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Sanctuary 

Days and nights at the King Edward Saloon

Wednesday, Dec 13 2000
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Page 4 of 8

She leans over and lets them drop out of her top: At this angle, they look nice and smooth. Tan.

"I just want to go down to a D," she says. "I don't want small tits, I'm used to them big."

"You have saline or silicone?" Winter asks.

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"Saline."

"I'm going to get silicone, silicone doesn't ripple," Winter says. "I'm 30, and they just don't have the oomph they used to." An acquaintance sitting with them mentions she'd never have hers done, that they seem to be hanging in there.

"Let's see," Winter and Brittany say. The acquaintance lifts her shirt and bra and shows the girls, and the entire right side of the bar in the process. There is no reaction whatsoever from the latter.

Winter cracks up. "You have to love King Eddy's. In five minutes, they've seen four tits and one bush, and no one even blinks."

 

MONDAY, 2:30 P.M.

A PAPER SIGN TACKED OVER ONE SIDE of the bar reads:

I can only please one person per day
Today is not your day
Tomorrow doesn't look good, either

Anthony is a 43-year-old Isleta Indian from New Mexico, living in a hotel room nearby until the money from the sale of his mother's house comes through.

"They sold it six months ago," says Anthony, pouring the last of a pitcher of beer into his glass. "My brothers and sisters, they're greedy."

Anthony used to work as a plasterer, before falling off a ladder in Montebello. He's disabled now. "I get $634 a month from Social Security, then I get a check from insurance."

This does not mean he is not going to work. He has a calling.

"I went to UCLA for 10 years, studied business. I have a business credential," says Anthony, wiping beer off his long mustache. "I'm gonna read the pyramids, for the Library of Congress. I hope. I need at least 10 credentials to read the pyramids, otherwise it will be a fallacy . . . I'm talking about the pyramids in Mexico. There's a section down there called the Blue Lagoon, right outside Guatemala, where the Incas were. I have an ability. If you look at a dollar bill, at the eye of the mesa, that's a shrine. The belief in tomorrow."

At the end of the bar is a guy who looks disarmingly like Darryl Strawberry; he's even wearing a Yankees cap. "The eye is Egyptian," the guy shouts.

"It's Shriner. It's Mason," Anthony shouts back.

"It's not Inca, it's Egyptian!"

"It's Shriner, don't tell me, what the fuck, I belong to the church."

Anthony goes to the bathroom. Darryl (who says his name is "none of your fucking business") shouts after him. "That eye has nothing to do with the Incas, you know it and I know it. That's Egyptian!"

When Anthony is out of earshot, Darryl says, "Everybody is so fucking smart. It's the L.A. water. These are the people who piss and shit on your streets. There wasn't an Inca around when they made that dollar bill." He launches into a caustic monologue about the superiority of New York over L.A.

"That eye belongs to Morton Salt, from Utah," says Anthony, back on his stool and ordering another pitcher. "He's the head of the Mason Church. It's a secret society. The first president was George Washington."

"I'm sorry to interrupt," says Darryl, not sorry to interrupt as he sticks his face in front of Anthony's, "but he doesn't know New York is better because he's never been there. Look outside, you see that? In L.A., two sides of the street are like one side of the street in New York. Two sides like one!"

"You handle a one-dollar bill more than you handle any other bill, that makes him the most constructive president," says Anthony, "not the hundred or the thousand. The eye means altar, means above life. If you see life in a bar or wherever, we see life as it goes. When they died and wrapped them up with food and moneys, so when they see the deities, they can pay their way through."

Freddy Fender comes on, singing "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." Darryl stomps back to his stool and, every five seconds or so, shouts something about the Bronx, or Manhattan.

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