I guess you could call this sleeping rough. For me it is. The bed is quite lumpy and there’s a stain on the wall. My guess, there always is in a place like this. But tonight to the world and anyone who’s looking for me – I’m invisible. I paid cash for the room. I removed my license plates and made a phony Temporary Tag with a stencil and ink set I bought at the incredible WalMart. I snaked around a little bit on my way south of the border and hit ATM cash machine after cash machine along an interior east to west route. Now, I’m far south of my trail, and I’m dark. I drink beer and eat tortilla chips and salsa, also Wal-Mart. I should buy their stock.
I haven’t decided what to do exactly. I’ve backed away from my earlier rashness, and am now firmly focused on how fucked up this whole thing is. Tina and Henry are not taking my baby. If Tina stays with him, after what I threw at them both, then, she’s a fucking idiot who deserves a loser like him. I just know – they are where my daughter is growing up.
I love her still, but I hate more. Henry I’m not ambivalent about, in the least.
My motel at the foot of the Hearst castle estate in San Simeon is a traveler’s motel crazy people might have stayed, and wondered about spilling blood, and wanting it on their hands. Maybe craved it even.
I unsheathe my red Bowie knife and drink beer as I lightly trip my finger down the deadly blade. Unbelievable, that I could buy this for $28. I want to cut into something. Holding it deadly blade, I understand the urge.
I sit on the floor and under the dinette table I begin to carve my message: Henry dies.
Three days later – Bette
As I approach Joyce’s office in Brentwood I see Tina’s car parked outside. She always did have a penchant for being early. I should have known. I’m never on time, but I am today, and she’s already here. Damn her.
The receptionist shows me inside. Joyce takes aim with a ball and it sticks squarely in the quilted uterus art piece on her wall. She pretends to focus on her aim, as Tina rises to face me. She’s furious. Good! So am I. Why not? You go first.
Tina begins to yell at me. Joyce makes two great shots in a row. I should have worn my knife, but I came from work. Dean Porter as of today. My accounts will soon replenish. Tina yells some more.
Joyce stands up and shouts, “Sit down, both of you.” Tina walks back to the leather couch fuming.
It’s quiet for a moment, now my turn to strike.
“You are the most deceitful bitch, an enormously deluded liar if you think that Joyce, who fucking knows better than anyone, can be convinced by your maniacal rantings that Angelica is not my child just as much as she is yours.” I spit back at Tina.
“Not another word!” Joyce fires a fastball at the ovaries on the wall. “This is how it’s going to be.” She leans across her desk and stares us both down.
We sit obediently.
“As much as I would like to cash in on your lesbian custody nightmare I think I should go to medical school first, and become a psychiatrist and then, make more money on Angelica a few more years down the line. Or I could do both.” She rocks back in her leather desk chair and flips her tie up and down. “Take a lot of money from you now and again in eight years.”
She drops her tie and throws another dead aimed ball at the uterus on the wall. “It’s up to you. You decide.”
TBC The next story in this series is, “Low Hanging Fruit” here: http://wp.me/p4AUvc-2z
This story remains one of my favorites because, as you can imagine, it was so much fun to imagine her in WalMart.
Bette Porter L Word, stories continue next here and @Blackbird_Write
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