Even without the splint, the flimsy donut box would have been a difficult item for me to carry. With the splint, I had to use it as a resting place and hold the box in place with my good hand. Yes it sounds painful because it was. Still it would be short lived as I parked right outside the door to the courthouse basement. That basement was used by the Sheriff’s office.
The way over weight receptionist took the donuts and made a big fuss over me. “Sylvia what in the world happened to your hand,” she asked.
“I got stung by a bee,” I said.
“You mean to tell me a bee did that,” she said pointing to my hand.
“Yep, it was a big bee,” I said. “Is the man in?”
“Let me ring him,” she said.
It took Chief Deputy Eddie Simpson about a minute to show up in the small waiting area. When he did, he took one look at me and shook his head. “What in the world brings you in. I hope it is just to visit,” he said.
“It is. Don’t worry I’m not here to try to enforce the old contract,” I said.
“Good, I wouldn’t want to fight you on it. I hear your law enforcement certificate has been pulled permanently.” he said.
“I heard that too,” I said with a smile.
“What does that mean?” he asked.
“They got their experts, next year I’ll get mine.” I said.
“I see. So you are moving back here to do your rehab?” he asked.
“This is the only place where I have any friends at all. So yeah, I’m moving back. You gonna have a problem with it?” I asked.
“Not at all, you behave yourself and we will be glad to have you,” he said.
“I don’t plan to behave myself, but I will try not to let it go too far,” I said with a cheap grin. “So I got places to go and people to snow.” With that I was out the door. I didn’t even see a deputy at the station other than Simpson.
I headed to the apartment to settle up with the Blue Haired Lady, as I thought of my landlady. I could never remember her name. I was terrible with names. Before going to the apartment I stopped by the bank’s atm machine. It was a small bank but it had the only atm in the small town. Every store in the plaza was hooked to the atm system, but none of the ones in Country Seat were.
I checked my wallet and found two hundred bucks and change. So I drew five hundred more just in case the Blue Haired Lady only took cash. I honestly could not remember how much I would need.
After stopping at her house and knocking at the door. I waited a few seconds for her to make it to the door with her walker. “So Sylvia, I called my son. You do remember my son” she asked.
“Of course I do,” I replied. I had no idea if ever heard his name, but I knew she had a son. He had been a big part of how I got the apartment the first time. I hoped he hadn’t sabotaged the deal this time.
“He said to give you the same deal as before, so that’s what the rent will be. Four hundred a month and you pay for any changes you want to make. I will pay for no repairs, at that price,” She said.
“Well I guess I need to make friends with a plumber and electrician,” I said.
“Couldn’t hurt,” she said with what had to be a wicked smile.
After she assured me she hadn’t changed the locks, I refused the key she offered. For some reason I had carried the apartment key through both incarnations. I think it had to do with being my touch stone to normalcy.
It was late in the afternoon so I knew I was through for the day, except to call for gas, power, and water. All three were still working, I just needed to have them changed to my name. Turns out I didn’t have to do any more than have them start billing me again.
It wasn’t too awfully late when I swung by Mary Ellen’s shop. “Well as I live and breath,” she said upon seeing me.
“Hello there Mary Ellen,” I replied. I noted that there was a new young woman helping in the shop. “New apprentice?”
“Yes the last one moved on to bigger and better things in Atlanta. Ain’t that just the way. You teach them how to get along in the world, and they go out on their own.”
“Every mother’s cross to bear,” I said.
“So after slipping out of town in the middle of the night without saying goodbye to anyone are you back now?” Mary Ellen asked.
“I’m back for sure, but not up for our old gig, just yet,” I said holding up my bandaged hand.
“If I remember correctly you don’t mind a little rough sex,” Mary Ellen said.
“You do remember correctly, but I’m not sure a broken hand is very sexy,” I said.
“With the boutique sex tapes business one never knows,” she said.
“Well anyway, I’m back, I’m here in a box van to get my furniture out of storage, but I need to get my car out of storage as well. If I go by the storage lot to make sure the Toyota runs. Would you be willing to drive it back to my apartment if it is just a slide and drive?” I asked.
“Of course, but be sure it is just slide in and drive away. I can’t spare a lot of time away from the shop.” She said.
“I need to leave now to be sure, so let me call you when I have it running and bailed out of storage,” I said.
She nodded so I left and drove to the storage yard. “I’m here for this car,” I said the to the attendant as I handed him the paperwork provided by Mission.
