Key West author Reef Perkins shares more of his hilarious book,
***Earlier in Key West***
(Click here for previous chapter)
With Perki’s help, Blu got a job at the Naked Bunch. It only lasted a few days. He made a lot of money but, after making thirty-two of his unusually popular Penitinis in a row, he got frost bite on his mixer. No one offered to take his shift and when he learned workman’s comp did not cover this type of injury, he quit. He liked Perki. He liked Beth more.
Blu left Key West in search of Fakyah, now Beth. She was gone and Blu missed her. More than he thought he would. They had a history and Blu was, if nothing else, a history buff.
With the help of a bartender, and a one-legged bellman he met while attending a cock fight in the 800 block of Duval Street, Blu learned Fakyah had been kidnapped by Pepto and was probably in Mexico. “Somewhere in Mexico, to be exact,” the bellman divulged for a healthy tip. Blu picked up a Texaco road map and drew a skinny line along the coast from Key West to Mexico. He calculated the miles. Miles is only distance Blu figured and distance is only time. I got time, he said to himself. He could do it and he did.
Blu refused to be a slave to moderation, and stayed awake for six days straight. It took eight stolen cars, a riding lawn mower, six bicycles, a Great Dane, a motorized walker, ninety two espressos, a kayak and one skateboard to get across this great country. To raise cash he sold some of the stolen cars on the way, others he abandoned. He wished he’d learned to steal airplanes instead, the drive was getting old. The last car he boosted was white and Swedish made. “It was your basic two-door Vulva,” Blu later admitted. Blu Yunger ditched the white Vulva near the Mexican border town of Donde Esta, a rural rut with a few haciendas, a fancy hotel, a popular mass grave and one restaurant, La Misma Mierda Vieja.
Blu landed ass first in Mexico and, ever hopeful, sat down for breakfast in La Misma. He stared at twenty-three roach holes chewed in the mildewed menu. The words Espanol Solamente were stenciled on the cover. Blu could only say a few words in Spanish and Hay problema aqui? (Is there a problem here?) were his favorites.
He didn’t say Hay problema aqui? and instead hesitantly ordered breakfast with other Spanish words he thought he knew. He said the words loudly so the waitress would understand them. Five small brown customers, wearing horse blankets, sat silently nearby. Their calloused hands covered their mouths to avoid ingesting a fly, Blu assumed. Blu heard some thumping behind the restaurant. Forty-five minutes later a moldy tortilla, in the company of three fried geckos, sunny-side up, slid to a stop in front of Blu. “Heer eez you odor, Senor,” the one-eyed waitress said. Blu smiled in Spanish.
Oh well, he thought, after all, the menu is written by hand and my Spanish isn’t very good. He pinched the scalded green heads and reached for the salt. In his periphery, he saw pesos change hands between the silent Mexicans. Some kind of game? Be alert Blu, be alert.
The one-eyed waitress seemed strangely amused and pocketed a few pesos from the snuffling, teary-eyed hombres on the way to the kitchen. Too much hot sauce, Blu reckoned and created another smile. Blu’s mom used to say, “You get as many smiles as you give, my little earthling.” Blu figured he suddenly owed a lot of them since everyone around him seemed to be smiling.
The third world ain’t shit compared to the fourth he thought, but didn’t know why. He tapped a wet salt shaker on the table. It was going to be tough going.
I thought I said huevos, not geckos. “Dang lizards stank,” Blu mumbled and scootched himself to an upwind position. He remembered the good old days, the dangling Pine Thang and eating fresh tads with Fakyah, ah Beth. He made up the eating tads part. He drew the line at geckos.
Blu snapped his Walther P-91K gut knife open and scraped wet salt over the headless geckos. He grabbed a lizard by the tail and poked it into his mouth with his finger then licked the blade. After a couple chews he swallowed, burped and gripped the knife between his teeth. Blu turned and double eyeballed the muffling Mexicans. If there was a game going on, Blu wanted in. Do Mexicans play Bingo? He talked to himself in English and finally realized he was the game. Shit. Real funny, hah, hah. Blu flipped an “under the table bird” at the snuffling amigos. He said snuffling nine times. It didn’t help.
