It’s a lovely trick, isn’t it?
Hauling up the bodies.
Larry always wanted to “poke them with a stick” after they’d washed up on the banks of the river, blue and bloated, looking like over-boiled meat, all slagging skin and maggots.
That sort of thing pushes the hard line, makes you forget the bit of blandness in your day. Most days you can get past it, even the smell. If you try hard enough, that is. There ain’t nothin’ five kegs of burgundy wine can’t do for a jittery soul, but Larry was different. Larry could wait it out. He always had five great tips for jet lag, and yet, he had never flown a day in his life. He was on the no-ride list because of an incident in Topeka, and so his detention in this podunk town had been extended to life with no possibility of parole. But he didn’t mind — the absence from himself. He was born on notice, a bit unhinged in the horseshoe hut, if you get my drift, but when he hit it, he hit back and hard. He just didn’t like things too bright, would always crinkle up his nose when the sun hit his face, and he’d spend hours with a jar of coal tar, polishing his badge, which he said was the shiniest of shinies. We never let him carry a gun after
Topeka, but then again, he never asked to. He’d just stand over the bodies, stick in his hand.
“This is what happens when love is all you got left,” he would say, and Larry was always right. He always knew who they were …
Where they’d been …
And who had loved them last.