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««« My Name Is Bond
The Garden of Sylvester Stallone
I must be drunk. Bats whistling through the branches of the trees, the smell of the night-blowing cereus, the winged passion flower, bougainvillea... and septic. I'm looking at a statue of Stallone, lit by the big moon over Acapulco Bay.
Ajo and Brutus are panting from navigating the crazy stairway.
It's Rambo, says Brutus.
The statues are intermittent along the terrace.
Rocky, says Brutus. Stallone as Rocky.
Music, voices, laughter.
I need a drink, says Ajo. Let's go.
Maybe we should go back... fact is, you're going forward even when you're going back. Think about it.
As usual in these situations, I recognize one or two people. There's my mother, sipping what appears to be her favorite, a Pims No. 1, sitting near the white piano... which is played by an invisible player, just like the one in the Camino lobby.
Your funeral went with out a hitch, I say. The mess was minimal. No one got drunk, no one got crude.
She looks at me, then goes back to her conversation with the round-faced man. Goatee and jockey cap. An old friend of the family, hasn't spoken to him in years, ever since that bad deal with the oil well in Alberta. He's smiling at me, raises his glass.
Still pumpin' young fella, he says. Still pumpin'....
The three Pepsi girls are here. Ajo is telling them his favorite joke, the one about the whales attacking the battleship, eating the sailors. One comes over, starts combing my hair. I become warm, tranquil... putty.
My God, there's George Orson, smoking a big cigar.
My friend! says Orson. Good to see you! Been meaning to phone
I can see them through the big glass windows... a young boy with dark hair in a big armchair eating cheesies. Stallone is standing nearby, a sullen bodyguard combing his hair.
Saw Sly at the hockey game, I say.
There's some unpleasantness going on, one of the lower patios. A lot of people gathered, watching a woman commit a sex act with a burro. The brays of the burro reverberate across the dry hillside.
There's someone here I feel like killing, says Orson.
Glazed eyes, looking at the horizon.
Who? I say.
He disappears, the smoke from his cigar hanging like a jet trail. Ajo appears from below, all smiles.
Guess what? says Ajo.
The Pepsi girl has her face in my neck, her arms wrapping me from behind, her hands exploring my chest. Ajo is filming us. Brutus is in the distance, making a sketch. I'm riddled with anxiety, yet powerless to move. Somehow I'm becoming part of the show. Try to speak... but all I can do is bray like a donkey.
Now Brutus is in the pool, swimming slowly in the pastel blue, shadowy against the submerged lighting. Three Mexican women sit on chairs knitting, legs crossed, thighs exposed, swollen lipped and bleeding. A white peacock is pecking for flies in the shallows. Tail opens into a fan as Brutus emerges from the water, massive, dripping, dangerous.
Here, eat this, I say. A nice piece of bread with Irish lard.
Watch him disappear up the steps, footprints glowing with phosphorous. Something's developing here. I feel Stallone is the key. If I could speak with Stallone, then everything will be o.k.
But I'm lost, alone on the terrace with the statues. Stallone's sneer is directed at me.
Sly, I say. Is it necessary to kill so many people?
The muscles, the tight vest, the white knuckle on the trigger.
I've done an inventory, I say, a list. You want to know how many?
A bat swoops past... another... and another, like splattering ink. The terrace seems longer, the statues infinite.
Stallone's talking to me telepathically. This seems completely natural.
What's your boy's name? says Sly. Brutus?
I'm looking for Brutus to give him the good news. Go around the back, where everything is so bright, could be dawn. The big boulders stick out of the hillside like nuts in a chocolate cake.
Ajo and Brutus are in the shadow of the gulch, whispering.
He's pissing me off, says Brutus. Big time.
Who are they talking about? They seem to be watching something in the boulder field.
Hey cats, I say. My friend George Orson says he can get me a Stallone.
Brutus and Ajo turn quickly, look up, startled.
Hear what I said? I say. A Stallone.
This distasteful conversation is interrupted by gunfire -- the universal solution of a society in crisis everywhere. Bullets are whizzing, invisible birds so close they throb. Various individuals are using the boulders as cover, just like an old time shootout. Who is gunning for who? It's unclear. Brutus has a gun, Ajo has a gun... and by God I have a gun too!
There's Orson again... has somebody by the throat, is strangling the person. They struggle through the boulder field into the house... through the glass rooms onto the deck... the patio... the terrace with the statues, the big Acapulco moon swollen and sinking.
Where's my mother? I see a man pouring her ashes into the surf. How do I know this? Telepathy. Either you have it or you don't. Tonight I have it.
Can't do a thing about it, though. Pinned down by gunfire, the shrapnel of phantoms. I have a gun but in this garden a gun is only as real as the statue who carries it.
I Wonder If They Take Visa
We're in 1978 Galaxy, same car, same driver who took us to the hotel, now taking us away.
S'negger, says Ajo.
There's the house, the one Stallone is supposed to own. A helicopter is hovering above the grounds. I'm the only one who's paying attention.
Wonder if they take Visa, says Brutus.
All these houses stacked in the hills, these villas, these condos, these dreams... and just as many boulders, abstractions of something yet to be built.
How you like Pulco? says the driver.
The Galaxy is pretty loose on the bumps. We rattle into town, get snarled in the traffic.
Thinking about that picture? I say to Brutus. The fake Varo?
Spreads his arms on the shoulders of the back seat, allows his jacket to fall open. Can't believe what I'm seeing... Corona, Una Cerverza Mas Fina? No. Acapulco, the Garden of Sylvester Stallone.... Si.
Ajo, I say, check this man out.
© LR 15/5/2000
««« My Name Is Bond
The City »»»
© Lawrence Russell
Culture Court 2000