The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 140
With all the unusual, transmogrificational activity around the house over the past month—tearing down the gallery and studio, throwing stuff away, putting stuff in boxes, organizing, packing, cleaning, more visits from real estate agents, etc.—what surprised me most was how “in stride” Hank and Linda took it; what fun it was that things weren’t where they ordinarily were; how the function of objects had morphed into way more interesting and exciting possibilities. Turn a trash can upside down, after all, and it becomes a drum.
Everything was fine as long as I was around.
Always and forever.
They were even fine when there was NOTHING at all left in the house. Just them and their two plastic carrier boxes. Fine when I suggested they get in. Fine when I put them on the backseat of Jones’ car. Fine when Jones and I let them out to wander around the new crib while we drove to The Palms to finalize the deal.
Jones opens the door and we step in. It’s dark. Very dark, as any bar off a lonesome highway in the smack dab middle of the Sonoran/Mojave desert should be. Quite likely, however, the most annoying symptom connected with advanced glaucoma is the pupil taking forever to adjust to such conditions. I’m afraid to take another step so I look left, to Jones, for guidance, or as a landmark. He’s six feet away but his jaw has dropped open and he’s staring in absolute disbelief at the bartender, who’s staring back.
“Kevin?!” Jones finally gushes.
“Jones?!” says Kevin.
They’d have man-hugged if the bar hadn’t stood there between them. “Jesus Christ man how long…” They go on and on but now, my eyes finally interpreting the scene more correctly, Laura is there at my shoulder, chirping/singing about how it’s a standard rental agreement just sign here etc..
As I’m looking it over and Laura and I are involved in small talk I notice the dialogue between Jones and Kevin has come to a dead stop.
Laura leaves, Jones taps me on the other shoulder (where’s Kevin, I wonder) and says: “Hey, amigo, let me buy you a beer while Kevin and I catch up. That OK? Corona?”
Me: Yeah man. Absolutely.
Kevin comes back, I grab my Corona and start walking around the place. Restaurant seating in back, and outside. A small stage inside w/drum kit, two guitars on stands, an upright piano. Ah, there’s the outside stage, just like Bruce described it.
So my new landlord runs this joint. How goofy.
Jones finds me. “Ready to go?”
He looks shaken. Something’s not right.
Back at my place, now, sun setting, mountains in the distance, the cats looking around their new home, new patio and yard… they’re like prairie dogs—necks stretched out vertically, ears scanning for sound, eyes big as the moon—
as Jones tells me all about it.
“He didn’t know, man. Kevin didn’t know till now that Sonia killed herself.”