Crook Takes Pawn Part 33

Gregs alarm blared its aggravating tone. With a groan, Greg swatted it off. Time to rebuild, was his first thought of the morning. After locking up the numerous deadbolts on his door, Greg purchased a cup of coffee from the gas station to envigorate his groggy mind. Greg passed by the morning commuters as they made their way to work. As he weaved through the traffic, he counted his blessings that he didnt have to get up this early everyday. 9am was early enough to rouse himself from the eternal comfort of his bed. Considering the stalled economy, Greg figured these early risers should also feel lucky they even have a job.
    Greg pulled up the the YMCA. Donny was already waiting patiently by the entrance. Donny was a real go-getter, a style that Greg found helpful. There was never any need to drag Donny around, he was always raring to go.     Hey man, Donny greets, with a yawn, After we swing by the clinic, we can get ahold of my buddy Gus. He can help measure and cut your carpet, and tack it down, too.    Greg nods, producing his own yawn. It never failed, when you see someone yawn, it makes you do it as well.
    So, how long do you have to keep taking Methadone? Greg asks without a clue.    For the rest of my life, Donny says seriously, I used dope for so long, it shorted out my brain kinda. I cant produce Dopemine, what makes you happy. My body got used to having its supply measured out by the pills. Now, my body cant make that chemical anymore on its own. Thats why I was always so Donny pauses, searching for the word.    Antisocial? Greg offers.    I was gonna say quiet, Donny says, but yeah, I dont like to be around people much anymore. Even after that one dose of Methadone though, I can feel it coming back, little by little. I dont just want to stash myself away in some dark hole and wait for the end. I want to interact with folks again.Donny looks toward the stretch of road in front of them. you should have seen me back in the day, Greg. I was a selling machine. I could sell sand to an Egyption. I was that good.    hopefully itll come back to you, Greg says supportively, It could help both of us out. Just stay on your pill regimine.
    I dont actually take the pill form, Donny reveals, I take the liquid form, for now anyway. I dont want to associate the pills with my health. Its easier to just swig it down, and call it medicine.
    The streets were nearly deserted. Greg finds himself wondering how swelled these traffic lanes would have been 3 years ago, before the economy collapsed like an unmaintained bridge. Fewer jobs, fewer cars, fewer everything. Greg shuttered suddenly at the prospect of rampant unemployment and homelessness. How many people were in similar predicaments as Donny himself was in? Surely, it had to be in the tens of thousands by now, if not more. Donny continued to drone on and on about his drug use while Greg quietly listened.
    "There's a reason people get hooked on dope, though," Donny relays sadly, "the sensation is amazing. I can't describe it unless you actually tried it. IT's the best feeling in the world. It cures what ails ya. If you're shy, boom, you become an outspoken person. If you feel ugly, i will make you feel beautiful. You're a rockstar when you're on it."
    Greg grunts with neither confirmation nor denial. Greg doesn't really know what Donny's talking about. It is unknown ground. Pot was enough to render Greg semi comatose. God only knows what state heroine would put him in.
    "If I saw another Oxy pill, I'd just take it," Donny says without inflection, "Like that night I stayed in your room. It's too powerful. I can't ever be around it again. I've gotta get to higher ground, away from that shit, know what I mean?"
    "yeah, it's bad shit alright," Greg says absently. The combination of sleepiness and topic of conversation set Greg in quiet mode. The Lebaron waits patiently at the red light, pistons and sparkplugs firing in unison in the wonder that is the internal combustion engine. But as Greg would soon learn, a small discrepancy in the process of an automobile's motor can have damaging effects.
    "Do you smell something burning?" Donny says, whiffing the air with his upturned face.
    "Uh Yeah," Greg says, with horrible sudden knowledge. Greg's eyes snap to the temperature gauge. the needle is shimmying back and forth minutely in the red.
"Goddammit," Greg says angrily. Donny throws him a worried look.
"What is it?"
"The car's overheating," Greg says, snapping on the blowers with an agitated swipe, "I'm gonna try to put the heater on, to cool it down."
    Of course, the second Greg needs to stay stationary, the light changes to green. Greg lets fly a string of curses as the red-lined car lurches forward.
    "Just pull over," Donny says apprehensiously, "Before you crack the engine block, or warp the head gasket."
"I'm trying, man!!" Greg snaps back, "There's cars behind us now. It never fails. Fuck, fuck, FUCK!!"
    A minute ticks by as Greg looks for an opening to pull over. Meanwhile, his shotty American made car was nearing meltdown. Smoke began to pour out from under the gray hood of the Lebaron as they finally were able to stop. The blasting heater did little to abate the cars mechanical fever.
    Greg slammed the car into park, pitching both him and Donnie forward violently. The seat belts tightened, preventing them both a nasty impact on the dash and steering wheel respectively. Donny is chewing one of his fingernails nervously. The dread is apparent on his face.
    "What are we gonna do, man?" Donny says in a somewhat choked voice, "I need my medicine. I need to get to the clinic no matter what, Greg. I'll get sick without it."

part 34:
Uploaded 02/25/2012
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