“I need to find a place to do my hair.”

Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another.

We found the place down the river a few clicks.

 

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When we got inside, I tried to take pictures, because the words seemed foreign to me, like they were in another language.

I wish I had words, man. I wish I had words… I can tell ya something like the other day he wanted to kill me. Somethin’ like that…

Why’d he wanna kill you?

Because I took his picture. He said “If you take my picture again, I’m gonna kill you.” And he *meant* it.

 

Only this photo survived.

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I had a hazy sense that the picture on the wall meant something, was connected to my psyche by some half-remembered fever dream.

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Then I saw it clearly in my mind, and I knew where it came from.  Another river, another place.

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I looked around me.

Who’s in charge here?

In charge? I don’t know, man. I’m just doing what I’m told – I’m just a working girl.

 

A powerful scent hung in the air.

Smell that? You smell that?

What?

Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that.

 

But it wasn’t napalm.  Peroxide.  Pure peroxide, and nothing else in the world smells like that.

 

I waited, hoping I could find the right words when I needed them.  I day-dreamed.

A tiger leaping…

A razor…

I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor.  That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.

 

I woke again to the words circling round my brain:

Corte y color, corte y color, corte y color….

 

The horror… the horror…

 

Except…..

It wasn’t so bad.  She had survived, and so had I.

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She looked renewed, fresh, ready for another tour.

And now it’s time for this journey to end, so I’ve decided to “terminate with extreme prejudice” both the mission and this post.