One wig. Many heads.
Same chair, same perfume, same anklet.
“There’s a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.”
“How fast was I going, officer?”
“I’d say around ninety.”
“Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.”
“Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.”
“Suppose it doesn’t take.”
“Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.”
“Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.”
“Suppose you try putting it on my husband’s shoulder.”
“That tears it.”
She was a tramp from a long line of tramps.
“I want you to be nice to me, like the first time you came to the house.”
“What if they did hang me? It’s better than going on this way.”
“I suppose you have to think of everything in your business.”
“Straight down the line.”
“I hope I’ve got my face on straight.”
I was thinking about that dame upstairs, and the way she had looked at me, and I wanted to see her again, close, without that silly staircase between us.
“It’ll be the train, Walter, just the way you want it. Straight down the line.”
“Yes, I’m afraid. But not of Keyes. I’m afraid of us. We’re not the same anymore. We did it so we could be together but instead of that, it’s pulling us apart, isn’t it, Walter?”
“We’re both rotten. Only you’re a little more rotten.”
“It’s me I’m talking about. I don’t want to be left out of it. We have gone through with it, Walter. The tough part is all behind us. We just have to hold on now and not go soft inside. Stick close together the way we started out…I loved you, Walter, and I hated him. But I wasn’t going to do anything about it. Not until I met you. You planned the whole thing. I only wanted him dead.”
“This is it, Walter. I’m shaking like a leaf. But it’s straight down the line for both of us.”
“I’m not asking you to buy anything. Just hold me close.”
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.