After talking to Kate it was time to think about dinner. Since I only recently had to eat, I had nothing in the place with which to cook a meal, not that I especially wanted to do so. However it did seem like a good time to experiment. I mean I didn’t care what Harvey thought, and he wasn’t going to be around that long, so why not. Then again why bother.
“Did you know that the soda you have in your refrigerator has the highest sugar content of anything on the market?” he asked.
“I am aware of that, I have seen the commercial. I have a good metabolism,” I replied. “Come on we will go shopping . You can buy anything you like for dinner. I have to warn you though, I am a complex carbohydrate kind of broad, so you will be shopping for one.”
To make it easier we went to Wal-Mart’s grocery department. Harvey picked up lettuce, of some previously unheard of variety, and other vegetables all fresh. I got a pre-made roast beef sandwich from the Deli. My sandwich was slightly over five bucks. His veggies were almost twenty. Eating healthy was obviously more expensive than eating junk food.
I made a stop at the drive through window of the Krispy Kreme super store. I could remember when they added that drive through. I’m sure their business doubled the next day.. “Sticky and gooey has to be a major food group,” I suggested to Harvey. He just looked away. Screw him, I thought.
It took me as long to put the sandwich through an oven toasting process, one piece at a time, as it did Harvey to make his salad. “Sure you wouldn’t like some bacon on that thing?” I asked with a smile.
“You really are evil. That is one of the things I do miss about trying to be healthy. I love bacon,” he said.
“Everybody does, why do you think I asked. If we bombarded the Afgans with BLT sandwiches, instead of explosives, they would be on our side in a month.” I suggested.
“You might be right, but the UN would never allow it. Better kill them, than to risk insulting them.” Harvey agreed.
I didn’t laugh, but I did throw one of those really serious smile things at him. He was proving to be good company, even if he was quirky as hell. We ate dinner from the top of plastic coffee table, while sitting on the sofa at the foot of my bed. We were there because it has the best view in the place. It was Harvey’s idea since he saw that view until he fell asleep the night before. He was intrigued by it.
I always loved it as well. You never knew what you were going to see moment to moment. It wasn’t fast paced or anything, but a redneck truck might come by one minute all jacked up and the next vehicle might be a sports car with a blond chick with long flowing hair.
“That view is absolutely hypnotic,” he said as he munched on his yard waste.
Mine was a three napkin sandwich, once I added the mayonnaise and the sweet pickle relish. This sandwich should have power me for a week, it has so much crap on it, I thought.
Even I had to wait a while before I took on the donuts. I did it more for Harvey, than for me. I didn’t want to seem too over the top. I still had to play human for him. I might have gone even farther to prove my humanity, but he didn’t seem interested. He said it was the accident, but he might have just played for the other team. Hell I had no way of telling, and it made no real difference to me. I had pretended to be a teenage boy on occasion. Harvey definitely does not need to know that, I thought.
Harvey watched TV on his computer for a while and I plotted and schemed. It seemed to be all I ever did. Oh well I asked for this life or whatever it was. The option had been life in a hospital bed with changing the catheter and using a bedpan as the high points of my day. I had to remind myself of that now and then, just to keep moving forward.
I checked out my power status, then went down for that chocolate iced, custard filled, donut. The one I had delayed for appearance sake. That and a cup of the bitter coffee made for the perfect ending for a not so bad day.
“Good night Harvey,” I said as I went up to plug in the player. I chose to go into standby mode till morning. I didn’t shut down, because not all of the world was on shut down at the same time. Shit happened 24/7.
I didn’t need my built in alarm, because even before the sun was up Harvey was in the shower. He was running hot water presumably on his sore back. He did that for what seemed a very long time. I expected that the pills wore off over night. He most likely woke in pretty heavy pain.
I continued to pretend to be asleep for a while longer. Harvey needed to collect himself and to give the pills time to kick in. I waited until I saw the sunrise, almost an hour later, before I moved. When I did, I went into the bathroom where I did my morning routine. It included a shower almost as long. While the hot water raised the temperature of my outside cover, it was almost a sexual feeling. Yes I had masturbated a time or two in the scalding hot water, but not that morning.
“How do you feel about a bike ride to Helen’s for breakfast?” I asked after I was dressed in a yellow slightly heavier knit tee shirt and my usual jeans. Of course there was also the .38 hanging upside down under my left arm as well.
“Sure I can handle that, I might as well let you tempt me into a cream cheese and onion bagel,” he said.
“So you are going to tell your vegan friends that I twisted your arm?” I asked grinning at him.
