He’s been that way since Thursday.
I squatted down to get a better look at his face. He seemed younger than his chart indicated, perhaps not even a teenager. It was hard to tell with all the blood.
We found him this way.
They had said “self-inflicted.” This was hard to believe. The damage was far more extensive than anything I had seen in my thirty years here. I suppose it was possible, but it didn’t make sense.
Don’t let the straitjacket lull you–he is quite dangerous.
My pity got the best of me. That’s all I can say.
“You remember when they tore down the Shamu building?”
“Oh yeah. That one on Pender with the whales on it. I forgot all about that.”
“Remember when we broke in that time? We hauled that fucking television up all those stairs and dropped it down the elevator shaft. Man, I will never forget how loud that fucker was when it hit! Pow!”
“You okay, buddy? You sound sad. I can go if you want.”
“No, stay. Please. It’s good that you came to visit me.”
“You need anything?”
“A new spine, maybe. To walk again would be nice.”
Third shift always makes me think about murdering my manager. His name is Kenneth, but Corporate made him have KENNY on his name tag. They think it’s friendlier. Horseshit. Bad enough I get to be bossed around by a pimply puke younger than my grandson. Having to call him “Kenny” is insult to injury.
Third shift means switching from late menu to breakfast, so there’s a lot of downtime between bars closing and the working stiffs starting their days. The pair of moths that landed on the drive through last night are still there.
I miss my Gretchen so much.
“I wish I was a dog, Mel.”
Rae was always saying shit like that. This time I wasn’t in the mood. I didn’t say nothing, just kept walking. We had a long way to go before it got light.
“Dog wouldn’t be lost like this. Dog would know where it was.”
That did it.
“I suppose you never heard of a lost dog, then?”
It was just the sound of her crunching footsteps for a long time. She had stopped complaining about her boots, at least.
“They ain’t ever lost except when they want to be. Like us, I expect.”