Pearlman pulled a bottle of Jamison’s Irish Whiskey from a brown bag as we bounced in the Jeep. We were headed up the road to La Malaza. Soon we’d pass the scene of the attack that killed Carmella and Rodrigo. I was driving and following his mysterious orders.
“My Daddy’s favorite driving whiskey,” he said as he handed me the bottle. “I killed my dad,” I replied, not taking my eyes off the road as I took a swig. “Busted his fucking skull open with a shovel handle. Then, I set the motherfucker on fire.” I handed the whiskey back. “We never went on long drives. We didn’t share driving whiskey.”
Pearlman took the bottle and poured another long slug down his throat. He looked at me hard and said in his ever-breathless rasp, “I’m impressed. That’s pretty fucked up. We make a good team!”
“I’m from the north like you,” he continued. “Northern Jersey. You know in the fall and winter after all the leaves come off the trees, and you can’t see the wind? Unless it blows really hard, the trees don’t even move, but the wind is there pushing things, moving things around, making it cold. That is me, that’s what I do. I’m the wind through leafless trees. I billow the sails. I’m the invisible, driving force.