Wednesday, June 25, 2014
They were stopping, kaput. Not dead, just stuck. Everywhere.
No one knew why. It didn't matter what it looked like, or what anyone said - all the big ideas didn't change the fact that heaps of people had run out of whatever it was that had made them go. The only certainty was the mess it made for the rest of us.
"I don't know. Maybe they ran out of Wednesdays."
"Maybe they ran out of this way's and that way's!"
Broken people clotted the avenues in Midtown, shut down the tunnels and bridges, brought Chinatown to a heaping, shrieking standstill.
Glassy eyed children, pink-toothed, bubble-lipped, some alone, others hands clasped loosely to vacant eyed parents, burbled mid-stride under traffic lights that had also become static.
"Can I have his yoyo?"
"Don't even think about it."
"Why? He's not using it."
It wasn't something that came simply with words. You didn't touch them, didn't dare interfere with that, whatever that was. Not for fear of catching something.... Ok, maybe some of it, but you don't want to think about anyone touching your child, taking from them, disturbing them in such a vulnerable circumstance - horrors danced in the shadows of that notion - the most foul in the city couldn't swallow that terror. Losing. Losing control, but that wasn't it exactly. Further into the shadows. Even more precious than this or that, ours, theirs, yours. We don't have words for things that precious.
"Let's hope he gets better and can use it soon."
End of part one
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
"My father named me; Budrow Wilson Dexter Laurel and Hardy Har Har." Buddy smiled. "One word though. You have to say it as one word."
She almost smiled but instead her lip fish-hooked to one side and held.
"Pop was a schmuck," he added
Then she smiled.
"And you? Venice? Is that a nickname or...?" The question hung off the edge of Buddy's wide smile.
Venice made you and me with a loose index finger between her own slim chest and Haha's. "Schmuck spawn, both of us," she whispered.
Buddy liked her. She reminded him of a soft childhood moment that he couldn't fully touch.
"So they call me Nice, or Nitzia -
Angel, sometimes, if they're happy or drunk or both."
She'd been relocated. It had taken sacks of cash and the removal of two consecutive links in the chain of contact between Venice and her misdeeds. Buddy's job was to see how well the slip stuck. She didn't look like at all like what they claimed she was.
Nice didn't think happy, sad, angry, lonely.
She thought ok, not ok.
Mac's Place was hidden below street level in The Village. They served what they had and charged whatever Mac felt was reasonable. The food was better than good but most of the customers came to hide in the cavernous depths, hewn in blocks of smoked oak and granite.
"My mom had these giant throw-up kneecaps. That was her gig, what messed her up - what messed us all up - can you believe it?
People are dead because of mothers kneecaps! I think about that."
Buddy wanted to ask a question but Nice continued.
"I see them laying there, heads blown clear off, nearly clean off - worse than that - splinters and bloody grey mush."
Buddy's wide smile didn't flinch.
"One instant there's two guys arguing with me, the next instant -meat on the floor. No more guys, no more arguing. Just two vague piles of gristle."
"What are you ordering?" asked
End part 1