Page 28 - Vol. VII #8
P. 28

The View From Senator Street (continued from preceding page)
the window and lit up two Newport lights. The dogs started their barking chorus and we heard
 “You guys shouldn’t smoke,” Tammy said.
Raymond’s indistinct shouting. He hated people com- ing over. Oh shit. Especially someone like Lainey’s friends.
“You should go to school,” Lainey said, blowing a smoke ring into Tammy’s face.
We tried to shout again to tell the boys to go to the alley. Once Raymond’s dogs were disturbed, there was no telling what Raymond would do. If they would just go away, we could figure out how to slip past Raymond, Lainey’s Mom and little Jenny, and meet the boys in the back. Jackson should know bet- ter; his mother was always drinking. But the doorbell was already ringing, and the dogs started going crazy, running back and forth on the upstairs porch, lunging against the rails. The puppies in the side room yelped like babies.
“You’re sick.” Tammy coughed. “I’m going to tell Mom.”
Lainey rolled her eyes, and handed Tammy a ciga- rette. “Just ask, you baby. Don’t front.” Lainey lifted the sheet tacked over the window, and blew out a stream of smoke.
“We haven’t slept all night.” Lainey said. “Ray is com- pletely wired.” Their mom’s boyfriend was crazy- acting without drugs, his big bushy red beard and squinty blue eyes looking like a cross between Wile E Coyote and a serial killer.
We pounded down the attic stairs, hoping to get all the way to the front door first, before Raymond did something stupid.
“Snorting coke?” I asked. Lainey nodded. “I think so.” “Did you call Beto too?”
“What the fuck!” It was Raymond.
“Yeah, last night,” Lainey said. “I told Beto if we didn’t make it to school it was because things were getting weird.”
“Chill, Raymond, we’ll get the door,” Lainey said, but Raymond had already turned back to Lainey’s Mom.
I frowned at Lainey, leaned out the window, and saw Jackson with his backwards baseball cap, and Beto’s taller and bulkier form turn out of the alley and head toward the front porch. I waved my cigarette at them from the attic window, but Beto’s head was turned towards Jackson.
“Who’s at the door, Dinah?” he snarled. “One of your boyfriends?” He lurched towards her, fists out. “I know you’re fucking somebody.”
Lainey leaned out the window. “Yo, Beto!”
Beto and Jackson turned and headed for the door.
Raymond tilted his head, looking at Lainey. “What Dinah, you have your brat covering for you?” He shoved Lainey out of the way. “Little bitch,” he added, reaching around Lainey and grabbing her Mom by the hair. “Now why don’t you tell me who your boy- friend is?” She twisted around, trying to relieve the pressure on her scalp.
“They shouldn’t be up on the porch; don’t they know Raymond is down there?” I asked. “Is his little girl down there too?”
Lainey and Tammy got between Raymond and their mom, until he released her.
“Yeah Mom was watching Jenny. I think. Um. They shouldn’t come. Yeah, yeah, tell them.”
“Fucking little bitches!” Raymond yelled, punching the wall. He let out a guttural sound somewhere be- tween a growl and a shout. Then he reached behind
Oh crap. I smelled the weed on Lainey’s hair. She was the couch for something.
not thinking at all. I leaned out the window, trying to get the stupid boys to go away before they made things worse.
I lunged for the phone. He got there first, closed his big hands around the cord and ripped it out of the wall. “Get the fuck out of my business!”
“Hey Beto!” I shouted.
I hadn’t seen what he’d grabbed from behind the He climbed the porch stairs without glancing up. couch until just then. He held his rifle up in his fist
“Jackson!” I waved, trying to get their attention. 21
and shook it at us. “You girls, get in the kitchen now!”
“Wait! Raymond.” Lainey put herself between Ray- mond and her mother. “I think it’s our boys!”

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