They keep paging Mr. de la Cruz to the red courtesy phone in the lobby.
He can't come downstairs.
For that matter, he can't come, not anymore, ever;
Mr. de la Cruz is dead.
I'm in a fix.
One minute, holding his smartphone in one hand,
and messing with my boob with the other,
he was handing Mrs. de la Cruz the usual pile of bullcrap.
I love you, I miss you, I'm stuck here in Detroit.
About an hour later, after taking a blue pill,
Mr. de la Cruz blew a tire.
His face got all weird and he started sounding wheezy;
then he died, right there in the hotel bed.
No more being a cheaty bastard.
No more being my business friend.
He won't sit up, gasp, start laughing, and say, "That was close!"
He can't move.
He can't open Windows.
He can't do anything, ever again.
So who the hell wants him on the freaking courtesy phone?
They keep repeating the page.
Who does he know in Detroit?
Eminem? Kid Rock? Aretha Franklin?
I think he only knows me, and Jim, the manager of the escort service.
Jim would tell me to get dressed and book it on out of here.
So I do.
On my way out, leaving Mr. de la Cruz cooling off with the sheets,
I hear the page again. Curiosity killed the cat.
Mee-owr, I think to myself, and head for the courtesy phone in the lobby.
It's this old red dial phone.
I stick my gum on the little stand and pick up the receiver.
"Yeah? Uh....this is Mrs. de la Cruz."
Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like
if I had married some cheaty fuck and dropped a few kids.
I would have loved him, missed him,
been sorry he got stuck in Detroit all by himself.
I actually start welling up thinking about it.
It's Aphrodite on the other end of the line.
She's talking about love, desire, beauty and longing,
but Mr. de la Cruz is dead upstairs,
Jim will have some other date for me to meet,
and though Aph means well and seems really nice,
I'm getting antsy
and it's all Greek to me.
for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads.
In honor of Martin de la Cruz, an Aztec healer; the Martin de la Cruz award is given for excellence in the field of medicinal herbs.