I woke up the next morning and felt a lot better about everything. A new week was starting and I was ready for it. The first thing I did after my ride and shower was call Jeremy. “Jeremy I’m going to have to bring that stuff to you in the back of the cruiser, so what do you want first?”
“God Sylvia, we haven’t even had breakfast yet. Wait a couple of hours and bring in the computers. I need to decide what I’m going to do to them,” he said.
“Jeremy, I need to decide what I want to do about your retail space today. I know you have the place to store this stuff, so since you are going to be selling it, I feel like we should move it all to your second floor at least.”
“That’s fine, you can bring a load every time you come to town,” he said.
“That’s what I thought. So the first load will be computers.” I said. I went out and loaded the cruiser. I got almost all of the crate inside the back and front seat. I had three that wouldn’t fit, so I decided to keep those. I knew that I could load the Linux program on them and get up to the net easily. I could use the small program on line and be almost guaranteed not to be hacked. I could keep my current computer for work related junk.
“So any idea what your plan is?” I asked Jeremy.
“My plan is to put them on ebay first with the Linux system. Just to see how they go. Want to read my description of the computer,” he asked.
“No thanks, you know much more about this shit than I do,” I said.
“Well thanks for the compliments. Allen and I want to buy two for ourselves. With that little Linux system they would be great for banging around the Net. If they got lost, we would have nothing to lead back to us. Allen says they are kind of like a burn phone. He says we need to market them that way. I’m going to try it, and see what happens.”
“Sounds good to me. That is all of the ones I want to sell in on load.” I said. “So what do you want next the book readers?”
“Sure why not. I have to experiment with them to see what you have,” he said.
“You mean what we have,” I said smiling. Why not it cost me nothing to stroke his ego. I had breakfast and never ate lunch any more, so I went by the county board of elections to get the form for entering the race for Sheriff. I had given it some though and I had come to the conclusion that rumor didn’t count. I had never been convicted of anything so fuckem.
I dropped off the computers then went to the courthouse. “Hello there, I would like a form to enter the primary for Sheriff,” I told the small white haired lady behind the counter at the board of elections office.
“Well are you registered to vote?” she asked.
“No I’m not,” I replied.
“Well first you have to register to vote. You have been a resident for over a year haven’t you?” she asked.
“Yes ma’am I have,” I replied.
“Do you own property in Warren County?” she asked. “You don’t have to, but it’s the easiest way to prove residency.”
“Yes I do,” I said. Then I gave her my address. Under the new 911 system I had a real street address.
“Well then you are all ready to join the race. All I need now is $500 for the filing fee,” she said.
“That sounds fair,” I said paying her in cash with gray money. It had a certain poetic justice to it.
I left the board of elections office and drove home. I had a pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator. I was trying to cut by on the diet coke. I drank way too many of those. That said I had a formula for making iced tea that was easy and pretty darn good. I didn’t cook it either.
So I poured a glass of iced tea and took my burn computer to the Internet. I used the throw away to see if Mary Ellen’s site was still up. It seemed that if you didn’t pay your rent the provider suspended your site. Which meant my porn from Mary Ellen was off the net. Now I was stuck wondering how many people locally knew about me, and Lamar’s porno. Those were the most likely things to haunt me during a run for Sheriff.
I was also chatting in an adult room at the same time. I was really enjoying the back and forth when my phone rang. I saw that it was Kara and I knew it was time to put and end to her, but I decided just to see what she wanted first.
“Well hello there Kara,” I said.
“You have already forgotten your lessons?” she asked.
“Sweetie don’t confuse sexual playacting for real life,” I warned her.
“Then I guess we need to quit, because I wasn’t playacting,” she said.
“Then I guess we do. I do want to wish you a lot of luck with your career.” I said. Blow her out was a hard thing to do, but in an election, shit like that would kill my chances. No matter how much I enjoyed her, and I did enjoy her, I had to look at the bigger picture.
I went back to the chatroom and enjoyed being someone else for another half hour. It wasn’t the same as sex with Kara, but it was something.
I realized that it was time for dinner, so I just disappeared from the chatroom like everyone else did. when they were through. My idea of through had more to do with food, than with sexual gratification.
