No use pretending anything else. I had too little to eat and too much to drink and too little sleep and I never have learned to drink like a lady. I had simply learned how to pretend to drink while avoiding alcohol. But on Carolita's night I let my guard down.
I had planned to ask Zenobia to permit me to stay overnight in her house. .. then on the morrow, festival over, I could tackle a city restored to its senses. First I needed a minimum of money and clothes. .. and there are ways to get both without actually stealing. A female can often wangle an unsecured loan if she hits a mate for it who shows a tendency to pat her in a friendly fashion. She can hint pretty strongly as to the interest she is willing to pay. .. and every female Time Corps field agent has done something like that on occasion. We aren't nervous virgins; we don't leave Boondock without being vaccinated against pregnancy and nineteen other things you might catch if a trouser worm bit you. If you are too tender-minded for such emergency measures, you do belong in the profession. Females are better than males as Time Corps scouts because they can get away with such things. My co-wife Gwen/Hazel could steal the spots off a leopard and never disturb his sleep. If she were sent after the Rheingold, Fafnir and his flaming halitosis would not stand a chance.
Having acquired that minimum of local money and local clothing, my next move would be a preliminary study to determine: 1)how to get more money in this culture without going to jail; 2)where, if anywhere, is the Time Corps message drop; 3)if the second point is null, where is the dummy front for Hilda's crosstime black-marketers? Most of this can be researched unobtrusively either at a public library or in a telephone directory.
All very professional - Instead I got snagged by the proctors and did not do any of it.
Zenobia insisted that I go with them to the Mayor's orgy, and by then I lacked the judgement to refuse. She selected a costume for me, too, from her clothes: long sheer hose, green round garters, high heels, and a cape. .. and somehow it seemed http://www.memoirsbooks.ru to me the perfect costume, just right, although I could not remember why I thought so.
I recall only vignettes of the Mayor's party. Perhaps it will help to think of a party given jointly by Caligula and Nero, as directed by Cecil B. de Mille in gorgeous Technicolor. I remember telling some oaf (I can't remember his face; I'm not sure he had a face) that it was not impossible to lay me - many have tried and most succeeded - but it had to be approached romantic like, not like a man grabbing a bite standing up at a fast-food joint.
That party and the rest of that night was rape, rape, rape, all around me. .. I do not care for rape; one does not meet a better class of people that way.
I escaped from that party and found myself out in the park. My leaving had to do with a pompous ass dressed in a long robe (a cope? ) of white silk heavily embroidered in cardinal and gold. It was open down the front with his Flaggenstange sticking out. He was so self-important that he had four acolytes to help him with the chore.
He grabbed me as I was trying to slide past - stuck his tongue in my mouth. I kneed him and ran, and jumped out an open window. Ground floor, yes-but I did not stop to find out.
Pixel caught up with me in about fifty yards, then slowed me somewhat as he criss-crossed ahead of me. He went into that big park and I slowed down to a walk. I was still wearing the cape but I had lost one slipper going out the window, then had kicked the other off at once, being unable to run one shoe off, one shoe on. It did not matter as I had gone barefooted so habitually in Boondock that my feet were as tough as shoe leather.
I wandered around the park for a while, watching the action (amazing! ) and wondering where I could go. I did not want to risk the Mayor's palace again; my pompous boyfriend with the fancy vestment might still be there. I did not know where the Ridpaths lived even though I had been there. It seemed to me that I must wait for dawn, then locate Grand Hotel Augustas (should be easy), go to Dr Eric's office on the mezzanine, and hit him for a small loan. Hobson's choice, no other option - but not too unlikely as he had brailled me quite thoroughly during dinner. He wasn't being rude; similar things or more so were going on all around the table. And I had been warned.
I joined in briefly at the esbat - midnight, full moon overhead, and ritual prayers being said in Latin, Greek, Old Norse (I think), and three other languages. One woman was a snake goddess from ancient Crete. Authentic? I don't know. Pixel rode my shoulder at the service as if he were used to the role of witch's familiar.
As I left the altar, he jumped down and ran ahead of me as usual.
I heard a shout. ‘There's her cat! And there she is! Grab her'
And they did.
As I've said, I don't like rape. I especially dislike it when four men hold me while a fat slob in an embroidered cope does things to my body. So I bit him. And discussed his ancestry and personal habits.
So I wound up in the hoosegow and stayed there until the crazies from the Committee for Aesthetic Deletions pulled a jail-break and got me loose.
This is called ‘Out of the frying-pan and into the fire. '
Last night the Committee was presided over by Count Dracula, the only case of type-casting that I saw - this repulsively handsome creature not only wore the opera cloak associated with video vampires, he had also taken the trouble to have a mouthpiece fashioned for him by a prosthodontist; he had dog teeth that came down over his lower lip. At least I assume that they were artificial; I don't really believe that any humans or quasi-human have teeth like that.
I joined the circle and took the one remaining chair. ‘Good evening, cousins. And good evening to you, Count. Where is the Old Man of the Mountain tonight? '