Strategic Partners: Love, Guns and Texas (Fiction)
By Gonz Blinko
“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright,” I sang along with the Bob Marley playing on my stereo. I packed a bowl with some of hydroponic chronic and, just as my lighter approached the pipe; the telephone alerted me that someone wanted to interrupt my personal memorial to the great man on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death. I paused and listened for the talking caller ID. That asshole editor of Blind Confidential wanted something. I let the call go to voice mail and burned my one-hitter.
“Buffalo soldier…” I sang as I wondered if anyone but me ever noticed the similarities between the Wailers song and the theme to the sixties Saturday morning show called “The Banana Splits.” “One banana, two banana, la, la, la, Buffalo Soldier…” I sang out as the phone rang again. This time I prepared for the call, when the phone announced the call came from Blind Christian’s cell phone, I lifted the Mossberg and pumped twelve gauges of lead shot into my phone table. The damned annoying Panasonic phone shut up immediately and I think I might have killed my fax machine and a couple of other collateral items as the entire piece of furniture seemed to explode. I smoked another one hitter, put on another Marley record and let myself drift away into memories of tropical islands, tropical drinks made with real Cuban rum, tropical women tropical sunshine and reggae, pure reggae…
I don’t know how much time past but I did observe a gaping hole in the plaster in one of my walls where my autographed photo of President Nixon once hung. I wondered why I shot Nixon and started toward the kitchen to make coffee when a pounding started. “Is this pounding in my head?” I asked. The pounding continued, “No, it seems to come from the living room,” I answered my question, grabbed my 12 gauge and started heading toward the blasted noise.
As I approached as stealthfully as I could, I heard a familiar voice shouting to accompany the relentless pounding. “Gonz, I know you’re in there,” shouted my attorney, “Open the door you paranoid bastard, it’s hot out here.”
“Samhara?” I asked myself as I reached for the PDA based user agent clipped to my buckle. I pressed the talk button and ordered my device, “Monitor front door.” It made its happy beep suggesting that my command executed successfully. The digital camera and sensor software near the door to my living room kicked into action. My user agent told me, “One human within 35 meters of entrance, has weapon, weighs 60 kg, has rang bell,” and then started onto giving me the weather report, “I have to get the verbosity options on this thing fixed,” I thought as I commanded the user agent, “open intercom.”
“Ms Akuba?” I asked trying to sound somewhat polite.
“Yes, Gonz, open the door.”
“Put your thumb in the scanner.”
“Gonz, do we have to go through this every time I come here? No one else knows where you live?”
“Just put your thumb in the scanner,” I felt fairly certain that Samhara Akuba, my long term attorney, stood at my front door but, in these days of strange mergers and dangerous acquisitions, who knows what lengths they’ll go to get my secrets and to prevent me from writing them down.
The tone played announcing that, indeed, it recognized Samhara’s thumb print, I issued the “open front door” command to my user agent and my highly peeved lawyer walked in. “Why didn’t you answer my calls?” She asked and, after looking around a little, she asked, in a more soothing tone, “Who messed up your place? Who shot Nixon?”
Samhara fired up the espresso machine as I went in to take a shower. She met me back in my bedroom where I stood wet and naked, trying to towel myself off. “Can’t you cover that up?” She asked as she handed me a huge mug filled with strong coffee and steamed milk. “Can’t stand a bit of manhood babe?” I quipped.
I then felt the tip of Mr. Happy scream loudly in pain as I heard a towel snap. “Evil dyke bitch!” I yelled as I heard her accent deepen to that of the guy who used to do the “Uncola” advertisements, followed by deep belly laughs from my lawyer. A second or two later, I felt something cloth hit my head, I reached up and retrieved a pair of silk boxers and dutifully put them on.
“Sorry,” I muttered as Samhara continued her laughter.
“You little white boys seem so protective of your gear,” she managed out between gasps and guffaws. I continued dressing.
We sat on my deck (ok, I call it a deck, technically, an architect might call it a fire escape but why quibble?) drinking coffee. My attorney stood up and leaned over the rail, “If you stretch far enough and twist south, you can actually catch a glimpse of the river and a bit of Hoboken from here.”
“So what?” I asked.
“So, if you ever plan on selling this dump, we can legally claim a river view and charge more.”
“Sure, if I sell the place to an amazon attorney with gymnastic skills.”
