episode 08: selections, convection
“mamma,” the slap summoned memories. dent’s head rose into clarity, colors flooded the room. ifa had him by the top three buttons. he could smell the soup spice from her food, the gas from her rye. he usually kissed women this close, but his mouth stung from the blow, and the fuck lobe of his brain was reaching for a weaning breast. ifa’s voice came through like charlie brown adults, mwah mwah, dent couldn’t make out a word. the windows allowed emanations from the abutting units, filling the rear of the room with white incandescent. he came to, eyes focused on her forehead scar, which ran from between her brow, to the left center of her forehead. what menance cut that, chain link fence, furious mother? her words made phrases, which begot sentences, and then thoughts. slow process. “i’ve been sitting in the same puke bar, waiting for your popcorn shrimp jock to wander through. eddy said it’d happen, as you’d left your pants there the night before.” dent’s life was a set-up, this adding to the parade. what was ifa okereke doing hanging ten at mars the day after mike dent blew a grand on his brother’s platinum? it had nothing to do with fate. the ripple of his week had been felt from penn to battery, and even over into hoboken. this was mike dent’s last week in his own shoes. he was a kidney away from bankruptcy, his family cutting, burning his line of credit, white out on the will, attorney messages. ifa okereke was the pass where in westerns the hero heads them off. she brought with her a folio of straight tricks, learned in queens, refined at fordham. it was her turn.
renee gazed out the window, across the street to the neighboring offices, lights out, reflections from street traffic. her thighs read the court report from her insides, turned the language of her powder into something akin to memory, but not as precise. she’d begun, years ago, to clock fucks with numbers, letters, like a college outline. darby’d gone 1a, ii. was there need for another line? it’d been five hours since his head cracked the plastic of the phone booth. she had nothing to show for this time. it was unlike her to waste this kind of sexual, emotional energy on anyone but herself. she wasn’t generous, and never would be. generosity, she found, came with an agenda. she turned to olen, who’d sat back on the chaise, his glass up on his chest. “are you some sort of smart ass scandaknave in the wrong joint or what?” olen translated her sentence, built a slow answer, and spoke through his scotch. “my project is cratered in the office. the library, i was to direct building and materials. dent called me late, and left me for dead…vurrp, the airport. “looks like he’s fucked. you should get on home, stop following ’round that curly girl. she’s not a clue what you’re into.” ms. du lac part-time’d as a shrink, especially to strangers who had their shit together. olen was a soft target. he replied through a sip, “i’m compelled to remain, as i’ve yet to be paid, and it seems there’s plenty left. i’ve struck a vein. my ticket sends me off in three days.” renee hadn’t heard his response, for darby’d entered the room, back from shooting photos on the roof. “clear night, i say we hit it.” dent and ifa returned behind the painted man. dent called the shots, “we’re getting a car and heading to soho, all of us. i’m buying” this was an insincere directive, he had no money, his brother’s amex cut off this morning. that was the call he never answered, with his head in the basket. the desk phone rang in the other room, ifa drew an oval in the air with her jade pointed. “in the van, everyone.” renee pushed her left hip to say “fuck off” but ifa slapped her ass, and threw a look into her eyes that said “don’t make me tell them what I did with you did last summer.”
the astro van was below how renee traveled, and she pushed heels into to the cobbles like a mule. “i don’t take the airport shuttle. get me a cab.” ifa grabbed renee’s right cheek with her left, “move it, baby.” darby took notice of this coercion, and made a note somewhere to be forgotten, ifa/renee, threez’um. the remaining bodies ducked head and headed into the white van, buckled up. dent rode gun and threw some cash at the driver, who was yapping persian into his bluetooth. “muji soho, double park out front.”
10 minutes later:
olen ragnarsson: no items purchased. spent time browsing this on his iphone.
darby mcclure: historic city view handkerchief london comment: “for grazing my arsehole”
tamar naser: welder raincoat freecut comment: “raining men, so you say. suburbs?”
renee marianne du lac: beech brentwood chair brown comment: “sapporo underground burlesque mainstay”
cloris archangeli: shrink wrap t shirt comment: “mother’s model keep it simple stupid”
ifa okereke: silicon ice ball maker comment: “best whiskey accoutrement”
mike dent: city in a bag tokyo comment: “today i lost a son, tonight i gain’d a brother”
dumpling van, white van: the process, a homework assignment from ms. okereke, proved bountiful. thirty min in, thirty min out. small items, good for meeting discussion. tomorrow’s ifa’s ball, and she’s sending the crew topside to pull sail.
quomodo does jerry lee lewis, shaking nerves, rattling brains. up on that piano stool dent reigns the crew into one via japanese centralist design. cloris finally covers her rack proper. olen prepares his metaphor. dent’s glad to have some macro-tecture in his hizzo, as he’d say it. darby and renee play it safe with opposites, yet weapons of the like. tamar thinks naked-side the box. quomodo, it’s post-organic.