Does anybody read this?
“Don’t you feel…exposed, sitting here in this restaurant with all these ears prying in on us?” Powerpoint had his faced scrunched up. He had taken to talking about a fictions girl friend that was driving him crazy, and how if he didn’t deal with her properly he would be right back to his old habits. He didn’t bother to say what his habits happen to be. Nor was he particularly good at coming up with things about his fake girl friend that bugged him. “She’s always like….’uuuuurrrrggg’ and I’m like ‘blaaaaahhhhhh’ you know what I mean?” The group would nod assuming everyone else in the room did know what he meant. While, in fact, even though most of the people at the table where in on the fact that his story was bullshit, they still had no idea whatsoever what he was talking about.
Claudia, the ‘mark’ in this ‘con’ sat at a table surrounded by people who wanted to take her money because they felt…it would be more fun than learning how to play paint ball. Or World of WarCraft. Or …. Fill in one of those things people do to fill their time. The funny thing to Claudia was that not a single one of these pieces of shit had even a remotely decent poker face. Their stories where implausible, and even when they where plausible, they told them in a manner that let you know, they where dripping with bullshit. But she sat and she listened and when she spoke, she just let her mind go and words came out. She felt like she must be saying something interesting based on the way they winced and squirmed in their chairs when she spoke.
Dylan’s head was trying to crunch the numbers on the situation. Did the shittiness of this women’s behavior cancel out his need to do the right thing with regards to his old friends? If trying to do the right thing makes you a prisoner, should you be fucking around with all this do goodering, or should you just keep your nose to the grind stone and try to keep crazy old ladies from putting the shock collar on you. And what is he going to do with this lady? She had buzzed him twice yesterday, once to tell him she thought he was a bad person. Once to make him look at the video of him peeing his pants. If something happened to her in her home, her video friend would know. But this was an old lady that smoked a lot. She could just die at any time. Maybe she’ll just croak and life will be good.
“I fucking nailed this!” Shouted Boss(.)es Mom. “You couldn’t dream up a more perfect place for us to pull off this little ‘job’ that we’re doing you phony piece of shit. If you had a thousand years and a million libraries full of books that specifically focused on finding locations to pull of a long con on a gullible, trusting recovery person, they would all say ‘never mind, shit head, your girl friend fucking nailed it. You lucky, lucky, undeserving piece of crap!” That is what Boss(.)es Mom shouted. In her head. On the outside she tried to keep her face calm and stuff the emotions down into her belly. What she said to Frank, meekly was “Well, I did the best I could.”
Boss(.)es mom was crest fallen. “Well, this is what we had available so we did the best we could with what there was.”
“No, I know that, I’m just saying it really presents new risks for us. But it’s great. You really, did a great job and I’m just so proud of you for helping. “
Almost worse than directly telling her she had screwed up was complimenting her in a dismissive “that was the best you could possibly do and I guess I’ll have to accept that” way.
Frank looked at his lady with new eyes. Initially he had been using her for leverage over Boss(.) Now he realized he could use her for a multitude of other things. She was holding the key to an old, dying mall in her hand and presenting it to him the way a cat offers a dead mouse to its owner. She was so proud, so happy, she was literally beaming with joy. “Are we sure a mall is a good place?” Frank asked. “Don’t you think a strip mall would be better, you don’t have a big open wall that anybody can listen in?”
That night Dylan lay in bed, trying to figure out how to get himself away from this women, while still managing to sabotage his criminal friends evil plans. Boss(.) lay in bed thinking that his evil plan was coming together. Boss(.)es Mom lay next to Frank going over events at the mall again and again. Powerpoint lay in bed dreaming of boobs. Murder was also thinking of boobs, but in a much more violent manner. Frank was thinking about the fact that Meme’s had suddenly started having green neon backgrounds and text instead of not having green neon backgrounds. He wondered who made that call. The awful women with the thin cigarettes kept giggling about the look on Dylan’s face when she said she had butt dialed him. Claudia’s mind swirled with all of these ideas.
“Oh, hi there kiddo,” The women looked confused. Then she reached into the back pocket of her slacks. “Ooops, I must have butt dialed you!” She cackled. Then she laughed. She laughed deeply. She laughed the kind of long guttural laugh that you only experience when something has a profound effect on you. Each guffaw reminded Dylan that, to this women, the funniest thing in the world was his misery.
Dylan was set loose with his shock collar attached to his arm. He could hide under his shirt so people wouldn’t ask about it. She had given him a demonstration so he would know what was happening when she wanted him. The shock felt, for lack of a better word, electrical. Painfully electrical. Dylan, now wearing his recently washed and dried clothing was trudging back to his house. His mind was struggling to put things in perspective. He needed to do something about his murderous, treacherous friends, but he suddenly had this horrible crazy lady trying to…whatever she was trying to do. Maybe there was a way…Mid way through his though a shot jolted Dylan’s body. His mind went black. He turned and walked the three blocks back. He stood on the step and knocked on the door as she had told him to.