The Invisible Girl


Jim Hazard

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 108 in 2004.

Arnow worked the evening turn at a small radio station in Hammond, eight to twelve, jazz records, a poem (after ten) or a bit from a story, or occasionally an interview. He was "The Man Who Takes You To MidNite." Spelled Nite. You dig? he'd say, wryly. Cornball hipness, perfectly suited to the time, the time being the present. It reassured him he was too hip to be stuck forever playing good music on a bad station in Nowhere, Indiana. And it gave him time during the days to "dabble" - his word - on an article now and then. He'd just had one published in one of those glossy popular history magazines, about the great art and bad luck of early jazz pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton. Wynton liked it. Another highlight film.

Most nights after work he stopped in at The Palms to eat and read the early edition of the morning paper. He already knew the ball scores, he gave those on the air, when he felt like it. Some nights, when he didn't feel like it, it would come out like And in Major League baseball the scores tonight are 3-2, 7-5, 2-0, 9-1, 4-3 in ll innings, and rained out. The rest of the teams were not scheduled tonight, now Thelonious Monk..."

He also stopped at The Palms in the early afternoon, for breakfast and before he went back to his apartment to watch a movie or to the library to dabble. There were a lot of horse players there and he liked to listen to them talk. Horse players were studious, with their Racing Forms and the morning line in the Chicago papers. It was a pleasant thing to have drink in the company of scholars. And then, the fishermen, retired guys in White Sox jackets, came in. Often they brought their catch, cleaned them and cooked them out back. There was a kitchen out back from the days when The Palms served food. The fishermen brought out the fish fry, on paper plates, and the whole place felt like home for a half hour or so.

Today, as usual, Red was working the bar. He was about the same age as Arnow, fortyish, both had graduated from Northwestern but hadn't known each other there. Red's hair was dyed black. It had never been red. His ears turned red when he answered in grade school. So Red it was, from grade school to The Palms. His ears rarely turned red anymore. "That's because I don't have so many answers," he'd deadpan.Red gave Arnow a sidewise look, " They think they found your girl friend over in Peoria."

Arnow squinted uncertainly and shook his head. He didn't get it. Red clarified. "Our girl friend." She had been missing now for a couple of weeks. The cops in Peoria thought they'd found her body. Then Red took a drink, which Arnow had never seen him do on the job. Red's face had a puffy look, like he'd been slapped more than once with a big open hand. "They'll do the ID with fingerprints. That's all they have to go on. No clothes on her or jewelry, no nothing." He poured Arnow a drink and had one more himself. The horse players at the far end of the bar were checking them out cautiously. Arnow realized suddenly there was no music playing. There was always music at The Palms, radio or the juke box, usually radio. "No dental records. The body doesn't, uh, have a head." He coughed, scratched his ear.

"Jesus, Red, if you don't know it's her, let's not be burying the kid before you know she's gone."

Red coughed. "Mind if I smoke?" Said like a lame joke. " I know, I know, I quit, so what - I'm lighting up. They said they traced the, um, victim back to Calumet City. So. They really think it's her." The horse players at the end of the bar had the newspaper spread out on the bar, but they weren't reading or talking. The looked like they wished they were somewhere else, but didn't know where else to go. "A cop there knew about her and me, so they gave me a call. This cop I know, who'd been one of her guys and...well, he said it looked a lot like her."

" But no head?"

He shook his head. "Look. I gotta go down to Peoria, see if I can make an ID. If it's her, I'll know for sure." He coughed again, took a shot, looked at Arnow like it didn't matter how he answered the question, and then asked it: " You got time to go along? T'tell you the truth, I don't want to drive back alone if it's her. I'll just close up the joint and go down there, but - "

"I'll drive if you want, Red."

Arnow drove. On the way down to Peoria Red didn't talk a lot, just kept looking up ahead, to where the road was going. He did say after, 15 miles of nothing, "It probably don't make a lot of sense to say this. Four months don't seem like anything -- but we were pretty happy, all the time we were married. Just, she had to live her way and being married made her uncomfortable." And then in another 10 miles, "She had a thing about you."


" Well, we went to school together, K through 12."

" Yeah. She said you were a brain with this great Permanent Record but you never looked down on her. She said you knew about her scar..."

Arnow hesitated. " Well, jeez, Red - it was a weird situation, we were kids."

