Lola and I flew down to claim the body. We went to the funeral. A year later, we broke up.
Four times, the family hired lawyers, but no charges were ever filed. The Embassy didn’t help and neither did the government. Yvón, I hear, is still living in Mirador Norte, still dancing at the Riverside. The de Leóns sold their house a year later.
Lola swore she would never return to that terrible country, and I don’t think she ever has. On one of our last nights, she said, Eight million Trujillos is all we are.
(Of course things like this don’t happen in Santo Domingo no more. We have enlightened, uncorrupt politicians and a kind benevolent President and a people who are clearheaded and loving. The country is kind, no Haitian or dark-skinned person is hated, the élites fuck nobody, and the police measure their probity by the mile.)
Almost eight weeks after Oscar died, a package arrived at the house in Paterson. Two manuscripts enclosed. One was chapters of his never-to-be-completed opus, an E. E. (Doc) Smithesque space opera called “Starscourge.” The other was a long letter to Lola. Turns out that toward the end the palomo did get Yvón away from the capital. For two whole days, they hid out on some beach in Barahona while the Capitán was away on “business,” and guess what? Yvón actually kissed him! Guess what else? Yvón actually fucked him. Yahoo! He reported that he’d liked it and that Yvón’s you-know-what hadn’t tasted the way he had expected. She tastes like Heineken, he said. He wrote that at night Yvón had nightmares that the Capitán had found them; once, she’d woken up and said in the voice of true fear, Oscar, he’s here, really believing he was, and Oscar woke up and threw himself at the Capitán but it turned out to be only a turtle shell the hotel had hung on the wall for decoration. Almost busted my nose! He wrote that Yvón had little hairs coming up almost to her bellybutton and that she crossed her eyes when she fucked but what really got him were the little intimacies that he’d never in his whole life anticipated, like combing her hair or getting her underwear off a line or watching her walk naked to the bathroom or the way she would suddenly sit on his lap and put her face into his neck. The intimacies like listening to her tell him about being a little girl and him telling her that he’d been a virgin all his life. He wrote that he couldn’t believe he’d had to wait for this so goddam long. (Yvón was the one who suggested calling the wait something else. Yeah, like what? Maybe, she said, you could call it life.) He wrote: So this is what everybody’s always talking about! Diablo! If only I’d known. The beauty! The beauty! ♦