Previously: Star and Wars
It was a nice weekend and a pleasant week. With Tami gone, the place hasn't stayed as clean, but my wallet has stayed fuller, and the toilet paper seems to last forever. My good fortune does, alas, make for boring (or nonexistant) journals.
"Can I crash at your place for a few days?"
So much for the pleasant solitude and boring journals. Ralph had gone back to the hospital, back in intensive care, and Tami, Charlie, and Linda had been fighting - again. Charlie and Linda were best of friends before Tami showed up there.
"Sure, Charlie," I sighed. "But you can't live here, OK?" Linda'd had Ralph's daughter kick Charlie out, and Charlie had just been laid off, so Charlie wasn't exactly having a good time with life right now. I was pretty sure Tami was behind it, as things had been fine until she'd moved in there.
For those of you new to these journals, Charlie's a blonde girl with blue eyes.
Charlie's been a pretty good guest - far better than Tami, who had acted as if she was my lover, only without the sex. Tami had complained of my house rules, and I complained that she didn't seem to understand the difference between having a friend crash at your place and sharing a home with your lover.
Charlie and I had been drinking buddies for quite some time, and did a little drinking during the week. I bought; since she's been laid off she owes me a bit of cash. But then again, Ralph has owed me more, and for longer.
Star called, so I made a date for Thursday. Kay called Thursday wanting me to take her out again, and I told her I'd take her out Friday because I had a date with Star Thursday. I'd taken her to eat at the Chinese restaraunt last weekend.
But I'd forgotten that Charlie and I had seen that there was a band playing at JW's Friday and made plans. Damn. Charlie was great about it, even staying away so I could be with Star, despite the fact that Charlie really dislikes hookers.
I stopped by JW's looking for Mike, my old nerd friend, so I could pay him the fifteen bucks I owe him. He wasn't there.
Mike never showed up, but as I was sipping, Linda called. "There's a band playing Saturday at the Blue Grouch," she informed me.
"Cool", I said, "there's one at JW's tomorrow night." I told her I'd see her at the bar Saturday.
"So," she asked, "what are you doing tonight?"
"I'm picking Star up after she calls," I said.
"You really like her, don't you?"
"I like her cunt," I said. We talked a minute and hung up, and Star called.
I loaned her an extra twenty bucks when I dropped her off, and she said she'd pay me Saturday. I drove home and walked up to Felber's before going back home to bed.
I kept getting woke up all night. The cat that hasn't been fixed was howling all night long, and Charlie, who I'd given a key to, had staggered in late and loud. I wondered if I would be able to stay awake long enough to see the band -- I hadn't heard any live music in quite some time.
After work the next day I went home and changed shirts. "Want to drink a little beer?" I asked Charlie.
"I can't; I have another house to clean. Can you give me a ride?"
So we drove to Ralph's for her rug shampooer, then to a dope dealer's house. Yes, dope dealers get their rugs shampooed; selling drugs is a lucrative business. Most of the pimps and dope dealers here drive refurbished and modified classic cars with fancy paint jobs. If you're in Springfield and see cars with cartoon characters painted on them, those are drug dealers and pimps. Of course, this is Springfield; the Springfield with an Alderman Simpson.
I dropped Charlie and her shampooer off and went to Felber's.
I sat down next to Jan and her boyfriend, whose name I can never remember. I got a pitcher and shared it with them. Felber's was having a drawing at eight o'clock, with a cash prize, and you had to be there to win. I had a pretty good time talking with Jan and her old man. Charlie called wanting a ride home -- until she heard me talk. She got dropped off there and told me I wasn't driving home.
"I wasn't planning to. You took too long and I drank too much."
"Can I use your car to get my shampooer?" It wouldn't fit in the trunk of the car she was dropped off in; it was a little subcompact, mine has a huge trunk. I could fit a half dozen dead hookers in it. A dozen if they were skinny little crackwhores.
