You know the phrase, ‘don’t quit your day job? Well, I epitomize it.
“I think his name is Lurch. Hey! You listening?”
“Huh, oh yeah. Lurch. The guy from The Monsters.”
“It’s The Munster’s, first-off. Secondly, I’m talking about the guy from The Addams Family who always answered the door, ‘you raang’, in a real deep voice.”
Tom caught me in a daze again. I really didn’t care about this conversation, at all. I was busy staring into my shoe and wondering what I was going to do until payday. Three more days to go and I had six dollars, four cigarettes, no food, one warm beer, and a light on my dashboard that suggested I should get some fuel. The adventures in my life always seem to come about when I’m in these situations. Most people, like Tom, would panic the second their phone chimed reminding them their bank account is -$200 and some change, not I. I have a real talent for stretching a dollar, I just wish that talent would sometimes stretch it in 100 grand. Hell, I’d be happy with a Jackson in my hand.
Tom was the kind of guy that had it made. Wife, kids, house, dually truck that could haul a semi. You know…a guys guy…. He’d go about his day at work talking sports and of all the wonderful, relaxing things he does. He gets to go home and drink his beer while his feet are up on his recliner. The perfect white picket fence existence. Why he hung around me I could only guess is that he wanted adventure, or, that he actually hated his life. I’m sure that’d all end if he found out I fucked his wife more often in the past six months than he has. But, that’s also why I never asked him for a dime. She paid up front for me to keep him away from her.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Tom. Mostly because he likes me, and more so because his wife is a hobo-sexual. Not that I’m a bum, I’m a vagabond. I work, I have a home (though most folks don’t live to the metaphorical degree that I do), I have possessions that fit rather snug in my backpack, pockets, and hand. Other than that I have no real reason for material needs outside of necessity.
“Pugsly! That’s the kids name.”
“How much more do you have left in that crossword?”
“Eh….five. here’s one for ya. …She made her feature debut in Mermaids and played the role of….”
“Christina Ricci, Wednesday Addams.”
“Wednesday! Brilliant. You’re a godsend Toby.”
“Alright, twins attached at the h-, wait, here comes, that motherfucker!”
“Keep your voice down. Ask me questions and pretend like we’re having lunch.”
“Then ask me that way without all the excitement.”
“Okay, that’s the prick she told me about that’s been stalking her.”
“Now, look at me inquisitively like your waiting for an answer.” Tom did as instructed. It’s beautiful to watch a man who has it all, go through simple motions. It makes me feel like the ultimate puppeteer. I fibbed a bit about wondering why he spent so much time with me, he knows I feel no pain, so I’m the muscle he needs for this little endeavor. It’s few and far between when I have to flex them. But, I do. This is the big bucks, but I also live cheap. The guy we are hunting apparently follows Olivia around to an unhealthy extent. Leaving free coffee coupons under her windshield wipers, popping out from behind corners to walk her to her car after work. Tom told me he even found a few dick pics on her phone (though, they may have been mine). Either way, the guy was a creep and he was trying to move in on my woman. My justification is that I’m the only creep that she’s comfortable with. I spoke three words “Flora and Fauna.” Then I exited my little black car.
Guys like this always seemed to have a sixth sense about being followed. This wasn’t a go for the kill kind of hunt, this was reconnaissance. Gathering Intel and bringing the small mannerisms a person has to paint a more vivid portrait. I followed him from across the busy parking lot. He moved smoothly, flowing almost like water. The hood he wore didn’t make much sense for this sort of heat, other than the fact that it was raining. His hands were in its pockets suggesting some kind of insecurity, even from this distance I could see that he had some kind of stim. His right hand fluttered about inside of it, as if he was flicking the inside of his pocket. I recognize this because it’s something I have to be vigilant about not doing myself.
He stopped at his car and I looked down and spotted a twenty next to a gray coupe (the universe provides again. I bent down to pick it up and when I rose and pointed my sight through my brow I could see that he was looking at me. I knew the look, it screamed, ‘I see you!’. So, I returned a subtlety that said, ‘I know, I want you to’. In the blink of an eye he was in his car, started it, and pulled out. He stopped for an extra moment at the end of the row. I pretended to forget something and made my way back towards the store. I think this creep may be a better creep than me. In any world, I now had twenty-six bucks, so I bought a bag of potato chips and headed back to my car. I was curious to see if Tom knew that I gave him the answer for his crossword.