Jackpot. Chapter 19
Months go by and José and Roger settle into their new life as lovers in Los Angeles. They don’t answer the phone and José never leaves the apartment without putting on a beret, sunglasses, and a fake nose and moustache. But for Roger, life feels normal for the first time since puberty. Now that he’s not living in hell, shoving down his thoughts and urges by any means necessary, begging God to cure and forgive him––things are pretty chill. They buy all their food at the organic market, take long walks on the beach, visit independent boutiques full of overpriced knick knacks, lift weights at the local gym––Roger has to teach José everything from scratch––and even attend open mics, though they hang out in the back where no one will talk to them. On these excursions José takes extra care with his disguise, stuffing a small pillow down his tucked-in shirt and wrapping a chic scarf around his bony neck. A lot of new poets have come onto the scene since José’s day, some of them are even good. But as much as he enjoys the passive anonymity of spectating, José leaves every open mic itching to get back in the game.
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