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Crook Takes Pawn Part 16

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Greg awoke in the motel bed. His eyes looked at the ceiling, which had blotches of dark water-stained areas. It wasn't the most fancy, but it had four walls and a roof, and that was enough for Greg. As he planned, Greg had indulged in room service. However, when his steak and grilled cheese had arrived, it was hardly the gourmet treat he had envisioned. Greg ate about half of his meal before pushing it aside on the bedside table.
    He had also partaken in a few hits from his joint, before dozing off. Now the rising sun was casting beams of sunshine into his cheap room. The light glinted off the ashtray, where he had perched his extinguished joint. He must not forget it when he left, or there would be big trouble. Or perhaps by a stroke of luck, the maid who cleaned the room might be a pot head and "dispose" of any evidence. Greg tossed the covers aside and went to the bathroom. As he urinated a long steady stream, Greg studied the tub. It was a combination shower, and looked even older than Greg himself. Rust coated the drain, like cancerous sores. Greg could see old-fashioned supports like crows feet on the bottom of the tub, holding it up. Greg striped his clothes and stepped into the shower. The pipes rattled in an unpleasant manner before spewing forth the tepid, lukewarm water. Greg had to twist the peeling H handle all the way open, and still it was not hot enough to his liking. Greg decided at that point he would not stay another night in a motel.
    After a brief rinsing, Greg gets dressed and leaves the room. After checking out, he swung by his pawn shop again, driving the van he had procured from a buddy. Once the many locks on his door are released, Greg heads into the back room. He can hear the shower running, as well as the clunky washer in the back room. Greg pauses at the foot of the stairs, and shouts out Donny's name. The drone of water cuts off.
"Yeah" Donny responds.
"I'm getting ready to head out" Greg says, "I'll be downstairs when you're ready."
"Ok" Donny responds, and the shower resumes. The washer buzzes its depleted sound, and Greg switches Donny's clothes to the dryer. As the dryer hums to life, Greg goes into his back office. While Donny finishes bathing, Greg checks the drawers of his desk, making sure no money or possessions were taken. Greg feels slightly guilty doing so, but knows its better safe than sorry when it comes to your livelihood.
Donny emerges from the stairwell, rubbing a towel across his wet hair.
the pants Greg had given him resembled a pair of clown slacks on a skinny performer. Donny holds the waistband up to keep the jeans from falling down to his ankles.
Greg laughs softly and tosses Donny a stubbed hole punch.
"Try to make a new notch in the belt" Greg says, marveling at the difference in diameter between the two mens waists. Donny does just that, making the belt sinch tighter to a more comfortable degree.
"Ready to earn some dough?" Greg asks, rubbing his hands together eagerly.

    It took about half an hour to load the junk TVs into the van. Donny worked diligently, never slacking or taking breaks. Greg loaded a few, but Donny did most of the grunt work. Even with his bruised and puffy face, Donny carried himself with a happy attitude. As Donny slammed the sliding door on the van shut, he turned toward Greg with a smile.
"Let's hit the road," donny says eagerly.
    Greg stopped at a convenience store to gas up the minivan. As the numbers ticked on the gas pump, Greg once again exclaimed to himself about the expensiveness of gas. The gas tank was larger than he had anticipated. He had agreed to his buddy Randy that he would return the van with a full tank, in exchange for using it. This agreement was proving more costly than initial figures indicated.
Fuck it, Greg thinks to himself, slamming the gas nozzle back when he was finished. He was trying to better himself, his friends and his community. Petty amounts should not preoccupy him anymore. He was gaining stride, and would soon be ahead of things. Confidence was returning, bit by bit, and day by day.
    Donny waited inside the van as Greg paid for the fuel. Greg bought some additional items on top of the gas. Donny's expectations were surpassed when Greg offered him the slice of breakfast pizza and soda. Donny perked up at the sight of this sustenance. Once again, a piddly $1.50 soda and $2 pizza was enough to revitalize a human spirit. Donny hadn't eaten since yesterday afternoon, which was a lunch courtesy of the county jail.
    Donny wolfed down the pizza in a span of a minute and a half. The soda was cold and good, washing down his meal with carbonated goodness. Then they were on the road again. Greg produced a joint, his last one from the previous bag he purchased. Greg even gave the honor of greening it to Donny. This was heaven, Donny thought as he sparked the joint into life.
"Wake and bake" Donny said, streaming smoke from his mouth in a ring of puffed smoke, 'there's nothing better."
"Amen, dude" Greg says, plucking the reefer from Donny's outstretched hand. Greg flipped on the radio. A contemporary rock classic was on, one that Greg knew. OR Sublime's "What I got" comes on. Greg cranks it, and both men sing along to a song all to familiar with them.

Life is short, so love the one you got
Cuz you might get runover, or you might get shot
I never have no static, I just get it off my chest
Never have to battle with a bullet proof vest.

Greg was getting into it. He was stoned, had money in his pocket, and a friend to hang with, an individual he was also helping. At the line "might get shot", Greg pulls down his collar and points to the thick scar from his surgical procedure. Donny nods respectfully, understanding the eerie similarities between the song and what Greg had been through. The van rumbled down the road, hitting the occasional bump that rattled the stack of dead electronics. The sound of a good song wafted from the van as it traveled, along with the faint aroma of marijuana.
artman4444 Uploaded 01/09/2012
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