November 2003 (v6 i3)
Doubting the moon landing since 1997
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Slap my face and tell me you love me
by A Femme Fatale, Circa 1940

Hello, Mr. Ends. Surprised to see me? No, I didnít think so. Donít let the hairstyle fool you. Itís meósame perfume, same anklet. I let myself in. I hope you donít mind. Convenient, the door being open when I didnít have a key. Would you like a cigarette? Oh thatís rightóyou donít smoke.

Youíre not very tall are you, but you try to be. Not that itís any of my business. But I could make it my business, couldnít I? And you wouldnít like that, now, would you. The payrollís too big.

Do you like begonias, Mr. Ends? Or should I call you Mr. Napier? Ends suits you better, baby. Not that it comes close to being a decent name, just that itís better than the latter. Sends shivers down my spine. Iím talking about the begonias now. You can eat the petals, you know. But it only takes so much sweetness to corrupt them before they rot and turn to mush.

Iíve seen Little Joe around a lot these days. Just a tip: Next time you tell him to follow me, have him drive something other than his bright yellow coupe if you want him to be secret about it. Otherwise, he could at least say, ďhello.Ē

So, Mr. Ends, how is the private eye business anyway? Lucrative? You still like to play the horses, it seems. What happened there, anyway? You had all the reigns, up front like one of the biggies, then you took the lead and when the backstretch came you bit the dust. You forgot to take a breather, didnít you? Maybe I did suck it out of you. I guess your rate card is bound to go bongo when youíre in the saddle with me, baby.

Times have been tough, Peter. Iíve had to go back to working small-time gigs for G.B. You gotta understand, heís more forgiving than you. I had to stick the fork in you just so heíd trust me again. Sure I left you dry, and I know Charlie and Buzz left you bloody, but I never meant to hurt you like that, Shakes. You gotta understand, I did what I did to save your life. Iím sorry you didnít figure it all out in time. The fellow you were looking for wasnít a fellow at all. It was a galĖĖmeĖĖand I was too close, and we were smooching.

I havenít lived a good life, Shakes. Iíve been bad, worse than you can know, but IĖĖI love you. Donít you still love me, Shakes? Tell me you love me or tell me you hate me I donít care. Hit me. Punch me. Throw me on the floor. I need to feel something besides this aching heart.

Itís your wife, isnít it? Sheís not like you and me, Shakes. Sheís not a hardened criminal. Did you forget how much fun it was being outlaws? Come away with me. Letís leave this silly life behind and move to Tahiti. Itíll be like before, only this time weíll be unstoppable. Please, Shakes. Shakes, Please.
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