Donny met Amanda at the grocery store. Wal-Mart was usually Donny's first choice of store, but his leg was really starting to bother him. Without a place to rest properly, Donny's leg was aggravated by the nonstop walking. The smaller grocery store afforded a much shorter walking distance. Amanda was gargantuan. To say she was large might've been putting it nicely. She was pushing over 300 pounds, judging by her various fat rolls, and difficulty walking. Donny had never been around many 3 hundies (hundred) people. A person about 3 hundie was like an orbiting planet, pulling in others like a gravitational force. Donny wasn't exactly drawn to her, as much as she was attracted to him. Donny saw her bending over to dig out several kingsize TV dinners. Her stomach was an obstruction, making it difficult for her to nab all the frozen calories she can.
Donny stares at the food hungrily. A rudimentary plan is hatched. He will get with this fat chick. She obviously is not emaciated like him. Donny hadn't eaten in two days at that point. Water was available, so he was still clinging to life, just like his skin now clung to it's skeletal frame.
The Oxy gave him a sweet tooth. Amanda was a big fan of candy bars and cheetohs, from the looks of her stacked cart. He might have to bed down with this huge thing in order to get what he wanted, but a little pussy wouldn't hurt Donny either. Like at the stoplight, Donny swallowed his pride and went for it.
"Hello." Donny greets, with what he hopes is a confident smile. Amanda jerks her head up from the frozen display. She is surprised to have anyone address her. Apparently obesity and poverty both made them social pariahs.
"Hello." Amanda says uneasily.
Donny poured on the charm, or as much as a starving bum could, anyway. They exchanged names. He offered to help carry her groceries out for her. She examined him, and Donny felt a surge of anger at being measured up by a mammoth specimen like her.
Whatever, Donny would meet her halfway. He might've been handsome if his hair, or beard were cut. But as of that moment, Donnie looked scraggly, and unclean. His nose was back to it's normal shape and color, though. It had been almost 2 weeks since Donny stole the meds from Greg, and the healing was almost complete. Had he still resembled a walking corpse, with that swelling, she might've scoffed at him altogether.
But, she was clearly hard-up for male interaction. She neither confirmed, nor denied his request, just sheepishly shrugged at Donny's offer and began walking to her car. Donny persisted. He asked her general questions. She was like any normal gal, she wanted to be listened to. Donny got her talking. She discussed her quaint problems with him. Once that ball got rolling, there was no stopping it. They chatted outside, as Donny waited beside her vehicle, a red tinted van. By chatting, it meant she was talking incessantly, while Donny patiently listened and nodded.
Eventually, she got in her van and put on her seatbelt. Donny felt the desperateness of his situation gnaw at him. He was nervous, but it was the thought of sleeping outside, rather than the unsettling feeling of asking a girl out, that perturbed him.
"So, you should you give me your phone number," Donny says assertively. Amanda pauses, one hand twisted, ready to start the ignition. She cocks her head to the side questioningly, her ragged brown hair matted to the side of her bulbous neck. Her skin was red and sweaty, despite the chilly daytime air.
"Why?" she asks.
"So I can get ahold of you," Donny says, "so we can hang out, maybe go on a date, or something."
Amanda's dull grey eyes light up. It is certainly the first time she's been asked out in a long time, if ever. She laughs and flicks away the damp curls from her face and cheek.
"Do YOU have a number?" she asks playfully, "or a phone?"
Donny detects the undertones. She knows his plight, without having to ask him directly. HOMELESS should be stamped on Donny's forehead.
"I have a cell, but it's shut off right now," Donny lies, "give me your digits, and I'll give you a ring tomorrow."
He doesn't ask, just assumptively closes. He must be insistent. His miserable life depends upon it. The Oxy was almost gone. He had seven pills left. Without the drugs to drive off his food craving, Donny would have hunger pangs, along with the withdrawal.
"Well," Amanda says, drawing out the phrase with a long breathe, "alright, you got a pen?"
He hasn't a pen, or anything else, but the clothes on his back. She locates a writing utensil from her bulging purse, and writes the number on Donny's hand. Her fingers are clammy as she grips him, skin to skin. He shudders inside, but is all smiles on the exterior.
"Great!!" Donny says enthusiastically, "I'll give you a call tomorrow, Amanda."
She has a coy smile on her face as she backs out. Donny would've preferred to head out with her, but doesn't push his luck. What a strange concept: he considered it lucky to get with a heavy-set gal. How low his standards have fallen.
Donny sleeps in the soap-o-rama laundramat. It is risky, because the management is still cracking down on loiterers and bums, but Donny tells himself it is just for that night. Tomorrow, he will stay at Amanda's.
The Oxy really has become curative, instead of a recreational drug. If Donny doesn't take it now, he will get sick. Still, he takes the chance and doesn't have any dosage that night, in an effort to conserve. By the next morning, Donny feels the discomfort building up. Before the withdrawal takes hold, he snorts another quarter pill. It doesn't make him blissful, just normal. Out of the negative, back to zero. Rather than being a temperature, absolute zero was instead a location, where Donny was stationed. His permanent address.