|From Singles 2009|
Dixie City Jam
1 Nazi Submarine - sink it in 1942 and let it marinate at the mouth of the Mississippi River (a)
3 cups Dave Robicheaux
Heaping teaspoon of Clete Purcel (b)
Add three "meatballs": two Italian (Bobo and Max Calucci(c)) and one cancer riddled Irish ex-boxer (Tommy Lonighans (d))
Season liberally with Tennessee Evangelical radio preacher: Reverend Flat(e), NOPD Detective Lucinda Bergeron and her son, Zoot.
Mix in 1 large Jewish chemist, Hippo Bimstein, 1 sexy nun, and a handful of skinhead/Neo-Nazis (If you can find Will Buchalter, you'll get an especially spicy Jam!)
Simmer in the city of New Orleans (f) while an unidentified vigilante removes hearts from black drug dealers. Serve with plenty of alcohol and a bit of zydeco!
Or were they still sailing beneath the waves, their skins pickled in salt, their uniforms nests for moray eels, their plan to turn the earth into a place of concertina wire and guard towers still on track, as certain in prospect as the phosphorescent and boiling wake of a torpedo streaking toward a distant ship silhouetted against an autumnal moon?
"You keep that animal away from me. He's a fucking menace. They ought to put his brain in a jar out at the medical school."
Max and Bobo Calucci: In popular literature their kind are portrayed as twentieth-century Chaucerian buffoons, venial and humorous con men whose greatest moral offense is their mismatched wardrobe, or charismatic representatives of wealthy New York crime families whose palatial compounds are always alive with wedding receptions and garden parties. The familial code of the last group is sawed out of medieval romance, their dalliance with evil of Faustian and tragic proportions.
Maybe they are indeed these things. But the ones I have known, with one or two exceptions, all possessed a single common characteristic that is unforgettable. Their eyes are dead. No, that's not quite correct. There's a light there, like a wet lucifer match flaring behind black glass, but no matter how hard you try to interpret the thought working behind it, you cannot be sure if the person is thinking about taking your life or having his car washed.
"The Tommy Lonighan I remember drowned a guy with a fire hose, Clete."
"So who's perfect?..."
I left him there, a good man out of sync with the world, the era, even the vocabulary of his countrymen. But I doubted if anyone would ever be able to accuse the Reverend Oswald Flat of mediocrity. His kind ended on crosses, forever the excoriated enemies of the obsequious. To him my words of caution bordered on insult and my most reasoned argument had the viability of a moth attempting to mold and shape a flame.
Morning was always the best time to walk in the Quarter. The streets were still deep in shadow, and the water from the previous night's rain leaked from the wood shutters down the pastel sides of the buildings, and you could smell coffee and fresh-baked bread in the small grocery stores and the dank, cool odor of wild spearmint and old brick in the passageways. Every scrolled-iron balcony along the street seemed overgrown with a tangle of potted roses, bougainvillea, azaleas, and flaming hibiscus, and the moment could be so perfect that you felt you had stepped inside an Utrillo painting.