‘the tourist’

“she’s not a girl who misses much…”


for the purposes of this short story of sorts, we shall call her the name that she had asked me to use to represent her that one night, in
late march, which was – ‘malia’.

the choosing of this name is, in fact, per the ritual obligations of girls like these, to themselves and, certainly, to their very infrequent accomplices of sorts, myself now included – and believe me when i tell you, if and when you have the great honor of being in the employ of a girl or girls of this persuasion – malia included, of course – well, it is far more than respectfully customary, as it is in ALL interpersonal rituals of a dignified nature, that you do not just come out and ask, right upon the outset, and as informally and presumptuously as ice cold water: ‘what’s your name?’ or, god forbid – ‘who are you?’.

the thought of that simple disrespect – the sheer consideration of that infuriating lack of basic intuitive humility alone – of insulting a girl of this calibur with anything less than full decorum is, to me, in so much as i have learned and experienced thus far, and in every single solitary way possible – absolute anathema to me.

plus, let me tell you, as one inititated into the cult of such regulation…this practice would be nothing less than dangerous.

these girls are also nothing, if not intensely true to their nature.

they are as they live and breathe; full and pure and loyal and, if treated with the appropriate respect and understanding and if such bargains are struck with the molecular understanding of the principle that you must ‘give’ to ‘get’ – and in that order…if treated with that kind of dilligent accord, then maybe, just maybe they might just grace your heart with their mind.

and, if you are a very good dog, they might just let you walk one of them home once in a while.

or maybe more.

but then again, for that, you would have to be more than just lucky.

for that, you would have to be something else entirely.

you would have to be – willing.

to bleed and fight and love and die.

for them and them alone.

like most girls.

and like no girls you have or will ever know.


as is per the natural law of respect, of course, due alone TO malia as one OF these special girls; these indiginous american girls, of such ancient blood lineage, these girls, these beings, so beautiful, so direct and mean and graceful and ironic, and spread they, themselves throughout the character and weave of the tapestry of their romantic customs; customs which are as endless in ephemeral meanings and mercurial languages as they are dense with vermisilitude.

so then, in that very way; as in sorcery of this kind, and knowing even just the very beginning of all there is to know of the knot surrounding them, gordian and impossible – that the correct question, however assumptive in its human nature, to ask, upon meeting one of these girls in shape and form is actually: ‘to what name do you prefer i call you?’, or, more elegantly – ‘how do wish to be known?’

and that is already assuming that you, if approaching a girl like this, know, intuitively or not, just exactly what kind of girl this was.

because to ignore or, god help you, strike out in stupidity or contempt towards one of their proud, watchful kind or to openly attack through violence or ignorance; to forgo the signs, which like standards or portents that surround and follow girls like these, and in plain sight for all to see as warning and beacon, as brilliant and beautiful as the girls like these for which they represent – girls, like, say, malia, or lisbeth; girls like these, who choose to have no choice but to go by many names, just as time has chosen itself alone, as preamble to the web of so many days and so many nights and so many faces and so many boys.

boys, by the numbers, with drink on their breath and fresh motives of flesh and heat on the brain.

with those goofy, dumb smiles and reckless american balls.

with hot faces and thick, warm necks.

so healthy. so dumb.

so eager.

so, well…willing.

so – for these perfect girls, these names, like the days and like the nights, and like the boys who come and then just inevitably go –

they all just change, just like that and just like faces held in calm composure behind endless masks.

they do this and they do so for that is what they are.

they are girls, yes.

but, then again, they are lions.

or perhaps, they are lions.

who are so much like girls.

either way, they simply do but for one thing alone, and they do that one thing alone so very, very well…

they change.

sometimes frequently.

depending. are they naughty or are they nice?

the struggle of all things.

just like us.

just like that…


girls like these, the oldest of them, the wisest; the ones that survive so many cycles, like the moon, waxing and waning in a celestial practice unchanging and repelling want for need so to see the best chance at the long sweep of slowest sunset, at the lingering horizon where clouds and pink skies meet a world unkept and without judgement.

and over heavy years, long years, into forgettful time, bittersweet and lonely they go, these beautiful girls.

who only ask us for the respect in passing that this long time has preserved within the heart of them.

that is the contract and that contract, to us, and certainly to a girl like malia, is forever binding.


