Too much and you know you’ve had too much, done too much, and you know you’re going to be sick. You hear yourself saying stop.
~ ~ ~
But sometimes you can’t. Especially if you fear you’ll never see her again, never touch her, never hear her voice because you carry that happening to you and now, when she comes close, you never want to lose her, never want to experience that again, not that kind of losing, again.
You’re on your back. Your head is heavy, your legs like lead. Someone nailed you to the floor, your shirt wet and sticky and something warm drips into your throat.
“Kiss him one more time,” you hear Gregorio say and you wish your head would clear and you could do something.
Everything comes back at you, piece by piece.
You followed her. You know you shouldn’t have. You know she is dangerous but you couldn’t stop.
The stars move, the earth moves, constellations move and you moved, went too far, kissed her deeply and couldn’t stop.
In the backwaters, time should be slow, rural and agrarian, not mules and jets, not DEA, not politicos, not black ops, not cartels and not you.
“There’s this one,” they tell you, “a million dollar mama. Stay away from her. She belongs to him. Remember this, she’s bored and she wants to play. Stay away. Go over that ledge and you will freefall. You’ll fall deeper than the Rio Grande.”
You go in, on guard. Play the fool, do the deal. Gregorio watches. You know he watches. You do the deal and the next and he relaxes. You plug his brother, his cousin. You ride in armor-plated limos, in his jet copter. You move up.
Until, he lets you have her. One time only, he says and then relents.
“Do this next one,” he says, “and you can keep her.”
Mountains shake, rivers run and she knocks you out. She blazes like the desert. Heat waves engulf you.
Watching him, this you do as you press the trigger, ripping through time and space, a hollow point that enters, expands and blows out his head. You kill the banker whose plans do not include Gregorio, who thinks with muscle and dollars, he can take.
You’ve gone too far. You know that. Gregorio smiles, says, “You’re my boy, now. You can have her. She’s yours.”
Days and nights blend, merge, become a single moment, never-ending. Somewhere in your head, you know she becomes bored, will want more.
When she does, when she does, you have a plan.
“Million dollar mama, you will be mine,” you echo.
You gather muscle, you gather dollars. Gregorio will fall.
Flies and ants gather, spiders spin webs.
You can never know, never in your wildest dreams that Gregorio is spider, that you are ant, that you are fly. Wings seek flames.
You make your move, take your cut and turn on him. “You’re finished,” you say. “She is mine and yours is mine.”
But muscle turns on you. In an instant, you know you’re in too deep, that the part you play he writes. All for shit. All for play. They warned you.
“Kiss him one more time,” you hear Gregorio say, and you know they were wrong, that this is why you played and lost, this last kiss, with you nailed to the floor, is why you played.
She kneels next to you. You cough up blood and wonder if there’s enough time.
In your head, the bullet expands, grows wider, presses tissue outward. You can feel the insides of your skull expand, push out.
She whispers. “Again,” she says but not to you.