Crook Takes Pawn Part 36

    Greg chauffeurs Donny to the Methadone clinic in the nicest car either guy had been in before. Greg's own family had been lower middle class. The nicest car the family could afford reasonably was at least 10 years prior to the date they were buying the car. That seemed to be the golden rule when they went vehicle shopping. Most people Donny knew rode the bus, or carpooled to work. Greg could not imagine getting around without a car. Waiting for a bus would seem so tedious, especially after a long work day. Besides, it did not allow anyone to leave at their own convenience. Their lives would revolve around a bus schedule.
This made Greg feel simultaneously glad, and sympathetic to those unlucky bus-riders.
    The Methadone clinic turned out to be a modest space taken up in a strip mall. Nextdoor were a barber salon, and a tax preparation office. The clinic was well furnished, with a sleek black and grey modern design. Donny quickly opened his door before Greg even came to a complete stop. Donny was at the front door of the establishment in a flash. Greg shakes his head as he watches Donny's exit. Drugs had so much sway, it was scary. Jessie had been in the  throes of a drug binge when he committed his heinous crimes. Donny was a different breed than that violent bastard, but both of the two addicts behavior proved as examples to the deadly lure that is narcotics.
    It does not take long, perhaps 15 minutes for Donny to get his meds. Greg has time to lean back in his seat and take a small cat nap. He still had the whole day to attend to yet. And there was still the matter of his date tonight. Nervousness had changed to bliss. It was actually a great thing that Rebecca had met up with him. They had already gotten their first kiss out of the way, which is actually something that go wrong. At the very end of a night, a hesitant kiss, or unconfident hug could definitely turn a girl off. It went unspoken, but even in these modern times, it was the male who usually made the effort. The girl usually gets to sit back and control the situation. After all, who has the vagina?
    Now, Greg felt steps ahead of the game. Rebecca looked willing to shed those stupid defensive tactics girls can put up, and get right to the point. Rebecca's evasive days were over with the arrival of Julie. Priorities change and there was no doubt Rebecca was looking for something long-term. For once, the future held more promise of happiness than horror for Greg. Her eyes transfixed all his cognition. Time to start counting the bases again. He rounded first, would there be an advance later on? She was a large C cup, judging by their weight against him that morning. He thought again of her visiting him in the hospital. Her breasts had dangled there, tucked in by that sexy lace bra. Greg was just beginning to slip into REM, as well as a steamy dream, when Donny knocked on the window. Greg sits forward with a start, and rubs his sleepy eyes.
"We can go now," Donny says in a carefree voice. It differs greatly from Donny's previous tone.
"Thanks again Greg," Donnie says, "Eventually I'll get some take-home dosage, so I don't have to come to the clinic everyday, just 2 times a week instead."
"So, this guy that's gonna do the carpet," Greg says, twisting to look behind as they back up "Where does he live?"
Donny motions over to the east side of the city.
"Over there, go by Market Street, do you know where that is?"
"Yeah, it's by the mall," Greg says, stifling a yawn.
    The Toyota cruises past the buildings, which were like the giant plates of a stegosaurus, whose tail stretched from downtown to the adjacent interstate. The city was a motley assortment of varied architecture. Ma and Pa shops were found everywhere, ranging in variety to rustic casual hangouts, to classy high-brow clubs and bars. The college brought in lots of diverse tastes and mindsets. Greg took note of how certain businesses were set up nowadays. The littlest thing could spring forth an idea. That was the real genius behind entrepreneurship: you could learn from your fellow businessman, even if they were also your competition.
    If Greg was on the outer rim of the ghetto, the section on Market street was smack dab in the center. There had been a bad flood that had uprooted many of the prior residents near the river. Every other house was boarded up, or had eviction signs posted ominously. This was a counter-point to Greg's starry-eyed idealism. There was an entire section of the city that was gutted here. IT was that much less people for Greg to do business with.
    "Okay, look for a brown Blazer," Donny guides.
Greg begins scanning the right side of the packed street, and Donny the left.
"Is that it there?" Greg asks bewilderedly, "I don't see a house or apartment around here. How far is this guy's house from here?"
"Yeah, that's his ride," Donny says, unbuckling his seatbelt, "Wait here a sec,"
    To Greg's confusion, Donny heads to the back of the blazer, where there is a hatchback door. Greg reads a faded and peeling logo on the side of the blazer: Gus Landry, Carpet King. That kicked in a vague memory of a low budget carpet commercial Greg had seen some on the local channels some years back. Gus had gone to great lengths to construct the video, complete with corny jingle at the outré.  Apparently the King had been dethroned, and was now living in the back of his royal carriage. Donny knocked on the window of the hatch. A disheveled man opened the door, the hydraulic supports pushing the rest of the way.
    Greg quickly surveyed. Gus was sitting up on a small single mattress that was wedged in the back. There was a small radio, and waterbottle beside the head of the bed. It was a meager living arrangement, but was a whole hell of a lot better than sleeping on the bare asphalt. Gus may be technically homeless, but he was not starving. Gus' ample belly poked out from the waistband of his threadbare bluejeans. Gus navigated his thick arms into a plaid worksheet, then slung on a pair of black padded workbooks. those boots were the only article of clothing that looked like it hadn't been run over by lawnmowers. Evidently Gus got around, enough to keep food in his belly and gas in the tank, anyway. Gus wrangled his wild shoulder-length gray hair with one hand as he and Donny approached Greg again.
    This was not quite what Greg had in mind. What was this, the Iowa unemployment office, for christsakes??? Greg had been under the impression the carpet installer would at least have a formal residence. Oh well, time to deal with it. Greg rolled down the Toyota's window with a soft whir.

Part 37:
Uploaded 03/03/2012
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