His order of Café con Carne arrived last. Blu looked down, looked up, looked down, looked up and smiled at the waitress. He realized he needed to learn Espanol or, learn to smile a lot. He poured sweetened condensed milk over the floating meatball and grinned again at the one-eyed waitress. “Grassy-ass, Snort-rita. Eat and Live!” It was quiet. She was quiet. They were quiet.
A fly buzzed his plate and directed Blu’s gaze toward a stained, hand-written notice, thumb-tacked to a post near the table. It read, “Donde es La Gringa? Llama me (a pay phone number) I paying plenty big monies for deez one beetch rubio! El Gran Frijole.”
Now, Blu knew Gringa, in Spanish, meant, “One without a dick.” He also knew that Rubio, meant blond, but the Donde threw him. Blu gagged a gecko down and gazed out a nearby window. Gran Frijole? Hum.
A blond Gringa stopped in front of the La Misma’s grubby glass window. She stretched and yawned. Blu stopped chewing and thirteen eyes peered out through the window. They converged at a single fleshy pumpkin patch. She was long, and getting longer … she… she sorta looked like Fakyah, ah Beth!
It got warmer. Blu felt lucky and moved to the door for a better view. Fusion leached from a lecherous vision. Could that be her? Red sling backs- Check, skinny legs-Check! Hot damn-Check! Blu stared at the Gringa and his love for Fakyah reignited, like too much charcoal starter in the barbie. He wondered if you could make electricity from desire and earnestly dry-humped a large, ceramic flower pot in an attempt to test his theory. What Blu lacked in couth he made up for with unrestrained intent and a few innovative and darkly provocative clay pot moves.
The Gringa glanced toward the door then paused to light her crude looking cigarette. She took a drag, turned her head and exhaled. The pungent smoke coned out, like the after-burner on a fighter jet. It was a familiar smell. She French-inhaled and, of course, immediately surrendered to the pungent vapor.
Could it be her? Blu gawked. The Gringa didn’t notice Blu’s gawk. Blu has a pretty big gawk.
Still, Blu had time to think. He looked down and in doing so reduced the eyeball tally to eleven. Why do I count everything, he asked himself for the tenth time that day. It was an irksome quirk that he had been able to control, until recently.
“Shit!” the Gringa yelped and tried to escape the bite of an antagonistic Tsetse fly. The fly’s face reminded her of Pepto as it buzzed into the dusty air. Her heels felt like rubber. The fly winked at her! The sidewalk was soft. Must be that dang Texas loofa… Hoo lordy! That’s some good shit; she thought and started to get dizzy. She dropped, ass first, onto the rock paved sidewalk and quickly put her head between her knees. In that instant a hot, silent bullet missed Beth and exploded the mildewed underbelly of a forgotten Piñata strung across the street in front of La Misma. The laughing horse blankets chinned themselves on the window sill to see the squatting Gringa.
Blu had suffered a near Beth experience, and someone said, “Shit!” again.
In the same minute, a one-man powered Poopa Rapido sanitary relief wagon careened down the street. The brightly colored vehicle catered to tourists who were in burning distress after sampling wonderfully organic and entirely indigenous local meals.
If you could produce within a block it only cost 20 centavos. For an extra 5 centavos, the driver would turn the cart into the wind and pedal slowly.
But now the cart blocked Blu’s view. He looked again and the woman was gone.
Was the shot intended for Blu or Beth? Only the wounded Piñata knew and it wasn’t talking. Its sticky bonbon guts spilled onto the stone street, the Piñata was bleeding out. Blu didn’t hear the shot, only “Shit!” But, he saw the damage and knew what caused it and it wasn’t a buzzard. He also noticed the relief cart had pedaled away quickly with a fat client onboard. The whole thing reeked of suspicious behavior.
Blu stood too quickly and had to sit back down; during which time he decided he loved Fakyah. She was like a Raman Noodle-hot, quick and cheap. It must be Fakyah, ah, Beth, he said to himself and stood slowly this time, ready for the hunt. Blu flipped some centavos on the bar. “Grassy ass senor, Blu said to the bartender’s back. The barkeep nodded, “Vaya con carne, amigo!”
Blu headed out the door and tried to pick up the Gringa’s tail. Trail.
Alone, and amongst unwary strangers, Blu Yunger felt oddly at home.
