Pawn Takes King part 28

Donald managed to find his ATM card. He had looked everywhere for it, but had to give up the search. The last time he had it, he stopped by Kwik Star and withdrew from their ATM machine. He was stoned at the time, and couldn't find it, though he searched in vain. It must've fallen from his jacket pocket, and been lost underneath the stairs, caked in snow. Because that's exactly where he found it. Donny was sitting on the steps, smoking a cigarette because he had no weed, and boom, there it was. The moonlight glinted off of the green plastic just so. It was at an angle, wedged into the earth like a credit razor. Now Donny could withdraw some dough. YES!!
    When he lost the card, Donny had just set up shop under the gazebo, and it was almost resembling an extended camping trip, of sorts. He lined the entire inside with long lengths of cardboard. This kept it much warmer, without having to lean up against the frigid concrete. He bought 2 blankets to cover the North side, which had a nasty draft from the wind. It worked so well, he decided to load up on blankets to insulate it even further. They were like curtains, kinda. He wanted all the privacy he could get. That might equal a little bit more dignity. In a way, it was like an adventure, though a harrowing one. He hiked to the store all the time in the winter. Having the card felt like the last link he had to society. He did his business with it. The amount had shrunk from almost $2,000, down to $50.
    He had bought so much drugs, wasted so much money. All that euphoria was gone, like mud in the water that will settle to the bottom again when movement passes. All is still. He used to come into that Kwik Star all the time. It was hit the ATM, go to the cooler and get a drink, then pay for gas. He might pick up a slice of pizza, or some other food. Eugene would give him rides there, back when Donny was still at the house. Before all of Donny's shit got jacked from his room. Fucking thieves.
    Now, Donny didn't even bother going to the bank. His one account had already been closed, because of late charges from student loans. They began garnishing his wages, during the last few months of working at Digital Dreams.  Donny had closed the account himself. Fuck them getting into his money. He hardly used the other banks ATM anymore, so hopefully the government collector people had not learned about it's existence.
    Donny had stashed the money in his long-dormant bank account. It was a safeguard against him recklessly spending it on dope. Although recovering from drugs, Donny still could not trust himself entirely. He withdrew the money entirely. His mother Marissa had transferred some money to his account, when last they spoke. It was a little over $100. With his old habit, this money would be  gone in a weeks time, but he made sure to keep these funds off-limits. In truth, Donny had forgotten all about the money. It was a good thing, because it showed his resistance to pouring all cash into drugs. Or, maybe his memory banks were so damaged it had simply slipped his mind. In any case, his crusty ATM card still worked, with the same pin number and all. It actually expired in 2 months, and it was fortuitous that he could withdraw it without getting another card. He was rich now.
    It was a memorable day when Donny could buy a whole bag full of dollar cheeseburgers. He feasted like a king, though his accommodations were that of a pauper. He bought a few more blankets from Good-Will, to prepare for the oncoming winter. He stuffed them around the edges of the lattice, to insulate him. It almost worked too well, and he had to pull them down, lest he suffocate from the heat. Donny, for once, felt like he could take the world head-on, without fear or worry.
    Eventually, he even found a Mongoose bicycle abandoned in the tall grass of a creek bed. Donny couldn't believe his luck. It was orange at one time, but was now faded to a more subdued shade. The bike was rusted, all the chrome stained with the blemishes of oxidized metal. But the chain turned the back wheel when he peddled it. The front tire was even still intact. The only thing really wrong with it that Donny could see, was the rear tire was flat. It wasn't evident until he sat on the seat, and the tire sagged from the pressure. He wheeled it over to the gas station and aired it up from the free compressor attached to the rear wall. It wouldn't hold any air. He could hear the hiss of escaping pressure, but determined it wasn't from the stem. Using soapy water from the squeegee holder by the gas pumps, Donny was able to see the bubbling of air where the hole was.
    Feeling renewed vigor, Donny traveled to a nearby hardware store and bought a bike tire patch. It was only $6, a sum normally out of Donny's reach. But with Steve's contribution, Donny was able to purchase it without a nagging sense of money lost.
    With the remaining $14 he got from Steve, Donny sought out a bag of weed. He told himself he deserved it. He hadn't had any Oxy in months, and wanted to celebrate a bit. It couldn't all be a struggle to stay above ground. He had to have some fun sometime.
    With Eugene out of the question, Donny called several potential sources for pot from a phonebooth. His leads thinned out, but there was one last ace-in-the-hole. Donny reached an old acquaintance of Eugene's. It was actually Eugene's wholesale supplier of marijuana. His name was Chase, a fitting name for someone always eluding the cops.
    "Donny?" Chase says, with bewilderment, "shit, you still alive?"
    "Yeah, I know it's surprising," Donny says jokingly, "That's what people keep telling me."
    "You heard about Eugene?" Chase asks suspiciously.
    "He told me he got busted," Donny says, "if that's what you mean."
    "Right, and because of that," Chase says with flair, "I can't be selling no more, not to nobody."
    "Shit," Donny says crossly. This was his last chance at securing some mary-jane.
    "My apologies, bro," Chase says, not sounding sorry in the slightest, "but that's what happens when motherfuckers snitch. No one can be trusted. Those dumb assholes that get caught just roll over on other people. Even if they only get arrested for an 8th, or even a dime bag, they'd sell out their own mothers!!"
    "I know, right?" Donny says, trying to keep it cordial, "but do you know anyone that bought an onion from you?"
    An onion was code for an ounce. Donny hated to go to a middle-man for weed, because they invariably were trying to short bags, and pinch pennies. That meant Donny would almost surely get ripped off. Given the choice, though, Donny would prefer some weed to none.
    "As a matter of fact, I do," Chase says, "but I can't give you his name over the phone. He just got out, and is on parole. I can have him meet you somewhere though."
    Donny debates. A person on parole was usually trouble. But, at the same time, that person might be more cautious, not wanting to attract attention to themselves. Such a person might be easier to deal with than another guy slinging ganja on a part-time basis.
    "All right," Donny agrees, "have him meet me at the Burger King by Boyrum road."
    Donny left the bike, his popcans, and the tire patch hidden by the same ditch where the Mongoose was found. The BK was closely, and Donny ordered several hamburgers while he waited for his Class B narcotic to arrive.
    Of all the people Donny expected to show up, HE was the last person he thought would. Jessie Baxter stalked into the restaurant, shoving the entrance door open roughly. An exiting customer is struck on the hip by the swinging door, but Jessie brushes past them without a second look.

Uploaded 01/04/2013
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