From: 'Framed By the Word'
The ghosts were yammering. You're going to drown. I'm in the fucking desert. You're going to drown you're going to drown in a disinterested sea. You're alone, bitch. You're not in Texas. You don't exist. You don't believe in Jesus. Jesus doesn't believe in you. You are not magic. You are not a witch. Whore. Slut. Cunt. Fucking loser. You could have stayed safe. What kind of woman kills her unborn child with a white gold amethyst ring on her finger. His birthstone. His baby. You are thick with lies. Fuck you. Fuck you. Mommy. I would have been. I could have been. You will never be safe.
Shasta turned up the portable cd player. Beethoven. Loud. All the lights off, vanilla candles aglow. Nothing. Nothing. Passionate proclamations of I EXIST. I AM FUCKING ALIVE. I AM HERE. Survival of the loudest.
Shasta ordered another whiskey. She watched Bobby flirt with a girl sitting at the other end of the bar. The girl was showing Bobby her fresh manicure. Her fingernails were neon pink. Shasta imagined the girl stroking Bobby's cock with her long neon pink fingernails. Shasta smirked. She averted her gaze. Shasta's favorite poster in Joe's Dive was the poster for “Candy Sue's Oral Fixation.” Shasta wasn't sure the film existed. She'd asked around. No one had ever heard of it, not even the moody porn flick aficionado clerk who worked at Cheap Thrills Video. The poster depicted a topless buxom blonde sucking on a big peppermint stick. She was clad in red bikini panties and yellow high heels. A Christmas elf wearing a lascivious expression on his ruddy face crouched beside the blonde, his hand on her ass.
The tiny buds on Shasta's tongue blossomed beneath the thick red chile sauce. It was spring inside Shasta's mouth. Then it was summer. The sun was singing and the birds were burning. Shasta wiped her nose with a paper napkin and muttered, “Perfection.” She licked the plump lime wedge and squeezed the juice into the cold golden beer. Then she sprinkled salt on the lip of the bottle. Shasta licked the salt and swigged the beer. She looked out the window. The lights of Albuquerque were coming on beneath an immense blushing sky. The neon sign of Casita Rosada loomed over the small parking lot. Deep pink letters on a black background with a blinking pink rose. Across the street stood Memorial Hospital. The crazy house. Whenever Shasta looked at the foreboding brown building she glimpsed her eventual decline and demise. Shasta imagined herself stumbling down the desolate halls of the psych ward as an old senile woman, utterly alone in the depths of dementia, wearing a cheap floral housecoat and sock monkey slippers. There would not be a hand to hold. There would be a television in the day room. Assorted crazy people would sit in ugly chairs watching ugly television shows and ugly commercials. Sitcoms. Canned laughter. Old movies stuffed with songs by the Psychedelic Furs and the Bangles. The ghosts would assault Shasta. The ghosts would be shushed with medication. In art therapy Shasta would paint furious green and purple tornadoes and snakes with tiger stripes.