“Just hanging around til you got here.”
“Well, I’m here.”
“Pretty, huh?” Baker Bloch offered to just arrived Wheeler about the fairy garden he’d discovered tonight in his roamings.
Sigh. “Sure. Point Zero?” she couldn’t help but ask.
“Maybe.” Baker indicates with a tilt of his head. “Blue fairy over there. Just like in ‘Pinocchio’.”
“Um hm, I remember. Blue screen of death. Oracle… dead.”
“But not now.”
“No,” she agreed. She looked around, studied each of the fairies she could see and their tableaus. She decided not to walk around. She wasn’t sure how long she wanted to stay. She has a seat in front of the fire; waits for Baker to stop swinging and come over to join her.
She quickly became impatient. “Are you going to join a swingers club or are you going to stay loyal to me?”
Baker hopped down from the rope and walked over. “We’re not married, you know. That was just a joke from the last photo-novel. The last of the last,” he said.
“I know. I thought it was fitting to say anyway. Have a seat.”
He does, and then a colorful person appears from behind some rocks and comes over and starts to serenade them with queer violin playing while bobbing up and down.
“Aw jeez,” says Baker to this.
“What… what is it?” Wheeler looks him over; decides he is harmless.”
“Aw it’s just his guy I met. Bouncer. He must think…”
“We’re a couple? I did too. And then you drop this bombshell on me. We’re not married.”
“You know we’re not married, Wheeler. Just drop it.”
“Like a ball. Like the ball I deserve? My wedding gown. Had to pack grandmama’s away again, perhaps for good. She’s rolling over in her grave for certain, tsk tsk tsk.”
“Stop,” Baker requests, loud enough for Bouncer to hear. He lifts his bow. He bows. He waits.
“I think he wants a tip,” Wheeler said, not offering any herself. Baker traditionally has more of the money, she thinks. But currently he’s got that high rent payment each week. 750 dollars due *now*. Wheeler knew Baker was fishing again.
“5 okay?” Bouncer just stands there unbouncing. He touches the purple musician to deliver the money. No bowing this time. Disappointment. He takes his leave behind the rocks again.
“100 would have been more appropriate,” Wheeler opines, trying to figure out how he disappeared so quickly from her angle. “200 maybe. It was a good tune. Messiaen I believe, one of his bird twitterings. I’m surprised it didn’t attract some pigeons.”
“You could be right,” he says, moving his hot feet away from the fire by sitting sideways.”
“I *am* right. I can always tell a Messiaen. He must be a real pro to play that fine. 300, I say. You should have tipped 300… no 400.”
“I assume you’re going to raise it to 750. I know what game is being played.”
“Yeah. You know why you’re here.”
“Yeah. I’m strapped for cash as you know.”
(to be continued)