I spent the better part
of the next hour venting my rage and consuming four beers in the sixer.
In my inner voice, I called Trudy every possible term for female genitalia
in the book and wracked my mind as for why she would have lied about
getting married. Or was it that she was getting married and simply didn’t
care? It didn’t matter, whatever her reasons, she was laughing at me.
Laughing at me from her posh office job she’d gained through nepotism,
laughing at me from the Asterix Bar while she flaunted herself to juvenile
niggers like Lorenzo.
“Eayaaagh!” a voice suddenly called out. I looked
up at saw the short, gray haired visage of Mr. Kim staring at me from
“Lorry!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing? You
pay for this?” He held up an empty bottle of beer.
“Mr. Kim,” I yelped. “I… of course I’ll pay for
it. I’m just…” I groped for an explanation.
“Who cares whether you pay,” the tiny man yelled.
“You should be working. What I pay you for? Lazybones, you are lazybones!”
“Mr. Kim!” I drunkenly pleaded. "I’m just
taking my break. You know I get a thirty minute…”
“You are Lazybones!” he yelled. “You cannot drink
“I’m not lazy,” I said quietly. "I work
12 hours a day. I…”
“Lazybones!” he barked again. “You think this
is a bar!”
“I’m not being lazy!” I yelled, while sending
a goal post kick into a nearby water cooler, causing the empty water
container to topple to the floor with a loud crash. Lorenzo appeared
behind Mr. Kim in the hallway.
“What?!” Mr. Kim exploded. “Now you break water
cooler. Get out! Get out of store.”
“Lorry, you crazy motherfucker,” Lorenzo said.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m leaving, that’s what I’m doing.” I grabbed
one of the two leftover beers and pushed past Mr. Kim “Get out of my
way,” I said.
“Get out!” Mr. Kim repeated. “Get out for good.”
“Man, Mr. Kim, you can’t fire that motherfucker,”
Lorenzo pleaded. “How’s a niggah supposed to run the entire store by
himself? Come on ese’, come back.” His words faded into the distance as
I walked out of the grocery.
Goddamn, could this day get any worse?
First Julia had ignored me at the coffee shop, then I froze my ass off
trying to sleep at home. Then I had to deal with Lorenzo and his damn
Anastasia.com and Trudy giving me her bullshit. Now to top it off I
had no job. I saw a Santa Claus collecting donations for the Salvation
Army and I immediately went over and kicked his change basket. “Merry
Christmas, asshole,” I growled.
“Don’t fuck with Santa Claus,” the old man said,
while collecting his scattered money.
I walked over to Broadway and continued to trudge
my way home. My mind was a constant replay of the day's events. I was
angry at the world and had to prove myself. Prove myself to Kim who
thought I was indentured slave labor. Prove myself to Trudy who thought
I was past my prime. And halfway home, I realized what I had to do.
I stepped into a Greek grocery and picked up
several pears, an apple and a new case of beer. Upon leaving, I popped
open the beer I’d taken from Mr. Kim’s and took a few sips. Then I headed
two blocks south and headed east. With several minutes I was in front
of Julia’s apartment building.
I hoped that maybe the front door had been open
(that had been the case in the past) but no luck. I fumed
a bit, scratching my chin, then had an idea. I buzzed up to the apartment
of Mrs. Stabowski, another one of Mr. Kim’s usual customers who lived
in the same building. After several tries a voice crackled over the
intercom. Her accent was so thick I could never really understand what
she was saying, but I assumed that it was something like “Who’s there?”
“Mrs. Stabowski, it’s Lorry from Kim’s
grocery. I’ve got your delivery.”
The intercom crackled again, most
likely a protest that she hadn’t called us. But I knew the old women was
batty and could be talked into believing she’d ordered something.
“It’s Lorry, Mrs. Stabowski. I’ve
got your delivery. Can you let me in? It’s cold outside.”
I repeated my request two more times
before I heard the buzz and was able to push open the door.
There was a freight elevator that
went up to Julia’s loft, but I took the stairs. As I neared her floor,
I could hear voices filtering down from her hallway. I timidly poked
my head around the corner to see who was there.
