He looked disgusted. “This ain’t a glamorous business. Get that out of your head right away. It’s hard, and it ain’t what everyone thinks. Take your femme fatales…” He trailed off and I hadn’t the heart to correct him and then inform him that the correct French would be femmes fatale. So he just kept on without my input.
“I guess I don’t hate what you would call a femme fatale. I’ve been quite fond of more than a few of ‘em. But I hate the way people talk about ‘em like they’re exotic and dangerous. It ain’t an adventure, Sandy. Alls a femme fatale is is a girl who don’t tell the truth. Maybe she ain’t married to who she says she is. Maybe she’s married, but not to who she says she is. Maybe she’s married and didn’t say she is. Maybe she’s from back East and not Marin County like she said she was. Doesn’t matter what she lies about, or conveniently forgets to tell me. There’s nothing exotic about it, it happens all the goddamn time.
“And what about this fatal business? I never had one of these so-called femme fatales pull a gun on me yet. I suppose they could, but that’s no more fatal than any other joker wandering around with a piece. What, she’s an attractive dame, I’m in danger now? Gimme a break. I suppose some of those sentimental kinda people moan and groan about their heartbreak. You get put through your paces, and you move on. Buck up, bastards.
“People like that.” He fairly spat the words. “They make mistakes and want it to be all romantic. They were suckers, plain and simple. But because of them, I gotta hear about femme fatales. An’ everyone thinks it’s all exotic and dangerous. They’re common, everyday, ordinary pains in the ass. And I hate ‘em, sometimes. I hate all of ‘em, once they’ve finished their game and moved on. But that’s all they are.”