Tag Archives: pulp fiction

The Whiskey Wagon and the Wild Women

 

The young cadet that skipped town.

The young cadet that skipped town.

* For a brief explanation of this project please click here.

That hazy blurred photograph was all I had to go on. I’d come all the way up, deep into the Valley, onto that vague carpet of suburbia some hack town planner blindly kicked off into the distance, just to get this photograph. I hate it up here. Awful little fauxdobe terracotta topped building blocks as far as the eye can bear to see all lined up waiting for the Big One to come and spare them the shame of their own crass form. Inside these cubes lies a community that all suddenly decided to tune in, get fat, find God, and sit in front of the tube allowing their bodies to congeal and wilt, and their brains to pickle and stew. They want to prune their little lawns and protect them with obnoxious sprinklers that spray onto the sidewalk preventing you from passing. Like they’ve hired some huge drunken dick to piss through a sieve. Going into the San Fernando Valley was like wading up to your knees in the Mid West.

The photograph in question was an amateur portrait of some soldier. Some handsome young military buck who probably knocked up some young thing and left Pasadena under the mask of the evening, leaving his poor old lady behind to fend for herself. Part of me doesn’t blame him. I couldn’t allow myself to recede like a dying house cat into this tragic gorge, and the tone of voice on the message his old lady left me was pretty God damn irritating. Nasal. I can’t stand a nasal woman, particularly when she’s getting on my wick about something. But the other part of me says that you don’t sneak out like some piece of shit coward. You go out like a man, and take whatever scorn she throws at you on your chin.

She’d left a message around 2am last night. I was snuggly incubated by a near quart of some cheap blushed rye that had left a thick film on my tongue and rasp in my throat. I was out. I might’ve appeared dead from ten feet had it not been for the pungent scent of a good, hard second-hand drunk that filled the air. I woke up at 10:15. My mouth tasted like brined old leather and my head felt like it’d been tumble dried with an ashtray full of loose change. After months of little tastes here and there, the odd stumble and slur, there was now a solid case to convict me of falling haplessly from the wagon.

I saw the answer machine blinking its red light at me through a gap in my fingers. I rolled over and slapped the buttons hoping I didn’t hit delete again. Her nasal voice started up like a tiny little leaf blower. I’ll spare you the peas and carrots and get to the meat and potatoes. Her husband was gone and she needed someone to find him. She looked in the phonebook and that ad I told those pig fuckers to remove caught her eye. She called me crying, scared, and explained what she needed me to do.

So here we are. Driving back from her ghastly place with nothing to go on but this blurred image she left for me in an envelope under the plant pot on her porch. No sign of nothing else. I decided to stop in at the liquor store and buy another quart of that rye. I thought it best to go home at once, wonder at the blurred image of this young cadet while I throw out a towel, kick back and marinade in the petri at the base of this here bottle of sweet, sweet rye.

Ahhh, to be back.

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With Love – Part Two

We were stopped by two police officers about forty miles from the Mexican border just past Deming. We picked them up as we were leaving the town.

*

I knew I’d made her angry so we’d stopped in Deming to get something to eat. Biscuits and gravy. I grabbed a handful of the money from the bag and stuffed it in my pocket. I just looked around for cops the whole time. She just sat talking and laughing and eating. I hadn’t seen her that happy before. People were looking at us in the restaurant. In your head you tell yourself that it’s because they heard about what you did on the radio and they know you did it. But we were dressed like ‘city folk’ in a country town. And she was bouncing off the walls. And I was starin’ out every face, jumping every time the door opened. We stood out like a couple of Jews in a Mosque.

“Do you think we’re gonna make it to Mexico?” she asked.

“Probably” I said. I was sure we wouldn’t. Even if we could get there I knew we wouldn’t get there.

“I don’t. I think we’re gonna die.” She smiled this big goofy smile and kept chewing on her food. I started laughing.

“Yeah. Me too.”

She stopped smiling.

“Then why’d you lie?”

“Cause I thought you wanted me to.”

She kissed her fingers and reached out and pressed them against my lips. I closed my eyes. I could taste the gravy. It tasted really good. I was really hungry but far too wired to eat anything.

“You got your gun?” she asked me, looking over those heart-shaped glasses, swallowing a big mouthful of biscuit.

I looked around to see if anyone heard her. She was so loud.

“Yeah. Of course.” I whispered.

“Give it to me” she said, smiling at me.

“Why?” I asked, still whispering.

She took off her glasses, folded them and sat the down on the table.

“I’m gonna kill someone, that’s why.”

I looked into those eyes of hers. I could still see the young, broken girl I fell in love with a few weeks ago, but she was disappearing faster than our chances. When she stared down the barrel of that gun in my pants and pulled the trigger on her daddy, that little girl in her died without a corpse. She was someone I didn’t think I’d ever know. She was so beautiful.

“Sugar,” I leaned in, trying to throw a blanket over our conversation, “these people ain’t done nuthin.”

“You’re right.” She sat back, her smile disappeared. She looked down at her plate, all sad.

“Look, I don’t wanna kill nobody,” I took her hands in mine, “but, if you wanna rob the place, then I’m happy with that. You know, for kicks.”

She looked up and smiled.

“Really?! Like Pulp Fiction?”

“Like Pulp Fiction.” I smiled, rubbing her hands. “But no killing nobody. Not unless you have to.”

She looked at me from across the table. She blew me a kiss. I watched her shoulder dip under the table. I felt her hand slide up my leg. She moved her hand over my dick and started rubbing. I closed my eyes. In one move I felt the gun come right out of my pants.

“Everybody be cool this is a robbery!!!” she shouted, her chair sliding back across the diner floor. I smiled at her as I rose to my feet. At that moment, I’d never loved anyone so much.

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