Goddamn Shangri-La was what it was. No, I don’t know what it was really called, or even where it was. Didn’t give two shits when I got there, and when I left there were, uh, other things to think about. By the time I got my head back in the game I couldn’t remember , which they musta known’d be the case. I’m damn sure it was real; where’d you think I lost the eye?
Anyway. Easy pickings, I thought, like a jackass, just some flyspeck mountain town in the middle of the great American dogshit, but they saw me coming a mile away. Peeled me like the rube I was. Let me run all my little cons, my pennyante grifts, all smiles and vague accents and life’s savings, and I couldn’t see the noose at all, not until they had it good and tight around my neck.
Justice? They don’t waste their time with that nonsense. Didn’t matter to them what I’d done. Coulda burned the whole place to the ground, they woudn’t’ve cared. No, they just took my eye as a fucking teachable moment, filled my lungs half fulla water and turned me loose. Took me forever to get out of that damn hospital, and the whole time plagued by what the eye they took was seeing. REAL stuff, you know? Really real, not all this puppet show.
Still looking, though. Gonna get back there if it kills me. Figure I got the one eye behind the curtain, so to speak; what’ll they give me for the other one?