36. Kyle

Chapter 35

Kyle

Out. 11:00, out. Thank, hug, shake hand, leave. Shut door. Walk, open door, turn key, drive home. Kiss Annette goodnight. Out, out. Into the air. Look. See. Record. Record. Out and into the air.

People asleep. People in bars. Rain coming in from the west. Sex, late dinners, car accident, night shift, television. Blood in arteries. Birth. People on computers, people listening to music. Parties. Parents checking on children. People reading, people watching pornography. Showers. People walking, holding hands, talking, homework. People in chairs. Arguments. Driving, waking up. Man twitches in his sleep. Blood in arteries. Children, pets.

Jim Parsons – awake, watching TV. Charles Leigh – asleep. Matt Leigh – asleep, surrounded: white light. Chelsea Leigh – dead. Izzy Parsons – awake, eating slice of apple. Gret Parsons – awake, exercising. Annette Marshal – awake. She clears her throat and turns over in our bed. She turns out the light. Next to her. Tell her I love her.

Elsewhere. Jake – awake, lights out. Nina, awake. Sees me. Grins. Zig. Zig, Zig. Search. Listen. Look for shapes and white light.

Jake, off limits. Matt, off limits. Stay away from them.

Stagger Lee. Jim’s Stagger Lee. Recite.

The night was clear and the moon was yellow, and the leaves came tumbling down. I was standing on the corner when I heard my bulldog bark. He was barking at the two men who were gambling in the dark. It was Stagger Lee and Billy, two men who gambled late. Stagger Lee threw seven; Billy swore that he threw eight. Stagger Lee told Billy, I can’t let you go with that. You have won all my money and my brand new stetson hat. Stagger Lee went home and he got his forty-four. Said, I’m going to the barroom. Just to pay that debt I owe. Stagger Lee went to the barroom, and he stood across the barroom door. He said, nobody move, and he pulled his forty-four. Stagger Lee, cried Billy. Oh, please don’t take my life. I’ve three little children and a very sickly wife. Stagger Lee shot Billy. Oh, he shot that poor boy so bad. Till the bullet came through Billy, and it broke the bartender’s glass.

Sung by Lloyd Price. Authorship unknown. Lee Shelton kills Billy Lyons.

Or:

It was back in ’32 when times were hard. He had a Colt .45 and a deck of cards. He wore rat-drawn shoes and an old stetson hat, had a ’28 Ford, had payments on that. His woman threw him out in the ice and snow, and told him, “Never ever come back no more” to Stagger Lee. So he walked through the rain and he walked through the mud till he came to a place called The Bucket Of Blood. He said “Mr. Motherfucker, you know who I am.” The barkeeper said, “No, and I don’t give a good goddamn,” to Stagger Lee. He said, “Well bartender, it’s plain to see I’m that bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee, or rather Mr. Stagger Lee.” Barkeep said, “Yeah, I’ve heard your name down the way and I kick motherfucking asses like you every day, ‘Mr Stagger Lee.’” Well those were the last words that the barkeep said, ’cause Stag put four holes in his motherfucking head.

Sung and written by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Hotel?

Keep looking.

Market Street. River Street. Carey Avenue. Barney Street. Hanover Street. High Street. Hazel Street. Blackman Street. McLean Street. Andover Street. Division Street. Oxford Street. Lee Park Avenue. Pfouts Street. Colonels Road. Kings Road. South Main Street. Carey Street. Maple Hill. Hartford Street. Ashley Street. Ridge Street. Cook Street. Nicholson Street. Johnson Street. Metcalf Street. Spruce Street. Northampton Street. Mundy Street. Meade Street. Grant Street. Empire Street. Coal Street. Kidder Street. Scott Street. Spring Street. King’s College.

Name. Name on door at King’s College, corner of Jackson and Franklin. Luksic Hall, second floor. Zig Warwick. White light in the room. Surrounded. Room is empty.

Are you him?

No pictures in the room. Computer, no phone. Door’s locked, no shoes – out for the night. Check the halls, check the academic buildings. Walk out, walk slow. Pass children heading in and out. Look and listen. Stop a girl nearby, ask if she can show me where my friend Zig is.

Gone home for the weekend. Thank her, leave into the air again.

Back home, wake Annette, ask for help with computer. Not so good with passwords.

Facebook, Zig Warwick, King’s College. Match. Plays on soccer team, lives up near the jail on Kasko Road. Face to look for.

Out again, kiss Annette. Thanks. I love you too. Back out, be at Kasko.

Be quieter near the jail. Jake’s there. Leave Jake alone. Stagger Lee’s territory. And Jake talks.

Find the house. Warwick on mailbox. Check rooms. Mother, father, little sister. No Zig – nobody with the face I’m looking for. House tells me. Shed out back, garden out back. Dead things underneath. Hateful boy, the house tells me.

Stay out late, check everything, be everywhere. Be everywhere. Nobody with the face. Hotel looks likely. Getting inside is tricky. Could also be with Jim’s Stagger Lee. Into the hotel or into the white light. Matthew Leigh’s room or hotel; hotel or her house. Need permission either way.

Matt Leigh’s room is quicker – Nina’s house. Or Sam’s house. Whoever it belongs to. Check time. 5:30 am. Knock on door.

Knock knock knock.

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Chapter 37

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