He'd seen the scar in question twice. The first time, the summer before his freshman year in high school. She was very beautiful in a very "cheap" way, and he had in one way or another over the years of schooling loved her, even though he was raised not to be attracted to, or seen with, girls who were beautiful in a cheap way.

She lived in the "Water Gardens" section of town. Once elegant, with water flowers growing in a man made canal down the middle of its main street, but then became that small town's most dangerous neighborhood, overrun with hillbillies and their many neglected children. She was one of those. Arnow used to go to the lake at the end of that street, Wolf Lake, and explore the shallow bay - the crawdads, water lilies, dragonflies skimming the water, the sweet smell of the wet muck down in the water. He would ride his bike home from the lake past her house every day.

"Hello, Big Boy," she called to him from inside her screen porch on one of the unforgettable days of his life.

He dropped his bike on her front lawn and started up the porch steps. "You can't come in, I can't come out." " Well then, I'll see you." " No sir. You can't see me neither. But you can stick around a minute. Right?"

You bet he could stick around a minute. She was wearing a white nightgown. It covered one shoulder. It dropped like a sigh off the other. "Too bad you can't see me - I got my big sister's blue dress on, the one she wore to Chicago, the Chez Paree night club."

Arnow said, "It sounds nice," going along with her pretence. " Is... real nice."

He wondered why they'd be talking as if he couldn't see her and she was wearing something she wasn't. But he didn't really care since usually she didn't talk to him at all. If she wanted to be invisible, he'd behave as if she was.

The hem of the nightgown lifted up from her ankles to her belly and dropped in perfect folds to each side of her. Now the Invisible Girl brought her feet up onto the glider, knees wide as the folds of her gown, all white too.

One hand was on her knee, the right knee. "You been to the lake?" He had. "See anything nice?" Her left hand was on her belly, then moved towards some darkness. "What'd you see?" "See where?" "The lake, silly. You see the, water lilies?" Her voice was tightening in a very pleasing way, a way that made Arnow's throat and breath tighten right along with it. She had a charm bracelet on her left wrist. The metal screen on the porch door smelled like rust.

One hand was on her knee, the right knee. "You been to the lake?" He had. "See anything nice?" Her left hand was on her belly, then moved towards some darkness. "What'd you see?" "See where?" "The lake, silly. You see the, water lilies?" Her voice was tightening in a very pleasing way, a way that made Arnow's throat and breath tighten right along with it. She had a charm bracelet on her left wrist. The metal screen on the porch door smelled like rust.

"You like that stuff? Water...lilies?" She was talking fast and slow, both at once. "Yeah," "I figured you would." "I almost picked one, but..." "Can't. Can' that." She sounded like her voice was coiling round and round her breath, like her voice was wanting to stay deep in there with it, where breath starts.


She wanted to keep the talk going. He was flattered. She had never talked to him once in all the years in school, except to call him a sugar-tit-sucker in fifth grade when she caught him looking at her on a field trip to the municipal water treatment plant. Through the porch screen they talked about water lilies, then about school. "You're, a brain." "No, I'm not." "You take, that Latin." They talked about Latin like they did about water lilies, but her talk was getting faster and more breathless now. "Latin, is dumb," she said, very hurried.

"No. It's okay."

"That's...pretty. Poo-ell-a. Latin."

He said it again for her, the only word he could think of in any language known on earth. " Puella." He was standing like a dummy on the other side of a screen door but she was taking him with her as long as he didn't make a move and only talked Latin.

A long breathy silence, Puella, a word that ends with a sigh. Then, with both hands on her knees, her head still back but lazily now, the veil of her nightgown draping across the skin of her belly, Arnow saw her scar. He felt it in his chest, but didn't say a word about it.

"You better go, Honey. Don't come back. My stepfather don't want to see you here."

She was right. On cue, he pulled into the driveway in a huge Olds Holiday, cream body, rust roof, and collector's license plate. "What's this?" he asked as if he had found a spot on his Olds' upholstery.


"I guess Arnold will be going now." He hawked and spit.

"Yes, sir, I am."

"Very nice talkin to you. Let's not repeat the pleasure. Capeesh?"

As Arnow rode away he heard the stepfather's raw voice, "What the hell is this? I don't want no fairy college boy hanging round my house. You hear me?"

Arnow was just a high school freshman at the time, but the stepfather had him pegged. What the heck is it that gives you away, he wondered. He would be going to college and not into the steel mill after high school. That made him very poor marrying-off-the-goddam-stepdaughter-before-she-gets-knocked-up material. But why do things have to show on you, he wanted to know. He wanted life to be more secret, to have more mysteries -- or so he thought in ninth grade.


