With her wild mane of hair and pale skin, Debbie is a haunting image of devil-may-care beauty. And the ease with which she takes charge of her surroundings - whether at her mama's house or in her own living room - adds to her commanding presence. When asked about this presence, Debbie humbly casts it aside, "Oh, well, I like to get a little lit now and then. Not sure if you'd call that 'commanding' or 'demanding,' but I'm loud as hell, and I get what I want, that's for goddamn sure."

Chip ("He did not give a shit," says Debbie) deferred decisions about the decor to Debbie and her sister Lanny, who used to do the window displays down at the Woolworths over on Broad Street. "Debbie likes the weirdest stuff," Lanny says. "And she doesn't listen. She wants to have crazy junk everywhere. She's wild, just real wild."

 
"If she's wild, she'd better get tamed - and fast. That boy's real nice, maybe too nice, if you catch my meaning." George Schmidt pulls on the collar of his dress shirt. "Hard-workin' boy. Once saw that boy put up sheetrock for 12 hours straight. Didn't eat, didn't have a smoke, didn't sit down once. Sheetrock's hard work, too. I'll tell you what, I do it for two hours, my arms get to achin' so bad, I can't do it no more. If it's true he's up and left Debbie, you can't rightly blame the poor boy. Probably rather put up sheetrock for the rest of his life than come home to that old mule. She's my girl, and I love her, but she sure is hell to live with - don't I know it. Strangest shit in that place of hers, too. Can't blame him for not comin' home."

"He'd better not come home now, not unless he wants a hole in his head the size of Texas." Debbie waves her Virginia Slims Ultra-Thin Menthol toward a shotgun resting in an umbrella stand shaped like an open-mouthed freshwater bass to the right of the front door. "That son of a bitch so much as knocks on the door, he's one step away from a whole world of pain. Hard workin' my ass. He'll be workin' hard to stay alive, boy."

As she talks about looking forward to blowing Chip's head clean off, she reflects again on the significance of her name change. "I once made a mistake on a check and signed 'Goss.' All of a sudden that name just looked real ugly to me, and I thought, 'My kid's gonna be a Schmidt, too, dammit.'" Her eyes fill with pride and wonder - or maybe it's the glassy-eyed result of her third whiskey and Coke. "I'm gonna be a Schmidt, and my boy or girl or whatever's gonna be a Goss? No fuckin' way!"


Next ... Meet Goth wonder Veronica Walsh in her split-level nightmare!

 
 
 
 
 
 
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