Memphis Swift and His Silver Patron Pistol

"Was that shot aimed at me?" Rosa asked with a wounded look. "Did you mean that for me? You're turning on me now, too?!" Her already fallen spirits could be seen sinking ever lower at the thought that her true-blue friend was turning against her like so many others had just done.

"No, honey," he reassured her. "That shot was meant for the two-faced cunt who came in behind you. You know, the one with a knife in her hand which she was about to put into your back." And so saying he set the safety on his .40 caliber handgun and slid it back into the drawer of the end table beside his bed. As he did so she turned and looked behind her. There sprawled out on the floor lay the body of a former friend, a false friend truth be told. And just as he had said, she held a large knife in her hand. She had landed on her back, knife still overhead in a stabbing position, mouth and eyes open wide as if her last thought may very well have been "I'll get you, you filthy bi - oh, hole in my head!"

Rosa wasn't surprised by the betrayal. That girl has never been much of a friend to her. Or anyone. She was one of a million hangers-on who happily kissed Rosa's ass while she was on top, and at the first sign of a crack in her armor she had been the first one to try to stab Rosa in the back. Apparently the resentment and jealousy had been simmering inside of her for a very long time.

Rosa turned back to her sickly savior, still laying in his bed with a bad case of something that might be the flu or it could be pneumonia, but no one was really sure. He was looking at her with the same admiring eyes he always had, cracked armor or no, except that today those eyes were watery and red and he smelled of Vix vapor rub and unwashed sweaty sheets. A less appealing savior she couldn't have asked for.

"Now this shot," he said to her, "this shot is for you." And he reached down and pulled out a bottle of Patron Silver and two shot glasses from underneath his end table and poured two drinks, then handed one to her.

"I already told you, girlie," he said with a half-smile, "I'll be your friend to the end."

Then he swallowed his shot and immediately resumed choking and coughing, just like before, tears streaming down his cheeks while he gasped for air. He slid back down underneath the covers, clutching at them with only his fingers showing as he pulled them all the way up to his chin and pressed his sweaty head deep into his pillow. Rosa could hear him breathing even from where she was standing. It was like the sound of someone crumpling plastic bags with every breath he took. But all she could think about was how bad that pillow must smell after a full week of him resting his sweaty, sickly head on it while he coughed up a volcano of mucus from his lungs.

"Of course," he said to her, with only his bloodshot eyes turned toward her now, "at the rate I'm declining, my end may be sooner than we think. Don't forget me if I die, OK?"

She looked at him and shook her head as if to say, "of course I won't forget you, baby." But silently she was thinking to herself, "leave it to you to somehow find a way to turn this whole thing into a self-serving load of crap about you, stinky man."

And now for a video stolen from deep in the '80s:

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