Ignatio Ormonza, a grimy, rabid wolf, in his soiled flamingo underwear, black dress socks, and patent leather shoes, wispy hair drawn wild by static, eyes black and shining, raised his cattle prod above his head and grinned.
I should have heard Enid’s voice coming down the hallway, but I was still in my cloud of bliss. My head felt full of cotton, my limbs heavy with spent desire. If I moved, the moment would change, the warmth would be gone. Louis might disappear.
I opened my eyes, wondering at a star shaped mole on his nape. I was unable to gauge time or logic because it did not exist for me outside this bed.
I needed to be in Louis’s room. I needed to be in his closet surrounded by his angel pictures and bits of scribbled words. I needed to be wrapped in the safety of what was left of him. I don’t know how fast I moved, but I was there suddenly, locking his door. Locking myself in safe, squeezing into the back of the closet. And I reached and touched and kissed and cried on his papers. Every time I grasped one, a small ghost atom of him vanished from my hand.
I hated my room. Enid had acquired and over decorated the space with every pink, lacy, ruffled piece of garbage she could find. There was no room for me on my bed because of doily pillows and ugly dolls. Dolls that I could not even play with because they were vintage and might break. I knocked one off and the face chipped, and then the eye would not quite roll back right. Her name was Jenny Lind according to the stamp on her trapezoid doll butt. But I called her Blinky Lou. I would lay her flat, but she still watched me as I tried to sleep.
My fingers lingered on the vein pulsing beneath the white skin at his temple. And I pulled back from him. When I looked on his face, all at once both sides, he was a contradiction. He was the mask of all images we call good and evil. Hyde and a beautiful Jekyll. Fear and peace. A burnt angel.
One time, Louis had to sit next to him at a company dinner. Amid the loud, witty grown-up talk that floated above our heads, he kept looking at his plate and giggling quietly. Then randomly he would sing very softly, “He is the egg-man…he is the egg-man…” and never finishing the line. Louis was born into this world fragile and funny.