William Bonney Reminisces Following His Death by the Hand of Pat Garrett, from “I Am Billy the Kid” (a novel)


 HOOD presents Mike Blouin, a writer who Michael Blouin has a chocolate Labrador named Cash. He regards this as one of his finer achievements.


I would give up many of things that I now have to change some of the things that I have done. But I do not have much. I feel like a small pale animal without a shell. You don’t know who I am. The book on that has not been writ yet. After I was killed someone told me “I know a fella who is writing a book about you.” And I said “And I know someone somewhere who isn’t.” They say that Jesus Christ came back and spoke to people after he got killed and that he took that one fellow’s hand and put his finger into the hole in his body. I didn’t have to prove anything ‘cause the people who saw me after I was supposed to be dead just said “That bastard ain’t dead after all.” But there weren’t too many saw me anyway, hardly any, and who was there going to believe them that they did? Not one person. I do not have the longevity of the saviour. Nor do I wish to. There comes a time when you just lie down. Cowboys. Outlaws. Cactus spikes. The big painted face of the desert. Hearts of the west. Beating furious right up to the point they’re bleeding out into the sand. A man claws up towards the sky, his fingers covered with blood. I don’t remember where that was. Or who. Sand, when it’s mixed with blood, takes on the consistency and feel of the kind of clay young children play with to form cows and barns, horses and their riders. Life goes on by itself, it does not need you, or it does not need me. Love it. Ring a bell. Dance. I am broken down. These dreams of her come in short sections and frozen pictures. I am happy that they come at all. In one she walks towards me through the field and the sun is behind her and she is smiling. I most times like the people it does me no good to like. I’ve broke my nose twice and I have trouble sleeping. I think of you more than I should. The second time I broke it I just left it. Fuck it. I came home with my nose on my cheek and wearing the blood like an apron and she took one look at me as I came through the door, took one look up and said:
“He dead?”
And I said “He is.”
And she just went back to what she was doing. Slicing potatoes if I recall correctly. That was it and we had the potatoes fried up in a pan with onions and tomatoes. It’s funny the things you remember. But we didn’t get tomatoes very often and I guess that’s why I recall it. In everything. Things can go wrong. They will go wrong. Avoid going with them. A man once told me. I’d say it was my father. But it wasn’t my father. My father never told me anything. This man he told me never get in a fight if you don’t already know the outcome. He said there’s two kinds of man; a fool and a damned fool. He said a fool gets so drunk he can’t stand up. He said a damned fool does so amongst people he don’t know. He said a fool falls in love with a woman. He said a damned fool falls in love with the wrong woman. He said they’re almost all the wrong woman. He said a damned fool never realizes that. He said a fool robs a bank. He said a damned fool thinks he’s going to get away with it. So I never got drunk with people I didn’t know well. Never robbed a bank. As for love, well, things can go wrong. They do go wrong. Got shot once and the wound got greened up. I lay in bed for days with a pain like crows were pecking at my marrow. Then she came in on the seventh day and she opened up the curtains, it was like all the birds took flight. Her white breasts. All her body against my bones. There’s many a maid with a face fine and fair. They all look just fine with no underwear. I’m just shootin’ the wind. Don’t limit yourself. Is what I’m saying. There’s enough people willing to do that for you. Give them nothing. The hour is late. I have no wish to fight anymore.

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