Julia’s door was open, and she was standing
in the hallway with arms around a tall, dark clothed young man. They
were speaking quietly, but I could only make out a few phrases, like “I had
a good time tonight baby,” and “Will I see you tomorrow?” I saw her
hand travel down his back and caress his ass. He kissed her for what
seemed an inordinate amount of time and then said his farewell. She
waved at his back as he headed for the staircase, straight for me.
I ducked back from the corner and
silently crept down the first row of stairs. Then I turned around and
began to loudly clomp back up them, my boots creating a resounding thud
with each step. I was midway back to the top when the young man appeared.
I nodded to him when we passed and he quietly said, “Hey, dude.”
Frankly, I thought he was one of the
more degenerate people I’d ever seen. He looked young, early twenties
(I’d figured Julia for 26 or so) and in appearance and general hygiene
it seemed he’d just been fished out of a thrift store dumpster. His
clothes were torn, though torn along what I understood to be the rules
of Manhattan chic, and his hair looked like it had been clipped with
a rusty buzzsaw. Jesus, she’s fucking that fleabag, I thought.
I rounded the corner and stopped at
Julia’s doorway. Her door was now closed and I was unsure of what to
do. I’d had something drunkenly resembling a plan, but Julia’s obvious
romantic liaison had begun to throw that to the wind. “What the hell,
I thought. I’ve come this far. I went to her door and knocked.
She opened it, obviously expecting to see her
boyfriend or lover or whatever he was. Upon seeing me her eyes widened.
“Larry!” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”
“Uhhh…. That’s Lorry,” I corrected
her. “Common mistake. But I’ve got your order.”
“My order?” she smiled. “Gosh, I’m
sorry to tell you this, Lorry, but I didn’t order anything.”
“Oh for Christ’s sakes,” I feigned
distress. “They’re always screwing this stuff up. Are you sure you didn’t
order anything? It seems like something you’d order. Fruit and beer.
Here take a look.”
“Well…” she began, peering into the
bag. “I might’ve ordered this, like, three weeks ago. Have you guys
been really busy?” she joked.
I offered an obligatory chuckle. “I’m really
sorry. I guess it was some kind of mix up.”
“I guess so,” she said, biting her
lip in an incredibly sexy kind of way.
“Look,” I said. “This is my last run
of the night. You want to just take this stuff… for free? I can just
give some excuse to Mr. Kim. I mean… you might as well, this beer can’t
get any warmer.”
“Well…. Sure,” she replied. “Thanks,
that’s really great of you. She reached over and took the bag from me.
“We stood there looking at each other
for a few seconds in a growing silence. Then she said, “Well okay… bye
now.” She made no move to close the door.
“Look, Julia,” I began. “I… I’ve got
to get going but…. Well, the last time I was here you invited me in for a
beer. I had to take a rain check, but I don’t suppose now…?”
“Sure, sure” she said and swung open
the door. “It’s always nice to have a beer after work.”
I entered her loft and had to take
a minute to let the place sink in. It truly was an artist's studio.
It must have been a good 500 square feet of livable space, sectioned
off with wheeled wall partitions. Every corner seemed to have its own
personality and was piled high with various odds and ends. A large painter’s
canvas was at one end, splattered with several hues of paint resembling
nothing in particular. A hanger unit was in another corner with a host
of theatrical costumes descending from it. An amazing amount of recording
and film equipment lay scattered in another section - microphones, video
cameras, an old reel to reel four track, and a slide projector projecting
some strange images against the wall. Along the center of one partition
was a sofa and next to it a desk with a computer. Across the room from
the sofa, next to a giant window with a view of Chelsea, was a bookshelf
with what must have been more than a hundred books. In the center of
the room, in full view of the sofa, was a large screen TV, lit up with
“Wow”, I said. “This is quite a place
you got here.”
“Yeah, it gets me by,” she replied,
heading for the kitchen area. “You want a cold beer? I’ve got some in
“Sure, that’d be great,” I answered
while she disappeared from view. I took the time to examine her studio
in more detail. I looked over the books on her shelf, all academic volumes
about acting and art theory, none of which I recognized. Then I walked
over to the television to see what was on.
