I was 101, and she was about as old as an aging Veronica Lake.
I was arranging the disks on the Shuffleboard court and getting ready to win $20 off a retired Machinist from Lincoln. Not the kind of place I'd expect to see her. Which is probably why I saw her.
It was New Or-Leans in mid-July and hotter than a Shit in Hell. I just gave the Bastard a $20 and bought the bitch a Scotch.
Which she drained without a flinch at a Single Gulp. My kinda Woman.
She lit a Salem Light 100 and stared back at me thru Lidded smoky eyes. I asked her would she rather be eaten by a Lion or a Bear.
"A Lion," she said without missing a Beat. "Especially when the only Alternative's a Goddamn Bear."
This was a Good Answer. I asked her why she was There.
"Because Sleaze is Here," she replied, "Like yourself. And the Reduction of Sleaze Anywhere is a Threat to Sleaze Everywhere."
I felt my Tsar beginning to Stir. I asked her if she had a car on her.
She did, as you know, and we drove out Further than the Night.
When we got there, there was only Dark, apart from the Light from a few stars that were already extinguished Years of Light away. It was a New Moon. I slid myself inside her Fragrance and we Floated. She asked me what was my Excuse.
That I didn't have one, I said.
And when I died inside her I realized the World was either over, or that it had Just Begun.
Give me a few Moments of Eternity and I'll figure it out with Regularity.
Lacking that, I'll just Call it as I See it about all the crap they pulled and what they got out of it, or not. And this time, the Point was Moot, as on the Seventh Day, God Rested, and on the following Monday, he just didn't get up at All.
I'm not saying he should've or shouldn't've. And yet Wherever they were, They stood in Wonder, and Marveled, Passed Out in the Dream of What God Has Joined Together.
And what did you want, Fireworks? Just suffice it to say that it was Quiet and Dark, just like your Earliest Memory, and like the Instant of the Last One you'll Ever Have.
And it's a Big Cosmos out there, Son. Too big for us or Them to Fathom, and too Vast for our Understanding. Too much for us All, and yet, when I'm very still and listen close enough, when all I can feel is a nonmovement of Air, I think, just maybe, I can hear Someone Laughing.