Flat on my back in the middle of one of the most famous intersections in the world, Hollywood and Vine. Cars slalom around me. Finally, it becomes clear, like a fade-in from a bad movie: what it all means. The pictures run through my mind at twenty-four frames per second . . .
Jack MacHugo took a swig of Hammerhead Amber and said, “You’ll pay me and you’ll fucking like it, even if you have to sell off your precious . . .” He choked as his beer went down the wrong pipe, but Stan Mulalap knew J-Mack was about to say piss hole, the term he always used for the island’s ancient doughnut-shaped stone money. The worthless sot always repeats himself, thought Mulalap. Like a parrot with Alzheimer’s . . .
“Baby, don’t go,” he says as she gets out of the bed—that same bed they’ve shared a dozen times or more. She slips on the tight mauve dress and slides her feet into her leather pumps. He’s pleading with her not to go, not to leave him here. But she doesn’t listen . . .