Not true, whines Pretty Mary.
She strikes Socco on the arm with a leashed Charley the Tuna transistor. Static protest.
I'm Pretty Mary. Everybody says so. She lifts the bulky knit purse she
wears for a hat, inserts a fingernail, and scratches hair the color of an
achromatized Kodak film box. Her nails sparkle like the air. Behind dime
store glasses Pretty Mary's eyes are imperceptibly closed. She is talking
in her sleep. Everyone's gone to traffic court. They left without me
because I broke another window. She bends at the waist, checking the floor
for change under the phone while hooking her finger in the Coin Return.
Socco checks cracks on the wall the way John Wayne checks into the camera
when he's really mad--like someone grabbed a pigtail of flesh on the back
of his head. Where did I get this sweater? You're a cheerleader, Pretty
But Pretty Mary is lost again. She first got lost in the
fourth quarter of a High School football game, sucked out of her student
body by the eyes of the boys. Red
letter M on purple mountains. She had been a good girl who read several
books a semester. Now she begins to see in black and white. When she is on
the first letter of her last cheer, Pretty Mary begins to wonder what
blood might look like squirting from her wrists on the gray football
field. She tosses her pompoms into the air and something goes pink inside
her head. Fizzled sparks blink one last time and blow white light. Pretty
Mary falls to the ground and doesn't awaken for weeks. By then the
Homecoming game is over and Pretty Mary wants her baby back. Socco says
they don't have enough money for the ticket.