"Sure," I said, "but you can drive me home, too. That is, assuming you don't get shitfaced yourself.
After the drawing I staggered down to JW's, completely forgetting to call Charlie for a ride. I bought a pitcher, drank half of it, and staggered on home, too drunk and tired to stay for the band.
I woke up early Saturday morning. Charlie had come home quietly and was asleep on the couch. I drank coffee, then drove to the bank and took fifty dollars out. I'd actually gotten home the previous night with money left! But the car was almost empty.
The phone rang as I was driving; it was Star, wanting a ride. Cool, I wanted my twenty bucks and I wanted some reefer, and she could give up some pussy, too. I drove to meet her at a convienience store, as she wasn't at home. The store was close, though. As I was driving there Tami called, wanting me to meet her at the Blue Grouch. I told her I would when Star was done with me. No sooner than I hung up and Brian called.
"Hey, man, you been staying clean?" I asked. Brian is a hard core needle junkie. He had been wealthy at one time, but now is dirt poor, unable to hold a job for long, and lost his rental properties and everything else thanks to the cocaine and heroin. He's forty, but looks more like sixty, bald on the top and front with a short gray fringe and wrinkled face. He's been in prison before.
"No, that's why I'm calling. I'm going into a two year treatment program Monday morning and I wanted to get drunk with you first."
I told him I'd pick him up, and Star was waiting at the store for me. "Can my friend ride along?" she asked.
"Who's your friend?" I asked suspiciously. "Her name is Margaret," she said.
This was odd in two respects. One was that as far as I remember, I've only known one Margaret, who everyone called Meg, the most beautiful drinking buddy I ever had. We would talk and laugh for hours; she was a bit eccentric, but then I'm not exactly normal either. She was a businesswoman who had owned some commercial property. The only thing I didn't like about Meg was that she was too damned good looking. No matter where we went, men swarmed around her like flies around a dumpster. It got so we would only drink at George Rank's, where everyone knew us, and when it closed down for good last February from the smoking ban we did our drinking at her giant house.
She moved to Florida a month or so ago, and here I was meeting a new Margaret.
The other odd thing was, if she was with Star she was almost certainly a whore, and the whores all have nicknames; Laurie (the girl who stole my car) had been known as "Peps" in Springfield, and "Odie" in Bloomington.
Margaret was a young black woman with a pretty face and a nice figure, and they wanted another twenty bucks. This would have been quite a discount indeed, even considering that Star owed me twenty; a "double date" is usually damned expensive, especially with a combination like the black Margaret and the red haired blue eyed Star. This should have set off red flags, but I get real stupid around pretty young women who let me put body parts in them.
When we were done, I went to the Grouch to meet Tami and Brian. I ordered a pitcher, opened my wallet to pay - and it was empty. "God damned whores!" I exclaimed. "God damned motherfucking worthless bitches! Fucking cunts!!"
"What's wrong?" Tami and Brian asked in unison.
"My fucking money is gone!"
"Damn, when one of 'em was sucking my dick the other one must have got in my wallet!"
Brian paid for the pitcher, and when it was done Tami left and Brian and I went to Felber's, where I could cash a check. We drank a pitcher there and went to the grocery store, where Brian bought a bunch of food, a half gallon of Evan Williams, and a thirty pack of Busch. He wasn't kidding when he said we were going to drink!
"Have you seen Amy lately?" he asked. "A few weeks ago," I said. "She dropped by for some of her things when she got out of rehab." Amy drinks way too much. She had lived with me for quite a few months last year after her previous boyfriend had thrown her out; she's my ex-girlfriend's ex-husband's daughter.
Brian had been in rehab at the same time as Amy. I'd told her that Alcoholics Anonymous would do her better; I've known quite a few drunks who had stayed sober thanks to them, but never anyone who had stayed sober after going through Triangle. The state and its budget problems has the newspapers crying about its loss, but from people I talk to it's a scam; nobody ever stays off drugs and alcohol after going through it. Hell, most of Farley's patrons have gone through Triangle multiple times.
