Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big Black Nemesis

           I'm thankful I don't have to go into alleys for her, though this is somehow worse. She inhabits the dark, squalid underbelly of things, below the alleys, below the streets where people walk unsuspecting...a motel here, a subway station as a homeless person there...she never settles down and she never stays in the same place twice. But if you know where to look, you can find a trail here and there. She never really liked the desert. Too few people, too little to do, and before you knew it she was bored. I never liked when she got bored. It was a terrible sight. If anyone knew what she did when she got bored...
         I found her this time in a fleabag joint, sitting behind a counter and reading a copy of Consider Phlebas,  wearing the same white dress she always wore. "So how was Long Island? I hear now that the weather's warming up. You must be thinking of the next place to go." She glares at me with those weirdly colored eyes and slams her book. "You bore me too, you know..." 
       "I know. But there's something that won't. We're getting everyone back together." 
       "Which means that you need me."
      "I'd like to think I want you, not need you, but okay. I need you." I sigh. "And your talents."
     "I need to know something, myself. Will I get bored?" She asked it simply, and without a hint of anything behind it.
    "If I have my way, you never will. Chances are when we stick our heads out, everything from your favorite punching bag to that thing I make new holes in when it shows up are gonna run right towards us. Next question."
   "If you expect me to--"
   "If I expect you to work with your sisters, you'll fucking work with them." I cut her off. I feel myself get a little tired and smack the glass in front of her to break her concentration. "We need at least one of them, if not both of them. Now, are you in, or am I wasting my time?" I stop, pause, put a finger in the air. "Oh, and remember. Those cops are probably closing in. It's not like the Midwest, where you can dump six bodies and no one bats an eyelash."
    "Fine." She appraises me. "You're still the same sad bitch you always were, Tao. No spine, needing us to help out with things, always worried about what others would think of you and always, always trying to act like it doesn't matter. Please...if I'm going to do this, at least conduct yourself with a little dignity." She gets out from behind the desk and walks over to me. Never touches me...some things never change. She hates people like me. Disgusted by us, can't touch us...whatever it is, she hates people like me.
     I shrug and light up an herbal cigarette only for her to yank it out of my mouth and fling it into the nearest trash can. "And none of that. That stupid tattooed trash might put up with it, but you're dealing with someone important here." Her eyes blaze for a moment and I remember that they're colored all weird...purple or something like that. She tried to kill me the last time I asked her if they were contacts.
     "Constance..." I tell her. She hates the name, but she'll take it. She'll take it because she knows she has no choice in the matter. She glares at me. "Just play nice with us and rough with them." I tell her. "Do that for me, will you, Constance?"
     As I get to the curb, Adam's waiting with a car and holds the door for her. He waves to me and points down the street. "She's that way, old boy. Go. We'll be here. Oh, and call that dear friend of yours when you're done. I don't need him worrying we're going to turn up dead. Even though he knows better." He laughed. "He should by now."

I continue onward, into the twisting streets of the city, looking for an abandoned loft, the kind some tortured artist would squat in. I can only hope I'll find the right one.