Thursday, January 13, 2011

They Never Knew What Hit Them: A Love Story

by Lisa Alvarado

And in the fey light of morning, I pulled the T-bird into the alley and Rachel and Zoie slid into the back seat after a night with the two men they met on the train. "They're still asleep?" I clocked them in in the rear view mirror.

"Believe me, " Rachel laughed, "it'll be quite a while before those two are ambulatory."

"Any problems getting here from the station?"

Rachel shook her head, smoothing her skirt into place with a deliberation worthy of a priest wearing vestments.

Zoie just shrugged, dressed that full mouth of hers with crimson lipstick and lit a Gauloise. The smoke was a lazy snake caressing the side of my face. "It's all good," and patted the suitcase between the two of them.

Rachel held up two wallets, pouting a little. "They were fun, you know. Sweet."

Zoie threaded her fingers through her thick, midnight hair and sighed, "Good in bed, too."

Rachel giggled, "Lots of energy...Lovely, really."

"Yes, I know," I said. "But you know how I am about money."

I turned around and leaned toward them. Rachel's mouth was warm and soft, and Zoie's fingers found my nipple.

I pulled away and started the ignition, checking the alley. "Hungry are we?"

I looked up in the rearview to see Zoie smiling like a cat. "Famished. You know how it is after work."

Rachel scooted forward, leaned close, breathing in my ear, her blond hair spilling like a veil. "Baby, we missed you."

I hit the gas. L.A. was at least six hours away. There were passports and the plane tickets waiting. And five years ago, it was the boys and I making the same pilgrimage. They knew I'd done everything and anything for them, and it had been good, very good, for a long time. But they lied, and there was the money after all.

I wondered how soon I could get to a motel.


Lisa Alvarado is a poet, novelist, and installation and performance artist. Her novel Sister Chicas (along with Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Alberdeston in 2006) was praised by Julia Alvarez, Pat Mora and Luis Rodriguez, and her book of poetry Raw Silk Suture (2008), garnered acclaim from Juan Felipe Herrera and Rigobero Gonzalez. Her one-woman show, The Housekeeper's Diary, focused on her life as a maid for one of Chicago's wealthiest families for sold-out audiences in Chicago and Washington DC. Her installation, Mexican Maid's Toolkit, toured the U.S. as part of Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit. She is Chicana, Jewish, working-class and devoted to writing about those identities, celebrating the body, the spirit, and the working life. She is a La Bloga contributor.

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