Rinzai SatoriTM Murders Hemingway


By The End of the Evening


     By the end of the evening they had come to the crest of the ridge and made their camp. The woman pulled the tinfoil packets from her rucksack. They unwrapped and ate the boiled pollo y papas from the tinfoil. The pollo was good--not as good as the pollo at La Tienda Siete-Once, but everything was better there. It was a clean, well-lighted place, and the cerveza was always muy frio. The manager was a true, two-fisted man, though he spoke neither English nor Castilian, and wore a turban. He was called Mahmoud. Nick saw the man often, and always they greeted each other the way men do when one of them quiere obtener cerveza and the other one sells it.
     Nick looked at the woman. She had hips that made you think of mayonnaise, of pollo frito del Sur, and of inexpensive holiday candy. She ate her pollo quickly and in silence. She disdained the papas.
     "It appears thou disdains the papas," Nick chided her gently.
     "I obscenity on the papas," she said, proudly and disdainfully. "They are fria, as is the pollo. I wish we were at La Tienda Siete-Once, where the pollo is always caliente."
     "It is not always caliente," Nick said. "At first it is muy frio. Only later is it caliente."
     "I wish it was never frio," she said petulantly. "I wish it was always caliente and all we had to do was look forward to the next pollo y cerveza."
     Nick knew then that her thoughts were not those of a man. A man would take the caliente with the frio, and know that he was a man, because he could feel la temperatura in his cojones--especially in la piscina. Women did not have cojones, Nick remembered. He had found that out himself once, in a clean and well-lighted place. What was it called? Nick struggled to remember the name. Then, suddenly, he did.
     La cama. That was the name. You never truly forgot the name of that place, if you were a man.
     "What are you thinking of?" she inquired sharply. "If you don't stop zoning out like that, I'm going to leave."
     Nick did not answer. He was thinking of la cama, and how good it was when one's partner there was sin cojones if one was truly a man. He thought of that afternoon, spent exploring the body of la mujer sin cojones, and then of the evening when he and she had gone to La Tienda Siete-Once and drank much beer. It was good beer, rich and bitter on your tongue, and you could feel the cold of it through la bolsita marrón en su mano as you stood outside, leaning against la ventana.
     When Nick returned from his thoughts and looked around, the woman with the body like una lada de puerco y frijoles was gone. "Vaya con queso, my little obscenity," he whispered. "It is bien that you are gone, for I did not love thee, and only wanted someone to carry the pollo to the crest of the ridge. I will not miss thee." He knew there would be pain, in spite of his words. But he could live with the pain.
     You could do that, if you were a man.


La Corrida del Grupo Musical


    The rain exploded with a mighty crash as they fell into the sun. It was a clean sun, and gave off good, steady light. Paul, the first one there, said to Linda, the second one there, "I hope you are muy alegre." Linda was a proud, strong woman, Paul thought. Stronger than, but not as proud as la japonista John had married, but a good woman. A man needs a good woman, Paul thought, a woman he can love in the strong way that a man loves. When a man loves a woman, he thought, he'll give his very last dime trying to hold on to the good thing he's found. The thought hit him like a sledge. Paul realized his thoughts were straying, and willed himself to focus on where he was.
    Paul knew that the man from the jail and Samuel, the able bodied sailor, were searching everyone. But Paul and Linda were far from that place, and he knew that the search would only be in the town.
    Paul remembered the town, stuck inside those four walls. He'd been sent inside forever, never seeing anyone. He remembered thinking, "If I ever get out of here, I will give away all my possessions to a charity. Not a regular charity, of course, but a registered charity with a strong purpose and good, clean books." He thought about what he would need afterward, and it had seemed to him that all he would need was beer. Good beer, but not as much beer as before, perhaps only a pint a day.
    Soon they came to the desert. The night was falling, and they heard the sounds quiet around them as everything settled down for the cold night. From the town behind them came the sounds of searching, but Paul knew that no one, not even the county judge who would never forgive him, could ever find them.
    "They can search forevermore," he said, and laughed the way a man laughs when the rabbits are running, the hounds are chasing, and you know, in your man's corazón that on this day, if only on this day, the rabbits will win the race.


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