Back in the Game
The hosptial released me with a second-hand coat over my shoulders and $5 bus fare.
Wouldn’t you know I’m not walking down the road in the rain 20 minutes before the brown sedan pulls up, and it’s Paulie behind the wheel.
I could have asked him how. I could have asked him why. But I’d learned better. I asked him to take me to a hotel downtown and to lend me $20.
“I can’t do that!” he shouted over the noise of the radio.
“Then I can’t pay for my room,” I told him.
“Eh,” he spit, then went silent and seemed to think.
Rolling to a stop in front of the Inston Hotel, he said “Be packed and ready to go at 10.”
“Ready to go? I’m gonna live here, at least a week or two.”
“And you can’t afford even one night, so how ya gonna do that?”
“I don’t know Paulie. Maybe there’ll be a way.”
“I can get you the one night. I’m gonna call in a bomb threat, so be ready like I said. At 10.” He drove off. Maybe I’d never see him again. It would be ok.
An obese elderly woman in a kimono stood behind the hotel desk.