Walking Talking Eulogy
Walking Talking Eulogy
“You ever feel like a monkey pawing at the moon in a puddle?” Jo asked.
The Killer jumped, surprised to find he wasn’t keeping his own company.
He’d been sitting in the grass under a shade-tree, and by himself, watching a pair of little ones in the distance pulling a kite through the blue morning sky. But then Jo was sitting next to him.
He thought he might have just been lost in thought, but it was more like Jo hadn’t cast a shadow or made a sound.
“I haven’t,” the Killer said, “the monkey thing…. Is that zen?”
Jo was probably male. The Killer knew him as Declan’s kid, the child of an acquaintance, and they’d never talked before.
“I dunno,” Jo said, jumping to his feet and standing in front of him. Jo did a twirl and smiled at him. “Super-cute slash boys’-school-underclassman-handsome, right?” he asked.
Jo was wearing a T-shirt, white with black text reading, How do you like it? and a frilly pink skirt embroidered with a small poodle. But under his skirt was a pair of ratty blue jeans.
“You’re too young for me, so I couldn’t say.”
“You’re no fun,” Jo said, flopping down next to him again. “So, Mister not-presently-Masked Killer, you just walking through downtown, see a nice spot in the shade and say, that looks like a sweet place to mope?”
“…Something like that.”
“You waiting for somebody- One of those kids a serial rapist?” Jo asked, pointing at the little ones with the kite.
“I don’t usually kill kids.”
“Did Masked Killerette dump you.”
“No,” he said. “Jane’s at the bank. I’m waiting.”
“I’m waiting too. Tobie and me are supposed to have a picnic, but I think he’s still mad at me….”
The Killer didn’t know any Tobies, but Jo was staring down at the grass with a look in his eyes like he was about to cry. “Is that… a friend o’ yours?”
“Ah…. I’m sure you’ll work things out-”
“I killed like nineteen people yesterday- It’s not like I pulled the trigger, really, but Tobie’s still mad at me- Does Jane ever get mad at you?”
“Sometimes. Who’d you kill?”
Declan was a killer by trade, but Jo had always seemed pretty harmless.
“Bank robbers, more or less,” Jo said. “Chad was in trouble, and I was just helping….”
“…Chad a friend of yours?”
“Robin, Tobie’s ex, he’s her boyfriend,” Jo said.
The Killer had seen Jo a week before, eating inari-zushi at a Big Noodle, alongside a girl and two guys he didn’t recognize. He now had three names for three faces, Robin was probably the girl, but he didn’t know who was Chad and who was Tobie. He didn’t care.
“So, you were helpin’ out your boyfriend’s ex’s boyfriend?”
“Yeah- So, now you know what’s buggin’ me, how bout you tell me about your existential malaise?” Jo said, sneering over him. His near-tears expression switched off like a TV.
“…I found a letter in Jane’s purse-”
“From her ex?” Jo asked with an excited smile on his face.
“No. Jane wrote it-”
“To her ex, then?”
“…Like a letter to the editor, then?”
“It’s to me.”
“…So, is she planning to dump you?”
“No,” the Killer said, pulling the crumpled envelope from his coat pocket.
“You kept it?” Jo asked, taking it with greedy fingers. “Don’t you think she’ll notice?”
Jo’s eyes bounced back and forth, skimming the letter first, before starting again slowly from the beginning. The Killer remembered it word for word.
It’s weird writing a letter to somebody with no name, the letter said, but I guess if you find this you’ll know I’m writing to you. I just wanted you to know, I love you. More than I ever loved anybody. So it’s okay. I guess I figured you would read this if I die. If I’m not dead and you read this you should talk to me instead of acting weird. I just started laughing. Sorry. Anyway. I’m just saying I might die sometime because our work gets heavy sometimes, and I don’t think I could take a bullet to the head. I’m laughing again. So don’t worry about me, it’s not your fault, I did the shit I wanted to do, and I love you. Jane.
“That’s like… really sweet, right?” Jo said, passing the letter back to him. “Tobie hasn’t said he loves me…. -But we’re totally in love.”
“Just give him time-”
“…He will or he won’t, I guess.”
“You’re depressing,” Jo said. His face colored in funeral hues, for a moment, but then brightened into a vicious grin. “You should really tell her you read it.”
“Read what?” Jane asked, suddenly standing in front of them. She was dressed head to toe in black with spiked hair to match, an ink blotch on the bright noon skyline.
The Killer heard Jo snicker but found him missing when he turned.
“Was that Declan’s kid?” Jane asked, still standing over him, but closer now.
“Bank told me I have to wait a week,” she said, looming over him. She was small, small enough that she usually tip-toed when they kissed, but she was still imposing.
“We’ll figure something out,” he said. They had a big job that night and needed weapons.
Jane had never collected the cash her father had left her. But thinking it through, it seemed a little tacky to spend her inheritance on guns.
“They’re selling french-fries,” the Killer said, pointing at a stand across the grass. “We could have a picnic-”
“What should you really tell me you read?” Jane asked, finally sitting next to him.
“We were out of toothpaste yesterday….”
“I looked in your purse, ’cause I thought you might have some of the little motel sized-”
“I told you that’s hand cream.”
“…I found a letter.”
“In my purse?”
“Yeah,” he said, but she just silently stared at the kids playing with their kite. “I thought it might be a bill, or something.”
“I sealed the envelope.”
“I opened it. Sorry.”
“Should we talk about this?” she asked, hugging her knees to her chest.
“Not unless you want to…. I love you too-”
“French-fries, right?” she asked jumping to her feet.
“That sounds nice,” the Killer said, “then I was thinking we should rob Jimmy Xi.”
Jane had always hated Jimmy Xi. And he dealt guns. So it was a two-birds-one-stone deal.
“Sounds like a plan,” Jane said, reaching down a hand to help him up.