JMB CoverAt two in the morning I am summoned to a blacked-out room in the back of a second-story clothes store.  Fashion show posters are tacked to the walls, newspapers scattered on a desk.  An emerald lamp glows from a low shelf filled with books on photography and art.

Propped in the corner of the floor sits a long-limbed woman, older but chic, with the face of a Nagel and the body of a Degas dancer.  She’s wearing party clothes, a black dress and half kicked-off heels and her makeup is runny and smudged, like a paint fight between Picasso and Salvador Dali.

I’m standing in the door with the hallway lights behind me, black Stetson and the lambskin coat, hair down to my waist.

“Come in,” she says. “You look fabulous.”

In order of inception and abandamnation:

I.

This one was about this time I went to the beach. (I don’t go to the beach very often.) I was dating this girl, she lived down in Hermosa. Hermosa is like, down by… the water.