“Come on Sylvia this is bullshit. You are going to be sorry tomorrow,” Wilson said.
“Wilson, I am not angry, I’m pissed. There is a difference and I don’t want to discuss it. You should know what this is about. What I am going to tell you is that you are going to be old enough to retire. You should be able to get your state pension soon. I am going to make sure you come out of this at least as well off as you would have been, if you were still with Warren County.
Make a list of what you think I owe you and bring it tomorrow. I will have the Trust and Rita go over it to make sure it is all I need to pay you, then we will make a settlement when you bring the backup shit from your daughter’s place intact.”
“So what are you going to do?” he asked.
“I’m going to shut all this down,” I said. “Salvage what I can and dump the rest.”
The truth was I had no idea what I was going to do, but I knew I was out of the black ops and investigator games. It had just gotten to be a bore. God knows I didn’t need the money.
If the truth be known all that computer shit was just too damn complicated for me. Sure it would have been nice to know all that shit that Wilson could do. Then again it really hadn’t helped all that much. A rubber hose would work just as well and much faster than GPS surveillance markers and all that other shit.
Tomorrow it will all be over and I will be closing another chapter in my life, I thought. Then I had one of those wild swings of thought that only a mentally ill person has. I’m a fucking millionaire and I just had a cold greasy hamburger for dinner. I looked at the almost warm can of diet coke and I almost lost it.
I poured a healthy shot of the green dragon into the almost warm can of coke and then I had a healthy drink. Well maybe it was an unhealthy drink, but either way it seemed to make me feel a little better.
By 10 PM I was past driving out to get laid, so I curled up with my Internet connection. It wasn’t much fun, but it was better than climbing the walls. I am getting way too much of my human interactions on line, I thought. I also thought that I should try to get more involved in real life things. Well not just anything, I needed to spend more time with real people and less time with my vibrator. I had to laugh, since I didn’t really need a vibrator for masturbation. I was quite adept at it long before I ever owned a vibrator. Of course I was pretty damn good at it before I was good at any other form of sex. I fell asleep before I could work that one out.
When I awoke at 7 AM I dressed and then pedaled to the airstrip. I wore a thermal deer hunters blaze orange coverall suit. I always wore two pairs of socks inside the thermal boots. The number one piece of equipment, ranked by order of its value to me during a ride was the ski mask. All the exercise warmed the rest of me a bit, but the mask kept my face from frostbite. It wasn’t really much danger of frostbite but it sure felt like it.
Since I had drained the carburetors on both the lawnmower and on the Canary, it took a little doing to make them both turn over but they did eventually. I used the mower to tow the plane into position.
Since I hadn’t flown her in two months, I was a little concerned. Add to that the fact that I had never flown anything in the cold air, so it was understandable that I was apprehensive. I warmed the engine up longer than it needed, I suspected. Still I didn’t think I could be too careful.
The plane took a little longer to get into the air, but that was okay. I mean, I had never used anywhere near all the runway and I really didn’t that day either. Again I felt like I had something in common with the early fliers. Especially the airmail pilots between the two great wars. They almost always flew in cold weather in the winter. They also flew unheated planes. Theirs probably were a lot colder than mine. Their planes were open cockpit planes for the most part. Mine at least had a cover even though it leaked cold air like a sieve.
Even with the cold I stayed up an hour. When I landed the plane, I didn’t even consider winterizing it again. I knew I would be flying again. The air might be cold but it wasn’t often icy on the coast. It was cold riding the tricycle home even if it wasn’t one of the motorized versions. I had three motorized trikes, one electric with the hub motor on the front wheel, and one with a flip down electric friction motor. I also had the old gas motor from five years before. It was hard to believe how much had happened, since those days I spent as a game warden.
I had been trying not to think about the Wilson thing, but it was in the back of my mind since I popped off at him the night before. I had thought about it several times and from several different directions and it came up the same every time. Wilson had made his choice. He had decided his cock should do the thinking. He was probably right, but it wasn’t going to work in his dealings with me.
By the time I got home I had reinforced my decision. I didn’t hate Wilson, but he felt Mel’s well being was more important than out partnership. I couldn’t have that. It might come down someday to him being with Mel, when it was a matter of life and death for me. I had to be able to count on him and I no longer felt that I could.