“As your attorney, it’s my job to look out for your interests and increasing the value of your building falls into that category.”
I sipped my coffee and asked the obvious question, “Why exactly are you here? It’s May, shouldn’t you be on Fire Island or in P-Town?”
“BC called me when he couldn’t get hold of you. Then, when you didn’t answer my calls…”
“I shot the phone again,” I said somewhat embarrassed.
“You also shot Nixon, your fax machine, a laptop and a Willy Nelson CD.”
“Willy Nelson?” I asked surprised.
“We really have to figure out some way to keep you from your weapons when you fall into your paranoid spells. I’m also taking your pot away.”
“My hydroponic chronic?” I asked in a pleading tone.
“All of it.”
“So, you came all the way from some summertime get away with a lovely girlfriend or two so you can provide me mental health counseling and talk to me about my guns again?”
“No, I came because BC called me because he couldn’t find you.”
“Yeah, right, I shot the phone.”
“We’ve been over that part.”
“What did he want?”
“He wants to know how Humidware could do a major distribution contract with Load Hacktory without him hearing about it. He wants to know where the advance money he sent you for the latest Freeman Scientology story went and he wants to know when you will complete the interview with Joltin’ Joe.”
“Shit,” I mumbled. “How far behind schedule?”
“Well, Humidware people have already starting posting to the Load Hacktory mailing lists with their usual gloat and the Freeman Scientologists claim to have another religious product that they feel might take down the evil empire.”
“Freeman Scientology? Weapon? They make religious products.”
“This one is for Islamists.”
“Which evil empire?”
“The advanced information seems to suggest that it will bring down the empire of your choice.”
“What do they call such a thing?”
“It’s the Suicide Backpack Mate and comes complete with points of interest in Israel, Baghdad, New York and offers maps of major European Capitals for an extra few bucks.”
“You gotta credit that Gore Glendon and Dave Bradley, they do innovate.”
“It’s their response to Moes Jonathonsen’s idea for a SoulMate based on Windows Mobile 5 that comes with a two gigabyte SD card loaded with MP3 files of love songs.”
“Boy, I love capitalism,” I grunted as I walked back to my bathroom to start packing.
We hailed a cab and told the driver to take us to LaGuardia. I shouted directions as I didn’t want Osama to take the scenic route. I asked, “Where are we going?”
The driver piped in, “The airport.”
“I wasn’t talking to you, just shut up and drive.”
“Temper, temper,” admonished Samhara, “We’re flying to Texas. We got an exclusive with Moes and Tristessa.”
“Who the hell is Tristessa?”
“The soul mate.”
“His new product?”
“No, his new fiancé,” she remarked, “Don’t you read Moes Erosion?”
“I try to ignore the personal stuff. I’m not a voyeur.”
“Then why did you leave your PC logged into hornyblindasianbabes.com?”
Samhara, as she knew to do, reached into her bag, retrieved a handful of Valiums and started popping them into my awaiting mouth.
I didn’t remember much else until Samhara handed me a triple shot laté and we drove out of the parking lot of an airport somewhere in Texas. I recognized the smooth ride and blaring air conditioning of a Lincoln Town Car and, pleased, I started to sing, “Down in that old west Texas town of la, la la, I fell in love with a Mexican girl, la, la, la…”
My attorney shoved a 50 Cent album into the CD player, pumped up the volume and hit the gas.
“Shouldn’t we have brought love songs to prepare for this interview?” I tried to yell over Eminem’s backing rap.
“What?” She shouted.
“Love songs!” I shouted.
“Shut up or I’ll kill you.”
The music abruptly stopped as Samhara slammed on the breaks and the stereo power button simultaneously. “Would you take a look at that?” She asked in what sounded like near total amazement.
“Look at what?” I asked, subtly reminding someone who has known me for most of my adult life that I am still blind.
“It’s the Moes Jonathon estate.”
“So, what’s so special about it?”
“Well, to start with, it’s just about the largest ranch that has ever been painted in all Valentine’s Day colors, pinks, reds and shit. Each window shudder has a cupid upon it and the gate has a huge, red “M” formed into the shape of a heart over it.”
“Sam?” I asked.
“Tell me it’s a lie, tell me you’re making this up.”
“Sorry white boy, this is all for real. The place looks like Liberace built it while on acid.”