From the Fancy Hotel bar across the street, Blu overheard tinkling cocktail conversations that ebbed and flowed with the predictable cadence of canned laughter. He saw wrinkled, paper bag faces, painted pretty with eternal smiles, full of hope, civility, trust funds and cheap pharmaceuticals. The younger boozers sucked down the bootleg hootch left un-swallowed by the elders. Others, with lips far too thin for the tropics, chirped in clammy harmony. The joint was called La Copa de Falso Horizonte , The Club of False Horizons.
Blu stepped forward and joined the dark night in search of Beth. At the corner of Calle Uno and Calle Dos, things took a turn for the worse.
Blu made a hard left and walked into a hard right. He smelled hot sauce and bean dip with a hint of cilantro on the attacker’s knuckles. Blu’s face caved in like a deflated soccer ball. His clever thoughts and bony body hit the squelchy street at the same instant. Blu didn’t have time for a “Porque?” or even a freekin’ “Que paso?” Nada. Zip.
Blu was knocked out long enough to get rained on. The rain smelled funny.
He dreamt about his dog (although he never had one) and woke to find an alley mutt licking his face. He slowly regained consciousness. “I think I may have been sniffed by that dog,” he mumbled vacantly. “First a fly, then a turtle and now a danged dog, what is it with me and animals?” Devoid of answers, Blu headed for a cold cerveza, a wet and nurturing beacon of hope and hops, in troubled times.
Blu began the healing process and staggered into the nearest cantina a dive called Dos Huevos. He scratched his ass. His wallet was missing and so was Fakyah, ah Beth. Blu ordered a cerveza, which you can do anywhere in the country within a ten-foot radius. He got a line of credit with the barkeep by saying he was a convicted felon from the States. “Yeah, me too, it’s one of the perks,” the barkeep burped. Blu sucked down a cold one and gently probed his flattened nasal passages. He knew Fakyah, if it was Fakyah, was in danger. Her new, bleached blond hair threw him at first but now he liked it. She looked like a beach bunny in Beach Blanket Bingo!
It was still hot, still smelly and still Meh-hee-ko when Blu stuck six handmade toothpicks between his misaligned teeth. He locked his lips and blew hard. The effort inflated his crumpled face but, unfortunately, jettisoned one of the toothpicks across the room where it imbedded in a rotund waitress’ ass. Her name tag read Consuelo. Consuelo got angry, but the customers loved it. Some of the single men offered a “cheek check” to look for damage.
Consuelo was rubbing her ass and crying when an old shaman stumbled through the dusty sun-shot door. He appraised the situation, “Snake bite!” He dropped his horse blanket, dove under Consuelo’s skirt and started sucking the wound. “Must drive plenty bad spirits out of wound,” he mumbled between sucks. It was native medicine at its best. Suddenly the old medicine man broke suction and yelled, “Boil water!” The old geezer was on a run, ordering tea at a time like this! Blu was impressed. Even with lips that looked like lobster bait, the shaman got a pretty good seal on Consuelo’s butt. The waitress, who outweighed the shaman by two hundred pounds started to get upset but, somehow the gentle sounds of the sucking shaman seemed to calm her, to give her peace and everything soon returned to …normal.
Blu bottle fed his emotions four shots of tequila, spit out most of the toothpicks, chewed four white pills he got from the bartender and got ready to make his move. He stood, burped, hoped his credit was good and headed for the street. A danged fly strip almost took him out near the door! Blu struggled vigorously to free himself. His knees, which would normally have lasted years, had gone bad from bocce ball. He flailed. They failed.
It was touch and go until Blu made the door. One step out he crouched and heard faint high-heel tickings. Tick…tick…tick. The ticking’s echoed down a dark stoned street. Surreal and vaporous smoke wafted from the humid darkness and haunted the adobe walls of El Camino de Luna. Blu smelled the familiar after-burner vapor of Beth’s hot loofa and hash oil blend. He was south of the odor, down Mexico way.