Red went in to identify her. Arnow stayed in the station's waiting area on bench like a church pew, watching cops come and go with file folders and papers. They talked confidentially, faces up close. Not so much because what they had to say was confidential, but because they were cops and everyone else wasn't.


A cop came down a hallway and right straight at Arnow. He was young and not very tall, but long faced and lanky as if he were. He was walking like someone had sent him to get a job done. He had a nasty scar from the hinge of his jawbone to his Adam's apple. He was very clean and well groomed, and angry. "You knew her?"


"Don't fuck with me. Her. Your dead hoor."

"Oh shit, you mean it was her?

"Don't play dumb with me. You knew the bitch."

Arnow wasn't about to lecture this guy on respect for the dead. "I went to school with her."

"Yeah, but you knew her in more ways than that. I'm asking you a question."

It went on like that, him sounding furious and accusative, and Arnow answering the questions in as few words as possible and waiting to see what the angry cop was actually up to.

"You guys who pal around with hoors - what is it with you? Can't get it up? What the it ...with no good..."

Arnow was glad they were doing this number out in public rather than in one of those little rooms in the back. "You eat her?" The cop's face was against the side of his head, like a gun barrel. "You eat that sewer between her legs, you fuckin hoor licking muff diver?" An older, fat cop pointed toward the door. "Stanley, let's go go go. We got to go serve and protect."

The angry cop, "You done it, fucker. You're gonna fry for it. I'm coming for you." And he walked hard and fast to catch up with the older cop. Red came out with a plain clothes officer, a very cordial and serious plain clothes officer. They shook hands. Arnow recognized him from The Palms. He told Arnow, "It wasn't her. Some other poor kid. We have the guy in custody, so that's good. I felt relieved, then I felt shitty. You know, looking at this naked girl and being relieved that it was her and not our girl. That's a very mixed up feeling. Well let's hope we find our girl."

Red was breathing a lot faster than he usually did. His breaths were shallow and audible.

Arnow told him about Stanley the cop. "Then he knew all along they'd caught the killer and the body wasn't her."

"He went nuts," Red said. "First he's acting all hot to trot about her body, how fine it was, and then, when he found out the guy who did it was a spade, and she was a white kid he went up in flames. He has us pegged for dope fiends, faggots, communists, and sexual partners of four legged beasts."

"Guy's a pretty good judge of character, at least as far as you're concerned."

Red almost smiled. "I tell you one thing, I'm staying very far away from Peoria. That guy is dangerous, and he thinks he's moral and he has the badge and gun."

They drove carefully out of town, respecting the speed limits and stopping at every stop sign for a couple of slow beats.

"She wasn't tall enough. Built a lot like her, upstairs and down you know, but no scar. God that poor kid, me talking about her like this and her laying on a table being stared at by a creep like Stanley."


At school about half a year after the screen porch event, at Arnow's locker in the lower halls a couple of hours after school had let out, she materialized. She hadn't been in school for two weeks. Arnow had noticed. Since kindergarten he had noticed where she was and where she wasn't.

"Play rehearsal huh?"

"Oh, hey, you scared me."

"I scare boys like you..."

"I mean, you surprised me. You don't scare me."

"I scare you...."

"Well." Arnow felt moved in a way that he didn't have to lie to her. "You scare me because you're beautiful. I'm just this jerk who does his homework and always gets the old guy parts in plays. But you ..."

"That's sweet. You been real nice about, you know, when I was on the porch and you never talked about it to nobody. That was decent."

Arnow looked blank. He didn't want to talk about that even now, even with her. He'd thought about it too many times since.

"I'm going to show you my scar, because you can be trusted and because you would never do shit like that to a girl."

Arnow was afraid they'd get caught. "You don't have to show me anything. Really." He didn't want to say he'd seen the scar once before. He didn't know what to say about anything She pulled her skirt up and held it up in her teeth. Now she was talking to Arnow like your grandmother biting off thread after she'd sewed a button on your jacket. She put one foot up on a hall monitor chair, opening the inner thigh to his sight. At the very top of her thigh, in the wrinkle between her leg and her pelvis was a shiny, nasty welt.