She gave the car a little gas and we rolled up to the guard tower. A small man in a pink uniform came out to greet us. “Pretty impressive ain’t she?” Asked the guard.
“Uh…” Stumbled Samhara.
“Yeah, it really leaves you speechless,” said the guard.
“I’d say,” shuddered my attorney.
“Moes is expecting you,” said the guard as he waved to the tower to let us in. “Drive around back and the boss will meet you on the patio.”
We did as instructed and found ourselves a nice shady spot to sit near the pool. Samhara whistled as a servant in a French maid’s outfit came out with a silver tray loaded with strong coffee. “Merci beaucoup,” uttered Samhara and I knew she had fallen in love again.
Just as Samhara found a business card to give the maid Moes and his betrothed arrived at the table. My attorney giggled. “What’s so funny?” I whispered as Moes and his fiancé talked to the maid. “There’s two of them,” she mumbled trying to avoid a burst of laughter, “and they’re wearing identical Hawaiian shirts tucked into their pants.”
“He’s a Kiwi…” I started as Moes sat down.
“Sorry for keeping you waiting,” he said politely. “I don’t think you’ve met Tristessa, my soul mate.”
“Pleased to meet you,” I said as my hand, reaching to shake hers missed and landed on her right breast. “Sorry about that,,” I said.
“Never worry, it happens all the time.”
We sat around chit chatting about the AT business, all of the changes, Moes beautiful ranch/mansion and made small talk.
Finally, I said, “We didn’t come all the way to the land of whackos and Waco to BS; tell me about the Load Hacktory deal.”
“What do you want to know,” Moes asked coyly.
“Why does Humidware, a company with the Mputer, BrailleBloat, Virtuoso, Trecker and Bloated GPS want with another Windows CE product?”
Moes grew serious, “Didn’t you notice that Load Hacktory has products called MSqueak, MSqueak Pocket, MBignifier, MWeather Recognizer?”
“Yes, I’m aware of their product line.”
“Didn’t you also notice that their beautiful and brilliant technical support/beta manager probably needs a soul mate?”
“I think she can do fine on her own.”
“Well, I disagree. I wanted all of those “M” products to fill into the line of items that mean Moes something and I certainly wanted to get Ms Butterfly…”
“It’s Bumblebee,” I interrupted.
“Whatever,” said Moes, “I just want to get her on our team.”
Just then, we heard an explosion from the front gate. “Get to the bunker,” yelled Moes as he grabbed his quiet fiancé.
“Screw the bunker,” yelled Samhara as I pulled my Glock 9 from the back of my pants. “To the Lincoln!” She shouted and we ducked and ran toward the car.
The last thing I heard Moes yell was, “Damn those Suicide Backpack Mates…”
We heard gunshots from all around as we both crawled into the car through the driver’s side door. Samhara, still ducking, started the car as I started shooting at sounds through the closed windows. We screeched out of Moes’ parking lot and headed in whatever direction that seemed to have the fewest bullets flying from it. I continued shooting the Glock until my banana clip was spent. We hit the highway unscathed and floored it for the airport.
When the kid at Avis saw the car covered with switch grass juice, with the bullet holes here and there and the shot out windows, he said, “Well, did you have a good time in Texas?”
I wondered what that question meant. Usually when we return a car this messed up the rental guy required a long explanation but, because we always took the maximum insurance, they rarely caused us much trouble. This guy seemed to act like a car shot full of holes was typical.
As we boarded the little bus to bring us to the terminal, Samhara commented, “It is normal for Texas.” She continued, before I give you your sedatives, you need to know that we’re not going home.
“Why not?” I gasped.
“We’re going to Spain to meet Sancho Eduards, CEO of Load Hacktory.”
“No we’re not,” I proclaimed.
“It’s part of the story.”
“I called their office from the car; he’s gone into hiding somewhere down on a Greek Island. They think he took a hostage.”
“How will you finish the story?”
“It’s BC, I’ll just make something up. Hell, we’ve already been bombed and shot at for this gig. I need to get my place fixed too. Do you know where I can get another autographed Nixon photo?”
“No but, because your birthday is coming soon, I’ll give you the autograph of Chairman Mao that I had framed for you.”
“You do love me,” I sighed as Samhara started pumping sedatives into my mouth.
“Shit, I think Moes got to you a bit white boy,” she laughed as our bus stopped at the terminal.