A Latina, she was born in a black barrio in a huge American city. She was the oldest of many because Latinos are like that, but she had a different daddy. She was the only one.
She divorced in her early 30s, roaming free. In a similar sliced vein, a cowboy was strolling a downtown street in that same huge city, aimless. Both their hearts were broken. They collided.
Their eyes turned yellow, and fur grew on their backs, their legs, hands and tails. And their teeth grew long and sharp. Their minds melted, and their hearts pounded.
Their lives cracked in two, the days in a fog of normalcy, it seemed, their nights dropped into the jungle. They crept amid the helliconias, the kopoks and tree frogs.
They snarled and bit each other’s necks and flexed their claws. Rainwater oozed from the walls and slid down to the carpet in the dark where candles were lit and savage music sounded.
Things grew better and worse simultaneously, and lunacy blossomed as Springtime neared. The cowboy learned how murder for love could seem a reasonable solution.
She sank into her rumpled and wet sheets and cried, made immobile by her heart. This cannot go on. They say you cannot burn candles at both ends, and it is so.
Neither can you juggle a billion candles, all burning at both ends and in the middle, tossing them from one lover to the other like beggars on a Mexican street. All will fall and melt. So they walked in opposite directions by necessity, a matter of survival.
It had come to that. And it clawed their hearts.
After clearing Earth’s orbit, they could have shredded their clothes with extended claws, grown back their fur, lit every candle in the black universe, brought rainwater down the spaceship walls, all like before.
And in that far space with no time, no days, no nights, just endless forever, it could have gone on. And on and on and on.
Just Victoria and the cowboy.
(Here’s an earlier Tale of Victoria.)