Pawn Takes King Part 10

Donnie learned a lot about Greg. Being a listener, it was easy for Donnie to ascertain more. Transition questions were good. Greg was born and raised in California. After his divorce, and the subsequent death of his father, Greg tore up his roots and came to Iowa. Donnie asked about Greg's son, but that was the only subject Greg was silent about. Donnie could put two and two together.
Greg was a deadbeat dad.
    Donnie could detect the overwhelming guilt behind Greg's actions. Sure, the guy bought lunch for a bum, and handed out spare change. What about his kid? How much cash was being invested in that child? Donnie said nothing, of course. Do not bite the hand that feeds you. Especially if you are quite hungry.
    Their first task was to climb an aluminum ladder to get to the roof. Huge rolls of tar paper awaited them. It wasn't too hard. The most difficult part was hauling the heavy rolls up the ladder. Donnie did most of the work. They just lined it up with the edge of the roof, and unrolled it. After cutting it free, they'd rotate the roll and start from the opposite side. It took 3 hours, and 2 rolls to finish. Greg had bought 3 tar paper packages, and said he would return the spare one later.
    "That'll put me ahead $25!!" Greg says with gusto. Donnie nods. Their game involved small, insignificant gains. Donnie wondered if Greg had what it took to make it successfully. Donnie wondered if he himself would survive either.
    Donnie painted the outside of the building. Greg provided large rollers with extended handles. It was Sky blue. Most of the outside of the pawnshop was cinderblock, with one section being red brick in front. Greg could only guess about this particular architectural choice. Wouldn't it be more uniform of a design if all walls were cinderblock? Perhaps there had been storm damage. Greg could not pry any details from the previous owner, George being dead and all. Donnie pointed out the loading door at the back. It looked like an dock for a semi. Greg shrugged and told himself he would explore it later.
    Painting was soothing for Donnie. He took off his sweatshirt and basked in the glow of the sun. He still wore the Foo-Fighters shirt from yesterday. Greg brought out an extension cord and plugged in a radio. Donnie requests a rock station, and ROCK 108 blares forth with heavy music. There was a sense of real accomplishment as Donnie finishes the first coat. Greg advises him to put on a second coating, and Donnie does so. There was spare paint leftover anyway, might as well use it. It also added to Donnie's total pay.
    A small section of the cinderblock wall was covered by tin siding, and a boarded frame.
    "It looks like its from a grain bin," Donnie comments, as he examines the metal. Apparently this temporary fix was cheaper than masonry. Fiberglass insulation is crammed into the hole. Donnie does his best to paint the ridged lip of the metal, and it doesn't look too bad. From the street, you could hardly distinguish between the wall and the metal.
    The last task is mowing. Greg has a meager patch of green surrounding three sides of the front, by the sidewalk. And then they are done. Donnie releases the throttle handle on the mower and the silence blasts forth. His hands itch from the vibrations of the mower, and he smells faintly of gasoline. But gas is like cologne compared to Donnie's normal scent.
    Greg pays Donnie $40 and takes him out to lunch again.

Uploaded 10/06/2012
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