Monday, June 27, 2011

Album 3: Let's Dance

Like weeds on a rock face waiting for the scythe,
Ricochet, ricochet.
The world is on a corner waiting for jobs,
Ricochet, ricochet.
Turn the holy pictures so they face the wall.
And who can bear to be forgotten?
And who can bear to be forgotten?

- David Bowie, Let’s Dance, 1983

People look better from far away and with clothes on.

From a distance everyone has the chance to look beautiful. But the closer you get, the more you see. My wife and child are on the other side of death’s fence and they are as gorgeous as cartoon characters. Outlined with ink and memory. Blemishes and bodily excretions blurred into bright technicolor slapsticks. Every argument and tantrum has long been exhumed, carved out of the mud and pus and filled in with Tiger Tail and spumoni ice creams. Happy dandelion fluffs suspended in a sky of misery.

This is what I think as I pull out a box-cutter and slash off Mercurio’s clothes. The hairs on his body were all black and coarse, kith and kin to their pubic cousins. The grey shadow of stubble punching through his cheeks and chin. Where he sits most often, on his fish belly white ass, errant red rosettes of pimples. His subcutaneous fat jiggling with the palsy of his blubbering and begging. From 20 feet away, with his clothes on, he probably picks up pretty regularly.

As I hack off his underwear, he begins blathering about the safe in his den and its combination.

He smiles because that stops me. Nodding like a retarded bobble-head. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll show you.”

I follow his mooning buttocks up the stairs. Forty years of shit eventually stain your crack no matter how well you wipe.

I have vague recall of shag rugs and overwrought oil paintings. The flash of a bedroom that even a pervert would call over-the-top. But his home office was Spartan and functional. Almost admirable.

Desk: all IKEA powder-coated aluminum and birch veneer. Probably called MUMBL or EFICENT or some other pig-English. Chair: the extra-ergonomic mesh weave that fools you into believing your ass isn’t slowly spreading into a shitting pancake. Shelves: lined stem to stern with the orange-beige volumes of Canadian law, and right up to date with the all the addenda. And then the real gold: 4 solid filing cabinets on wheels.

“Roll that one out,” , still hand-cuffed, he chin pecks at one of the cabinets. Keeping my eye on him, I pull the one forward. It moves as easily as a new-born Porsche.

“You can barely see it, but there’s a panel in the floor. Press down on any two corners.”

I do so. The panel whispers up an inch. I pull it out the rest of the way. Underneath, the eye of a combination lock stares up at me. The small safe nestles between floor beams. He gives me the combo. Very eagerly.

When I don’t start twisting the dial, he tries not to panic. When you’re naked, it’s harder to hide that you’re lying. On him, I noticed that his dick actually crawled further into his body.

He tempts me. “I got almost 50k in cash in there. Some coke. Plane tickets and hey, a few passports.” My hand goes to the filing cabinets. “There’s even a couple real special pornos. Imported from Cambodia. Stuff that goes all the way.” He tries to laugh, like you would with a buddy who’s looking at the waitress’ tits too.

The safe also might contain a silent alarm. I put in the wrong combination, and the cops, especially for this snotty neighbourhood, are here at the speed of light.

I turn the mask down at him. Time for it to speak.

I knock on the top of the filing cabinet. The mask says, “Who’s buried in here?”

With the audio-modulator that I wired into the mask, my voice hisses out of two 1-inch speakers in my helmet. I went for a cross between Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet and Darth Vader in an underground garage. A resistor on one speaker causes a split second delay so it almost sounds like there are two voices. I smelled Mercurio start to lose control of his asshole.

I knock the cabinet again. Harder.

“Juh… juh… just clients. The good stuff is in the safe, man.”
I put one hand on the handle of the cabinet. The other on the corner. I start to pull.

He manages a laugh. “They’re locked. They won’t open.” I can’t hear him. The muscles, the anterior deltoids, the trapezius where it grabs my skull, behind the ear. They’re making too much noise as they bunch up. Like a bale of straw compacting, rustling against its own fibres.

As the lock on the cabinet pops, Mercurio’s breath escapes him. “Oh fu…”

For the next four hours, I’m going through files. Mercurio’s certainly got the lungs for lawyering. Despite his incessant nattering, I learn how to go for the liver of each client file. Find the charges. Any that mention racketeering, gang-related offenses, extortion, loan-sharking, high-level trafficking, ownership of buildings that have been implicated in prostitution or human trafficking, all that good shit. The stack is half as tall as me.

Four hours of office work. The adrenalin has long worn off. The crick in my neck hurts worse because of the weight of the mask and helmet.

I turn it on to Mercurio again. “Up,” hisses Darth Hopper. Merc moves, moaning about how he’s had to piss for the past two hours. I lift the 30 pounds of files and shoulder him back downstairs to his gigantic living area.

He watches me empty his gym bag and stuff the files in it. Maybe it was just the dawn sun starting to trickle in his tinted windows, but he looked like he was turning a bit green. His worried “What’re you gonna do with those?” gets shut up, when I force him to “Show me your kitchen.”

“Why?” He tries humour. “You getting hungry? Heh.”

“No,” I breathe, “This box cutter’s too sharp.”

In his granite countered, monolithically-applianced kitchen, I find a thick, short knife. He probably pares guavas with it.

“Whattya need with that?” My answer is to shove him back to the grand plains of his living room. I sit him in what I judge is the middle.

He flops down on his back. “God, I’m so fucking tired.” I yank him by his hair back into a sitting position. “What?” he groans, like he’s gotten used to all this.

“I need your balls on the floor, motherfucker.”

Now he’s awake all over again. A gibbering rubber-lipped lawyer.
“Spread your fucking legs.” He mouths off more. I put the tip of the paring knife half an inch up his left nostril. “Or I could just kill you instead.”

He slowly spreads his legs. The shudder and stutter over the hard wood. His cock has climbed nearly completely into his pelvis. A purple turtle head barely poking out of its shell. All that extra skin that he probably describes as 8 inches of heat-seeking moisture missile has to go somewhere; and so his scrotum sags all the way to the red oak flooring.

I need time to hop his fence and scramble through the ravine back to my car. But I want him alive so he can tell his shit-hole clients that somebody’s got all their files… their addresses.

I raise the knife. 

“Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus.” He chants. I ram the knife down between his legs, straight through his nut sack and 3 inches into the floor.

I managed not to hit a testicle. He can pull himself away from it. He’ll only have to slice through about an inch of scrotal skin.

When his 10 second scream peters out, I jam the mask in his face.
“Tell them. All of them. That I’m coming.”

As I leave, I notice he finally took that piss.

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