The Adventures Of T.J. Washington: The Long Good Day Pt. III Evening




III. Evening

7:21 P.M. Sam's Bar (Near the Dartboard)

"No, no. Not like that, like this- now watch," I said while slowly preforming a perfectly executed, near-perfect 'round the world in front of a gaggle of street urchins who'd been gathered around the dart board since before I got here. Judging from how drunk they were, I'd say they got here around opening, some nine hours or so ago.

They clapped and hooted like I was some kind of king. I knew I wasn't, but all the booze flowing through me made it easy to agree with their lies. Spurred on by their tiny, praise filled voices I ignored my first mind and wound up for another go, this time instead of pulling off another perfect near-perfect Yo-Yo trick, I smacked Mackenzie right in the face. Normally when you hit a kid in the face with something they cry, or at least scream a bit more than usual. That's generally not the case when it comes to street urchins. They're a breed apart and make little sense to the fully grown.

The Yo-Yo landed right between her eyes, which was good. Not as good as not hitting a homeless child with a toy, but better than hitting it on the nose or in the mouth, less chance for bleeding that way. There isn't a way for someone to bleed without adding a whole lot of unnecessary drama to the situation. Nobody likes it when the stuff that's supposed to stay on your insides pop out to say hello. It doesn't matter how old you are or how often you're exposed to what's inside of people, it never gets any easier to bleed or witness bleeding. Just how it is. I turned my attention back to the consequences of my actions and asked her if she was alright, all things considered.

Mackenzie looked at me like I had just smacked her in the face with a Yo-Yo, which I fully expected, and stomped her foot, which I had not anticipated. She shook like a dog that just stepped out of the rain, I could see the pain shoot out of her head, and then she went back to her drink like nothing happened. Tough kid, that Mackenzie. I'm pretty sure she'll get over this, but I wasn't about to go bumming smokes from her for a while. After I finished awkwardly and profusely apologizing, I excused myself and returned to my seat.

7:48 P.M. Sam's Bar (At my seat)

As I sat down on my assigned stool, I realized that not once during the Yo-Yo mishap did it occur to me that these kids maybe shouldn't be in the bar in the first place. That shouldn't have happened. I should have immediately registered the presence of street urchins in a bar. I also should have questioned it or made a hash judgement regarding it. Least I could have done is jump to a conclusion, but I didn't even do that, where were my standards going of late?

Jax put a beer in front of me and I asked him for one of my cigarettes back.

"Ya' really yanked a boner over there, huh?" he said while passing me smoke and a book of matches.

"No getting around it. The yo-yo i s a harsh mistress," I replied, "it's all in the wrist."

"It's all in the wrist, huh, is it? Yesterday you said it was all in the mind. As an impressionable youth I need consistency from my elders. Which is it?"

"Don't know what to tell you Jax, pretty much everything is in the wrist and/or the mind. I just pick one or the other depending on how I feel at the moment and go with that."

"I like how you keep things simple. Makes sense."

"Easier that way."

"What if it being all in the wrist is just all in the mind? That'd be really weird, huh?"

"You just blew my mind, Jax," I mumbled truthfully.

I was drunk. There was no getting around that fact. There's lots of different ways to get and be drunk, almost all involve drinking booze at some point. Not all of them, but most. I learned the hard way that it's best just to stick to drinking booze, as opposed to trying to bake it into pies.

The kind of drunk I was at the moment was pretty drunk. I could stand to get a bit drunker, but probably shouldn't. At least my hangover was gone, and that was something. I could also still stand and speak, I knew that wouldn't be the case much longer. What I couldn't do is hold it in any more. I steadied myself against the bar before making an attempt at standing just to make sure my sense of balance was still properly calibrated. It was, for the time being at least. I made my way to rest room without incident.

9:30 P.M. The Bathroom

Sam didn't believe in gendered bathrooms. He had two bathrooms labeled 1 and 2 and expected you to figure out what he meant by that. He was more concerned with what you were doing in there over how you were doing it. It wasn't a perfect system by any means, but it really didn't have to be. It worked fine. Most people figured it out pretty quick and without any issues. Once I was in the bathroom and double checked to make sure I was in front of a urinal, I leaned my head against the cool, shiny, metal pipe protruding from the top of it and sighed. Then I mumbled a half hearted admonishment at myself for what I was doing to myself. I almost wished I could stay there forever leaning against the cool pipe, but it's not easy to know what wishes will come true or when beforehand, so I didn't. The last thing I needed right now was to spend eternity leaning my head against a toilet. No matter how attractive the idea seemed at the moment, I knew their was a pretty good chance I wouldn't feel the same way about the prospect in the morning. I managed to finish what I came in here to do without embarrassing myself and found my way back to the my stool.

9:50 P.M. Back on my stool

My mind was working pretty well, all things considered. My mouth, on the other hand, had recently lost it's ability to form words out loud. I discovered this as I attempted to order a final beer against my better judgement. Jax understood where I was coming from and refilled my glass for the last time that evening.

10:50 Still on duty

The funny thing about having a last beer at the bar is that it's just a suggestion, not a binding contract. There's too many variables at work. A friend might come in as you're walking out, someone might buy the bar a round for some reason or another. Maybe that final beer accidentally sobers you up a bit too much, it can be difficult to generate escape velocity if you're not careful- and drinking to excess is not the mark of a careful person.

My one last beer turned into three out of sheer laziness. I didn't want to walk home just yet. That meant I had to deal with the mess I've been ignoring all day, not to mention the hangover I just mortgaged until tomorrow morning, so I stayed a little longer than anticipated. With each sip of the next three beers, I became more and more convinced I had made the right choice. The street urchins had all but left, some were passed out in the corner by the dartboard, one of them was snoring. Jax was looking to close up a little early, since I was the only paying customer left. Danny never showed up. His attendants hadn't finished installing his seat yet and he refused to sit on things other people have had or might sit on. Everybody's different, I'm not one to judge, especially in my current state.

I finished my forth last beer and stood up to leave. I tipped Jax and took a couple of smokes for the walk home, which went as well as it could have. I spent a little too much time staring at my shoes and when I looked up, I found myself about ten blocks out of my way.

When I eventually found my way back home I was greeted by the all to familiar sight of broken glass and a half smashed, open door. "Welp," I mumbled to myself, "might as well get this over with." I walked though the doorway and shut the door behind me best I could. I wasn't about to attempt to repair it in my current state. It, like everything else, would have to wait until the morning. I made my way to the kitchen and looked for the note next to a pile of shit that I expected to find, probably on my table.

Werewolves are a predictable bunch, their plans often lack any sort of grace or depth. Doesn't mean they aren't effective, they just keep it simple. Which makes it easy to guess what they're up too. I found the note, next to a steaming pile of crap on my kitchen table, just like I figured.

"Figues," I thought as I pinched my nose and picked up the note:

T.J.

You never got back to us so we trashed your place and kidnapped Sam. We'll be in touch.

P&D Wolfmin

P.S. We still have Frank Stein.

I crumpled it up and tossed it on the floor. I left the pile where it was and went to bed. Twenty minutes later, I got out of bed. I went downstairs and was surprised to find I had forgotten I left a pile of werewolf turds on the table. It took me a minute to put everything that happened tonight back together. I shook my head and went to the fridge. I drank all the orange juice and most of the vegetable juice before taking a handful of multi vitamins and going to the bathroom. When I was done I went back to bed. Tomorrow was going to be a doozey, I was going to need to be at my best.

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