Excerpt from No Way To Paradise

I was sitting in a bar on Western Avenue. It was around midnight and I was in my usual confused state. I mean, you know, nothing works right: the women, the jobs, the no jobs, the weather, the dogs. Finally you just sit in a kind of stricken state and wait like you're on the bus stop bench waiting for death.

Well, I was sitting there and here comes this one with long dark hair, a good body, sad brown eyes. Ididn't turn on for her. I ignored her even though she had taken the stool next to mine when there were a dozen other empty seats. In fact, we were the only ones in the bar except for the bartender. She ordered a dry wine. Then she asked me what I was drinking.

"Scotch and Water."

"Give him a scotch and water," she told the barkeep.

Well that was unusual.

She opened her purse, removed a small wire cage and took some little people out and sat then on the bar. They were all around three inches tall and they were alive and properly dressed. There were four of them, two men and two women.

"They make these now," she said, "they're expensive. They cost around $2,000 apience when I got them. They go for around $2,400 now. I don't know the manufacturing process but it's probably against the law."

The little people were walking around on the top of the bar. Suddenly one of the little guys slapped one of the little women across the face.

"You bitch!" he said, "I've had it with you!"

"No, George, you can't," she cried, "I love you! I'll kill myself! I've got to have you!"

"I don't care," said the little guy, and he took out a tiny cigarette and lit it. "I've got a right to live."

"If you don't want her," said the other little guy, "I'll take her. I love her."

"But I don't want you, Marty. I'm in love with George."

"But he's a bastard, Anna, a real bastard!"

"I know, but I love him anyhow."

The little bastard then walked over and kissed the other little woman.

"I've got a triangle going," said the lady who had bought me the drink. "That's Marty and George and Anna and Ruthie. George goes down, he goes down good. Marty's kind of square."

"Isn't it sad to watch all that? Er, what's your name?"

"Dawn. It's a terrible name. But that's what mothers do to their children sometimes."

"I'm Hank. But isn't it sad..."

"No, it isn't sad to watch it. I haven't had much luck with my own loves, terrible luck really..."

"We all have terrible luck"

"I suppose. Anyhow, I bought these little people and now I watch them, and it's like having it and not having any of the problems. But I get awfully hot when they start making love. That's when it gets difficult."

"Are they sexy?"

"Very, very sexy. My god, it makes me hot!"

"Why don't you make them do it? I mean right now. We'll watch them together."

"Oh, you can't make them do it. They've got to do it on their own."

"How often do they do it?"

"Oh, they're pretty good. They go four or five times a week."

They were walking around on the bar. "Listen," said Marty, "give me a chance. Just give me a chance, Anna."

"No," said Anna, "my love belongs to George. There's no other way it can be."

George was kissing Ruthie, feeling her breasts. Ruthie was getting hot.

"Ruthie's getting hot," I told Dawn. "She is, she really is."

I was getting hot too. I grabbed Dawn and kissed her.