Flaps Up, Gear Up! The odds weren’t good. Blu headed upwind. He’d kept some Tequila in his mouth to help with the pain and prevent his face from collapsing. Tequila does not compress. Twenty minutes later, he caught sight of the Gringa when she paused to steal a yellow and red bufonda from a street vendor. She was smooth and moved on quickly. Blu passed close to her body. It’s her! He sneaked the purloined bufonda from her pocket and handed the scarf back to the old Mexican shopkeeper whose weathered, expressionless face, blind white eye, missing ears and red-stained toothless gums said it all.
Blu’s mom used to say “Love happens, but certain kinds of love happen quicker.”
Blu followed Beth’s red, piston-pumpings at a distance. He swallowed a little more booze and bayed quietly, like a great horned hound on the scent of wobbly-legged love. He knew Beth needed help and one thing the Yungers are noted for, Blu reminded himself, is helpfullnessedness.
When it came to love Blu had an untamed mind and a house-broken heart.
Should I let her know I’m here? After all, even though it was involuntary, she left me. Blu contemplated.
Beth kept moving and continued to worry about how to get home. The problem, she didn’t know where home was. Finally, she decided what to do.
Not far away, Pepto also decided what to do and looked for another ambush site from which to take a third shot. He was pissed at Fakyah, still couldn’t pronounce Beth and was scared of Bro. A tri-freaking-fecta! He needed her. Even dead, her liver and sling backs were worth a few bucks.
At the same time Beth and Pepto decided what to do, Blu decided what to do, too. He swallowed the remaining Tequila and caught up with Beth on Calle Uno. “Fakyah … ah … Beff, it’s me … Blu!” He tried to kiss her but a forgotten toothpick made things worse.
“OUCH! Dang it! Your shirt’s wet, it stanks and open your lips when you talk. Is that a worm on your tongue? Dang it, Blu, is that you?”
‘Yeath, I think thso.”
“You’re not sure? What are you doing here? Where’s the rest of your face?”
“I mithed you, and, well, I came to save your assth,” he mumbled through clenched teeth. He was afraid his face would collapse if he opened his mouth too wide. Had his palate been compromised?
“Well, what about Pepto for sthtarters?”
“Oh, fuck him. He doesn’t know where I am. I escaped!”
“You didn’t notice the bullet?” A tattered toothpick slipped out between his lips.
“What bullet? Don’t you get weird on me, Blu.”
“Don’t you get weird on me, neither.”
“So why did you come here, really?”
“Well I, ah… I…it…ah, it might be love, too…I…? ”He coughed to cover his words. Another toothpick slipped out.
“You might be lonely.”
“Hey, I could be lonely back in Key Weird; I didn’t have to come down here to do it.”
“Oh yeah you did baby Blu… but, hey, that’s the good thing about lonely, you can be it anywhere.”
As much as Blu liked thinking about love, he was not prepared for this school of thought and instead of thinking, which took too much time and effort; he grabbed Beth and pulled her toward the imagined safety of the Fancy Hotel. A place where the “right sort” of people gathered, he hoped. They paused when they passed the assassinated Piñata in front of La Misma. The gutted paper carcass twisted in the wind. Blu told Beth about the gunshot.
“Oh, shit.” Beth said.
Blu’s tongue still felt funny, kind of gummy, when he said “Beth.”
On the way to the Fancy Hotel, Blu pulled the last toothpick out of his mouth and sang an old rock and roll tune to Beth, “…Turn off the lights… don’t try and save me, I just might be the lunatic you’re looking for.”
“Oh, Blu,” she smiled and squinted her eyes.
The Fancy Hotel bar resembled a large fly strip and was swarming with ex-patriots. Their wrinkled elbows embraced the bar at diverse angles of despair and inappropriate comments filled the air like cheap cologne. Only one of the two dozen men and women appeared to be sober. Closer inspection might reveal the sober one was either asleep or dead. The couple entered the Fancy. Without warning, a red-faced, corpulent ex-pat stood on his chair and delivered a thunderous toast to a burnt out lighting fixture. “To all the things we don’t know, and the grand fucking opinions we have about them!” The patrons laughed but their bodies didn’t move, their wrinkles absorbed most of the motion. Still, their eyes twinkled and they guffawed deeply. Too white teeth flashed falsely in the smoky light.
Beauty is only skin deep, Blu thought, and there was some thin skin at this inn.