"You don't have to do this," he said, and he actually meant it. "You see that, honey?" She opened her leg wider for him to see the scar. "Knife," she said. "Pocket knife with a god damn pearl handle." She wore white panties, cotton, very prim and grade-schoolish. She put her finger under the elastic and moved the panties away from the honey-dark hair. "You see that?"

"The knife scar."

"Yes," she said, like he'd given the right answer to a test question. "And another thing." She let the skirt fall. "Don't believe none of that dick they say about how I wear them falsies." Then she proved them to be liars and stepped towards young Arnow who stood against the wall of locker till she nearly pressed the air out of him. He did not want to breathe. "That is a very fine boner you got. You will do a lot of good with that, Big Boy." She pulled away slowly and walked away rearranging her skirt and blouse.

In a comic book the air over his head would be filled with trembling question marks. "I don't get what's going on."

She tsked primly. "Oh honey, can I trust you?"

He nodded his head yes.

"Well that's what's going on."

As he remembered it, years later, Arnow smiled and looked like he was going to cry. He wanted her so much that moment his erection had fallen.

She kissed him on the ear and said close to his ear, "Thank you, buddy, for being a friend."


Red drove to Peoria. Red didn't talk about the girl. He wanted to take a pass on that for a while. Then he got saved from even thinking about it by man waving them down, beside a pickup truck. "Outta gas," he said and shook his head chuckling like some old movie farmer. He couldn't have been more than forty but his whole manner - his whole routine - was that he was twenty years older than he actually was. He rubbed his hand back and forth across his mouth, then spit, and said, "You fellas give me a ride up the road to the sheriff's office where I can get some gas off the cops' pump and my cousin'll bring me back out here."

He got into the back seat with a grunt, playing old to the hilt, and Red said it looked like this was their day to go to police stations.

"You boys been to the police already today, I take it?"

"You got it," I said.

"Peoria," Red told him. "Identifying a body."

"I don't want to hear one more word about it. If condolences are in order, you got 'em, but don't tell me no more. I am scared shit-less of death. That's all. But here's one most people's afraid of and I ain't." He really kept up his end of the conversation without a lot of encouragement, which was just as well since Red and Arnow weren't very encouraging that day. "The one thing I ain't afraid flying saucers." He paused for effect.

Red and Arnow felt great relief to have a flying saucer nut in the back seat. This was just the day to pick up a saucer fiend hitchhiker. "Yes sir, them saucers are going to save us from ourselves, is what I think. You can have your Jesus or the U.N. or any-a them other big schemes. Saucers will save our cookies from the fire - if they want to.""There's the rub," Red said over his shoulder.

"I'm not so sure we're worth it," Arnow said, only half playing along with the saucer man."Yes sir, that is the rubber and I don't think we're worth it, what with all these damn churches and religions. Wars eats shit with a spoon, but religion - there's a

real curse. Puts man at odds with the whole damn universe and then acts as if we deserve credit, you know, the power, to run the whole god damn show. Well, shit. I hope they hear me talking like this and come down and get me, take me off with them. Do I give a shit where they take me? Not on your life. And also, I hope you're not feeling that I'm irreverent what with you going to Peoria to identify your loved one. I done that two, three times in my god damn life." Arnow told him the body in question was not the missing person.

"Well every god darn time I went, it was the one they thought it was. Two murders and one suicide."

Red was sympathetic, shaking his head and saying "Tough, man, very tough."

" Well, who knows? Maybe they're better off. Who knows any god damn thing? Maybe your loved one is gone off with them saucers. Stranger things have happened. Well, not too many too much stranger, I guess, but some - oops, here's where I get out, boys. I wish you well with your missing one, wish me well with the saucers. I want to go with 'em, wish me well."

They did.

"Did we ever get that cat's name?" Red wondered.

"Orthon X-9," Arnow said.


Red told him something he had never repeated to anyone. "She told me once that if I gave her a piece of modeling clay, like kids use in school you know, she could put it in her mouth and shape it into a perfect dick. In fact she could shape it into the exact shape of a friend's joint. You know?"

Arnow didn't respond. He felt too helpless and jealous to respond.

"That's a poem, man. You could write that up and it would be a poem, like a Jack Kerouac poem, if you just give her credit for having this beautiful mind about her work. You dig?"


"I suppose. Yeah." Arnow felt greedy for her now, and she was gone. He was sure of that, even though he knew nothing for sure.

"She said she was planning to cut out to Reno. I shouldn't tell you this - it just makes it shittier - but she was going to give you the works before she left."

