The stars are out. They stand next to you at the bar. A blonde in red sequins takes out her compact. The harlequin in flesh colored pants. She licks her lollipop like an erotic migraine. Men and women dance together in front of the paneled wilderness scene. They strike poses against the frosted glass. Another Tequila Sunrise, the man lowers the rose-colored glasses. Spend your gold on the girl by the record machine. She’s an ice-cold killer from Tanzania. Her father owned all the tea in China before the crimson tide rolled out, a hundred thousand junks washed over the continental divide. An Amazon glides by like a 747, shot down by a photographer claiming to be an ex-merchant marine. He has the tattoos to prove it and the top shelf methadone habit. Lies are edited out after the fact, as are the chapters about incestuous uncles and mothers pretending to be older sisters. The demolition scenes were cut so fine there were scissor marks on the kiss and a mysterious powder on the blast. The man, wearing a black suit, dark sunglasses, and a cowboy hat, tilted back, unwraps the package lying on the bed. He holds the fur to his cheek. The woman, naked, sinks back into the fur-lined bed. The phone rings in the lobby. Nobody picks it up. After the seventh ring, an unbearable silence. A professional singer warms up in a bathroom stall, the sound of water swirling down a drain pipe. Under the lid, the hands of an old clock tick down. Ten little maids circle the motorcade. A black door opens, and one after the other they go inside. The time is now. A glass tips over, spilling Scotch and ice. On the street there isn’t a sound. An electric organ falls from the sky. A car stops on the avenue. Something about it—there isn’t another one like it. The driver peers over the wheel. Clouds of vapor rising from the tower, a mist on the lawn, the street map dangling like a handkerchief. Floor after floor, the water rises, a 20 piece orchestra drifting by the picture window. The maiden twirls an umbrella under a street lamp, mascara running from her eyes. The man in the cowboy hat, a song on the radio. A flower between his lips, card tricks and camphor. Smiles under the flood lights.
Morgan Hobbs graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, with a degree in English and History. He currently resides in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Mudlark, Pindeldyboz, Shattered Wig, McSweeney’s, Hollywood Dementia, Nocturnal Lyric and others. He recently published his first novel, I’m the Bomb, about a diabolical movie mogul.