I lay down with my plug sticking in the wall for the first hour, then I switched to free electrons for the rest of the night. By doing that I had free fun of the Downtown House. I walked around looking out the window and trying to think how I could give the kids at the community college even more help. Over the years I had hired them whenever I could. I just didn’t have anything for the to do at the moment.
I really had the resources to find something for them to do, but not everyone would be eligible for help. Even a few on a payroll would be of some use. I could find the most deserving somehow I was sure. Things like that always look better in the middle of the night.
All night long I tried to think of something, but nothing came to me. The flash messages from the farm started before 9AM. the next morning. The first one told me to stand bye and not start any projects that morning. I did as I was instructed. I knew there was the meeting to discuss whether I needed an upgrade to do my job. An upgrade simply to make me more content was out of the question. So the only thing that would push them into it would be, if they saw the need for me to fuck my way to the top. Okay that’s pretty crude, but it is also pretty damned accurate.
There was no reason for me to do my waiting at home, so in spite of the company’s desire to have me sitting home with my finger up my ass, I went for a ride on my bike. I rode over to Helen’s Sit Down for breakfast. I finished my coffee and the short conversation with a couple of cops that Maxine knew.Then I rode over to the mall.
I was walking the mall alone, when the message came in. Maxine the committee has decided to do the upgrade. They will need about a week to design and build your attachment. the message said.
Attachment hell they were building me a pussy. Even I had to admit that the thought was hilarious. I wondered if they needed to get a cadaver to study in order to do it right this time. Even that was hilarious to me for some reason. I could just see them sitting around trying to sketch the shape.
Remember guys, it has to feel right as well as look right, I thought.
Not really, it just has to fool anyone on the outside. They are not planning on you forming any long term relationships. the little voice inside said. You need to come up on Friday afternoon, so don’t make any plans. The retrofit won’t take long, you should be home Saturday at the latest.
I can do that, I messaged back to them. It left me with five nights to work on the community college kids. I wanted whatever I did to be self sustaining so that I didn’t have to dream up something else next year.
“Hey girl, you want to have lunch on campus,” Bill asked over the smarter than smart phone.
“That’s not really my style. I avoid organized meals whenever possible. I’d rather just eat all day long,” I said. Or not at all, I thought.
“Oh come on, I want to show you off to the kids in one of my classes,” he said.
“Oh the truth comes out. Want to show off the freaky old lady with the gun, huh?” I asked
“Something like that. What’s the use having a girlfriend who can whip all your friends asses, if nobody knows?” he asked.
“I certainly hope you don’t have plans for that,” I said. “I don’t usually put on exhibitions without being paid… a lot.”
“Okay, I’ll just tell them. It won’t have the same punch, but it should work to give me a little status.” he replied.
“How about I meet you at the student center for coffee instead. You can invite a few of your friends, if you insist.” I suggested.
Then I’ll meet you in the parking lot of the student center. What time?” he asked.
“I h ave the day off, what is good for you?” I asked as an answer.
“1PM is lunch. I can have a hot dog, and you can have the coffee unless you want a dog too?” he asked.
“I’m gonna pass on the dog,” I replied. but I wouldn’t mind forming an opinion on the coffee there. I like to keep a list of places with their coffee quality in my head.”
“Good, then meet me in the parking lot of the student center at 1PM.” Bill suggested.
“Fair enough,” I replied.
As was my habit, even when I was Maxine, I was five minutes early. I stood in the sunshine and waited for Bill. It was a nice day even though it wouldn’t have mattered a lot even if it weren’t.
“Well hello there Maxine,” Bill said as he walked up. I was shocked yet again by how young he was. I almost ran away screaming, but I forced myself to stand still and the urge to flee passed.
“Hello Bill, how are you today?” I asked.
“I’m just fine how are you?” he asked.
“I’m good, “ I replied. When he didn’t say anything else I added. “I am really looking forward to seeing the student center. I have been told that it is beautiful,” I replied.
“It’s really just okay, I honestly know you like different places, and I don’t know a lot about Aster.” he admitted.
“You mean I like places that are different.” I waited until I was seated at one of the tables with a coffee cup in front of me. “So tell me what are you planning to do about the bike race?”
“I have been thinking that we need a prize. Something to bring the people out to race,” he said.
“Okay Bill, I can see that how big a prize do we need,” I asked.