“Of course, they all know that I am weak willed,” he said.
“My own little subbie, how lucky can I get?” I asked no one at all.
Since I let Harvey set the pace. the ride down to Helen’s place was about two minutes longer than usual. His bike was geared so that he could not help it coast down the main street. He went at an even slower than typical bike pace, where as I rode just a little faster than the average rider.
After breakfast and our much improved walk at the mall, we rode home. I called Walter the money man since he was at his desk. “Well Maxine what the hell can I do for you. Have you been out making money again. I did see that more of your little houses have sold recently. You should be about out of those now.”
“I know Walter, I will have to be looking at some other project. What I need right now is to meet up with that guy you said is a money genius. I have a little one time gig for him, at least for now. If this works out, I can put him on the payroll, at least part time,” I said.
“I think I can convince Alvin to drive up there for a few days. You have to promise me that he isn’t going to be doing anything overtly illegal. I don’t want him breaking his parole.”
“I am going with not overtly illegal. He is simply going to be analyzing some numbers. He need not know or be concerned with what they are. We have the subject’s consent to investigate his holdings. Does that satisfy your concerns? Jennifer is on board as well.” I said.
“That sounds fine, I will have him call you,” Walter said.
“I need to know something pretty quick Walter,” I said.
“I will impress the urgency on him, when I get to him,” Walter said.
“Thanks,” I replied. I heated another cup of the thick black coffee in the microwave. I was pretty sure I should put several tea spoons of sugar in it, but I liked the bitter taste so it wasn’t going to happen.
It was noon when Vlad called, “Jerrod and I are off to the country club. I had Jennifer make the calls to clear it.” I almost told him that I should have done that, but I quickly realized that Vlad was Jennifer’s friend as well, and he had run hundreds of very politically charged investigations. This one would be a walk in the park for him.
While he and Jerrod did their thing, Alvin called me. “Hello Maxine, Walter said you needed me to take a look at some numbers?” he asked.
“Yes I do, I can arrange a place for you to stay, since it likely will run past a time you wold feel comfortable driving home.” I said. “I need you immediately in other words.”
“I can be there by five,” he said.
“Good,” I said ringing off. Sylvia was due any minute and I was trying to scramble around to find a place to put Alvin. She would be much better at it, so I gave up and waited for her.
Once she arrived, I explained it to Sylvia. She made several calls then came back with, “I have him booked into the River Landing Guest Suites. It is bit of a drive, but they are the only fancy thing around. You do want him in a class place?”
“You know I do,” I said smiling. I should have thought of River Landing myself. It was all plastic and glass crap, but it did have all the bells and whistles.
I had arranged with Alvin to meet at the Cloak and Dagger at five. He was to call when he hit town and someone would meet him at the rear door to escort him down. My plan was for me and Peter to meet him, but that went all to hell when Jerrod called.
“We talked to Lydia’s, so called, friends. These people love to sling dirt at each other. We had to listen to trash on ten other women before they got to Lydia. Of course she never brought her friend to the club, but she had mentioned a special friend to more than one of the women. No one knew for sure, if they were lovers, but one of the old crows told me that women in their position didn’t have male friends, just lovers.”
“So we are going to assume this friend is more. Any idea how we find out who he is?” I asked.
“We need to see Peter’s data. She might have made a payment to a restaurant, when she was with him. I also need a photo of her before we dyed her hair,” he admitted.
“Yeah, I bet Peter can get you both. Come on home and I will arrange a meeting.” I realized they would be in town about the same time as Alvin, so I told them to come to the Downtown House.
“Sylvia go across and keep Alvin happy. Explain it all to him and give him the raw data from the judge’s financial transactions that we already have. I will get Peter to take the updates out to River Landing. I will try to meet him somewhere before he leaves town.” I said to her.
The phone rang again right in the middle of all the shit. Of course Harvey was lurking around as well, so I had to be careful what I said to everyone. It was a challenge. “Hello,” I said into the phone trying not to let my frustration show.
“You are having one of those days aren’t you,” Kate asked.
“You have no idea,” I admitted.
“Well, I have some news. I hope it will be good. The radio building owners are highly motivated to sell. Tax time approaches and they want to dump it before the taxes are due. So they are ready to make a deal. They know your reputation, so they expect it to be a low ball offer. They expect to hear back tonight.”
“That is out of the question. I can give them a figure tomorrow by five. I can not do any better. I have shit all over the place boiling over right now.”
“It will have to do. It isn’t like anyone else is ready to buy it, Call me when you are ready to go look,” Kate said.