Chapter 16, Part C

Coast is clear


Estrelica and Vic began feasting on the munchies as Estrelica said "I want to cut your hair" and straddled him, taking off more than a few handfuls, but cleaned it up well enough for an airport customs man, thought about leaving a cowlick, but left it as it was. He felt his head and liked what he felt as she said "Now I want to put some make-up on you."

"Oh, God. Does the torture never cease?"

"Oh, shut up; it’s good for you. Gets you more women."

"Oh, yeah? Yeah?"

He said he had just finished making a tape of Paraguayan music for a Polish waitress who was going to Mexico via the States with her Peruvian boyfriend. Estrelica started telling him about the sailing trip she was on once with her mother, her father’s second wife and her father’s fiancÚ as Vic held his lips in a kiss until she noticed. She noticed, right at the part where her mother said "Yup, that’s where he hates to be tickled." She shot her tongue in his mouth and he pushed his mint into hers. She spat it out, took off his shirt and shivered from laughter to heat and then back. Beauty this easy must be borne of boredom. He asked her about falcons and she said that you groom them until they’re ready to fly and not one day too soon, but if too many days go by, you might as well just train them to be homing pigeons. "See," she said, "they’ll bring you anything you want from out of the swirling waters. Ever seen one dive? Hell, an eagle can soar, but only a falcon can dive."

Yes, this widowmaker, this sidewinder, this kingfisher of women, this Old Thumper of his own Bible actually believed that. And she just sat on him dabbing mascara softly saying: "Oh, what a silly boy, always going around in circles."

"Oh, what a senseless girl, never staying anywhere special."

"Hey, can you toss this mint," he asked, picking up the one she spat out, "in this half a glass of water and swirl it until it stirs without spilling any drops?" His knee snapped the smoke from the cigarette in his hand into hearts as he ate a few of them while they were still fresh.

"What should the morning be like?" She asked.

"I was going to say chilled watermelon saturated with vodka. I was going to say an iced mocha. I was going to say a few shells of pasta, but only after I find out more about you."

"What’s there to know?"

"If you’ve ever washed wine through your hair?" He drawled.

"I can’t bring myself to use beer. It works fine, but I smell like the Comet for days."

"Wine?" He asked.


"Retsina?" He implored.


"Yeah, Retsina blinkin’ meaner than a wino in a diner."

"Like getting frisky with the whisky and sticking tulips in the juleps?"

"Something like that...."

"Hey. Hey, hey, hey. What do you feel like?" She asked.

"...feel like going home...."

They each turned their eyes away and slowly kissed each other good night. The day, long since gone, died, as they followed. Estrelica and Vic were tired and slept to do something about it, knocking over the bottle in the middle of the night and the stain that settled in washed off her address in his wallet, and outside, like another kneekerchief, fired another AK-47 tearing through the stars another million billion or two miles as these two shot up the main vein in the Milky Way, right by the tattoo on God’s shoulder of His Mother who He saw once give birth to His child, and let no one stand alongside and try to take Her child away simply for playing with whomever they please and for learning whatever they wanted to learn.

They were shown different dreams from each other and all too soon the sun seared open Vic’s eyes. All through breakfast they played Rock-Paper-Scissors. Vic always got her with Rock, but she always got him with Paper.

"Hey, go somewhere...and tell me what you’ve seen." she asked of his eyes.


"Yeah, sure."

"Do you write letters? Do you write long letters?" He asked of her mouth..

"Of course I do, if I can ever find the time."

How long has it been since I wrote that letter in the bath?, she thought, and who was it to?

Vic took his hand out of his pocket with her St. Christopher tangled in his fingers. "You might need this," he said draping it around her neck, and kneeling down to take twenty bucks out of his boot. "That’s for the beer, the cigarettes, the candles and a stamp."

"No, it’s not. It’s for tampons, moisturizer and a grapefruit," she said snatching it and spread it across her mouth. "But, hey, if you do die...have the courtesy to at least come back and say hi."


"I have to stay here." she said slowly.

"I have to go back."

"For now."

"Yeah, for now."


Did you know that Estrelica had dyslexia? and they always called her dumb. You’d try singing her a song and she’d want to go out dancing instead and sweat in the arms of the first rogue who caught her wringing wet.

She was brought into this world knowing she put her mother in prison because her mother knew her child wouldn’t want to be brought into such a place where you’re forced to come into the world.

Did you know that Vic was a southpaw, and when he was a kid they tried forever to make him right with his write?

"You know, you never heard me when I called you."

A shiny hunk of obsidian passed from her fingers to his.

"I guess I just wasn’t listening for it."

They both took advantage of each other, and one day they’ll hold each other for ransom, smiling in all the family portraits with pistols at each other's crotch, taking a jackhammer to the sunset. One burning theirs and one of them not, but the flames would find their way to the other half anyway. It was a dance that ended in stalemate as they went their own separate ways. On the long ride back to her place, commuters splintered into their own ways home on the freeway below her as her headlights blazed up and over the bridge, humping the stream, and scorched the tar on either side as Estrelica screamed away, flying home with Beatrice.

Vic thought about how 69 cents on the dollar was all the authorities needed to keep the women marrying the men. "She thinks I’m gone. That I’m never coming back."

Estrelica thought about how she’d always hide in the back, and end up being the last one on her side left standing when they made her play soak-em in grade school, and how then she’d just pick them all off one by one. "He thinks I’m waiting around." She went back to her house, called and ordered a mammoth pizza and phoned Deidre.

Vic went back to split the world open again as he snapped his fingers, snapped his fingers, touched his wallet, flipped a penny that came up Lincoln, scraped his feet up off the ground, thought of the bootblack he needed, wondered if Estrelica had always weeded, and if the road spun any tighter anywhere else.

Jimmy Crack Corn and I don’t care

Jimmy Crack Corn and I don’t care

Jimmy Crack Corn and I don’t care