Chapter 4 read by Jesse



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The two girls started singing “Hooray for Captain Spaulding, the African explorer” and then someone called them schnorers, and said “Hooray, hooray, hooray. Hooray for running after the apparition of a rabid dog.”


Kelsey continued breathing and listening.


But she couldn’t hear the ladders rising up. And she couldn’t hear the dog.


-I’m a major asshole despite my self.- She murmured.


-¡I don’t be-leeeve it!- Drew replied, sounding more like Victor Meldrew than genuinely astonished.


Kelsey understood that she was born without reason. She had had to go out onto the streets to buy it. She might not be the idiot she was today if that dog had given her head back to her with the neurons still firing.


-Then, ¿why isn’t your head not attached?- Drew asked.


-I don’t know.- The girl with no head responded.


The two ran around in silence. Kelsey was the most silent, but that was  because her heart had stopped beating.


Within a minute, when her heart had become as large as life, Kelsey saw the grunion and it wasn’t a ghost.


-We don’t have any grunion catchers around here.- Kelsey said, romancing the silence. -I’m gonna look for one.-


Kelsey was ready to punt the ball after two tries, but reconsidered. She needed her head.




The street resembled her desperation.


But it didn’t hold that rat bastard dog.


-I know you know I know.- She murmured.


-That’s odd.- Drew commented, looking like soup was ready. -¿Now how come I’m getting more and more desperate?-


-Don’t ask me that question. I’m too busy with my own desperation. ¡Get over here! ¡Immediately!- Kelsey said. -¡Especially if you’re my head!-


-¡Oh, thanks a lot!  ¿Why don’t you take a long ride on a short donkey?- Drew said, as if she were pouring her self a cup of coffee in the Andes.


And you’ve never seen anyone talk so rapidly unless you’ve seen Desi Arnaz in “The Vigilante.”


And you were listening with antennae.


And you were able to decode the human animal sounds from the sounds of elderly pelicans and grunion. But if you can, that means you have an ear for rumor that surpasses that of Pontius Pilate.


There was more obscurity on the street than there were ants. Kelsey knew that if God was ever going to come down then It’d better bring some olive oil. If God was going to keep meting out life sentences in Brazil for Nazis, then Kelsey was going to double up on her ganja intake and start vomiting.



-¡Look!- Drew exclaimed. She knew that in one second Kelsey would be choking her way to see God.


-¿What?- Asked the youth. The heart may be a lazy son of a bitch, but not when it’s beating 100 times a minute. Kelsey had a minute to listen before her last rites.


-¡That’s incredulous!- Drew babbled. -¡Look what you’ve done to my self esteem!-


Kelsey knew a circle jerk when she saw one, and she also knew when someone was pulling her leg and Drew was about to rein in both the choir invisible and a plan to turn night into day.


But neither of these super-intellectuals knew where they were. Still, they went on looking and rummaging in the streets trying to find something to talk about.


On 13th Street.


In the middle of nowhere, without heads.


-You can believe what you can’t see, but we’re in the middle of some deep dog doo.- Drew said and it echoed and echoed and echoed until the cows came home. She had a fleeting suspicion that she was only pretending to be alive. -We’ve been standing in the same place in the same time, it’s just that our heads are missing. This is the last thing I wanted to do to get rid of my sinus problem.-


Kelsey was going to say the same thing, with even more morbidity, but then she thought it was strange. Very strange.


-¡Oi! ¡Drew! ¿Have you ever recorded your visits to the psychic? ¿What kind of problems do you always talk about? You don’t talk about my…-


The girls saw another house next to death. They knew that if they didn’t find their heads soon their hearts would stop beating.


The street joined in their obscurity and especially in their desperation.


So what if you can’t hear me. The psychic’s thoughts resonated in Kelsey’s lack of a head.


“Either me or my vulva’s going crazy”, the girl told her self. “Streets can’t talk. It doesn’t have a head either. What passes for a head is no more than a Lover’s Lane, where everyone is right now, if I’m everyone”.


-Kelsey, ¿would you move your vast rear-end?- Drew approximately said. -I know you know I know, but you know too late.-


Kelsey ran into the corner. And no sooner had she run into the corner than she realized she was in her own house. And she was looking at her parents and two police officers.


-¿Where have you been?- Kelsey’s mom asked.


-¿Do you know what time it is?- Drew’s mom was there too.


-I need to sit down.- A poor excuse for Kelsey said. -It’s not quite…-  She was going to say “time to talk to fat ass losers”, but she knew it was closer to two in the morning. If she said she had been in some parallel universe she knew she’d only succeed in prolonging the conversation. And that was something she never wanted to do with this lot. -It’s time for you all to stop acting like the Tooth Fairy and give me what I want when I want it.-


-We don’t have watches.- Drew said as explanation. -I’d lop off my right arm if we did.-


-That’s great.- Kelsey’s mom was about to lop off something and she’d do it so quickly that the house would look like a city that had insisted on using the toilet one time too many.


What would be great now would be a vacation, but, with the parents around, there’d be less podiatrist conventions and more fact-finding trips.


-Get in here and wash your hands before I beat the cedar shavings out of you.- Drew’s mom said, and all of the parents ambulated into the house.


Meanwhile, Kelsey sat on the porch for five years, thinking about that crazy time with the psychic. Of course, now that she had to go into the house it occurred to her what a muscle-bound idiot she had been.


“¡Tonta!”, Kelsey heard it in her head. But this time it echoed all the way to the rear of her head and then started reading Yukio Mishima, who started pouring salt on her mispronunciation of “Tonto.”


She was cruising toward the door when all of a sudden she lap dog’d to attention. Then she started cawing like a raven. She turned around and around, trying the gyros plate from a nearby Greek café.


Drew wanted to say, “And… loving it.”


-¿What is that?- Drew asked instead, looking to all the world like she had arrived on earth with her eyes torn in half.


-You’re such a loser.- Kelsey replied, looking like the object of the Bolshoi Ballet’s affectations.


Like the object of an extraterrestrial pie-fight.


The girl was trying to go where even the air and the condors couldn’t breathe.


Where there was no email.


Where there was no email, but where there were old smokers handing out La-Z-Boy chairs.


Kelsey knew that when push came to tumble she’d be tumbling out the door. She’d be tumbling out the door like a hypnotized used car dealer on crank.

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