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Most of the inventory was pornography that would have been considered lame fifty years ago. The titles included: Bad Conduct School Girls, Backseat Bongo, and The Island of Housewives.
From the pictures, Ray concluded that Housewife Island was a place where women tested industrial underwear under beach conditions.
And then there was Sweethearts of the Rodeo. Ray didn't have a clue about the meaning of this one. Mostly it was black-and-white photos of young Japanese women fully dressed in cowgirl outfits walking steers around what appeared to be an auction ring.
Ray had placed technical nursing texts next to The Happy Nurses section, old Carrier air-conditioning service manuals by a series called Hot Dates, and generally had a fine old time with both the sublime and ridiculous.
He had told Ginger to only say two things to folks who asked about the bizarre collection of titles: "I guess there's no accounting for taste," or, "We get people looking for things like that all the time. We're the only ones who carry it anymore."
Aside from that, she was told to be rude to the customers and, whenever possible, drive them from the store. Screw all of them anyway. If they bought books, he'd just have to buy more. The whole point of the place was to wash some money through the cash register so Ray would have a visible means of support, not to give degenerates something to look at while they polished their Johnson.
He pulled across the gravel parking lot and tooted his horn. He'd decided not to go in because he didn't want to get the Ginger thing started in his head again. She came out anyway.
"I love you," she mouthed and blew him a kiss.
He wished she wouldn't do that. She had no idea what it did to him.
"He'll be out in a minute," she said as Peanut stumbled from the door behind her.
"He's wasted," Ray thought.
Peanut opened the car door and slid in the front seat.
"I like this Voodoo shit," Peanut was fingering a pair of chicken feet hanging from the rear view mirror as he surveyed the collection of impaled fetish dolls on the dashboard.
"It keeps away the car thieves," Ray said. "Are you stoned?"
"Hell yes, but you're the one who's driving."
"You're shaping up to be a responsible citizen," Ray said. "You may get high in the morning, but you got yourself a designated driver."
"I do my best work when I'm stoned," Peanut said.
"Can't see your mistakes is more like it," Ray said.
"Just watch me."
Peanut tried to change the subject
"Head over to Lenox Square. I'm going to see if we can pick this guy up so you can get a look at him."
"What have you got so far?"
"Not much. I got a call from a buddy back home. He said this guy has been blowing smoke about how he got himself into some operation and is moving the cash around. I figured he was just drunk and talking, till I checked it out."
"So far, yes. I want you to see it yourself. You're the man with the plan."
One thing that made working with Peanut easy was he knew his limitations. He was good on the street, but he couldn't put the big picture together worth a damn. Ray knew that he honestly looked up to him, and, while it made working with him easier, it made everything else complicated.
Peanut was a good ten years younger than Ray, Ginger was ten years younger than Peanut, and those numbers didn't add up to good news.
They were driving under I-85 where Cheshire Bridge turns to Lenox, making good time.
"Turn left when we get to Peachtree. I'm going to show you a building south of Lenox Square, then we can pick a good place to watch it from."
Peanut was quiet for awhile, which was unusual, and Ray wondered if was he was so messed up he had skipped a track. Finally, he spoke.
"I watched this movie last night," Peanut said. "These people got cat heads and ran around killing people."
"You mean they cut the heads off cats, and killed people with them?" Ray asked, "A cat head doesn't seem like much of a weapon. I'd rather use a gun."
"No, man. These people were like the gods of ancient Egypt. They had human bodies with cat heads."
"At the end of the movie, their house was surrounded by a herd of cats who attacked and killed them."
"Darwin at work."
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