What the whores had stolen from me Brian more than made up in food and drink, which we off at my house. On the way Linda called, and said she and Tami were at the Grouch. It, too is staggering distance from my house, but I wasn't drunk (yet) and we drove there.
The band was pretty good. Linda was all over Brian, who seemed to be annoyed by her attention. If I didn't know about the heroin I'd have thought he was gay - one of heroin's effects is loss of libido. Here the guy has absolutely nothing going for him, doesn't have any interest in sex, yet he's a chick magnet. Still, loser at love that I am I wouldn't trade places with him for anything -- I've seen him go through withdrawal, and it's not a pretty sight. If they want to keep kids off dope they ought to show commercials with junkies that have no dope.
After the second pitcher I figured I'd better go home while I could still drive. He and the girls stayed. Amy called; here Brian and I had been talking about her and she and her boyfriend were coming over.
When they got there, I rolled a joint and smoked it with her boyfriend while we had a beer.
She'd lost her taxi driving job, which is what made her go into Triangle, which she'd gone through three times last year. She had a new job, I forget where but it doesn't involve driving.
The phone rang -- it was Brian. "Man, I'm in trouble, you gotta get here before the cops show up!" Amy drove my car while I sat in the passenger seat, her man in the back. I was far too drunk to drive, and she'd only had half a beer.
"So what happened, man?" I asked when he got into the car.
"Oh man, I decked this guy."
"What?" Amy said.
"Yeah, well, I was walking out getting ready to walk on over here, and I said 'hi' to this girl, and her boyfriend went off. Him and his buddy had their fists up and they were going to kick my ass and I didn't like that idea at all, so I popped the guy three times and he went down. His buddy didn't want to fight after that!"
Brian broke out the whiskey, and I don't remember Amy leaving, nor do I remember going to bed.
When I woke up, Charlie was asleep on the couch, still wearing the same jeans and halter top she'd had on the previous morning, and Brian was passed out on the floor. He woke up as I was drinking coffee, saw Charlie, and did a double take. "Wow!" he said, "Where'd she come from?"
"Oh, that's Charlie," I said. "She's been crashing here the past few days."
"Man," he said, "I'd like to curl up with that!"
"Not a good idea, man. Not if you like your face."
"She'll rearrainge it for you. She's one tough broad."
Charlie doesn't look muscular but she is fit from doing construction work, probably the reason she's got such a nice body (even if her titties aren't very big). "I ain't no powder puff girl", she's fond of saying.
"Oh man, look at that ass! Jesus Christ what a nice ass!"
"Um," I said, "she's probably awake."
She rolled over, legs spread. "Oh shit!" Brian said, "I've gotta eat her pussy before I leave."
"Man," I said, "you like to live dangerous, don't you?"
"I need a cigarette," he said. We went for cigarettes, even though I don't smoke them. Charlie was awake when we got back, and I introduced them.
"Man," she told Brian, "you ought to thank Steve for warning you, I'da busted you up!"
He looked at me. I said "I saw her almost tear an ex-marine's head off once."
"You mean Lance?" she said.
"Yeah, that's the time" I said. "I couldn't pull her off of him, she let go when she realised Ralph's shit was going to get broken." The incident had happened in Ralph's kitchen; I'd been outside when the commotion had started, and ran in when Linda yelled to me to help.
Brian told Charlie about the whores ripping me off. "Goddamn it, Steve, how many times do I have to tell you about those fucking bitches? God damn it, they do the same fucking thing to Ralph. God DAMN it!"
We made a makeshift barbecue pit out of some bricks and a rack out of the oven, and cooked some steaks. I heated up vegetables in the microwave.
We ate and drank and drank and ate, and Brian's friend picked him up Monday morning to take him to the bus station for his trip up north.
"Dude," Charlie said after he left, "your fucking house is TRASHED! I don't think I like your friend."
I left for work.
Next: Amy Again