The girl looks like a gangster’s girlfriend—I’m not sure how else to put it. The blonde breathiness, slyness of eyes, the fancy dress (slightly out of fashion)—all these made her seem like a person who people liked to involve in things. So it didn’t surprise anyone the first night she came around and started talking about a murder.

Really, though, she’s just a college kid, moved to the Big Easy to make it big in movies. Sure, she dates a weed dealer who makes her hold product when things get hot, but on a scale of girls I’ve known in over their heads, she rates kids play.

The details are fuzzy, of course. But what happened was essentially somebody tried to rob Chico and Chico left the guy’s burned body in the swamp. I guess this girl was there, or next door. Or her friend was, but the cops told her friend to leave town or she did so out of her own good sense, so now this girl—we’ll call her Kim—has to tell the tale. The guy broke into Chico’s house with a gun while everyone was partying, and Chico caught him, tied him up, and put a bag over his head.

I have no clue what Chico’s deal is—whether he’s a dealer or a fence or a veterinarian—but he was real casual when he showed the girl the guy tied up, sobbing with a bag on his head. He showed her to let her know there wasn’t going to be any more trouble. Like, we can all chill out and finish snorting this cocaine because the guy who came into my house with a gun is now on the floor of my bedroom with a bag over his head sobbing. He won’t disrupt the party anymore.

Unfortunately for Chico, he was not partying with people who are cool snorting lines while a guy is tied up with a bag on his head on the floor next to them (or even in the other room) sobbing. So, actually, the guy did disrupt the party even more, because Kim and her friend left. Then Chico killed the guy and set his body on fire in the swamp.

Now Chico’s gone, to Cuba, or to stay with his daughter in San Francisco, and this girl with a dyed blonde perm is telling us all this on the balcony of a bar across town from where it all happened. It’s a crazy story but I don’t think much of it.

Then last night we were walking on Chartres between Frenchmen and Elysian Fields, and another friend of Kim’s, who had partied with Chico’s, pointed out his house. It had a fumigation rig and an industrial mop bucket on the porch. The mail box was full of mail. We walked around the corner and found this sign on the streetlight. We tore it down and took it home and everyone had nightmares.