2007-06-02: Humans and Animals


Desiree_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif

Summary: Desiree and Ramon in an evening about song, human nature, family and roadkill.

Date It Happened: June 2nd, 2007

Humans and Animals

Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

The Gomez apartment is empty of anyone under the age of nineteen this evening. Maybe that ought to be troubling, given what hijnx Elena and Manny have a tendency to get into, but maybe they're out… shopping? …gardening? Something else completely innocuous? That might even be true for one half of the siblings. At any rate, only a small lamp lights the living area, making it seem cozy even though it's empty. At first, it doesn't seem like anyone at /all/ is home, but there is quiet music playing from inside the room Desiree is set up in. The radio? Although they're muffled by the guitar, they're too bona fide to be coming from speakers, and the voice, too.

Inside the room, the window is open, the curtain drawn back, and Desiree, in one of her long satin robes, is sitting on a seat in front of it, one foot up on the seat and an acoustic guitar in hands.

"…We took what we had and we ripped it apart,
Now here I am down in Kingstown again

Everybody's got a hungry heart…"

Ever hear a scratchy voiced bullfrog try to pull harmony? That's what the rumble of, "Lay down your money and I'll play my part," (if the words are wrong Ramon doesn't even know) coming softly from the kitchen is. As every night, Ramon's first action is to go get food, and he doubts he was heard. He figures it has to be Dezi who is singing and playing in there cause it sure as Heck isn't Manny, but he isn't out to disturb her.

The woman has a very pleasant voice, though it's rarely heard, and the light strumming of the guitar is with fingers that are either practiced or at the very least, certainly don't forget how to play.

"Everybody's got a hungry heart.
Everybody needs a place to rest,
Everybody wants to have a home…
Don't make no difference what nobody—"

… wait. Desiree falters when her ears perk to something in the kitchen, and at first, she's not sure what it was. Was that… singing? (Or something like it?) Was that /Ramon/? As she smiles there at the window, the soft guitar picks up a moment later along with a considerably quieter lyrics, "… what nobody says," in song. "Ain't nobody like to be a-loone. Everybody's got a hungry heart, everybody's got a hungry heart. Lay down your money and you play your part. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Ooohh, ohh…" It fades off into a few soft hums.

He's edged closer, like an oversized dog who's gotten curious. With a bunch of meat rolled around a piece of cheese in one hand. Just to the living room, where he's cocked his head back towards Dezi-Juanita's room. He shoves the meat roll into his mouth in one single, smooth motion, chomps it, swallows it, and rumbles, "I sure wish whoever was just playing so pretty would play some more," in a much more audible voice.

An off-key and entirely accidental chord is Ramon's answer. Footsteps thud on the floor as she scrambles down, then become nonexistent as Desiree's bare feet take her to the door. "/Well/," she says as she opens it all the way, peeking her head out and leaning her guitar just inside. "No one was s'posed to hear that." She doesn't seem particularly distraught that Ramon has - she's smiling - but she does look a tiny bit sheepish. "Guess I jus'… lost track of time."

"Why not?" Ramon asks. "You're really good, bonita. You could probably make money doin' that if you didn't want to pull huge long shifts racin' around town in an ambulance." He stands up and peeks in the hall across from her, meeting her eyes. "Was nice." Relaxing, but…he's not going to say anything quite that emotion packed.

Desiree kicks the door open a bit more with the back of her heel and leans her shoulder into the doorframe to her right. "Yeah?" she asks in a small voice that doesn't much resemble the smooth lyrics she was shaping just a minute prior. She hitches a shoulder up in a shrug and hugs herself with her hands in the pockets of her robe. "I tried it once. Long time ago," she admits. "Jus'. Naw. I get up there and- everyone starin' and expectin' you to do somethin' great…"
Ramon looks at her for a long moment. Then he walks over and touches her cheek. He looks down into her eyes and opens his mouth to say something. Then he just lays a little kiss on her lips and steps back, leaving that subject lie. "You okay? From, you know, the other day?"

Desiree watches Ramon with an appreciative sort of curiosity, and then breaks into a smile - countered by the fact that she looks down at the floor. "Oh, yeah. Yeah," she answers. It's not very convincing at first, but when she looks up at him again, her optimism is shining through, full force. "I'm alive, ain't I? Now, I count that as a win! That woman though, Mary Jones - you think she's gonna be okay?"

"I got my entire family up at the hospital watchin' — the extended family. I've told every one of them to bring their earplugs. They don't get why but they get I am serious. So physically I am not letting her get caught again…mentally she's been kept as a pet along with her husband who is still a captive and is the victim of probably years of major mind fucking and was used in one attempted murder so was probably used in a lot of successful ones. And her children think she's missing or dead so…I'm thinking probably not great."

That certainly puts a damper on Desiree's smile; it shifts upside-down and her brow knits to match. "That's just so awful," she drawls sincerely, like she can't believe something so terrible would happen. "I don't understand how someone could do that to another person." She pushes off of the doorframe and ambles down the hall toward the living room. "And it ain't hard to take you seriously," she adds on a slightly lighter note.