I drove to the steak house in the plaza. It was one of those that you walked down the line and placed your order at the grill, then a girl brought it to you. I really didn’t much care for the service setup, but it was close and the food was pretty okay. I picked up a salad and turned down the potato and bread options. I had the sirloin steak and salad with a glass of iced tea that was a bit better than mine. Of course their’s was probably made with real tea.
Eating alone didn’t bother me all that much. I had done it more than I cared to admit. I did hate a noisy bunch of kids out on the town though. Of course I had three guys sitting across from me. It was all I could do not to get up and hurt one or more of them. I finished my dinner and paid my bill. To my surprise they were behind me in line.
I was in the parking lot, when they came out of the restaurant. They cornered me between my cruiser and a monster truck. One of them grabbed me and I grabbed the Derringer. “Now young man, if your friends and you keep fucking with me, they are going to be taking you to the hospital, because I’m going to but a nasty hold in your kidney. You will probably live, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.” I smiled as I held the derringer against his belly. He looked down to make sure it was really a weapon, then the three of them left.
“Hey guys, what happened, you decided you didn’t want to party after all?” I asked. “Wimp,” I added to no one.
I had to go home with my skin on fire from the fight or flight rush. I almost went to the university to find Kara, but I fought off the urge. Instead I drove home, I should have gone to the pub, but I chose not to share my feelings at the moment. I really regretted not shooting that guy. He and his friends hadn’t learning anything at all. They had just been moved on to someone a little less prepared. Damn, I thought, I hated being civilized sometimes.
I went back to the box house and though about the unopened crates in the storage building. I took a flashlight and walked up to it. I opened the crate that I had moved unopened into the building. I had assumed it was some kind of textiles. I was right, there were some very nice 4‘ x 6‘ rugs in the crate. Since they didn’t have an nonskid backing they were comparatively light from their size. I took three of them for the box house. I had a non skid rug in front of the shower, but all the other floors were painted steel. The little rugs would be a nice addition. Maybe I could finally walk around the house in my bare feet. There were about fifty or so of them left in the carton. I had to wonder why anyone would ship such and obviously inexpensive item in a crate all the way across the ocean. Then I realized some of the cargo might have come from South America. Surely a small package boat would be constantly picking up and delivering cargo. So someone might have been planning to sell the fifty rugs for a good mark up. I would have to discuss them with Jeremy.
There were two more Crates that I had been able to move alone. So I pried the top of another and found it to be mostly bubble wrap and a bunch of USB drives. They must have been headed for the same address as the computers and tablets. They would work nicely to load shit on the laptop. More stuff for Jeremy to sell, I decided. Then I came to the last light weight case. Only it wasn’t. It was one so heavy I couldn’t even move it. I had assumed it was one I had moved in alone, but I realized it was one the guys from Swamp dog and I had moved in together. It had just never been opened. When they found whatever they were looking for, the the Swamp Dog guys had just stopped. That made the prying of the top much harder since it had been nailed on at the factory.
I managed to pry it open and found a bunch of metal shit in the crate. They looked like art work that might go on a wall. Deeper in the box under more layers of bubble wrap were sculpture that might sit on a corner table or something. I had no idea what to do with them except to melt them down for the metal. I decided to give them to Jeremy to try to dump on the market, somewhere.
It was late and I had worked myself into a state were sleep sounded good to me. If not sleep at least laying my head down. I slept like I had been awake for days. Sitting in some frozen landscape waiting to shoot someone. I say that because it was what I dreamed that night. I dreamed that because the house was cold. Sometime in the middle of the night the new furnace died.
When I woke at 5AM, I began cursing. First I cursed the thousand dollar furnace, then I cussed the company that sold it to me, because the office didn’t open till eight and it was 6AM. Finally I put on about all the clothes I had, and started the cruiser. I drove it down to the fast food restaurant and ordered coffee from the endless cup and a biscuit with lots of shit on it. I Sat down and I ate the biscuit and began calling around. I found a service man who had just come to work.
I explained about the furnace for five minutes. He thought a minute and then asked, “You use propane right?”
“Yes,” I said with a sick feeling in my stomach.
“Did you check the valve on the tank?” he asked.
“No, but I will when I get home. I’ll give you a call if it has gas in it.” I sat there ready to kick myself. I hadn’t had the tank filled in months. Even though it was almost spring it was still cold in the mornings, but during the day it wasn’t, so I hadn’t thought of it. What a dumb bitch I was.