A renegade from double indemnity and crisp infidelities, she told him she was still a virgin at bliss. Sitting next to her on the bed, he played with the gun, the same .38 from so many stick ups. With poker face put-on, he said Oh, another stuck up girl, is it? It was his best De Niro snicker. He pointed the piece at her lips smeared with the grease of chicken wings. What do you want me to do? she asked in her best girly voice.
He spoke in subdued tones of gray mixed with cool. I had nothing sweet to offer him. He kept staring at a bowl of plastic fruit. Not real, I finally offered. He shook his head politely. Unable to resist my own leanings, I paraphrased Hamlet’s Existential question–to live or to be still? In the silence, I thought about all the places or items I associated him with: cocktail coasters, N.Y. Times fashion advertisements, scaled down copies adorning an abandoned room in a house. I remembered how his image stopped one show as the tableaux vivant back in’86. His eyes now focused downward, as if trapping some thought in their blue-tunnel gaze. I thought about patches of sea-green melancholy. A background mist. A young girl named Pinkie. There was something about him that was so intrinsically lonely.
Miss thing likes to get down with her paper moons, all scissors and cut-up fingers. Tipsy on Apricot brandy, flirty as the child she once was riding red bicycles downhill, stroking hard curves, bluffing every mama’s boy, or just your mama. “I stole your son’s bike,” she announced from far corners, from screeching burn-outs. The sun was high and she flew solo. But now, seven weeks after rehab, three lunar months after a man scorched her with lies of his red desert existence, a space she could understand, a man whose burning feet she could love, she knows there are two people in the mirror: the tattered girl, the once-again love-urchin without a man or an alibi. And there’s the wanna-get-real her who gets reborn every happy hour, only to get aborted at the door.