Fox 2: Make-up
We’re not in Charlotte anymore.
Charlotte, city in stasis. I spent years there and nothing changed. Pretty much the same people ruling the roost when I arrived as when I left, the same people trying to rouse the rabble, and the same people minding their own business, or getting dumped on by the others. It was like the whole place was shot up with embalming fluid, with everyone moving real slow, or like when you see a dog leashed to a pole, and it keeps running around in circles until it wraps itself up against the pole and has to sit down and figure out what to do to unwrap itself again, and when it finally does that, it can only go so far from the pole before any more running starts pulling it back to the pole.
Carcosa’s different. It’s like chutes and ladders, and like a hotel lobby at the same time, except I get the feeling people leave this city in an urn at least as often as they walk out on their own two feet. I’m living and eating in a territory that doesn’t even have a landlord or a manager or whatever, and from what I heard, there are only three or four landed people in the whole city, other than El Capitan, Her Grace the Pretty Pretty Ginger Princess (who, by the way, looks like she’s watching everyone on an old TV with a bad signal, and we’re a re-run, and it’s three in the morning. Nap time for Jo soon?). Considering that Carcosa seems to be run by the Estate, it’s a little worrying that so much of the city isn’t all sliced up and given to their favorite pets. Either Jo wants the whole pie to herself, or lots of important people have recently left or been turned into nitrogen for plants.
Also, I think I’ve met more babies and tourists than I have established Licks. I figure the fact that people are treating me decently, even in a friendly way, has a lot to do with the fact that so many of them don’t have the weight to throw around quite yet. In time, they’ll start feeling big and bold, and they’ll start spitting at me. That’s cool, though. I’ve played that game before. I know the rules.
Two more possibilities: The Big Cheeses are so busy figuring out who to kill and why, and who killed whom and why, and who fucked up and what to do about it, that they can’t be bothered to crap on the new ugly girl with the goofy name. Not yet, anyway. Or, they’re trying to be nice so they can recruit me and replenish their soldier ranks. Like those Crones, for instance, inviting me to gardens and digging up stiffs and stuff, and suggesting I give them a holler if I want to start Moon Dancing with them (or Middle Walking, I guess).
Anyway, it’s like Dame said: For our kind, being friendly is like wearing make-up. It’s like a rich shade of lipstick. It helps you get closer, and it’s easy on the eyes, but everyone knows you weren’t born that way. You weren’t even that way when you woke up. You probably smeared that friendliness on using the side mirror of a parked motorcycle twenty seconds before you walked in and started smiling at people. It’s not even as natural as animal camouflage. You can spray a zebra with a fire hose, and when it finally gets around to putting two hooves up your ass, it’s still a zebra, stripes and all.
Not with us. Soap and water, and that shit comes right off.
Oh, look, Warrel left me a message. My brother in arms, and all that.
I wonder what shade of lipstick he’ll wear when he kisses my ass, too.