Three Hybrid Pieces
Allen X. Davis
When Carlos came home from war
He bought a red Ford Mustang and took up with this white chick named Camille who had red hair and big tits. He wanted to bring her over late one night but I told him no because I had to get up at two-forty-five a.m. to drive some uppity woman to T.F. Green Airport. On the way, I told this uppity woman, who lived alone in a big, new house, to watch for the giant blue bug on the roof of the exterminating company in Providence with long wings and yellow eyes but she fell asleep and missed it. If she and Carlos had met, he would’ve called her Doll and moved in, the two of them partying with neighbors she had never even said boo to before. The sky was just getting lighter when I pulled up to the terminal and lugged out her bags. Around the same time, a red blur flying down Pleasant Street in a sleeping town crossed the center line and collided head on with a dump truck full of gravel. At the wake, Camille rubbed my arm and said, Don’t feel guilty. There’s nothin’ you could’ve done.
To the Shrink & Back
Marguerite was a good tipper, but after what happened to Paulo I never drove her again. She was always feuding with someone—neighbors, her boss, even her own daughter—but never with her husband. Or me. The key was to agree with her: The neighbors are idiots! Your daughter is ungrateful! She claimed to love and adore her daughter’s beautiful, exuberant, two-year-old little girl, who happened to be black, but she said it so often I had to wonder if she felt secretly humiliated.
Every other Tuesday I took her to the shrink and back. One Tuesday I was in court, so Paulo had the pleasure of Marguerite’s company. Paulo was a friendly, heavyset, middle-aged guy who was born in Portugal and grew up in Brazil. He spoke with a thick accent and sometimes was hard to understand. “Oh Jim,” he said, shaking his head when he saw me, “your customer, she crazy. That witch do nothing but yell and scream. I tell her get out but she won’t go.”
Marguerite was seething mad when I drove her to the New Age store soon after. The “fat foreigner” had almost gotten her killed by speeding, cutting people off and bouncing off curbstones. When she asked him to slow down he hit the brakes and ordered her to get out. “Well I told him where to go. And I told him I would be speaking to management.” Twenty-four hours later Paulo was dead from a massive stroke. We all liked him, so it was tough. I broke the news to Marguerite the next time I picked her up. “I didn’t do it!” she screeched. I looked at her eyes in the rearview mirror. They were glowing, alive, triumphant.
He was already annoyed that the Indian woman had taken so long to come out of her house while he sat there blocking traffic and blowing his horn for a lousy five-dollar, no tip ride to Walmart. Then, as he was driving along, he heard a single click from the back seat, then another. The sound of it enraged him. It was an insult. He jerked the cab to the side of the road, turned around and caught her in the act, fingernail clipper in her hand. Pretty soon she would be moving on to her toes. In his cab! Unacceptable! Get out of my fucking cab you fucking curry head! he yelled. She looked up at him with kind, dark eyes. Why? What is wrong? You can’t cut your fingernails in my cab! I just vacuumed. It’s disgusting! She put the clippers in her pocketbook. I am so sorry, she said. Get out of my fucking cab! Please sir, I must get to work. I cannot be late. He reached over and opened her door. Out! A photograph on his visor caught her eye and she pointed at it. Is your motorcycle? Yeah, so what? Is Harley-Davidson? Of course it’s a Harley-Davidson. I’m an American. Why? My sister, she make seat for Harley-Davidson. He gazed out the window for a moment and heaved a sigh as she started to get out. Get back in and close the door, he said. Hurry up!
About the Author: Allen X. Davis’ short fiction appears in Madcap Review, Microfiction Monday Magazine, A Quiet Courage, Barking Sycamores, and Empty Sink Publishing. He works for a bank and is an avid photographer.