Crook Takes Pawn Part 30

Donny is pretty quick when he wants to be. Greg finds himself panting after following him only a short distance.
    Donny, wait up, Greg huffs, Just stop a minute, will ya???
Donny reluctantly does so, pulling out a pack of smokes and lighting one up. Greg smells the familiar blend of nicoteen and tar waft through the air. Greg has the Bears coat in his hand.
    Listen, I was outta line for what I said. Greg says, offering the coat out to Donny. Donny calculates for a few seconds before taking the winter coat back. The coat is too valuable for Donny to disgard. It was a momentary lapse of pride to take it back, but bums have to be realistic.
    I said I forgive you, and I do, Greg says, I just think maybe those pills were making me loopy as well. After being on them so long, I got used to feeling a certain something.
    I know, that feeling is all I cared about back in the day. Yup, the pills were lost, Donny says sourly, Lost up my nose,
    Im glad youre getting help, Greg says, Really. Things can turn around for you. Look how Im doing now.Donny says nothing, just puffs on the cancer stick. Greg sees Ben wandering around the corner of the store, with his hands in his pockets. Ben leans his shoulder against the side of the building, and watches the traffic flow by.
    They have a shelter, Donny says in his trademark quiet delivery, Here downtown. Ben said he would take me there to get set up. Ben also said hed take me to the Methadone clinic in the mornings, before work.
    Thats good. Greg responds, Youd better get on that, before you go into withdrawal.    I ran through those pills so fast. Donny says sadly, I was snorting four 10Mg tablets a day. I went through them all in about 2 weeks. Then, I started chasing Vikings, and Xanies. It just got away from me again, just like last time.    Vikings? Greg says, perplexed, Whats a Viking? Greg was not privy to the new street lingo.    Vicodin; Vikings Donny interprets, Xaniis mean Xanax pills. They are both a type of benzodiazapam.Right, they increase the opiate effect, dont they? Greg asks.    Yeah, Donny says, shaking his head, You have to lick away the time-release coating on the Oxy Contin, then you snort your dose, and take a Xannii chaser later on. Back in the day I took Klonopin, another benzo. With those two, mixed, its just as powerful as heroine.    Donny spoke of the pill intake like a bartender would discuss making a drink. Human chemistry 101.     now that you mention it, Greg says, slightly out of sync with the conversation, I could use some help moving some boxes, and cleaning out a storage shed.    Donny looks warily at Greg. I dont think thats a good idea after all, Donny says dully.    Look man, Greg says, I know it doesnt seem too swell after what I bitched about. But I really do need help. And I can take it out of some of the money you owe me.    Donny does not answer, but looks over at the spot where Ben is leaning. Ben gathers that everything is okay, and meanders back inside his immaculate building.
    I appreciate you spreading the word about the Pawn and Payday. Greg says in a grateful voice, You really turned the place around with all the people you steered toward the shop. I havent forgotten that.Greg fumble with his keys in his pocket, mindful of the painful dead-air between the two men.    I also need help ripping up the old carpet. Greg elaborates, I plan on hiring a guy to put in some new berber, but I figured it would save me some cash to at least do the prep work.    Donny ponders this thoughtfully, as he pitches his finished cig.    I know a buddy of mine, used to own his own carpet business, Donny says, It went belly up, and now hes doing odd jobs. He can help you, charge a reasonable price, too.    Donnys nostrils stream out the remains of his smoke as he turns to face Greg.    I can help you, Donny speaks, Youll just have to trust me, that I wont steal from you again.Greg broods over this.    Okay, Greg agrees, Ill give you some slack, but dont hang yourself with it.    Donny presents a worn grin at this, and begins to saunter back to Bens shop.    meet me at my store tomorrow about 10am, Greg instructs. Donny nods and waves a hand as he departs. Well, it wasnt pretty, but Greg and Donny appear to be on good terms again. It is a shaky truce, but still a truce nonetheless.

Uploaded 02/11/2012
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