"Oh brother."

"I mean. It's okay. It's okay. Her big idea was there's no such thing as love, that's just shit we make up because we make up shit all the time because we can't stand the truth."

"Sounds like she and the saucer guy might get along."

"As long as he didn't say he loved her. That was one woman, it would get you no-where to say 'Oh baby, I love you.' I told her that once, on a Mississippi River excursion boat - I thought she was going to throw me over the rail. 'Don't you ever say that to me again,' she said, like she was going to cry."

"Lots of guys thought they did, love her."

"Yeah, like you and me. But she said friendship is the only thing that counts, what's for real. Some of my best friends are my customers she'd say."

Arnow put both hands up, like saying HALT. "This is like a wake, man. We don't know she's gone. Maybe she just took off with some guy. Maybe she went to Reno like she was always saying she would."

"No. I'm telling you something here. When she was going to go Reno, she was going to give you the time of your life before she left because you been such a gentleman to her. Her word. Gentleman." There was no irony in Red's voice. He poured himself a drink and put a fresh one next to Arnow's. "She's gone, man. Some Jack the Ripper shit, something like that. She's gone, in my gut I know it. She was planning a big good-bye for you, the greatest time of your life."

"Christ, why not stick a knife in my chest?"

"No, man. No, I'm telling you something beautiful about her."

Arnow and Red went on talking like that, about her but about themselves mostly, because they realized they knew almost nothing about her. Once Arnow asked Red if he knew how she got the scar on her thigh. Red, who had been married to her almost half a year didn't know. It was none of his beeswax, was what she said.

"Well then what the fuck is it about her?"Red shook scratched his ear, like Bogart as Sam Spade. "She liked us. That's what it's about. She was flamboyant - ," he paused defensively in case Arnow was going to raise his eyebrows at the word. The brows stayed down. "And, she was pretty good looking, especially for her line of work. But mostly we wondered what she saw in us, and she didn't ever really say. She just liked us. Face it, man. Who else really does?"A hell of a question. One Arnow didn't want to consider, but he did. " Well, nobody. We get along with people - "

"In a shallow way. We don't offer much of - "

"Ourselves. We just bullshit and do no harm."

With the girl, though, they were her pals. They were a revelation: you could have a pal, two of them in fact. She'd been hated in school and after for a whore by other girls, used by the boys and then by men, had a rotten family who treated her being alive as a threat of pregnancy and no more. She was sort of blonde, sort of pretty, but she was definitely sexual from the time she could walk and talk -- delight of friends of the family, neighbors, grinning strangers, and her mom's boyfriends and husbands. Every fella, all her life, wanted her to sit on his lap, but none wanted to be her pal.

She had, through her own particular skills and devices, figured out how to like herself. And she'd found a couple of friends who liked her too. That's all there was to it, which was plenty, given the grinding stupidity of her family and the culture of "good girls" that surrounded her in school. "Shit," she said, "on them, I got my own life and my own friends and my own good times."


A semi-recognizable kid with a Cubs cap and a Fugazi T-shirt came in, ordered a Heineken and a bag of chips. "I saw that girl used to be around here all the time, the blonde hooker, up in Wrigleyville the other night. She was very unfriendly. What's her story?"

Red gave him the third degree. The kid had no more to say than he came in with, except the name of a bar where he'd seen her.


Red went up to the North Side of Chicago, around Wrigley Field, looking for her. She'd acted nervous when the Fugazi kid had recognized her, and like she'd never heard of The Palms. Red worried about amnesia. It happens. Arnow reminded him the kid might be full of shit and giving them a bum steer. That happens too.

The bar was under the El, crappy looking and punk in an upscale way, like the clothes a lot of the downtown crowd might wear going out on the weekend. The bartender with several eye-brow rings and the neck tattoo, a collar of alternating 6's and 9's, was hostile when Red showed him her picture.

"Who wants to know about her?"


"What's me?" "This is me, an old friend, here on behalf of a number of old friends who want to make sure everything is okay with her. Very simple."

Even if the bartender did know about the girl, he wasn't about to own up. He owned up to nothing because that's how he thought of himself.

"I never saw her. I don't want to see her. You drinkin or leavin?"

Red left. He tried ll bars and 2 nail joints. In one bar and both nail joints he found someone who thought they knew the girl. But after a few questions, Red knew they didn't.

