Friday, May 29, 2009

DRUNK ENOUGH TO TALK

Tokyo was right. That restaurant was good. Beer and burgers. Even better because Mrs. Nerd paid. And kept paying as we put away beer, beer, beer. I hoped the booze would lubricate her tongue. There were details I wanted, something about the Nerd breaking the rules of marriage. I knew it would take me to the next level, but she was talking all around it, like she was on fucking Oprah. She doesn’t hold her beer as well as Trey and got the swimming eye. And sad. Not a happy drunk or a brawling drunk. Dad was always ready for a fight. Four beers to a fight.

I get horny. It wasn’t easy to sit in that crowded place and listen to Mrs. Nerd slur on her sap. She grew up somewhere in Florida, went to college and met the Nerd. It was her motor that pushed them out of the sticks and into the big time. She never wanted to go back home and she lit a fire under his ass to work on his theories and software they built the best life on the best side of town. I’ve never been to Florida, but I’ve seen enough Cops to know that there are some real shitholes out there. Doubt she came from that. Mrs. Nerd’s gotta be straight outta the ‘burbs. Whatever. She made a life and then it all went downhill when the Nerd stretched himself too thin.

It’s her fault, too. Didn’t tell her that. But if she was the one who powered them to the top, how did she let him fuck it up? I won’t make that mistake. When I’ve got my payoff from this bullshit, I won’t let it slide out of control. Hold your money tight. That’s what my dad always said. She got lazy.

And she was almost crying into her beer, talking about a divorce doing no good because there isn’t any money except the house and it kills her to think about living somewhere else. I told her I never lived in a house. And now, I don’t own shit except my good looks and wits. That perked her up a little. Good thing, too, some of her friends showed up at the bar. Mrs. Nerd puts on her happy face and introduces me as the Nerd’s cousin from Chicago. Yeah, I tell them, I just graduated from Yale and I’m taking some time off to travel and see the world and spank as many bitches as I can.

No, asshole, I didn’t say the thing about spanking bitches. I’m sure you think I’m stupid to hang with Mrs. Nerd while the payday is looming somewhere out there. I’m not dumb enough to set fire to the roof over my head. And, despite what you think, hanging with Mrs. Nerd is the smartest thing I could’ve done.

Told you I was waiting for the confession. Time and beer and Trey’s attention, it greased her gears. Walking home, she’s staggering and leaning on strong, reliable Trey, she gives it up.

The Nerd’s cheating on her. Been doing it for a couple years. The Nerd’s a terrible spy. A homeless dude from out of state caught him. It didn’t surprise me that Mrs. Nerd knew about him slipping it to another chick. But I was surprised she never called him on it. Women are weird. She didn’t want to make waves. Let him screw around, as long as her perfect world isn’t stained. But isn’t him fucking around a stain? I don’t get it. Maybe when I get a ton of money it’ll make sense.

I play the conversation like I’m on Mrs. Nerd’s side. How could he do something like that to her? After all she’s given him? Now she was really spilling. She first found out about it because of the Nerd’s cell phone. One strange number kept showing up. Then she checked the credit card bills. Some restaurants and fancy spending that she wasn’t around for.
This guy is an idiot. It’s like he wanted to get caught. I started adding money to the price he was going to have to pay for the black bag. Dumbass tax.

Or I might not have to deal with the Nerd anymore. I figure the whole deal with the black bag and thumb drive full of identities and Rodeo must have been set up outside of work. The Nerd works at a software company, why would one of his coworkers turn him on to a deal? They’d take it for themselves. The hook came from somewhere else. What better place than the bitch on the side. I’ll bet she knows Rodeo.

And I have her name and address. Mrs. Nerd let it slip while telling a story about how she followed the Nerd after work one night when he said he had to stay late. He drove to a condo building near the park over the bluffs. I’ve slept there a couple of times and know enough about the area to prod Mrs. Nerd with a couple of questions so I get the specific building. Then I throw out a couple of names, “Candy, Suzy, Lizzie…” like they’re all the sluts on the earth. Mrs. Nerd spits out the name, confides in me because I’m the best friend she has.

Mrs. Nerd is sleeping now. My bag is packed with my clothes and her food. That was the last time on the comfortable bed. My boots are laced. This would’ve been a nice house, if it wasn’t burning down.

I’m off to find the mistress.