I took a shower then dressed for the day. It was in one of my grunge outfits, so there was nothing special. I did wear the .22 mag shoulder rig. I didn’t usually do that. It wasn’t because I feared Wilson. It was simply that Martin had warned me about Evans. He might not have known it, but he had. If Martin felt he had to warn Evan what would happen, if I died, he had felt that there was a threat to me. I did not take being threatened lightly. I even checked my rifles and shotgun.
As usual they were dusty and dry, so I cleaned and oiled them. Then they went back in their fiberglass boxes. Wilson was right on time, since there was no conflict with Mel.
“Sylvia I wish you wouldn’t do this,” he said. “I really have enjoyed our association.”
“Yes, it has been good but it is time you moved on Wilson. So what have you decided I owe you?” I asked.
“If you have Rita draw a release giving me the dam site you bought, and the mining equipment, I bought with your money, that should cover it,” he said.
“Wilson I know you think I don’t pay attention to the small shit, but I know what you are asking for is twice what we agreed upon when we started this business. It is also possible you could take million from the silt around that abandoned dam, but you know it’s okay I’m glad to sign it all over to you. I just wish you had acknowledged that it was more than I owed you,” I said.
“I didn’t figure it was to be, honest. I put in a lot of time working for you,” he said in his own defense,
“If that is how you see it, nothing is going to change that. So I guess I wish you well. I’ll have Rita send you something to sign and return then we are through,” I said.
“Well no hard feelings,” he said.
“I can’t say that, but maybe some day I will feel differently. Take care Wilson,” I said.
“You aren’t going to let this effect your relationship with Mel are you?” he asked.
“Of course it is, but frankly I knew what Mel was before you ever met her. So I can’t say her trying to change the rules was a shock. You allowing it was a bit of a shock. Let’s just part ways now Wilson. I don’t want this to get ugly.” Having the meeting at the office wasn’t the best idea, but Wilson wasn’t going to be a problem. It just came down to hard feeling all around.
After Wilson left I shut the office down. I turned off the water and drained the lines. From the mountains I had learned the benefits of having below ground turnoffs installed in the lines. So drying the office wasn’t hard at all. I turned off the furnace and the fuel supply to it as well. I had no plans to run a conventional office again. I was out of the business, I thought.
I planned to do nothing but fly the plane, even in the cold, and ride around town on my trike for the rest of the winter. It was a less than ambitious plan. It was aided by the fact that the Brit moved his pub to New Wales. He and Jeremy were in town before the end of the week. I was surprised how quickly they integrated into the community.
It took The Brit two days to get open after he and Jeremy occupied the upstairs apartment. Everything was pretty much the same as it had been in County Seat. ‘If something works you just tweak it not redesign it,’ was The Brit’s comments. He understood that I was trying to bring some of the business from Jefferson Island back to the mainland. Also he had to have some regulars from the residents as well. What he really needed to do was to make the town part of the atmosphere of the pub. So the tourist understood that they were dessert not the main course.
Of course I had no control over the eventual success or failure of the businesses. I helped Jeremy set up the gift shop. Jeremy was a natural with the customers and in dealing with suppliers. He, however, had zero artistic talent. The best thing was he realized it and believed there was art in buy and selling. I suppose there was truth in that as well.
We filled the shop with my recently created aluminum artwork, and of course the ‘Old Man Enterprises wooden pieces. They had added a beautiful wooden hassock to the line. I really did like it especially since I had nothing to do with it. It showed me the old men could survive quite well without me. The mail order business was great but they hated it. So they jumped at the chance to put a line of toys and furniture in the gift shop.
I didn’t mention it to either but I planned to suggest that if things were slow Jeremy take over the mail order part of the ‘Old Man Enterprises’ as well. Then too Jeremy had local artist stop by to put artwork on consignment.
Since The Brit didn’t want to run a kitchen in the pub, Mel’s being two doors down made it convenient. He had a take out menu on the table so the customers could use their cell phones to order and Mel would deliver. Best of all The Brit knew her and knew how slippery she was. It took a month but the little artist village was running pretty well by the time the cold broke.
Edited by Walt