by Sean Jackson
Her husband lies dead in a Mexico City coroner’s vault and all Margo wants is a way out.
She sits on the bed with Raymond’s pants folded in her lap and can smell his cologne, almost feel his runner’s thighs stretching the fabric. They found him in a cabana with a hole in his cheek and five voicemails from a hooker’s chulo glowing on his android.
Margo has responsibilities. She holds elected office and there are five subcommittee hearings over the next two days.
Raymond was in Mexico to meet with web designers. She has to call Ghazia—the strongest, coldest young Arab woman ever—who is getting surgery on her knee. Right this very minute they are fixing her ACL that the aide fucked up playing tennis on Saturday.
Margo reaches into Raymond’s right pocket and remembers this is where he kept his keys and his lip balm. Nothing else went into this pocket, other than maybe a hand. But the policía are saying this is where his phone was, the one with all the calls from the pimp who stuck an ice pick into his face.
She stands at the big windows and looks across the city. You don’t think about it, when you’re just scanning through a vividly lit metropolis, but there is always someone out getting stabbed or raped or just let down in some major way.
Ghazia is slurring her words into the phone, saying somebody has to travel down there. Somebody needs to be on the ground in Mexico City. Margo lets incoming calls flow into her growing pile of voicemails. Everybody wants a piece of her now.
“They’ve got a picture of him in Mexico City,” she tells Margo. “I mean, I know it’s not what you want to hear but they’ve got a photo of him crawling all over some hot muchacha. He’s got a drink the size of a globe and his arm around her shoulder. She looks bored.”
Of course she does. He was like most gorgeous men: not so much interested in you but curious as to your level of interest in him.
“How old is she?” Margo says.
“Who knows. It’s hard to tell. She’s got a shit-ton of makeup on like a …”
“Like a whore? Is that what you were going to say?”
“Yeah, but I don’t like to judge.”
Every fucking body is pre-law or hip deep in ethics and morality or some such bullshit.
“Everybody’s a judge, Ghazia. Judge, jury, executioner.”
And then she turns on the flatscreen by the fridge and watches muted suits and hairstyles jabber away at Raymond’s demise. They seem to be wondering if this could lead to Margo’s demise, too.
A quick text to Ghazia. Book two rooms in Williamsburg. It’s almost Constitution Week so there’s that. The nom de guerre is Margo Macomber, a silly yet fitting way to pay homage to Hemingway’s most notorious and rightful murderess. Book it, get there, order Chinese, start drinking.
published 4 October 2014