Monday, February 25, 2013
Some aspiring street artist had bombed a splashy nurse with a horse hypo on Mother Mary’s door. I pushed the button, leaned on the railing. There was little resemblance. The signature was elaborate. I couldn’t read it. The door opened a few inches. A thick graying shirtless black man said what do you need.
I said probably stitches. I took a header.
He said show me.
I took Suzy’s hat off.
You fucked up?
I said no. Just a little dizzy.
She know you?
I said yeah. Mickey Houghton.
He nodded noncommittally. Wait out here.
Rain dripped from a leaking seam in the awning, a corroded lightfixture. Its brightness hurt my eyes. Looking down made me dizzier. I held onto the railing. A cat squeezed under the tall narrow gate between the houses, hurried down the alley. A dog barked. The door opened. She was barefoot in a blue robe. Her face shiny. Older. She’d got bifocals.
I said sorry I got you outta bed.
What I live for. What’s goin’ on.
I let go the railing with one hand, worked at Dave’s bandana. I was told I might need stitches.
Leave it. By who.
Lady gimme a ride.
Behind her the man said he come drivin’ that blue shitbox. I saw him get out. Wasn’t anybody with him.
I said the ride was before. Long story.
Always is. I’ll see him. She turned away.
He said you carryin’ a needle, tell me now. I get stuck, your head’ll be the least of it.
I said no needles. I’m just a pothead.
He said yeah you look it. You make it? Wait. Here. Lean on me.