The Fox was a piece of work. I remember the night she took the mirror off the wall of our motel room and sat on the floor in an Indian seat and put one of them new zig-zaggy parts in her shoulder-length brown hair. I remember ’cause her hair reminded me of dark chocolate. I wanted to eat it. I wanted to chew her up and throw the bones away, or maybe suck all the flavor out of ’em first then toss ’em in a hole and bury ’em. The Fox did that to me, had from the minute I laid eyes on her behind that bank teller’s counter with a blank, faraway look on her face. It was a look that called out to me to take her away. So I did.
Bet The Fox had never been that far away from Ohio, but it never seemed to bother her much. Truth is, her eyes had begged me to bring her to that steamy motel room. Still, that first day I saw her, I did my bank business and walked out, knowing how you gotta play with their minds a little before they’ll do what you want. Bet she thought I was gonna leave her there.
She sure had put on a good act at the restaurant, sitting with her girlfriends and munching on a salad like she was a rabbit or something. She pretended not to notice that I had waited an hour for the bank to close and followed her there in my old model Caprice Classic. So I had to do something to get her attention. Rather than shoot the place up like I woulda done in the early days, I decided to spill my coffee all over her lap instead. Don’t even ask me how I did it. But I managed. Toot Harrington always manages.
The other broads that were sitting with her looked all scared. Some chicks get all weird over guys that haven’t shaved in a coupla days, think we’re dangerous or something ’cause we got some stubble. Guess I kinda looked like the boogie-man as I got some napkins from a waitress and helped her dry off her soft blue skirt that fit her like a second skin.
“I’m really sorry ma’am, listen I’ll clean it for ya, really, I’ll pay for it. I’m so darned clumsy….” And I gave her my card, a business card that showed the name of the motel where I lived and worked, and I told her to call me and I’d sure enough have her skirt taken care of. “Just ask for Toot,” I added.
Just like an innocent chick to meet a guy and hear the name of a motel and think of adventure right away. The Fox hardly let me get home before she called me. As I was passing the motel front desk on my way to the room I had been living in for the past three months, the night manager on duty told me that I had a message from a “Julie.”
“And another thing,” he said, being a real thorn in my side, “Some kid barfed in the men’s room. Need ya to take care of it right away.”
Toot Harrington cleaning barf! Looked like it was about time to move on. But first, I called “Julie” and she carried on a muffled conversation with me. Said she lived with her ma and dad and that her daddy would bust a vein if he knew she was on his phone calling some guy in a motel.
“Where you from, Toot?” She asked immediately.
“Well Julie, the road is my home. I go here and there, stay for a while, and then move on. I’m soon to be leaving this cow town.”
The words were hardly out of my mouth when she breathed, “Ohhh,” her tinkling voice lilting in the sweetest way. “Where you headed next?”
“Was thinkin’ ’bout Arizona, maybe stay there for a month or two then head out to California. Y’know, Hollywood….”
“Toot! You’re so lucky! Hollywood!” She sighed.
Hollywood got ’em every time.