Avenging Olimpia

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4-23-09 5:55 –– Jennifer fell back onto the bed and sunk a clear 6 inches into the duvet. Then she pulled me into an open-mouth kiss and our hip bones clattered together painfully––painfully for me, at least. She gave no indication of feeling anything but a forbidden fire and a serious dick jones. I got caught up, too, and slid off her, pulled her legs apart, slapped my palm between them, grabbed her tightly, and lifted her until she was in the air up to her bra strap. Then I shook her, pressing down with my thumb where I knew she wanted it most. She balled up a fistful of my shirt and used it to punch me. That’s when I knew I had her.

“Fuck your set,” I said.

“Fuck you,” she said.

“Where is he…where’s the professor?”

She tried to wriggle free, but I wasn’t letting go. If she really wanted to she could have kicked off, but I could tell she preferred to make a show of it. There was a helpless heaviness in her eyes, and now and then I would ease off the pressure only to feel her push into me.

“He doesn’t say,” she said, but she was lying. It wasn’t that she wanted to protect him––all she knew was that he was a pig, not possibly tied to the murder of the woman I loved––she just wanted me to keep pushing her button.

I unclench my hand, rear back, and slap her before squeezing even harder. She gasps, arches her back, and releases a throaty moan.

I say, “Tell me, you spoiled little cunt. That’s what you are, isn’t it?”

She answers in a little girl’s voice. “No…I’m not…”

“Bullshit,” I say. “I know how you got this gig––daddy knew someone in the business and all you knew how to do was shop. So instead of getting a real job, you sleep through a two-year decorator degree and he pushes your resume under a few doors. Fucking pampered, daddy’s girl cunt with a boring fucking boyfriend and a bored fucking pussy.”

She grips my wrist and pulls me in until I worry I’ll break a bone. Squeezing those eyes until the corners seep, she says,”Fuuck…uhhh…”

I feel her soaking through to my palm. Her nails dig into my forearm and my hard-on disappears.

“Now talk,” I say, “and if I like what I hear, maybe I’ll be back.”

She turns her face into the pillow and a stuffed dragon topples onto her chest. Her heavy breathing almost makes it look alive.

“I don’t always know. Sometimes he disappears and comes back stinking of beer. Some bar, I guess…can’t be very far. Not many open now, either.”

I remove my hand from a dark stain that marks her exquisite shame. “I bet you’ve been to them all, too,” I say. “Spoiled little cunt.”

She covers her eyes and bites her lip. I get up and step off the fake floor into the darkness, not bothering with the way I came in. There are no rules in this universe or any other, and more than one way to get where you’re going. And even though I didn’t know exactly where my O’Leary expert was, I was glad to hear he could be a bigger drunk than me. Not to secure any moral high ground, but it meant I’d find him eventually without half-trying if I was patient. But I wasn’t. Never have been.

If I’m being honest, I was hoping I wouldn’t like the lousy hack.

4-23-09 6:08 –– Not two minutes from the studios it dawns on me that I know exactly where the professor is. There’s only one place in Astoria open this early that a) serves beer, and b) wouldn’t require he hump the bar to some hideous dance beat wearing a sequined thong.  I make a right onto Steinway Street and feel a pang of remorse for slapping that brat’s pussy so hard. Then I recall her giant eyes rolling back into a head full of leather ottomans and bamboo venetian blinds and it passes.

I never got the name of the guy I’m looking for despite two occasions to do so and am reminded I’m no cop. I’m just a pissed-off drunk with a worn quill and enough money to not have to find anything better to live for. A short Asian woman watching her bulldog take a shit on the sidewalk makes me wonder if happiness is attainable at all. If Olimpia were still alive and at that moment walking home with me after taking my publishing check to the neck, would I have noticed that woman and her dog at all? Or would I be lost in my own insanity; the kind we need to make this world look free?

I arrive at the Diner. It isn’t crowded. It must be Friday.

I push open the door and have a look around. There’s a five-top crowded with six or seven brown kids: three girls and four douche bags. I can tell by their stupid hats. There’s a big one looking hard at me. I stare back. Fuck you. He says something to the girl next to him. She keeps a straight face and slaps his thigh. She’s lucky she’s cute. He’s luckier.

A Greek woman of advanced age asks how many I am.

“The bar,” I say.

She shrugs and I find the one spot not flush against or facing some annoying friggin’ mirror. What it does give me is a perfect view of the other end that is. I see two faces, each wearing a tight, gray beard and Buddy Holly specs. It doesn’t take a cop to know that’s my touchy-feely producer-prof. A Mexican waiter handing him a glass of beer is the clincher.

The same waiter approaches and asks me what I want to drink. “I’ll have what he’s having,” I say, “unless you’ve got something stronger.”

The waiter smiles and shakes his head “no”.

“In that case, give me some toast, too. And put it all on his tab.”

The man takes a second to discern my sincerity and I give him no reason to doubt it. He walks off, and returns with my beer and toast. Then he walks up to the professor and says something I can’t hear. Two identical faces look puzzled and one looks my way. I look back, chewing.

He nods, removes his glasses, and rubs his eyes.

****

We’re sitting together now. Outside, the sun is burning off the haze. Inside, things are also getting clearer.

“You’re pretty smart for a professor,” I say.

“Derek Maines,” he says. “Derek, please…and I figured someone would come eventually.”

“Oh? Why’s that?”

“Shooting a film about an unsolved murder near where it happened not so long ago? Kind of a sitting duck, aren’t I?”

“I don’t know,” I say, “but it was longer ago than you think. At least it feels that way.” He looks at me, searching. “No, no,” I say, “that’s all you get for free.”

“What do you want?”

“Listen…I’m not interested in your movie. Not the making part of it, anyway. I just want to know what it’s about.”

Derek orders another beer and looks at me. I nod.

“Liam and I were friends. Sort of. Drinking buddies, that sort of thing. He might’ve been rough around the edges but he had a very philosophical soul. ‘We’re in a war,’ he would say. ‘All we know is the fight around us but there’s so much more going on that we can’t see’. Stuff like that. He told me a lot of things about what he did, too, and…I don’t know, call it morbid intuition but I had a feeling the plot was thickening. It was almost like he was telling me on purpose so his story would get out––like he knew something was about to happen to him. I was blowing half my salary on booze and was about to lose my apartment. So he made me a deal and here I am. I’m a teacher, not a filmmaker. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not even spending my own money.”

Two facts I knew, one I didn’t. “So you don’t teach this stuff?”

“Filmmaking? Jesus Christmas, no. I teach English composition 101. Do it in my sleep, and that’s no exaggeration. By the way,” he says, “you never told me your name.”

“Let me see the script, first,” I say. “Then maybe we’ll talk names.”

(continued)