At first all I saw was a lone figure making strange
jerky movements of what looked like an empty stage. Then I recognized
the lone figure as Julia and the empty stage as one of the areas at
the other end of the loft. Music was playing in the background and she
was doing what looked like a very skillful dance to its rhythms. And
she was completely nude.
“What do you think?” Julia was standing
in the doorway with two open beer bottles in her hand. She was obviously asking my opinion of the video.
“It’s… ummm, very unusual,” I said,
unsure of how to handle myself. I liked it, but I had the
impression I was being asked for something more.
“Probably not your thing is it? You
don’t seem like much of a performance art fan.”
“Well, I like dancing and everything.
I used to work down at the 24/7. It’s a dance club in mid-town. But
it’s more hip-hop, top 40 type of stuff.
“Oh, yeah. I’ve been there a
couple times. You want to sit down? Here’s your beer.” She used the
bottle to wave me over to the couch
I walked over, grabbed my beer and
sat. She took a seat next to me and sipped out of her bottle. “I don’t
want you to think that I’m some sort of egotistical bitch,” she said.
“I mean, sitting around my house watching videos of myself. It’s just…
I like to look at old performances… to see what I can do better.”
“No, no, I wasn’t, I wasn’t thinking
that at all,” I hastily replied. “I mean, it looks great. You look great.”
“Well, it’s not a big deal, really,”
Julia said. “A lot of people seem to think I’m kind of…. self absorbed.”
“Yeah, well…” I started to reply.
“Some people have said the same thing about me. Old girlfriends, mostly.”
“Hah! Well fuck ‘em,” Julia said,
a grin wide on her face. She held up her beer. “Here’s to self absorption.
Cheers.” Our bottles touched.
“Yeah, fuck ‘em.” I said.
“Yes…” Julia spoke again, but this time in a
strangely quieter voice. “Fuck them like these goddamn fucking cockroaches!’
she ended the sentence with a yell, staring at a flittering creature
on her table. Quickly she reached behind the sofa and brought out a
can of bug spry. But instead of gassing the insect with the canister’s
fumes she used it as a club and smashed it down on the roach with a
“Fuckin’ beasts,” Julia said. “I hate
“Boy,” I said, a bit taken aback at
the fanfare she’d put into the process. “I’d hate to get on your bad
“Yeah!” Julia said, laughing. “Ain’t
I a bitch?”
Thing’s seemed to be going well, and
I managed to use some newly found confidence to launch into a comfortable
conversation with Julia. She had no trouble pontificating
upon her favorite subject: herself. But I didn’t mind. For the moment,
she was one of my favorite subjects. The conversation flowed smoothly
and we soon found ourselves several beers into the night. I’d managed
to move closer to her on the couch. Though she was facing me in a cross-legged
position, I was able to unobtrusively but my hand on her shoulder and
began caressing it in an absentminded way.
“Lorry,” Julia began when I started
doing this. “You didn’t really have a delivery for me tonight, did you?”
She gave me a knowing grin.
“Well… no,” I said sheepishly. “How’d
“Oh, a girl has her ways. Plus the
receipt in your bag of groceries said it had come from someplace called
“Fuck!” I laughed. “I can’t believe I forgot
about that. The receipt… Look, I hope you don’t think I’m a weirdo or
anything. I just… well, I see you around all the time. I thought… you
“No, really, it’s fine. It is”
“Really?” I asked.
I leaned in and kissed
her. Her response, though not exhilarating, was accommodating. I leaned
my body over, continuing the kiss and ran my hand along the side of
her body, eventually resting on her breast. She let out a long, “Mmmmmm…”
I repositioned my body
so I was lying on top of her, though she was still pretty vertical on
the sofa and continued to use one hand to fondle her. Her hand found
it’s way to the back of my head and ran its way through my hair. Kissing
her neck, I ran my hand along the inside of her thigh and felt her crevice
through the thin fabric.
“Mmmm… no, Lorry. Don’t do that," she said,
while still rubbing the back of my head. I took this to mean that she
didn’t want to be penetrated. Maybe it was her, ummm, "time?"