“Sure, let’s go see if it runs,” he said. He brought along one of those portable jumper things. We went into the fenced in storage area and found the car easily. I was shocked that the battery didn’t even need a jump start. It wasn’t on the first try that it fired, but it did go after a single failure. The battery wasn’t strong, but it did turn the small engine over eventually. He moved the car to his small parking area out front where it idled until Mary Ellen showed up to drive it to my apartment. I left the truck at the side of the street in front of the apartment. Mary Ellen worked the car into the driveway. I drove her back to her shop as soon as she parked the Toyota.
Since it was after six, I didn’t think I would have any luck getting someone to ride to Dobson and to load the truck for me. I had to go to dinner anyway, so I went to the doghouse restaurant. I ordinarily would not eat an evening meal there, so I had no idea who the clientèle would be. It turned out to be off duty firemen. They were drinking beer and eating hot dogs when I walked in. I knew who they were only because they all wore tee shirts identifying them as volunteer firemen.
There were other people, but the vol firemen recognized me. “Hey, you are Porter aren’t you,” an older man asked.
“Yep that is me,” I said.
“You guys remember she is the only who busted that end of the world nut for growing pot?“ he asked. They mostly just nodded. “I thought you quit the Sheriff’s department. What you doing back in town?”
“Well to be honest I took a job working under cover for a while. I got a little hurt, so I’m back here to heal up.”
“You got shot when lived here didn’t you?” one of the others asked.
“Shot at, I had the vest on.” I replied.
“I don’t suppose one of you big strong men would like to help out a damsel in distress?” I asked.
“Now that would depend,” the older one said.
“I know, you want to know what you have to do and the pay,” I said with a laugh. “I got some things in storage from when I lived here before. One man can load them in my truck. I just have this busted wing and I can’t do it myself.”
“Where are they stored?” a very young good looking fireman asked.
“Over in Dobson, the place is called liberty storage,” I said.
“I know it. We are about through here, so I can help you,” He said, “I have a wife waiting at home, so we will have to hurry.”
The older man said. “I think we all need to go, so you don’t have to fight for your honor.”
“Who said I would fight,” I replied with a laugh. “But you are all welcome. I will pay off in hot dogs and beer, since there are so many of you.”
“So let’s settle the bill and we will meet you over in Dobson,” the younger man said.
“Why don’t I settle your bill as payment, and I’ll need to follow one of you over.” I said. “Otherwise I’ll get lost. This truck has no gps.”
“It’s on the right side of 601, you can’t miss it.” the older man said. “Why don’t we all ride together in my car. Jerry can ride with you, to be sure you don’t get lost.”
So their bill was forty-five dollars and change, but I figured it was a bargain. “So Jerry, I know the fire thing is Voluntary what do you do for a living?” I asked.
I drive a delivery truck as a contractor. I’m kind of freelance,” he said.
“Like on that web show?” I asked.
“Exactly like that,” he said. “I’m gone a lot so I call the company Gypsy Transport.”
“Sounds like fun,” I said.
“If you ever want to see what it’s like, you can do a ride along.” he said.
“You know I would like that. Would your wife mind?” I asked.
“Not unless we tell her,” he said.
Men always amaze me. I’m not beautiful. Hell I’m not sure I would be considered attractive by most men I met in the mall. I mean my hair looks like shit. I have no boobs to amount to anything and my ass is a little large. I almost never wear makeup and they tell me my nose needs to be fixed. Not to mention my smile is crooked, so I try not to do it too often. Even with all the shit that is wrong with me, men are willing to risk their marriage to screw me. They have no idea whether it would be worth it or not. I tell you men are pigs.
“We just might have to do that sooner than late,” I said. I know I can be a pig as well. In my case I wouldn’t be risking anything. There isn’t even a risk of pregnancy, since I found out in high school that I have scaring in my fallopian tube. Since my father didn’t want me getting pregnant, I didn’t have it fixed then, and it just never seemed important enough since. If I ever get married, I probably will fix it.
Nothing had to be settled when we arrived at the locker, so we went about the ten minute task of loading the truck. The four men made short work of the storage boxes and table including my chairs. I had used the key Mission provided to remove the lock, so when all was said and done, I got a lock from the deal more or less free.
The guys make short work of the moving the furniture inside, then they were gone. Leaving me to arrange things and make the bed. I slept just fine in the apartment that night. It was still chilly outside, but the floor furnace worked well.