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The Lady at The Bench

Chapter 1

The Breeze


There was a seaside breeze blowing last night. 


It was one of those moist breezes where your comfy Lululemon shirt your gal bought for you and your lived in Levi 501 jeans stuck to your skin. 


It was a night where your gorgeous chick agrees when you ask, to leave her Shih Tzu Trio and jump in your rusty dusty Car multi and head across the border where a Baja Trailride awaited the next day. It was a night when speeding south down the I-5 left you both dripping with thoughts of

a singular event, 0.1% of what really happened - the discovery of theta.


It was a night where in the cocktail lounge anything could happen after three margaritas and a visit from a bunch of Skoby surfer groupies. Thinking you'd left H o m e to do your own Floral Dance with your wife, you snuck out of the lounge and back to your motel room to re-create Happy Accident Series - Gold French Bulldog with confiscated Hershey's chocolate sauce.


A dry breeze woke you both in the morning and as you waited for room service, your wife murmured

There Will Be Pears

Chapter 2 

The Motel


It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of those Mexico foothills. 


I was wearing the turquoise hotel bathrobe, and black wool socks.  My feet were cold from standing on marble and rearranging my wife's Cosmetics on Turquoise.  I liked things clean, orderly, not to be spread out over all the bathroom.


My wife was sleeping still, the Heartbreaker.  I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care.   I was everything a handsome guy needed to be.  

Standing bored at the motel bedroom window, second cup of coffee in hand, I noted this Motel of the OHM was two stories.  Above the Motel entry gate there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a Guerrilla Army with toy guerrillas, guns, and palm trees encased in a black grime.   I stood there and thought that if I lived at the OHM, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and clean it myself.  There didn't seem to really be anyone else interested in trying.


I was still staring at the dirty green guerrilla men when a there was a knock at the motel door.


It wasn't the room service coming back.  It was Skoby himself.

Skoby looked thirty or so, surfer, friendly, chill, but he looked durable. He wore pale blue surf shorts with

Flowers on a Red Book  pattern.  They looked good on him. 


"Lazy, aren't you?" he said.

"I didn't mean to be."

His eyes rounded. He was puzzled. He was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a zen thing with him.

"Noisy too," he said. "And I bet you know it."

I grunted, thinking of my evening and frequent episodes of Raucous Rebellion.

"What's your name?"
Not sure why, I said the first word that came to mind, "intersection Intersection Collide."

"That's a strange name." he said.  He turned his head a little and I watched him gaze outside. “Follow me,” he said.


I followed him out through the motel room french doors.  As he walked, it looked like he was surfing a wave. 


The air was fresh, we walked along a smooth red-flagged path that skirted the far side of the Pool  from the rest of the Motel


The Sisters had driven up in a big turquoise and chromium sedan and were Parked at Ruby's.  


As we approached, I didn't move or speak, Trust' or even nod. I just looked at them brazenly.  Skoby pushed a damp wicker chair against the backs of my legs and I sat down.  

Then the old sister dragged her voice up from the bottom of a well and said:  "Brandy, Marilyn. How do you like your brandy, sir?"

Chapter 3

The Law

From 30 feet away the sister looked like alot of class.

From 10 feet away she looked like something to be made up to be seen from 30 feet away.

At that moment, I needed

The Fount, I needed a lot of life insurance, I thought I was on vacation, I needed a home on the Amalfi Coast. What I had was my turquoise bathrobe, a sunburn, and beach towel that looked like a Renaissance Aquarium.

“You had to play Tea for One at the La Valencia,” she said coldly. “Stand on your rights, talk Dinghys in a Row, How ingenious can a man get, Lew? A man like you who is supposed to know his way around Day work. The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up In the Wings. A Coloring Book Series - Warhol Marilyn, is all the law was ever intended to be.”

As I walked away I thought, “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor
afraid. ...He is the hero, he is everything.  He must be From the Series - Tecomates, and a common man and yet an unusual man.  He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it.  He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world."

I looked around for Skoby yet Skoby had disappeared.  I never saw Skoby again — except the Skoby groupies.  No way has yet been invented to say goodbye to that guy.

When I got home with my gal, I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of traffic on Highway 101, and looked at the glare of the waves of the Pacific hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut.

~ The End

The Lady at the Bench was created by incorporating and replacing painting titles into famous quotes and excerpts from books written by the great

Raymond Chandler

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