“That’s cool,” I said.
I leaned back away from her so I was positioned on the couch by my knees,
towering before her. I removed myself from my pants Then I leaned back
over her, positioning my penis in front of her face. “It’s okay,”
I said, caressing her head.
Faced with my monument she looked away so that I could not see her eyes and she made a sound. I thought that I’d really blown it, like she was going to cry or yell
at me. But it was worse. She was laughing.
“Hah… hah, hah, No…
I’m sorry, I can’t do this. This is silly. Hah, hah, I’m sorry…”
“What are you laughing
about? What’s so funny?” I mewed.
“No, I’m sorry…” she
said, still giggling. “Hah, hah…”
“What? Can’t you just…?
I mean it’s just that you’re so beautiful. I…” I pleaded.
That sent her into
hysterics and her chuckle turned into a series of guffaws. She rolled
on the couch with laughter. “No, really, Lorry,” she said trying to
speak. “I’m sorry, you just don’t understand.” She put her hand on my
abdomen and tried to push me away.
“What’s so fucking
funny,” I yelled, bringing my open palm crashing against the side of
her head. She spun off the couch and her head bounced on the hardwood
floor of the loft. She looked up at me, blood coming out of her nose
and panic in her eyes. “Lorry,” she said softly and seriously. “You’ve…
got… to… leave.”
“You think this is
funny? You think this is a joke.” I returned myself to my pants and
“I’m sorry Lorry,”
Julia said while sitting up on the floor. “I shouldn’t have… let’s just
say you’re not my type.
“Fuck you!” I screamed
and brought my boot up against her face. “You think this is a joke?
Is this a joke?” I grabbed the insect spray and sprayed it in her face
and eyes. She coughed and sputtered, blood coming out of her mouth in
a fine mist. Her leg jerked beneath me, knocking over one of the mannequins.
It hit the floor and came apart in dozen pieces; plastic limbs going
“Here, bitch” I said
menacingly. “Need a hand?” I picked up one of the mannequin’s hands
and brought it down on her. Flesh split about her skull. I smashed it
down a few more time, bludgeoning her face.
“You know what, Julia?”
I said. “You were right. You are an egotistical cunt!”
Weakly, she rolled
over, a pool of red forming around her body. One of her eyes turned
up at me. “You… won’t…” she began to speak. “You won’t get away with
“Oh yeah?” I retorted.
“No…” she said. “You’re
going to pay… I know you’re going to pay.”
"We'll see, bitch. We'll
see…” Calmly I brought the mannequin arm down on her mouth, cracking
teeth. The I began a series of blows to her face, repeating them a dozen,
two dozen times. When I was done, her head was like a cracked egg,
its crimson yolk spilling across the floor.
I did my best to sidestep the lake of blood forming
around her twisted body and stood back to examine myself. I still held
the mannequin’s arm in my hand, and my fingerprints were painted on
it with what looked like spackled raspberries. My jacket, though somewhat
bloodied was surprisingly clean. I found my way into her bathroom, a
small offshoot from the kitchen area and cleaned myself, my jacket and
the mannequin arm, making an attempt to be extraordinarily thorough.
Then I went back into her living space and wiped my fingerprints of
the beer bottles and any other area I thought I might have touched.
Thank god I never came on her, I thought to myself. Then I’d
really be fucked.
I did a preliminary check of the body. I'd heard
stories about police tracking down killers by skin their victims had
managed to claw off their bodies. For the most part, Julia
had never had the chance, but I used a toothpick from my Salvation Army
knife to scrape the undersides of her fingernails just in case. Then
I did what I could to wipe her fingernails clean, as I knew that fingerprints
could imprint themselves on the polish of the nail.
Standing back I felt
pretty secure. If no one saw me leave I figured I had a pretty good
chance of getting out of this unscathed. In the back of my mind I was
aware of the problem with Julia’s lover: He’d seen my come up the stairs
- but I figured he could be dealt with later. He might even make the
perfect patsy. Something about his appearance said “Criminal Record.”