I’m lost on Bundy. It’s an overcast sky with little holes in the clouds where the sun shines in like shots of lightning, and an upside down car seems serene, just laying there in the middle of a city.
A hard-working Mexican boy with a signboard on his back and sweat on his chest points me in the right direction. "Go straight on Cloverfield," he says, "if you pass Michigan you've gone too far." He smiles at me, I wave. I’m on my way to see the Prince of Santa Monica, named the Prince by his late mother. I’ve named him Wolfboy.
"How long has it been since you've had a bath?" I ask. The water is a hazy shade of black. Wolfboy is behind me. We pretend we are in a kayak, my arms are the oars and he is rowing me. "I don't have hot water," he says.
I can feel a wrinkle in my forehead. I look in the mirror and think about boys.
I think about Luca, my fondest vision of him in the moment when his sweet blond face bent down to bite into a prosciutto and provolone. I loved the way he chewed his food, his mouth wide-open. I think for a moment that I'm destined to fall in love with every man I sleep with.
I think about Cel's lungs, the moment in the hospital when he woke from the liquid opium and opened his eyes. I think about his collapsed lung, strung out on black thread and a steel tee, in its moment of reparation, his warm body. And, oh, how warm he could be.
"How late are you?" Wolfboy says.
"I'm not. I just have a feeling. Women have an intuition, you know?" I play with my thumbs. My hands are dry, extraordinarily dry.
He picks up a grapefruit from the fruit bowl and rolls it around the counter. "Women have intuition one day," he says, "and it goes out the window the next."
"Well. My tits feel like watermelons. I know that for sure."
"Baby," he makes a sad face, "Let me see." He puts his hand on me "No," he says, thinking, "No your tits feel more like oranges."
"Wait." he says, feeling my tits. "Actually they're just like grapefruits."
"I'm serious." I say, "I had a dream last night I was in labor. It was a litter of eight. I was giving birth to wolf babies. I kept popping out baby wolverines." I light a cigarette.
"You smoke too much." He says, "It's not good for you."
"I'm not scared of death by cigarettes," I say. "I can feel a ghost baby inside me."
"You shouldn't be." He says, "You should be scared of getting ugly. You'll have yellow teeth and wrinkles."
"Will you love me still?" "Who says I love you now?" "You did."
"Well. What are you going to say?"
"I don't know." He says, "About what?"
"About the wolf babies.” I ash, “I wouldn't have told you if I didn't want to hear what you have to say."
He thinks, his hand on his head. "Let me feel your tits again." "Come on, say something." I beg, "Say something nice, won't you?" He brushes a hair gently from my lip. "Let's fuck."
I can see my face in the window beyond him. I look at myself, a dark and hollow shape. “Have you been in love before?" He asks.
"With a man?" I ask. "What else?"
"Well. There are lots of things,” I say. I start to braid my hair, a strand from the front. "Okay." He says, "How many times have you said I love you to a man?"
"Did you mean it all three times?" "Two out of three."
"Why did you say it then?" He lays on the bed in a t-shirt and underwear. His book is spine-up on his belly, his arms behind his head.
"I don't know," I say. "I just did."
I give Wolfboy a ride to Union Station. There is a woman crossing the street at a green light. All the cars on Alameda stop for her. She wears four coats. I can see plaid, a windbreaker, a tattered pea coat, and fur. She may be wearing more, but I can't say. Her legs are stiff, her back is shot.
Her bags are heavy.
There is a couple in the car beside us. The girl is at the wheel, the man beside her. He has calm, unfazed eyes. We look at each other through the window until the cars start to move.
There are so many times in one day when a light changes from red to green. "Good-bye" I say. I'm in Wolfboy's arms. "Send me a postcard, will you?" "I'll send you a million," he says, "I'll miss you."
“Is this the end?” I say.
“No,” he says, “There is none. There is no end.”