Sunday, May 06, 2007

Vignette A Quatro.
Current mood: accomplished
Category: Writing and Poetry

We stand at the light. Waiting to cross. His cologne is fucking awful. But he’s dressed immaculate. Jacket and slacks, no tie. I see he’s thinking. I tell him to stop. He bows his head and looks up at me. I smile.

Nothing to think about I say. Make sure you stay out front on the sidewalk. Don’t approach her under any circumstances unless it turns into an action scene and there’s automatic weapons fire. He giggles a little.

Got to give him something.

Do not step foot inside without calling me first. You feel me? I tell him this. He bows his
head again and looks up at me, no worries he says, and he smiles.

I light one and with a click the signal changes, we step off the curb. Mickey moves slow.

He calls me Mikey and I call him Mickey and Mickey is
insanely fast and crazy vicious when the time comes.
He’s here today because things aren’t great for him so
I said I’d give him a buck fifty to take me over the
hill and get something signed.

I tell him we’ll go across the street after, there’s a
Fatburger. I’m all about a fried egg sandwich with
pickles, mustard and cheddar. You can have whatever, I say.

Fairly late afternoon. We move from sun to shadow. Winter in LA. He looks to his left and clocks the Fatburger. Wait here I say, I don’t want him inside.

I flick my smoke away and walk in. It’s warm and sophisticated. This woman knows her mind and her business. Nobody else in the store. She’s watching a flatscreen on the wall while propping herself up with
arms behind her on a circular couch. Beside her, two remotes, a cordless and her cell. And no shit, an open game of “Operation”.

Mickey’s wide, he’d be a disaster in here.

Who else is here, I say.

What’s up, she says. I only know she said something
because she pointed her face at me and her lips moved.
That’s what she always says even on the phone so I
figure that’s what she’s saying now.

Beautiful is an understatement. Her African skin glows like there’s sun shining on it. She gives me pause and I hope she doesn’t catch it.

Mickey with you? Mickey? She’s loud but not yelling. She gets up
moving towards the front of her store and she does the not yelling thing again.

My phone rings. Tell him he can come in I say.

He appears with a shy smile. She cups his face, kisses his cheek and leads him to a couch that allows him to see outside. She hands him a bottle of water that looks miniature in his fist.

She snatches the envelope out of my back pocket on her way back in. This what I think it is?

I nod.

All business now. She walks towards the register as she opens it and begins to read. You need time to read it over I’ll send Mickey to pick it up, I say.

She looks at me and reaches for a pen. She signs it slowly and deliberately, re-folds it, puts it back in the envelope and hands it to me with a blank face. Things are getting better, she says. I’ll have a payment soon.

Good to hear I say.

She smells her hands and looks towards Mickey. A sour look on her face as she heads off to wash up. Let’s go Mickey I say and move towards the door.

In between tearing off massive bites from his triple and wiping his chin he says, she’s something Mikey. Yeah, I know, but she lacks empathy I say. Classic narcissistic personality disorder. Least, that’s what my shrink says. Mmmm hmm, he says like he knows what I’m talking about. He draws through his straw and it makes that noise it makes in every movie. Why is it only white people need therapy he asks.

The guy who block’s out the sun is coming in the door. His grin is wide but his eyes are empty. Fuck, I say.

Mickey stands wiping his hands and without looking says that’s far enough bro.

He ‘s at least a foot taller than either of us but Mickey never even bothers to size him up. Instead he swings so fast all I see is hist fist connect with Mr. Eclipse’s adams apple and he goes down. The only sound is a big man smacking tile.

Mickey looks at me and all I can manage is a whispered whoo. Then he steps back over to wrap up what’s left of his burger in napkins. You gonna eat that? I shake my head and he begins to wrap mine up too. We need a bag he says. He steps in front of the people on line at the counter who are wide eyed and haven’t moved an inch. Hey bro, can I getta bag?

On the way out Mickey pauses, standing over Mr. Eclipse.

With a grunt he brings is heel down hard on the man’s nose. This time the sound makes my stomach plummet. I look away before I can see.

On the sidewalk he leans against a light pole to inspect the bottom of his shoe. I got paper towels in the car he says.

After cleaning off his shoe but before getting behind the wheel, he takes a gun out of his waistband and puts on the seat between us.

We drive off. Thanks I say.

Mikey, you had me along just in case he says. Well, just in case just happened to happen didn’t it?

I give him two brand new bills. He smiles but never takes his eyes off the road.

You mind if I smoke in your car Mickey? His corpulent fingers claw at the switches and my window comes down. Be my guest boss, he says. Don’t call me that I say.

I’m having deja vu.


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