Beth swizzled towards the bar and Blu followed behind, using her butt for cover. He repeated “Beth’s butt” eleven times. His still bleeding, deflated soccer-ball demeanor discouraged casual conversation.
Blu thought he heard his nose hairs whistling and, for some reason, contemplated the effect of Teeter-Totters on modern society. He had always been faked out on Totters and his coccyx still hurt.
Cautiously, Blu approached his current situation. It was a time and a place where a choice, or at least a distinction, between the precepts of conventional morality and a festering nodule of narcissistic inclination, was vital. Of course, Blu didn’t know he was thinking this high level stuff, in those terms, but he was.
Blu heard a clock tick-tocking. Making, marking, and mocking the moments of his life. He made a decision but, watching Beth’s long legs, quickly forgot it. Her sling backs chattered to hungry, hair-filled ears. Beth knew how to invoke another dimension and noticeably disturbed the proximate reality on her way to the bar. She was the ripple in the pond. Blu showed symptoms of low blood pressure and a premeditated buzz.
Things were coming together. It would be a good night.
Germaine “Funny” Fundosa sat at the bar in the Fancy Hotel. He spotted Beth the minute she came through the door. A bad hombre with a messed up face followed her in.
Funny was a talent scout for the notorious Fume Blanco-Mucho Mellow cartel. He was always on the lookout for talent. For someone who didn’t look like a crook, which was hard to find in ex-pat Mexico. He needed someone to work as a “drug mule” and tote weed across the border and into the States.
Until recently, The Fancy Hotel had been a good but tricky recruiting station. Many of the old rich folks, mostly women, were terminally bored and agreed to take any chance just to “Liven things up!” “Put a little lead in the pencil!” Funny knew ladies don’t have pencils but he was not one to ruin a good line.
Funny was broke and desperate, but still, strapping twenty-two kilos of Sonora dirt weed on one of the eighty-year old ladies at the bar and sending her across the desert, with only a compass and personal lubricant, could be a gamble.
Only one of Funny’s fabled Gray Mules had made it across during the last year, her name was Monique Satchel.
Monique was a Cherokee Indian vacationing in Mexico from Georgia. Unfortunately, on day three of their vacation, her husband, Running Nose, tragically discovered that he was not Pinto bean tolerant. During a complimentary lunch at Senor Pinto’s Mexican Bean Brewery, Running Nose, who had never tried Bean Beer, died suddenly from an overly aggressive onset of Native American “Wind Spirit.” The spirits talked. No one needed a translator.
Monique Satchel was tired of the “Real Cheap Pueblo Vacation Package” Running Nose had purchased and, now that he was dead, well, she was not emotionally inclined to stay around for the funeral.
Instead Monique gave the undertaker fifty dollars US, two of Running Nose’s male enhancement pills, shook his hand and took a job with Funny. She would leave her past behind and become the romantic heroine, Monique Satchel, Drug Mule!
At the same time dirt was shoveled over Running Nose’s papier-mâché coffin, Funny dropped Satchel’s ass off near the Texas border.
Three months later she showed up in Ohio with chapped lips, a well-worn buzz, pregnant and only one ounce of dirt weed left.
Funny got screwed on that one. Still, over the years he learned to accept such vagaries and looked again at the doorway. The new girl gave him hope. “Hope eez like dee hard on,” he mumbled and wished he hadn’t. But today, Funny was on the rise.
“Everybody is looking at me, Blu.” Fakyah whispered.
“So am I… ah… I mean good, good. That means they’re normal.”
“What’s that? “
“What’s …what? What? Never mind, look, let’s get us a drink so I can think.”
Blu stood silently and paused to reflect… I got all my sails up in the middle of a shit storm. Dang it, what have you gone and done to your ownself now, Blu Yunger? He scratched and let his dreams ferment. Can you make good wine from sour grapes, he wondered, without knowing why.
Funny Fundosa approached the bar. “Buenos noches,“ Funny said through a wrinkled brown nose.
“No nachos, Grassy Ass,” Blu responded. He thought Funny was a waiter.
Funny switched to English “I am the one known as Funny. What is beautiful woman name?” He stared at Beth’s breasts.
