Meet one of my alter-egos, Poochie Gamora.
She’s a widow, living alone in the dank pine-paneled trailer of her deceased husband (21 years her senior, he died of lung cancer last year God bless his soul). A cougar now, at least she likes to think she is, but she’s showing signs of age. I’d call her a catch but she does the catching. She wears a long, thick-pile leopard print robe that she bought at Neiman Marcus in Houston, 1968. Permanently embedded in the plush is the scent of Chanel No. 5. Underneath is a silk camisole and garter belt, and in the top of her hose on her right leg she carries a small flask of peaty Laphroaig (she’s finishing off her deceased husband’s stockpile) of which she takes the occasional swig. On the coffee table, she has an open pack of Benson and Hedges menthols sitting next to a full ashtray and a pot of coffee she brewed this morning. It’s weak, can’t taste the coffee, but it’s bitter as hell. A crystal bowl contains a few Werther’s hard candies and apricot and strawberry bonbons, of which she ate one of each earlier. Stacked around the dank trailer are boxes containing decades-worth of newspapers and books, musty and yellowing in their age. It’s the end of a cool autumn Texas night and she’s lounging open-robed on her velour couch, with the taste of chipped ham and cream cheese still in her mouth. She’s fading in… and fading out.