Sunday, March 15, 2009


Rolo says this is 8/9 of 'the blinking lights'. Here are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

"You sure you don't want it?" asked Blue Jean. Her makeup was accentuating the
bags under her eyes in the light of our small fire. The 'bruised and abused
whore' look was cosmetics, but everyone knew, also pretty much the truth. I
smiled and put an arm around her, and this seemed to reduce her rate of
respiration. She wasn't really talking to me - she was talking to allay the
fears of being trashed by Balboa, who bullies everyone on the street, anytime.
Like some 24/7 phone-up abuse line, only real.

But that was okay, because I wasn't really listening to her either. I was
looking at the window into Arlene's place. Rolo was in there rummaging through
her stuff for items to equip us tomorrow night. I could see him burrowing about
in the room, behind Arlene, who stood at the window watching Blue Jean and

The smack had come as more of a surprise than actual pain. I carefully picked
myself up, because someone's share of sausage was near my foot, and I didn't
want to spoil it for them. However, the next punch rendered me off balance, and
I squished it. Blue Jean was screaming hysterically in the background, and maybe
a reason I kept my eyes closed was to avoid the apparition of her tear streaming

I heard Rolo's distinct footsteps, the ones he does when he's running, come down
the stairs Inside. The door slammed open and the next thing I heard was Balboa's
unenthusiastically soft thud, as he crashed into the pavement, damaging one of
the tiles. When I opened my eyes, Rolo was rubbing one fist and consoling Blue
Jean with the other hand. They were looking down at Balboa, who was outcold. I
loved the look that Blue Jean was pouring over Rolo - someone was getting laid
tonight! I smiled, making the blood trickle in a different direction down my

"Jupiter? Jupe? Are you ok?" Arlene was shaking me at the shoulders. She was
wearing a little red thing, very attractive.

"He doesn't answer to that name any more," said Rolo. "It'll be the Fool who you
must address."

Arlene clicked her tongue and shook me again. "Are you alright?"

I smiled at her and nodded, taking her hand to rise to my feet.

Rolo came to me and handed me his bag of quarters. "You are badly injured," he
said. "Go buy some bandaids at the grocery store."

I nodded to thank him, and took the money. A small commotion had fired up on the
streets because of Balboa, and I waded through it. I was looking forward to some
time alone - Rolo was my best friend and all, but we'd been hanging out together
all day. I wanted to see how well I could count my breaths without him around.

As I walked away, I could hear him calming the people on the street down, and I
could hear Arlene's shrill stare, whose soundwaves bounced off my back.

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