Me and Black by the pool.
It's late now and Bel Air is sleeping. Aloysius is inside tucked up in bed, still ill. Grinding his tiny teeth. Dreaming about whatever sick bears dream about.
We listen to the soft sounds of the night, crickets and cars far away on Cahuenga. I wear my gray McQueen and Black's dressed in…I don't know…some weird thing she found @ the vintage store downtown. Can't explain it…looks like the remnants of McQueen perhaps.
On the table between us, Chesterfields Reds and half bottle of Madeira.
Black takes a cigarette, lights it, inhales and blows the gray smoke towards the black sky.
"So" She holds the golden key into the light. "where do YOU think it fits?"
But forgive me. I'm tired and a little drunk and getting ahead of things. Let me tell u from the beginning.
It all started when me and Black got home an hour ago.
I parked the Camaro on the street, got out and then I suddenly saw this tiny golden key lying on the street. I picked it up. The metal cool against my skin. Drunkenly, in sort of a haze, I studied it like it was some kind of sign, and I am about 2 say something when Black points to a shadow just inside the gates and we open them and the auto floodlights is turned on, revealing a skinny guy in jeans, a tank top and a huge yellow Zapata sombrero sitting on the ground in the middle of the small gravel pathway leading up 2 the house.
In his left hand he holds an empty bottle of Jack. In his right, a small green Maracas.
"Excuse me" I say. He doesn't move.
"EXCUSE ME!" I say it a little louder and kick his left foot with my right one.
He looks up @ me. Stares @ me sort of absent minded 4 a moment. Then tips his hat.
"Ma'am, You're excused" he sez.
Then tilts his head down so the face disapears behind the hat. For a moment it's quiet again.
"I don't mean 2 b rude" I tell him "but this is MY house. You are sitting on MY property."
"You can't SIT here" I say a little louder "It - is - MY - house."
"I'll call the Pol..."
He slowly looks up again, straight @ me, his drunken eyes full of contempt.
"Has anyone ever told u" he says while staggering 2 his feet "that YOU are a LOUSY conversationalist."
He takes a few steps towards me and Black, then raises his right arm.
"All I ever wanted" he says "is to have some goddam PEACE and SILENCE and then they gimme THIS."
He shakes the green maracas in front of our faces a couple of times, then turns away and starts to walk TOWARDS the house.
I look @ Black with a face like: What is HAPPENING but she just shrugs. And then, as I watch the shadowy figure disappear around the corner I get this weird feeling of having seen that person before somewhere.
Then Black takes my hand, hiding the key between our palms. Her eyes beams with excitement.
"So where do YOU think it fits?"
But, no, that's NOT when it all started.
It actually started even earlier. This night. Me and Black, dressed like movie stars in Dolce Gabbana and Gaïa, @ the Chateau. We sip blood red sangria in a crowd of Khaki colored Valleypeople. Black laughs as I tell her…
…as I tell her how Daddy once knew one of the staff @ the Chateau, an old black guy with a tiny gray moustache, and how the guy always lend us the keys 2 the secret garden behind the lower part of the hotel where tiny but magical creatures like elves hid from Hollywood. How WE used 2 hide there as well. Just me and dad and Viktor, far away from mom's rage, until she had that forth martini she needed to survive "a world populated to 99% by idiots and the last percent by criminal idiots".
(I actually read about that garden the other week in a magazine. The article says: it belongs to the Chinese garden suites and was famous in the sixties as the place where an aging Sinatra used to fuck the wives of Burbank producers two @ the time. Which I guess is sort of what daddy told me, but in a nicer way than the tabloid.)
I tell Black that the last time me and dad went there I hid the key behind a stone in the wall, so that someday I could return. Her face shines with excitement.
"We must find the key" she says.
And then. In the dusky dawn we sneak between the attorneys, over the lush grass and into the shade by the wall which 2 my disappointment consists of approximately 1 billion bricks. I sigh, but Black's face still glows.
"Oh my god" she says "just look @ this, the key must b behind one of the stones!"
And without hesitation she starts to pull bricks out of the wall 2 find it.
Now we're back in the garden, staring @ the corner where Sombrero just disappeared. Blacks face is shining again, as she was looking @ the key.
"That's the thing with symbols" she's laughing now "I mean. When god wants 2 tell you something, he speaks in CAPITAL LETTERS"
I look @ the key.
"What do you mean?" I say.
"The key was not hidden behind a brick in the wall" she says, in a voice as if speaking to a very young child "There was NO need to push over that poor waiter or to be banned from the chateau. The key was here all along just in front of your doorstep."
"But where" I say "does it fit?"
"That is" she answers "the question."