Except, one of the nail techs, a very pretty but over-made-up Dominican girl knew she came from Indiana, had been roughed up a lot by her step father and was turning over a new leaf. "Findeen a way for a new start, you know?"

"Like what?"

"Nail technician she was thinkeen, but she have to stick to her trade, you know, while she find out. You know?"

"And is she still around?"

"Two three times we have a good talk. A nice kid, you know what I'm sayin. Then, gone."



"Don't see her no more."

"How long."

"Weeks maybe. Three, four, maybe more."

After that, Red kept an eye out for the Fugazi kid but never saw him again. " God damn it, where is everybody going to?" he asked one of the horseplayers, but the horseplayer couldn't help him with that question.


You want to buy this joint?" Red asked Arnow one night after he'd helped behind the bar when two or three church bowling teams came in all at once. Arnow was actually enjoying the movement and repartee behind the bar, the way the lighting made you feel like you were on stage, so you served the shot-and-a-beer with style, or with - one of his favorite words - panache. But he didn't want to own the bar, he didn't want to check everyone who came in the door to see if it was her. He also realized he was getting tired of being around Red.

" Maybe the flying saucer guy was right about her." That was Red, when they were closing up the bar.

" Not funny."

" I know. I think she couldn't resist sending a goofy card if she was okay. I just don't think the kid could resist communicating in some weird way." Neither of them ever thought of filing a missing persons report on her. Red's buddy in the Peoria police force brought the possibility up, but he thought it was a hopeless case, " given her lifestyle." He promised to let them know if he heard anything that might be a tip or clue " as to her whereabouts." He never did.

" But anyway, this whole business is giving me itchy feet," Red told Arnow. " I gotta go somewhere, about it? You wanta buy the place?"

Arnow remembered how she would often say, " I like this dump," sitting at the bar cracking her gum, smoking a Marlboro (hard pack), swinging one leg crossed over the other. Then Joe Nobody would come in and sit at the far end of the bar and she'd pat him on the leg and say, " Gotta go, honey. Maybe I'll catchya later." And she sometimes did, sometimes didn't show up later, business being what it was. Oh well, Arnow thought, one way or another, she's gone. She liked the dump, but he didn't like it anymore. It was time to move on. He felt coldhearted thinking that but keeping the home fires burning made no sense at all. He'd had a call from a former professor who needed a researcher -- and spy -- a guy to keep an eye on the competition for faking sources, plagiarism, etc., and when he caught them spill the nasty news to the press. It would pay well enough to get him out of radio and help him to finally bury the graduate school option. He would move east along the shore of Lake Michigan, into the Indiana Dunes country, get a small house, high speed internet, a new computer and go to work for the historian.

After Red sold The Palms, to a real estate sharpster who would convert it into a sports bar and triple the business, Red went to New Orleans where he worked for a short time at the race track as a bartender, then found a job on a cruise ship. Every few years, or more, Arnow would meet him. Most recently in LA. Arnow was moonlighting as a researcher for a World War One film. The money was rolling in what with his boss, the historian's, best seller about the doughboys in the trenches of WWI. Red was on a layover before the cruise ship where he managed the bar made its turnaround to Hawaii. Red reported he'd been married again, this time in Morocco, but " it didn't take, man." It was to an English girl, very desperate and strung out on kief and Red thought he could rescue her, and she bet she could convert him to dope. She was a long way to winning her bet when he stumbled out of the Casbah, or whatever the hell it was called, and left her.

At first they didn't mention her, but finally they did talk about the missing girl. Nothing was ever heard about her, no trace, no clue, no teaser. Nothing. They agreed that those guys in the mystery books were obsessives, with no life to fall back on. But life, they agreed, ain't a book by Raymond Chandler. The girl's life had become " one more of those god damn things you'll carry through to your dying day and never make sense of it." Those were Red's words. " But I think it's really a shame," he said, " we never could find the kid."

" Yeah, I am too," Arnow agreed, thinking his own thought and not hearing Red

" You are what?"

" Ashamed we never did more to find her," Arnow said.

Red didn't want hear want to hear that kind of talk at all, and he said so.

That being said, Arnow and Red had no more to say to one another. Once, at Buddy Guy's blues club in Chicago they did spot each other from a distance, but pretended they hadn't. That was it for the rest of their lives. From then on, it got easier and easier to pretend they'd never known each other. As for the girl, whose name was Barbara, there is simply nothing to report.