I’ll let you in on another secret; the cops tell me that whoever stabbed Carrie thirty-eight times could have done it in a minute – their arms a blur. Bruce Lee dies on the same day Carrie is murdered. You ever see Bruce in his Kung-Fu prime, his arms a wind-milling blur? Picture Bruce with blades attached to his flying hands punching Carrie thirty-eight times. People who have been knifed say it feels like a punch. You feel the fist of the attacker hitting your body as the blade goes in up to the hilt, not the blade slicing into your flesh.
That’s a big number. That’s more than three-dozen stab wounds. And, it takes the murderer only a minute to do that. He has to be in a frenzy to accomplish the task. You think it’s easy to stab someone thirty-eight times in a minute? Try it. Try stabbing a pillow thirty-eight times that quickly or a watermelon or a piece of meat. See if you can do it without breaking the blade or cutting your fingers off.
I hear a Black teenage couple arguing. He has been dragging her into movies on 42nd all day. She pleads, “Do we gotta see another kung-fu movie, Jerome?” They later pose for souvenir photos taken on the street corner in front of painted backdrops of the African jungle and ancient Egypt. A lop-sided rattan chair salvaged from a garbage heap serves as King Jerome’s throne in both locales. In one photo, he holds a rubber spear and in the other a cardboard sphinx. Yvonne stands beside her seated Lord. In the jungle, a leopard-skin print drapes her torso. In Egypt, a Cleopatra-crown rocks unsteadily on her Afro. Jerome pays extra to have the photos framed.
King and Queen fall asleep on the subway back to Bed-Stuy and miss their stop. Tomorrow, after Yvonne leaves for work, Jerome tapes the framed photos to the boom-box radio that is permanently attached to his shoulder. And, he returns to 42nd to see another kung-fu movie.