Twelve dollar cab ride, dead grease and not so fast food on the way to LA-X.  Waiting, buying tickets, unsmiling face, questions, waiting for the plane.

      Rummaged through the bookstore that doesn’t carry Mickey Spillane.  No book as she and waited in one of those lines where you feel too close to people you don’t want as bored men zombied up alive checking out her curves.

      Jim Thompson was correct, the whole world a real life horror story; humans, the central mystery, all partners in the overall crime.

      Kids ran forward, feeling freedom.  Maybe they’ll enjoy the ride.  Young enough not to know better, but some old sober guy yanked down hard on leashes.  Kids snapped back like baby rubber-bands.  Girl skidded across airport floor.  Boy slammed down onto car seat.

      Boy and girl cried. Old sober guy laughed.

      “You ain’t hurt,” he said.

      We all squashed into the flying machine, the great vehicle

Leonardo dreamed.  Strapped in, the blonde and I, counting our change for a three-dollar beer.

      Beer lady held a crooked smile.  Asked her for a beer from Holland.  Sky outside orange.  Satan’s sunset. 

      Old sober guy, few rows up, said: “She’s

got a good ass.”  Nudged guy next to him, pointed

at stewardess and said: “That’s a good ass.” Guy looked nervous but said: “Yeah, I know, I saw it on the way in.”

      She came back with the bottle of beer.  She was

nice.  She had peanuts.  Gave her nickels and dimes.  She went away.  Men watched her ass.  Shared the beer with the blonde.  I looked at her.  She’s got it all, I thought.  Better not let her know that.  Nerves settled.  Sun set and we flew somewhere past death.