All he wanted was a sandwich.
He walked into the apartment and had the two bags of tar down on the side table before he saw the table set with nice plates and fancy glasses, the knives and forks heating up in the sun.
“What’s all this?” he called into the kitchen.
Pigeon didn’t answer. He could hear her banging around.
Desmond shook his head. A sandwich wasn’t that hard.
“Sit at the table, Dez. I’ll bring the food out.”
She sounded like a blown-out intercom. Desmond thought about just leaving, but he was hungry.
“I want a sandwich,” he called out as he sat down. The pistol jammed up against the small of his back. He pulled it out and set it on the center of the table.
“You’ll like this.”
She came out of the kitchen carrying two white bowls in her hands. Her hair was matted against her face on one side and her nose was swollen and purple. Blood streaked across her jaw like a crazy scar. Her t-shirt was stained.
“You look like shit, Pigeon,” Desmond said.
“Here,” she said, like she was auditioning for a cooking show.
Desmond looked inside the bowls. The green and brown specks were minced so fine they were almost liquid.
“You planning on eating through a straw when I break your jaw?” he asked. “I said, I want a sandwich.”
“You’re going to love this Dez, I promise. It will make your pee taste even better, and I liked it, I didn’t think so, but I did, just not hitting my nose.”
Desmond shook his head. She was into the kinky stuff. He wondered if was possible to hurt her enough to make her shut up.
The stash on the side table was singing some kind of crazy mariachi music that made Pigeon want to rip her top off and shake her booty faster than a jack hammer.
“You found it! We gonna try it out?” she cried.
Desmond leaned over the table and pushed his finger into her hip. She tumbled into a chair.
“No,” he said, “You’re pathetic.”
Pigeon ran her fingers through the salad.
“Try it Dez. You’re gonna like it, I promise.”
“I’m getting a sandwich. You need to clean yourself the fuck up.”
He stopped next to her. He wasn’t a big man, he was hardly bigger than her, but he was smooth like seashells, and Pigeon loved when he locked her body up in his so she felt like she could never fall. She put her hand on his thigh.
Desmond pushed her nose with his finger.
“That hurt?” he asked.
“Mmmph.” She didn’t want him to hear her cry out. She fumbled for his zipper.
Desmond pulled away and went into the kitchen.
“What is sprout bread?” he called.
The pain grabbed at the base of her nose like a flickering flame.
He needed to understand that her choices were what would make her grow as a person, so they could stay together and never get stale. Being strong in herself was how she could have the confidence to try new things. That was what Desmond was always talking about, new things. Drinking wheat juice and eating sprout bread made her feel good about herself and that made her want to try things Desmond wanted. Like with Treenie maybe.
Desmond came to the kitchen opening. He was holding her bottle of wheat juice.
“This shit stinks,” he said. “You stink. You’re waste product.”
When he tipped the wheat juice over and poured it out on the floor, Pigeon realized what he looked like: one of those lawn jockeys, all black and shiny with sparkling white teeth and lips as ripe as plum tomatoes. The pain in her nose blossomed into an explosion of white. She ground her teeth so hard that her jaw cracked. She couldn’t tell if she was crying or not.
Desmond didn’t want her to make good choices.
When she moaned, the lawn jockey laughed. The sound picked her head apart and broke it into four pieces. Her eyes burned from the light streaming out of its cavernous mouth.
Pigeon told herself that she knew how to make good choices now. She picked up the stubby pistol, pointed it at Desmond and fired. The lawn jockey stopped laughing. The juice bottle cracked on the floor.
She didn’t bother to watch him fall.