suggestions and ring theft is one thing. Eating Tony’s friend is another. The blue haired one is Deux, not dude. He’s Snoopy’s twin. Twice as cute, half as friendly. Snoop swore Deux threw the rings at my face, that he only stole them. Where one is the other’s not far behind. “Why don’t you go get a drink from the bar in the den? I’ll meet you down there after I get dressed.” “I’ll drink you under the table,” he says before leaving. Trying to laugh, trying to be light. I throw on my underwear like my boyfriend’s parents just got home and I’ve got to sneak out the window. I’m bunny hopping into jeans when Sergio sneaks in. “Kino’s finally sleep,” he says. I turn around grabbing my chest like it’s the big one. “Good,” I say turning back around to find a shirt. I pull out a sleeveless tee that says Funky Cold Medina. “Look. I know I haven’t been fair to you, but I do love you and –” “This isn’t really a good time.” I can’t believe he’s trying to have this conversation now. Five years I’ve been waiting for this. Now, I just want him to go away. I was actually in love with Sergio. I didn’t marry him out of spite or because he was good in bed. We were friends. We had things in common. We dated before we married. He was normal. On our wedding day, his ex-fiancé committed suicide. She left a note saying, ‘It was suppose to be me.’ What a way to start off your life together. Kino was born the day our divorce was finalized. “Really, really really couldn’t be any worse of a time.” I’m pulling on Nikes walking out of the door. He catches up to me in the hallway. “Life doesn’t wait for anyone. And I can’t expect you to wait for me to be emotionally ready to be in a relationship with you.” “Damn right,” I say descending the stairs. “I’ve been seeing a therapist. He says I’m not ready to be in a relationship, but in hopefully in the future –” “Did you tell him you were sleeping with me? What were his thoughts on your emotional stability for fucking me? Did he say that was okay?” I don’t believe this. This is not how I expected this to go at all. “I didn’t tell him.” “Lying to your therapist. You’re on the road to Welleville.” We’re walking into the den when the doorbell rings. I pivot turn towards the front door. “He says I’m still in love with you.” “You’re in love with Kimmi.” “You’re in love with a fucking ghost!” he says while I open the front door to two men. Javier. He just flew in from Rio and instead getting a hotel or a home in L. A., he just bunks here for free and eats all my food. The other one I buried twelve years ago. “Who’s this,” I say to Javier all zombie and no hostess. “This is Javier,” the dead man says. “Hey,” Javier says kissing me on the cheek. “This is my new assistant.” “Why don’t we have a drink,” I say. They follow me to the den where Thomas is towel clad on the couch in front of the TV munching on Golden Grahams. Billy is sitting next to Tom flipping through stations probably trying to find some sort of sporting event or HBO program. Anthony is at the bar lining up shots of Jose Cuervo. I leave Sergio and mystery guest standing in the doorway. I head to the bar. Anthony and I down shots. I down another one before I stuff a sugar coated lemon wedge in my mouth. “I can drink you under the table,” Anthony says. “Not tonight,” I say downing another shot. He sees me warily eyeing mystery guest and he becomes visibly concerned. “Who is this guy,” Sergio says to me while looking at the person in question. Not ‘Do you know this guy?’ but ‘Who is this guy?’ Like I must know him. I look at the six foot one, muscular, caramel skinned black man and shake my head. “He’s someone I used to know.” Head back. Insert Cuervo here. Throat burns. Head light. All is well. “Come on,” Black Man says, “it hasn’t been that long.” He’s carrying one of those nice leather satchels that German cows make. He’s wearing an ordinary pair of adidas and jeans, but it’s his shirt I stare at. Tickle Me Clean, it says. I buried that shirt. Buried it on a dead man. “Sai, who is this guy,” Javier says like he didn’t bring this man into my house. Thomas and Billy look on like tennis match patrons. I shake my head like it couldn’t be, though still he stands in my den. “That’s my brother, Ghost.” “Your brother’s dead,” Bill says. All brains that boy. “I know.” “Biker Viking,” Tom says pointing to the picture windows. Freak is standing there shirtless, holey jeans and steel toe boots still in tact. “Freak! Freak! Where’s your shotgun? Where’s your shotgun? Where the fuck is it?” Anthony says. “Way on the other side of the room behind my desk,” I say placing my hand on his stomach, hoping he won’t move. Snoop, Deux and the Bathroom Groper join Freak in the window. “Chris, let your friends in.” “He’s with them,” Tom says and I can’t tell if he’s relieved or even more afraid. Chris moves over to the sliding glass door, “Nobody’s called me Chris in twelve years. Let’s start this story from the beginning.”

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