“Fakyah,” Blu replied for her. Funny continued ogling. Blu reacted and tried to say Beth’s breasts as fast and as many times as he could to distract himself. His default word “hoof” would have worked better since “breasts” still made sense no matter how many times you said it/them.
He got to seven “Beth’s breasts” before Funny got his ass up on his shoulders. Blu noticed the awkward posture and obvious misunderstanding. He quickly corrected. “Ah, oops, sorry el man, she’s an A-rab, her other name is Beth.”
“Oh, ah, buh … Beh … Beh …” Funny tried, but like Pepto, his native tongue could not pronounce Beth.
“Howdy, I’m Blu.”
Funny reached to kiss Beth’s hand in the Latin manner. Instinctively, Blu moved in front of her and received what reminded him of a classic four-finger Kenpo Striking Asp punch to his solar plexus. It took the wind out of Blu. His face turned a peculiar shade of purple. He sucked air and wanted to puke.
“ Oooh senor, I am sorry for you! Maybe making to have some dreenks for you eez good, no?”
“Si, mucho grassy ass,” Blu gasped. Things were looking up.
The drinks arrived and, after several minutes of polite insults regarding the other’s failing culture, Funny got down to business.
“You liking to make crime?” he queried.
“What kind of crime?” Beth asked.
“Kind for making plenty big monies.”
“How big are the monies?”
“Oh! Many US dollars, green, in verrry nice bag, Gucci, bona fide Gucci! Only for walking in dirt.”
“What kind of dirt?” Beth was on a roll.
Blu couldn’t take it anymore but held his tongue. That, of course, made it difficult for him to speak. Beth continued, “Where is this dirt?”
“Eez only dirt, nice dirt in a line, from a point of A to a point of B. Eez not so far when you theenk how big the earth eez today.”
“What’s the earth got to do with it? And doing what in the dirt?”
“Oh, is only, how you say, just to make a carrying of, eh, ah, small leafs…eh…yes…green leafs… small, but many.”
“How many small green leafs are we talking?”
“Each leaf only weighs leetle beets.”
“How many little beets in all?”
“Twenty-two kilo of beets. I theenk.”
Blu let go of his tongue and, although he believed we should talk to each other like we talk to our pets, exclaimed, “Hey, hold your buds, Dick-Weed! Are you saying what I think you are saying?”
“What you theenk I am saying?”
“What you just said!”
“You’re asking me, if we, me an’ her, want to risk our asses with armed men who fight the war for and or against illegal herb smoking? Huh? Is that it? Huh? Huh? Spit it out!”
Beth butted in. “Look, Funny, let’s talk money. I can git Blu to carry anything, anywhere, anytime. Right, Blu? Blu?”
Funny interrupted. “Oh yes, dee monies. Today, only today, eez good day for you… ho, ho ho, so lucky gringos! Today we having beeg sale,”
“What kind of sale?” Beth perked up.
“For you, only today, we taking ten percentings from any monies we paying to you, Funny is making a trueness for you to believe, my frien’.”
Sounds good, and true, but is it too true to be good? They wondered.
Blu’s mom used to say, “My dear little earthling, if something seems to be too good to be true…why, hell… try and git it anyway, occasionally some asshole fucks up and you win.”
According to Funny, success meant five thousand dollars US, minus “ten percentings,” if they made it across the border. They were broke. It was a good deal and a chance they had to take. With one hundred fifty dollars in front money, Blu and Beth went into town, found an Army Navy store and spent it all. They outfitted for the long, desperate journey ahead. Blu bought jungle pants, desert boots and wart remover, a WWII Allied Victory condom along with acrylic calf socks, binoculars, fifteen canteens, a skateboard and a box of Q-Tips. Beth got a new organic loofa sponge, made in Texas, a signal mirror that could light a cigarette or fry ants and red zinc oxide for her lips. She flatly refused to make the crossing without her sling backs.
Now, Blu loved to watch Beth walk as much as anyone but high heels in the sand? Duh! He covertly tried to glue small Ping-Pong paddles to her heel spikes to keep from slowing them down in the fine granules, but she would have no part of it. Dangit. At the Goodwill, down the street, Beth bought some old coffee bean bags and fashioned a slinky desert dress with a slit up the front, back and sides. “I love ventilation!” she exclaimed.
