Encompassing her whole view, from horizon to horizon, the sea converges with the teeming city, spreading out from the beaches—tiny specks, boats and bathers—to the streets—cars, trucks, motor bikes—winding through streets lined with magnificent palatial towers—glittering swimming pools on landscaped terraces—running smack up against the ramshackle cacophony of the slums—cobbled shelters of scavenged detritus. Extending her arms outward, echoing the colossal statue of Christ that rises up behind her, she leans into the stiff breeze and calls out, “Marco!” She turns in all directions, calling his name, but there is no reply. She is alone. Overwhelmed with confusion and uncertainty, she turns and scans the whole horizon again. Her knees weaken and her breath comes short and shallow. She glances down at the sheer drop before her and she feels a sickening sensation pulling her towards the yawning space beyond the edge. She steps backwards, but she bumps into something, a figure. She turns to find him standing there. “Marco!” He extends a hand but he does not speak. His eyes are expressionless. She grabs his hand, but he does not pull her towards him. They are grasping fingertips, but the wind is whipping them both, their grip is tenuous. Something pulls her back, towards the edge. She feels their hands slipping apart, but he does nothing, his face blank. Suddenly, a gust buffets her, and she loses her grip, and she tumbles back, over the edge, plummeting down, down . . .
She wakes, terrified, sweating, panting. It’s pitch dark. The cat, sitting on her chest, scampers away as she bolts upright. She doesn’t know where she is, and her leg . . . the pain and heaviness . . . “Oh, my leg. And the fucking cast . . .” She rubs her temples and tries to shake off the nightmare. “Whew! The fall! So real! Tumbling through space! Ow!” A shudder runs through her as she gets her trembling legs off the couch and turns on a lamp. “What time is it, for fuck’s sake?” 11:30 PM. “Marco! Damn, why isn’t he back yet?” She fumbles around looking for a cigarette and remembers her last, the one offered by the taxi driver. “There’s got to be one in the bedroom.” Slowly she makes her way from the front room, swinging her bum leg like a peg leg pirate. She roots around the mess on her dresser—scattering jewelry, lipstick, hairpick—then perfunctorily goes through each of her dresser drawers, searching fruitlessly for the elusive smoke. She’s checking the pockets of her jackets and pants when it occurs to her that Marco is known to stash one or two for just such an emergency. She goes to the top of his dresser, which apart from a granola wrapper and a used band-aid, is clean. His drawers are empty. Completely. No clothes, nor cigarettes. No passport. Strange. She goes to the closet. Nothing of Marco’s. T shirts, shorts, sweaters, sandals—vanished. Her clothes—jacket, shoes, scarves, backpack—all there. She goes into the bathroom—his toothbrush is gone!
Bubbles Meets the Prince of Darkness
International Assholes' Day
Bubbles Runs the Voodoo Down
Bubbles Takes a Magic Carpet Ride
Big Brown lets Bubbles Down
Bubbles, Baked and Fried
Bubbles, Biff and Binny
Bubbles and the 99 cent Epiphany
Bubbles' Trip To See the Doctor
The Doctor and the Prince of Darkness Meet Again
The Doctor and the Naked Glory
More Troubles for Bubbles
What a Lame Vacation
In Careless Act, 17 Drown, 3 Survive.