Friday, July 31, 2009

THIS GUY SITTING NEXT TO ME HAS NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING

Look at me, sitting in a coffee shop instead of on top of it. I’m writing this, drinking a cup of coffee like a regular human being. No one would think that I’m about to meet with a guy who tried to kill me.


And none of these people are stupid enough to get in touch with a woman who is setting them up for murder and assault. I’m using her computer to write this. Her phone number is in the address book. Why does someone put their own information in the address book? In case they get hit on the head and have amnesia? Some fucking soap opera? I hit Mrs. Nerd on the head with my phone call.


She didn’t expect it and stammered for a bit while I talked slow, repeating, “I’m not calling to kill you. I’m not calling to kill you.”


“What, what, what? Why did you call?”


It was a hell of a lot easier talking to her on the phone, when she wasn’t swinging a seven iron at my face. “I understand why you did what you did to me. You’re too stupid to see that I’m the only guy who can get you out of this.”


“Don’t call me stupid, you piece of shit. This is all your fault. You were too stupid to handle it.”


“The Nerd was never going to get his payoff. If I’d stayed out of it, he’d be as dead as he is now and you’d still be broke.” She was quiet and listening. I hit her with, “Only difference is, you wouldn’t have any blood on your hands. But I had nothing to do with that. That was your decision.”


Mrs. Nerd stayed silent for a minute. I didn’t care, I had change. Jasmine set me up with a little cash before we split, more guilt. She’s paying for this cup of coffee.


I let Mrs. Nerd pace or stand still or stare at herself in the mirror or whatever she was doing on the other end of the phone. Then I heard her take a breath and she said, “Why did you call?”


“Because I’m not stupid. Because I got to who the Nerd was dealing with, broke him down. He’s going to pay now.”


“Good for you.” Said through gritted teeth.


“Doesn’t do me much good when the cops want me for murder. We need to deal.”


“I want ninety percent.”


She was quick. I can see how she motivated the Nerd into a fine job and a ton of debt. Bet he wasn’t imagining watching her stick him with a knife over and over until he was dead when he said, “I do.”


“I’m going to give you fifty percent.”


“Not enough.”


“You don’t even know what the payoff is.”


“Doesn’t matter. Ninety percent.”


“Fifty. And I’ll tell you—”


Bitch cut me off. “You’re wanted for murder, Trey. You have no leverage.”


“I’m doing all the heavy lifting. I’m putting my ass on the line and if I wasn’t, you wouldn’t get anything.”


“Eighty percent. And this negotiation is over.”


Then I went silent, like I was thinking about it. “Fine. For eighty percent you drop all the charges and come up with another story of who did it.”


“Fine. When do you get the money?”


“Soon.”


“And how much is it?”


“Two million.”


“That’s all you could get?” Glad she isn’t my mother.


“One point six for you. You can’t live on that, you ain’t living right.”


“Let me know as soon as you have it.”


“Where’s the knife?”


She knew which knife I was talking about. “They’ll never find it.”


“We need to find it. We need to pin this on someone else. I know just the guy. Friend of mine from back home who’s in town. So where’s the knife?”


“I cleaned it off. Threw it over the bluffs. It’s in the trees and bushes. I don’t know how you’ll find it.”


“Let me worry about that. Kitchen knife?”


She must have been remembering how it felt in her hand when she killed her husband.
“Yeah.” Her voice shook like all the bricks of her body were about to rattle loose.


“What about your clothes? You get rid of them?”


“Fireplace.”


“This is all too bad,” I told her, slow and serious. “We could’ve made some noise you and me.”


“We did.”


“Maybe on the other side of all this, when you land and I land. Might be in the same spot.”
Don’t get the wrong idea, Tokyo. If you’re reading this. It was business. It’s always better to keep your business buttered.


“Maybe.” She sounded sad and hopeful, but not for me. She just wanted a way out of the trouble and the crazy in her head.


I wanted to hang up on her. I want to hang up on her for good. “I’ll get in touch when I have the money. Should be soon, maybe today or tomorrow.”


“Good.”


“Then this’ll all be over. We can start over.” I sounded like a fucking girl.


She was stone cold. “Call me when it’s ready. I have to go.”


Mrs. Nerd hung up without waiting for my goodbye or my kisses through the phone. Wasn’t going to give them anyway. I just need her on the hook until I’m in the clear.


And I’ll be clear soon. Quarter to one. Short walk to the meet with Rodeo. Caffeine’s pumping. My cup of coffee is empty and I’m ready to finally get what I want.