Two days later they were ready to go. Blu’s face was healed but he was still ugly. Funny met them at the Fancy Hotel where they loaded their gear into an old Morris Minor and headed for the border. The trash-compacted leafs were secreted in a large, dried cow bladder with custom goat intestine shoulder straps. It was cleverly painted to look like a Piñata.
After six hours the Minor coughed to a stop at a dry desert arroyo. Humble tumbleweeds tumbled across the unfruitful plain. Blu tried to hit the rolling weeds with a stone. A crude trail led off into the bleak tract. Blu unloaded their gear and, after fifteen attempts to skateboard in the sand, he kicked the useless board aside with a curse and looked for someone to blame. What will historians think when some archaeologist finds this skateboard in the desert a hundred years from now? Blu wondered. He knew the answer. So do you.
After a few moments of embarrassing silence, Blu constructed a small travois using a blanket and two gnarly mokobobo bush sticks. He lashed the piñata named Herb, onto the frame and stared across the granular terrain. Beth’s red sling backs provided the only counterpoint to the forever-reaching earth tones.
The desperate couple looked into each other’s dry eyes. Blu folded two Q-tips in half and placed the frosty ends of each into both his and Beth’s nostrils. It was an ancient method used to prevent inhaling too much dust, too much “desert dandruff,” according to Funny. Fuck Funny! Blu and Beth hugged and, hand in hand, set out across the hot sand toward an unmarked border rendezvous. They had food and water for eight days. It would be the adventure of a lifetime.
Several steps into the journey Blu pulled out his binoculars and stared at Beth’s ass. Then, between her knees he spotted a black station wagon, with the windows down, in a gulch less than a hundred yards away. A pungent scent wafted toward them and they heard Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River” blasting from warbling woofers. Blu looked back at Funny with a quizzical expression.
“Sí! Sí!” Funny yelled in encouragement, gesturing with the back of his hand, “Eez heeem! Eez heeem! … Go! Go! Rapido! Eeez Beeg Monies, Beeeeg Monies!”
Blu and Beth dragged the bundle a few hundred feet and rendezvoused with the pick-up guy who grabbed the festive bladder and threw it into the station wagon. The rough-looking character reached behind his back and pulled out a wad of cash. He flicked through a few bills and palmed Blu eight hundred dollars. “Get the rest of your money from Funny the Fuckwad,” the driver said with a toothy grin. “Is that a fucking Q-Tip in your nose?” The pick-up guy grinned and pulled away into a fast-setting sun.
The gringos were dusted with fine sparkling particles. Blu rotated and looked back. Funny was gone.
Beth jumped up on tiptoes … “Blu, Blu, look at me, Blu! I look like Tinkerbelle!”
Blu pulled the folded Q tip out of his nose. “Fuck.”
Two faint “Fucks” faded in an unforgiving land. There are no echoes in the sand.
Beth plopped down hard on the rickety travois and refused to move. Blu pulled the Q-Tip out of her nose and grabbed a piece of tofu jerky. He took a chaw then lifted the wooden poles and dragged Beth’s ass towards the north. Her red shoes left two small furrows in the dirt. Good for planting beans, Blu caught himself thinking. He toiled on for forty-five minutes before spotting a truck stop with a gas pump, air pump and a diner.
When she spotted the air pump, Beth jumped off the travois and ran across Randy Cooter’s Cowbone Truck Stop parking lot. She ran like a chicken escaped from its cage. Her sling backs threw diamond-dusted rooster tails high into the Halogen-bright desert air. Beth was a sight to behold and behold Blu did. Also taking part in the beholding was a trucker named Ticks.
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About the Author
Captain Mark T. “Reef” Perkins is a marine surveyor with a colorful past. From commanding a 150-foot 300 DWT US Army diving ship off Vietnam to smuggling in the Caribbean, Reef Perkins has become a living legend. A graduate of both the US Army Engineer Officer Candidate School and the US Navy Salvage Officers School, he’s a man comfortable in or out of the water. Raised in rural Michigan, Reef now lives in Key West where he can get his feet wet. He is the author of the bestselling memoir, Sex, Salvage & Secrets.
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Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed copyright © 2013 by Reef Perkins. Electronic compilation/ print edition copyright © 2013 by Whiz Bang LLC.
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