“I think five hundred dollars would make me come out to race,” he suggested.
“Okay 25miles for $500, sounds like a plan to me. I’ll put the money up, if I can’t find anyone else to do it,” I said.
“I can get the students here to help get the word out. Just keep the materials coming and we will push them onto the local merchants anywhere they can be seen. I would really like for a student here to win it. Hell, I would like to win it.” he informed me.
“It’s a reasonable amount of money for sure. Well work it out and let me know I’ll finance it and you guys take over the organization but the town has to be deeply involved.” I informed him.
“I know it’s a town project not just a college project.” he agreed.
“I would like to get something going to make this a regular event. Maybe not every week but more than once a year for sure. We would probably have to work out something else though. I doubt the city would go along with closing down the town very often.”
“Let’s get this one done, then see if you really want to do another one.” he said.
“Bill, I never said this would be a non profit event. So let’s see if we can make it profitable,” I suggested. I had absolutely no problem, even if it lost money, but it would be nice to give my helpers a chance to earn some money.
“I’ll give it some thought,” Bill suggested.
“Good, now I have had coffee with you and all the pretty young girls have seen you with a sugar mommy, so it’s time for me to get on back home.”
“You know that is not how I see you?” he commented.
“If you don’t, you are a fool,” I suggested. “Take every advantage you can get in this world Son.”
“Please don’t call me son,” he said.
‘Fair enough, but do listen to me.”
Bill walked me back to my car after his hot dog. “So how about dinner tonight?” he asked.
“I think I should stay home and try to get some things done,” I suggested.
“Okay, but tomorrow for sure,” he demanded.
“We will talk about tomorrow, tomorrow.” I informed him.
I was about halfway back to the downtown when I got pulled over by a policeman. I hadn’t really been paying any attention, so I would not have been surprised, if I had been in violation of some traffic law.
“Good afternoon officer, did I do something wrong?” I asked.
“No Ma’am, I have a stop and inform for your car. One of the detectives wants me to hold you until she can get here,” he said.
“Oh which one is it?” I asked.
“I’m not sure I should say,” he replied.
“Then am I under arrest?” I asked.
“No Ma’am,” he replied.
“Tell me who it is or I’m leaving,” I demanded.
“Detective Lawrence,” he informed me.
“Lawrence the one who used to work with Frank Amos?” I asked.
“Yeah her,” the officer said.
“I thought she had moved to Florida?” I asked.
“Mississippi,” he informed me. “She came back and got her old job back.”
“Okay, I’ll wait for her,” I said. I rolled the window in the car up, since it was cold as a bitch out there. The wind had suddenly picked up. I watched as the plain Ford pulled around me. It pulled in front of me, then backup up until our bumpers were almost touching.
Sandy Lawrence was about fifty pounds overweight but carried it well. At least some of that weight was her bulky body from lifting weights. She was not cut she was just big. She wasn’t just big, she was also muscular. All in all she would be a formidable opponent in a fight. Whether you were a man or woman, she would be a handful.
“Well hello there Maxine,” she said.
“Didn’t know you were back Sandy,” I said.
“We don’t exactly travel in the same circles these days,” she replied.
“We never did, sweetie.” I said.
“No, I guess we didn’t at that.” she said.
“So what can I do for you?” I asked.
“Maybe I can do something for you. You little friend Lois, the one you sent to rehab?” Sandy said leaving it hanging.
“Okay, what about her?” I asked.
“Somebody snatched her up this morning,” Sandy said watching me closely.
“What in the hell would anyone want with a junky trying to get well?” I asked.
“Maybe she wasn’t quite as finished with the life as you thought,” Sandy said with that smug cop attitude.
I had seen it before on cops and even on her. “Well she wouldn’t be the first one who fooled me,” I said. “So are you looking for her or did you just want to let me know she was gone.”
“A little of both. They did a hard grab of her from the preacher’s rehab,” Sandy said.
“Anybody get hurt?” I asked.
“Yeah one of the old nurses got her nose busted up. Preacher is fit to be tied. I expect that he is going to be coming to see you. I wanted to give you a heads up,” she said.
“And what is it you want me to do?” I asked.
“I want you to leave it to me. No matter what else happens, I want you to leave it to me,” she said.
“Why of course,” I said.
“You don’t mean that do you?” she said.
“Probably not,” I agreed.