to those girls, the ones that actually somehow pass through this long time like that and still somehow CHOOSE to REMEMBER, well, they know fully and without abstraction, the hopeful safety found in the wash of myraid names.

most, just make it like a game.

to pass the time.

to keep it interesting, if not for themselves.

a game of remembering, in a lost world slowly passing and fast asleep.

all of them, all of those names, all are used for one life and
one life alone.

all of them, like her, are so rich with meaning, so thick, like mediterannean blood, with history and humor and longing and hatred.

all of them, as intelligent and as dangerous and gentle as, say, malia.

for instance, of course.

all of them.

just like her.

and just like that.


all of them, wearing a mask.

a mask upon which one unknowable and unforgettable face, like an empty space somehow taking impossible shape upon the shadows of an empty canvas pulls form, different to each set of eyes that happen upon its particular magick.

perfect, in its very lack of human obligation.

and all of this, encapsulated in just one girl.

one girl, who is all of these girls.

and none of them, just as quickly.

a girl, say, just like malia.

or elisheba…

or even, say, lisbeth.


once, at the scurvy dog, she drew herself away from me, as was our plan, under an oversized black hoodie that just almost hid her in the confines of her odd entirety.

almost – but, for her eyes.

her eyes, you see, shine like twice mine.

her eyes cannot hide and in no way, can they hide HER, no matter how dark, like her – that there they are.

or try to be.

her eyes are her hook and her home.

and that, as far as you are ever concerned, is all she needs.

that night, she was feeling independent.

all awkward and jangly. headbanging ‘two minutes to miiiidniiiiight’.

hidden but totally alert.

alert to every minute crystaline thread in the phyrric structure of sound that harmonized that vulgar, very human room.

a very human room full of the desperate and the drunk.

where pool players go to die.

but not her.

she could, and did, entertain a host of these mindless, dauntless, dumbass boys, lining up without even quite knowing why, like a banquet.

all befuddled looks and nervous stammers.

like a pigpile tangle of baying gazelles to the narrow eyes of a very hungry and very bored lion.

and while she manipulated that melange of activity, still, she watched that pool table like a hawk.

not just observing.

but, controlling.

even, maybe, puppeteering.

and all with a roll of her listless, steel grey, lingering eyes.

she and those feral eyes also watching for the minutia of my signals, and throwing back some subtle and creative ones of her own – a pull of the scruff of her hair, a wink and a lurch, a thumb across the brow.

left for nibble.

and right for, well…

she locked my eyes at midnight. as, again, was the plan.

it was the night before easter.

to them, it was, as i only know it through ozzy osbourne lyrics –
black sabbath.

i have heard her call that holy night various things, in various languages :

השבת שחורה…

بلیک سبت کے دن…

Блацк Саббатх…

but then, at that moment, right at the very stroke of midnight, right there at the scurvy dog amidst the hazy blur of just another weird and dumb saturday night, and just like that, the language chosen was of that namesake song – black sabbath – blaring out – at maximum volume over the tinny speakers in the tight, red and black room.

and like electricity, both predictable and unpredictably wavering forces competing for air, or like remembering dejavu – the room lifted on its ear amd raised its gooseflesh and hackles.

just as she slowly raised her stern, vascular hand, and lazilly formed devilhorns with her very long, white fingers.

she was wearing a grin. so big, and so real.

i swear i could even see her teeth.

just like that.

my pulse raises. like in most real, raw experience, i have no idea what is about to happen.

but, i DO know, something IS about to happen in that red and black, very crowded room.

the very room, which was raising up to the demonic music like a marching order rushing headstrong across chaotic shores, in a wild, electric wail, and she, so completely still and totally, irrevocably holding my eyes with ease and i remember, right then, exactly who is in charge and in that auspice of everlasting trust and control, she actually does the LEAST expected thing i could ever imagine her doing IN that very strange moment –

she simply smiles.

and very knowingly.

and right at me.

just like two old friends in on one big joke.

which was, and is, exactly what it was and is.

and i mean, she SMILED.

this time, teeth and all.

and just like that.


this is why girls like malia deserve our respect.

this is why i, for one, will always give it up freely and righteously.

i know, do i ever know…

sometimes, you have to ‘give’ in order to ‘get’…



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