Saturday, March 31, 2012
I walked from sunset to sunrise in the post noon. Sol's rays of tough love stabbed and poked into my exposed flesh, warmed my head of hair that was needed-a-fucking-cut long. Sandals clapped on the asphalt walks that ran beside apartment blocks and the leaving-winter jaundiced lawns.
Most of the world was made visible through new and already scratched sunglasses. Muscles were wake-up weak and swung lazy. Some hand – not sure which, probably the wrong one – checked my pockets to make sure I didn't leave the mailbox key back in my apartment. My thumb rubbed against the dull teeth. I remembered that sometimes, I would lock myself out of my apartment.
I reached that little road intersection thing and stared down a car. It sagely chose to drive in a direction that was not where I was going to walk. The driver would have regretted that decision more than me.
Somehow. I didn't work out the details yet. Reserve your judgment.
I found the mailbox and the paper that broke the metal panel and hinge mosaic. On said paper was, in desperately huge, black bold font: “MISSING” followed by a picture, followed by “A------ A----------.”
And “14 YEARS OLD.”
And “LAST SEEN ON MARCH 19 2012 IF YOU HAVE SEEN HER, OR KNOW OF HER WHERE ABOUTS PLEASE CONTACT E-------- @ ###-###-####.”
Her black hair was wet but wavy from the neck to under her shoulders. She was looking straight into a held camera with eyes wide and set under broad but sleek brows. Her lips were concave up, her cheeks were round, taught with that nervous pride that says, 'you know, I think I'm actually fairly pretty.' Blossoming confidence, like a mushroom cloud rising over a city built out of billboards and fashion magazine ads starring cocaine courtesans and the un-eating.
I thought she was right.
I knew she would be found in a ditch flanking a highway, drained of her fluids and injected with someone else's. A very stupid someone else's.
Or she would be carrion in the hundreds of square kilometers of body disposal site that wrapped around every town in the Southwest. Coyotes, ants, vultures, ect. would strip her clean before Sol's angry stare got a non-existent god's eye view of her.
Or she OD'd in her kind-of sort-of friend's friend's trailer, with ooze out her nose and mouth and roaches nibbling on the whatever stuck under her fingernails. Her kind-of sort-of friend's friend's friends would be too busy compounding their own neural-chemical modifications to notice that her's had completely ceased.
My key disregards getting to know the mailbox and dives straight into intercourse. Just a turn to make it groan, open, and scream out a tree's worth of junk mail.
I got advertisements all over my hands, super gross. I sanitized myself by dumping it all in a garbage can.
She probably wouldn't even have needed chopping up if the body problem was countered with a municipal solution.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Consider for a moment a town. Consider a town with a four digit population, three stores, two schools, one auto mechanic, and zero people who are not white protestant straight good 'ol boys and hometown gals.
Consider that one auto mechanic. He wakes up in the morning like he has for the past 40 years. He takes a shower like he has for the past 33 years. He makes his own breakfast like he has for the past 30 years. He takes a drink (or ten) of whiskey like he has for the past 31 years. He ignores the dead cockroaches on his floor like he has for the past 36 years.
He takes a pair of once blue overalls off the back of his creaking wood dining room chair like he has for the past 24 years. He takes off his worn flannel bottoms and slips on the stained stiff, oil soaked, acid eaten, frayed edged, duct-tape patches, tool laden overalls. He pauses, then clasps the thrice mended fasteners over his shoulder and to his bib. The straps pull his shoulders down and try to push his crotch back into his body.
He takes another drink (or ten) of whiskey as he steps into his garage. He moves the cardboard away from the broken window to let light and pollen-laden air mix with the dense fumes surrounding the Sheriff's car.
He grabs a grime smeared bottle of bleach and a black rag. He opens the door to the rear seat of the car, then proceeds to scrub the crimson stains off the slick pleather upholstery. He applies too much force, slips, and his hand lands in an uncoagulated puddle soaking the carpet. It is then, at a low angle, that he notices a corner of white fabric tucked under the seat.
He adds one more red stain to his overalls with the press of his hand. He pulls out the piece of fabric and finds that it is a pair of women's underwear. A pair of underwear too small for a woman.
He takes another drink (or ten) before he throws the pair into an orange garbage can. He then finishes cleaning the Sheriff's car.
At lunch time, the Sheriff arrives at his house and inspects the car. He runs a finger over every surface of the interior and smiles when he lifts up the unstained digit. “Good work. Drinks are on me,” says the Sheriff as he pushes a fold of crisp bills into the overalls.
The Sheriff drives away, and the auto mechanic takes another drink (or ten) as the red hand prints and smears on his overalls dry. Like they have once every six or so months over the last ten years.