A toothbrush clogs the drain . It must have belonged to an ogre. Dudley can't see his face in the mirror. Fresh paper lines every drawer. On his easel pinks as pink as infant lips, puckering mouth, breathing bye-bye like the vanishing leopard. Beneath the underwear a 1955 Marilyn Monroe calendar. He was 13 when he targeted the calendar in his neighbor's garage--not quite a year after he bumped into Marilyn Monroe, the day she kissed him. (And killed herself.) At her naked feet a brittle rose is pressed. He used to ask his friends what they thought she was doing: performing a cannon ball dive, smelling her armpit on a trampoline, swimming sidestroke in a satin sea. Down below, Mister O'Gatty catches the lifeguard attempting to stagger to his room undetected. I was asked if I wanted a room here, but the demands of poverty and anthropological curiosity stretch only so far.

The drunkard jerks to a halt, facing away with a hidden snarl. By the time he looks at O'Gatty, Chester Godfrey's rage is masked in servitude. I want the pool opened this afternoon, Godfrey, and I want you on duty. Sober. Do you understand me? Rude and queer is the answer he hears, and then a scream shivers the bones of the Blue Motel. Who can paint with all this noise?