This is to say: the wild girl to whom I was married said she had a wild hair and . . . watch out! I was thirty, she was twenty-one. How can I say more? When she left she was twenty-two, I was thirty-one. A year later, when she came back to see me for one night, and no more, she was twenty-three, I was thirty-two. Well, that's not much of a marriage, is it? Why remember her for forty years, then? She must have voodoo'd me, this curly-haired black lady in New Orleans offered, no charge involved. She was holding court in the back of one of those bare-floor bars along Tchoupitoulas Street, the kind destroyed in 2005 by the flood waters of Katrina's aftermath.
Voodoo'd? I echoed more than asked.
Voodoo'd, she repeated.
How would I have known, otherwise?
All those years she was living in Oregon, one place and another, shooting speed, drinking, fucking. She had that wild hair and it was loose now. So was she. She had remarkable endurance, but it didn't help her any. I was lucky by that time. I'd quit drinking. Refused many offers to share a needle full of smack in the beloved Bay Area. Irish was there, she went with me and saved my life. She took me back to New Orleans that year. I couldn't help but ask he voodoo lady about that wild girl, I called her, said no name, yet this lady knew as much as I. She described her to a T. She told me her name too. I became a believer.
copyright 2014 by Floyce Alexander