I Need a BeerbyJAMESBJOHNSON©
The Plymouth Caravan careened up the oak canopied drive to the detox center, blue smoke puffing out its tailpipe, and abruptly stopped in front of the building. The driver, a woman in her late thirties, put the vehicle in PARK, set the handbrake, and hopped out.
She ran around the front of the van, through the headlight beams, to the passenger side, and slid the cargo door open. A girl, about thirteen years old, sat on the front passenger seat; a toddler sat in the back, buckled in a car-seat. On the floor lay a man mumbling nonsense in a pool of vomit.
The woman shouted to the teen, "Darleen, get out and help me." The teen unbuckled her shoulder harness, opened the door, and jumped out.
"Grab a leg!" The woman commanded. "On the count of three pull him out. Darleen! I said grab his leg; down by the shoe! Dammit!"
Darleen pushed her hair back from her face, leaned in, and grabbed an ankle. The woman took a drag from her cigarette and flicked it away.
"Okay! Here we go! 1-2-3 Pull!"
The body came out of the van and fell to the pavement. The man's head bounced off the van's step-rail on the way down. Darlene collapsed on her behind. The man groaned and mumbled something unintelligible. Darlene got up, looked down at the man, and got back inside the van. The woman dragged the man away from the vehicle onto the sidewalk, then scrambled back to the cab, slammed the door shut, and drove off.
Larry lay on the sidewalk for a long while, then came-to and arose, wobbling, as a wave of nausea washed over him. He swiped his hand across his brow and examined the blood on it.
"Damn! My head hurts," he winced.
He looked around. The parking lot was empty. He sat on a bench to smoke, and felt better after a few minutes.
He felt his pockets for a comb, found none, and rubbed his scalp with his hand. It was sore to the touch and felt injured.
He groped his shirt pocket for his pack of Camels, and pulled it out. He tapped the pack on his leg and pulled out a cigarette. He found his lighter in his pant's pocket, lit the cigarette, and exhaled a cloud of smoke.
He looked around."Place ain't very busy tonight,"he thought."I wonder what time it is?" He glanced at his watch. It had stopped. "Man! I need a beer!" He rifled his pockets for change, then looked around for someone to give him money. He got up and walked to the detox entry door, it was locked. "What the fuck! It's locked! This place ain't supposed to be closed!"
"I think I'll walk down to the corner and use the pay phone," he decided. "Maybe I can get some change from someone, to call Wanda to come get me, or at least bring me some money."
The street was empty and the store was closed.
"Man! This town is dead tonight. Even the phone's dead, but that's nuthin' new," he chuckled.
"At least I'm feeling better," he thought.
"Oh boy, I musta got pretty drunk today. Wanda was some kind of pissed that I spent my whole paycheck drinkin'! But dammit, you gotta expect that to happen when a man knocks off work early and goes off with his friends!"
He pulled another smoke from the pack of Camels and lit it, inhaling deeply. "Whatta knock-down, drag out fight we had, a real shit-storm, and that's all I remember. I musta blacked out. Wanda says I do that, but I don't know, she ain't always honest, so I have my doubts. But I always remember my hangovers!" He laughed and took a drag off the cigarette as he looked around. "I wonder where everybody is tonight? This place usually rocks on a Friday. Maybe it's too early.
"I musta bumped my head pretty hard and it's messing up my thinkin'. My head don't hurt like it did, and I don't feel drunk no more. Weird! Damn that Wanda, she musta dumped me off and left me for dead," he frowned. He chuckled again and lit another cigarette. He pulled a drag on his cigarette and exhaled.
"Shit! Looks like I gotta walk home. I hate it when she does this to me, drops me off here without a dime, and no way to call her; she's such a bitch! If they was fuckin' open they could call her, like they usually do, and get her to come get me," He thought.
He smiled, "Course, the last time I was here I did get a little strange pussy. I wonder if that gal still works here?"
Fifteen minutes passed. "Crap! Now I'm outta smokes! And I need a beer!"