Ramon smirks, not at all displeased to hear that. But his smirk soon fades into the customary grave lines and crags on his face. "People are part civilized, part animal, part angel, part demon. The animal part ain't bad, but it's stupid and runs without thinking. And it's the strongest part. And it usually links up to the angel or the demon. The side it links up to is the side that wins, and only then does the civil part get to have its say. That's how."

Desiree perches on the edge of the couch at the edge closest to Ramon, curling a leg underneath her. She looks up at him as he explains his theory on human nature, worry lines creasing at the corners of her eyes. "I guess," she says after a few moments' thought. "We got a whole part of our brain that's just like a animal brain. Run on instinct. I mean, that's all it is anyway, the whole thing, only it's better connected or somethin' so we're smart. But the idea of people bein'… part /demon/…" Her brow knits more deeply. "D'you think people who're capable of doin' what was done to that poor lady and her husband… start out that way?"

Ramon holds out his arm and wraps it around Dezi, finally just pulling her in. He thinks her question over and then shakes her head. "No. They start out as babies. Innocents. But the seeds are there. Which seeds grow depends maybe on the environment, but maybe on genetics too. They start out as babies but if there's somethin' wrong with their wiring there's something wrong. Great parents and perfect homes have produced some real psychos. Most people, I think, see no compelling reason to choose others over themselves."

"That sounds right," Desiree says, even though she'd rather it wasn't the case at all, that there were no bad seeds. She leans against Ramon, ever-so-slightly tense at first, but she relaxes and lays her head on his shoulder. By the woman's deeply pensive expression, it's probably obvious that she could theorize more on the subject, but instead, she peers up with hopeful, raised eyebrows and says, "Could we talk about somethin' else? How was work?"

"It was okay," Ramon says, happy to change the subject. "Nothing too stupid today. Got my paycheck." He closes his eyes and leans his head back, but doesn't seem to want to move from this tentative snuggle. "Any day I don't have to go clear out to Rhode Island is a good day."

"Tha's good," Desiree replies cheerfully. "Rhode Island don't sound very exciting." She adjusts her head on Ramon's shoulder and squirming a little to get comfortable. There. "My kids are comin' back… from France. Back in Mississippi," she says in a way that implies an unspoken 'and I don't know what that means' on the end.

"What do you want to do about that?" Ramon asks, tilting his head back down at her and opening his eyes. There's no particular worry in his voice: everything about him seems to indicate whatever she wants to do is fine by him.

"Well…" Desiree begins on an indecisive note - and ends with one, too. "I don't know yet." She gives pause, looking down at her hands and winding her fingers together and back apart slowly and thoughtfully. She tilts her head up to look at Ramon, wide-eyed. "I think… I got things to do here yet, y'know? But they're my kids, and I ain't seen 'em for such a long time I can't hardly bear it."

"Then bring them up," Ramon says, as if this solution is so simple it doesn't even bear worrying about. "Granted this is the man who shipped off two of his cause of danger levels, so take that with a grain of salt but…you're not going to bother me any bringing them up. I'm thinking given the fact I have to drive all the damn time anyway, a house out of the city nobody knows how to find wouldn't be a bad plan."

"I think that might be breakin' a law… or at least some paperwork," Desiree says thoughtfully with a faintly sour expression. The ins and outs of the law are not her friend, apparently. "Well th— holdonasec," she sits up straighter and stares inquisitively at Ramon, her eyebrows pushed up into her forehead almost incredulously. "You're sayin' that if they came up that— I mean a house, that's— a /house/. We'd be a lotta houseguests, I could jus' get a place…"

"You're more than house guests. Maybe we don't have you and me real figured out yet," Ramon says, "so lets put that aside for a moment when I say whatever happens between us, you're family now. A better word might be clan, but the point is, you've watched our back, we are going to watch yours, and frankly its easier for all of us to stick together when we're sticking together."

Desiree thinks this over - transparently; her reasoning is practically written all over her face - and eventually bobs her head in a series of slow, accepting nods. "A clan," she repeats thoughtfully and relaxes back down onto Ramon's shoulder. "Can we be a tribe instead? That way I can give y'all funny names. You can be Chief Runs Over Squirrels." She peeks up and narrows her eyes. "Mister, you really gotta watch where you're drivin'. One day, I found roadkill underneath your van. I didn't think roadkill even … existed in Queens."

"Well if they're dumb enough to run right under my tire they deserve what they get. You're lucky Chief didn't bring Sir Squeak in by the tail to put in the big pot, because that would have shaved at least $6.99 off our grocery budget for the month. At /least/." Ramon smirks at her.

"Ramooon!" Desiree reaches out to smack him in the chest. "That's not funny," she chastises. Ignore the fact that her silly smile completely contradicts her sentiment. "The little guys can't help that you got a big ol' van wanderin' around their territory. And don't be gettin' any more of them ideas, I have a uncle used to pick stuff up off the side of the road and tell everyone it was roast beef. Wasn't roast beef."

"Well the tires don't make it taste any worse, honey," Ramon murmurs. "You skin off all the fur anyway…no I've never seriously eaten road kill. I would be actually worried about disease, specially here in New York." He smirks. He's bringing home a big old roast beef from a butcher's tomorrow though. Just to mess with her.

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