“Bill Hick’s last laugh was a cough”, said the thin-lipped woman. “His last laugh was the signal.”
The sunshine told lies to those waiting for it, weeks spent under umbrellas with the Algarve on their mind. But a few knew otherwise. The gravediggers and yard keepers work outside in the grit and the grimace, with brief yolks over the weekend hurling staving inevitables. Heat like that brings with it rain and other things people can’t prepare for, like waking with gummy lips, like cellophane kisses and a corrupted tongue.
“If he lived, should he have held the earth at bay, he would have told us of evil men. He would have told us of the most evil men who ever lived and how rational they were. There is no such thing as irrational evil. Not in men.”
The priest in cloth, upright in function, had the most to hurry for, dodging conversations with three-tiered laughs, the first step the loudest and decreasing incrementally and sequentially. “HA-Ha-ha.” But news of legislation, passed or soon to be, forbidding even a pint for the road didn’t faze him, “’cause sure, we can turn to marijuana. They can’t test for that.” Still, he can nurse the thing today even if tomorrow sees it his last.
“If Lenny Bruce had lived he would have become nothing but cracked pieces held together by hair. His last laugh would be spit on paper.”
Otherwise attractive the thin-lipped woman rocked a cot with a mania inside. She had taken off the jacket she wore in the chapel, her undershirt matching her shoes. It was only for glances and winces, milliseconds here or there, caught with flits in her direction then to trees or headstones, that intentions become mutual. Hair undone by burgeoning wind stretching its length and widening its breadth, just to brush leaves from branches into street verges. She loses herself for the car leaving just a message.
“Lenny Bruce died at forty, and Bill Hick at thirty-three. This age has its voices, and them their vices, both of which are as old as the sin. May you die at twenty-nine with only bottle caps to your name.”