Without a Head (part 4)
She was back in less than five minutes, holding a bloody head that would make a mirror question its value. Whoever the dead guy was he had more hair than he deserved but not long enough to cover a face that would make Picasso look like a realist. This broad had nerve, lots of nerve, to be walking down the street not even bothering to cover that mug in a bag. She was a brave broad probably with a stomach strong enough to make love to me with the lights on and one of her eyes open (okay maybe if it was covered by a patch).
“How did you know I had the matching body?” I said.
“I double parked and was running into Starbucks when I grabbed the head instead of my purse which is quite easy to mix up since the bag’s sides are made of long horse hair. I ordered a double cappuccino, dropped a couple bucks on the counter and then reached into my bag for some change. When I realized that I pulled the metal plate out of his head I knew I made a mistake. Before I could turn to run outside some big guy who was claiming that the coffee he just had was much better than the crap they sold here, tossed some coins on the counter and said, “I got it.” Then he told me about you and the headless body. He’s right about your coffee.
“Thanks, who was this dead guy? And why did one of his ends end up in my house?” I was proud of my play on words, but she didn’t notice.
“He’s….well he was my…–“
She hesitated so I finished her question.” Boyfriend?”
“No… he was my –“
“No…he was –“
“No…he was my –“
She looked at me strange like it was my head she was holding. “No.”
“Than who the hell was he?”
“He was my shrink.”
I had an image of her holding a shrunken shrink’s head and almost started to laugh, lucky I had the cup of coffee to hide my smile. “How did you end up with your shrink’s head? You didn’t kill him?”
“Of course not, I wouldn’t never cut off his head, I looked up to him. Although now he would be shorter than me, especially without my heels.
“Sounds like he was more than your shrink?”
“Yes, besides, tiling my bathroom, he showed me how to stand on my head and still determine which was my upper lip, sometimes he’d even trap flies in my nostrils, moths too.”
“You sure that’s all he did?
“Okay, and small birds.”
I kept silent, knowing she was just trying to make her shrink look impressive to me.
“And rodents when he stuffed cheese in one nostril.”
I knew there was something else. “You slept with him didn’t you?”
“Of course he neutered my cat twice. I’m pretty sure he found out about us, me and him. I should have never taken off my blouse, my bra, my skirt, my thong and told him to go out and buy condoms. And I never should have yelled out, ’Your time’s up big boy!’” He immediately asked me for a hundred and twenty-five bucks, told me to make the bed and demanded I come back next week. Then he went back to sleep.
“I guess he nodded off before his head was cut off.” I blurted trying to hide my “I gotcha bitch grin” behind my coffee cup.
She gave me a look dirtier that any thought I could have had about her and three women sleeping together on a bed of women. “A few days later I went to his office. His door was open so I went in. I looked around and didn’t see anyone. Then I realized it was strange that he’d leave his door open, that’s when I looked and saw that the bottom corner of the door had his mouth around it and his head was being used as a doorstop. I panicked, grabbed the head and ran out the door.”
“Why didn’t you call the cops, or just leave his head there.”
“Because my name was written on the back of his door and he was cute. Besides I like seeing my name in red.”
“What was your name written in? Was it in blood?” I asked.
“It didn’t taste like blood.”
“You tasted it?”
“Why not, I hadn’t eaten all day and my own blood sugar was low. I was getting light headed,” she said, not realizing she had set me up for a bad joke.
“Not as light as your shrink’s,” I said. This time I was unable to hold back my laughter.”
She gave me a look that made me wish I didn’t have a head to see it. “Actually, I’m positive it wasn’t blood, it was too peppery definitely some kind of Tex Mex mix. And when I compared it to the color of the blood lying next to Rudolph’s head, it had an orange tint that matched my shoes.”
“So what did you do afterwards?”
“Well, I wasn’t going to pay for the complete hour, I had only been there for ten minutes. I left $35. I think that was plenty. I took Rudolph’s head, combed his hair and left. I’d seen his body naked, so I thought I might spot it somewhere. I went to all his usual haunts.”
I almost laughed at her unintentional ghost reference but killed it with a slug of java. “Did you carry the head around with you?”
“Duh! Of course, but I kept it covered, unless I had to ask someone if they’d seen this guy around. Then I’d pull it out and show them.”
“Weren’t you worried about them calling the cops?”
“No, not at all, before I put the head in the bag, I made sure it was smiling. Besides it was dark in most of the places and they couldn’t tell if it was real. Some of the guys still hit on me. There was this one cute one, tall, dark hair, nice suit. He tried to give me his card. But I told him I had a boy friend and introduced him to Rudolph’s head. He laughed and then bought me and Rudolph a round of drinks. When I poured the drink into Rudolph’s mouth and it spilled out his neck, the bar tender kicked me out.”
“Do you know anyone who would want to kill Rudolph?”
“Yeah, probably everyone he’s ever met, except me, because I was sleeping with him and he was paying for my podiatry lessons and teaching me how to lasso. He was a disgusting human being without any redeemable characteristics who hated his sense of smell. He made most of his therapy money on people who he said needed to analyze why they would even come to him and then kept coming. So it could have been anyone. And there was a group who liked to dress up like animals, but he kicked them out for not going on the papers. I was in that group for a week but they tossed me out saying my playboy bunny outfit wasn’t at all like a real rabbit’s, even after I offered to have sex with all them if they dressed like gophers.”
“You shrink boy friend probably didn’t like that.”
“Are you kidding, he wanted to start an Xrated animal planet. Oh, he had a private animal look-a-like patient he threatened with a blow torch, but that guy left therapy before the flames reached his face. He wouldn’t tell me what kind of animal his patient dressed like, saying that was patient/doctor privilege although he did say the guy quacked him up. Rudolph was a riot when he drank pharmaceutical grade plasma and snorted lighter fluid.”
“Hmmm, uh, but is there anything unusual about Rudolph that you can remember?”
“He had eight-hundred and sixty-five age spots, spent seven years stuck in the lotus position and he slept in separate beds.”
“You mean, when you were over you slept separately?” I asked, looking her up and down again, trying to convince myself that I had heard correctly.
“No, he always slept separately.”
“The guy was a slob during the day but when he slept he was a cleanliness freak. He hated having to wake up to change his sheets, thus two beds. He only slept two nights a week or was it two months a year?”
“Okay, besides being a vile human being and completely off his rocker, he’s your average over-priced shrink, who got his head chopped off and his body thrown in my window. We still need to find his killer.” I felt like I’d blown the case just by being involved in it.”
“I don’t mean to be negative but if we don’t find his killer do you think it would be alright if I really shrunk his head? I might be able to sell it at a garage sale. I hate to just throw things out,” she asked while running Q-tips through both his ears.
End Part 4