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Guest connie

The sound of the train was deafening. It shook me awake from a drunken sleep. We had passed out on the warm cement by the tracks. Judy's ass was right in my face. She was waking up. I gently kicked her. "Good morning. Move yer ass." I was grinning. She was swearing. She quickly moved to the edge of the concrete and wretched. I heard the puke fall on the rocks below.


I remember staggering around downtown Kent last night. We were taking pictures of the lowlifes at the bars. We had gone out to celebrate our birthdays, which were spaced by a few days. Judy had kept a bottle vodka in her army bag. "What time is it?" she asked. "7:05." Judy wiped the vomit from her chin and it sent a chill to my scalp. I crawled to the edge of the concrete and let go of the rest of the vodka and bile. Last night we were puking off the edge in tandem. I looked at us. Puke. Puke. Down both our shirts.


I always managed to find trouble with Judy. She was in her thirties, but didn't look a day over 25. I loved the way she could way she could enter a room with blind authority. People would stare at her and she never noticed. She dressed rather drably. It wasn't her clothing that brought her the attention. It was the hunched way she walked and the paint under her fingernails. And on her pants. And on her arms. Her parents were both mulatto.This left her with a wild nest of hair that she never combed. She was fair with hard eyes and a gap in her smile. Judy smoked. All day. The woman chain-smoked and had the voice to prove it.


She once painted my shoes to the porch. I almost killed her. I didn't ask her to. I came home one morning from my boyfriend's place and my porch was a different color. There were ashes mixed into the wet paint and my sneakers were stuck. I tried asking her how the hell that had happened, she only grabbed my arm and dragged me up to my bedroom. She whipped the blanket off my bed and stood there horrified. Nothing was there. "What is going on, Jude?"


Judy had a way of using young men and then kicking them out of her house. Once I tried to confront her with the issue, just to pick on her a little. She just stared at me blankly. "So?" I knew there was a strange man in my bed that night. "OK, where is he, Jude?" She told me that she had tried to wake him before I got home, but couldn't because he was too drunk. As she was explaining, I noticed that the dirty clothes at the bottom of my closet were moving. Out comes a nineteen-year-old kid. I watched as she led him to the front door. No words were exchanged.


Once she convinced a guy to let her borrow his chainsaw. She sawed things in half. My lazy boy chair, a dresser, a television set and a twin bed that was fully made. She slept on half a bed for the longest time. It was leaning for a while, but then she propped it up with bricks. By the end of the summer she had replaced the chain three times. She had fashioned a way of securing the saw to her back so it wouldn't bug her while she rode her bike. She always rode her bike or walked. Once I let her drive my car. She sideswiped the concrete divider along the bridge. We were in the car for three minutes. I was still adjusting the seat, trying to get comfortable the moment of impact. That fall, I let her gut my Escort. She sawed the interior seats in half. I still received $100 from the junkyard for my car. Judy moved to New York. She left me her bike and a stack of books.


Last I heard she was a bathroom attendant at a celebrity-status strip joint in the city. She got fired for allegedly stealing or something. She swore she was innocent. I believed her. It's weird, but sometimes when I throw up, it reminds me of her.

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