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Lee needed a car. He knew exactly what to do.
I awoke to find him batting me lightly upside the head with the old, cruddy broom I kept in the closet, as he shined a flashlight directly into my eyes.
"Do you know how fast you were going, young man?"
I shook the haze from my mind, and growled back, incredulously,
"Zero miles per hour?"
Suddenly, Lee was grabbing the collar of my pajamas, pulling me out of bed and up to my feet, while shouting in my face,
"THAT'S THE PROBLEM!"
I managed to get dressed before Lee was able to get his digital camera and live up to his promise to take pictures of me, and post them online at www.chubbyjammyboys.com. It probably isn't even a real website, but why take that chance?
Lee kept smacking me with the broom as I proceeded through the house. He used the slightly painful smacks to guide me over to my keys, wallet and finally the door. I would have complained, but I had to respect the fact that my new, criminally insane roommate was carrying a loaded, semi-automatic pistol in his other hand. At least I assumed it was real. As far as I know, it could have been a knock-off toy. Did I really want to take that chance?
Lee happily hopped into the passenger side of my small dodge, and buckled up, leaving me little choice but to get in the driver's seat, and turn towards his smiling, heavily scarred face. With a small nod, he gestured his gun towards the ignition.
I fumbled with my keychain, and cursed under my breath when I realized I had left my cell phone behind (do pay phones require money when you’re calling nine-one-one?). After a moment of said fumbling, I realized that the key to the car wasn’t on the chain.
I was not shocked in the least when I glanced at Lee, and found him holding the key between his thumb and index finger. What I didn’t expect was to see him holding his digital camera, snapping a picture of me.
“That’ll look great for chubby-guys-looking-for-keys dot com.”
I later checked up on that. Sure enough, Lee bought the domain name and everything. My startled, confused expression was looking back at me through the computer screen. Only $9.99 per month, and I’d have unlimited access to the rest of the collection.
Lee tossed the ignition key down by my feet, and snapped away as I angrily fumbled for it.
“That’s right! You go ahead and mutter as you look for that key! Did it slip under the seat? Is it under one of the pedals? Did you check the mat? That’s right baby, reach right on over…”
I quickly found the key, started up the car, and pulled out onto the road, as Lee cheered me on,
“GO GO GO DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT!!!”
Despite Lee’s urgings, I soon slowed down, not wanting to be stopped by a cop with Lee in the car…or did I? Would any officer believe I had nothing to do with the lunatic beside me? Even if they did, would they believe me when they searched my apartment, and discovered what Lee put in my cupboard. Hell, even I didn’t believe me, and I’m me!
Without any instruction on where to go, Lee was fishing through my glove box,
“Do you have any condoms in here?”
I turned my vision away from the road for a moment. If I slowed down, I could probably jump out the door and roll.
As if reading my mind, Lee reached over my shoulder, and snapped my seatbelt on, as he fished a condom out of glove box. How the hell did he know I had one left in there? He didn’t answer, and just announced,
He pulled the emergency break with his right hand, and steered my car with his left until we were on the side of the road,
It seemed like a random street to me, with a few random buildings and little to no traffic. I watched as if in a trance, as Lee jogged out, stopping alongside a random middle aged woman, who strolled down the street in sweatpants and a t-shirt, as she carried a few shopping bags towards an apartment building. I didn’t get a very good look at her, but she seemed nice, and greeted Lee with a friendly smile. Lee gently moved up to her and gave the woman a small hug. Afterwards, if I’m not mistaken, he showed her a few folded up bills, palmed in his hand.
Lee then helped the nice, dark haired woman with her groceries, as they walked into the apartment building. She gave Lee a rather friendly and accommodating smile, as she disappeared inside. Before entering himself, Lee turned and called out to me,
“THIRTY MINUTES LATER!”
So yeah, about a half an hour later, Lee was…wait, why the hell didn’t I leave?! There was a pay phone right there! I could have…well, anyway, Lee strolled out, with a very happy and satisfied expression upon his face. I noted that the wad of folded up bills were no longer in his palm. When he hopped in the side door, I had to ask,
“If you just moved here, how the hell did you find out about her so fast?”
Hell, I lived a block away, and knew nothing about her. Lee exhaled, and shook his head,
“What? Never met her before in my life. Her name’s Sandy, by the way. Room 204. You should go sometime. It’ll help you relax.”
I could believe Lee once killed a bear with a pitchfork and skinned it with the longest blade in his swiss army knife (as he’s mentioned no less than a dozen times since I met him, yesterday), but I wasn’t about to believe he could tell on sight that Sandy was a prostitute.
“Come on, Lee, she looks like a single mom doing her daily shopping. How the hell did you know then?”
Lee leaned in, and whispered, conspiratorially,
“First of all, she IS a single mom doing her daily shopping. Second, all you need to do is use my secret, foolproof method. To start, you need to have a really big ugly scar.”
He began to fish out a pocket knife, but my assurances that I’d take care of that later seemed to satisfy him, and he continued,
“Then you walk up, and with a big smile on your face, give the woman a great big hug, and then whisper in her ear: ‘I would like to pay you a large amount of money to have sexual intercourse with me’.”
I gave him a long, steady stare. He continued speaking, seriously,
“The secret is, a police sting would never use someone who looked like her, as she appears nothing like a prostitute. In the same fashion, a police officer could not be the one who offered, or it’d be entrapment!”
Lee whipped out a small index card and then handed it to me. Upon it were the bullet-points of his method, for my easy reference later.
“We get to skip all the opening details, we go back to her place, have sex, I pay for it, and we both go back to our own business, happy.”
I scanned the index card and inquired,
“What if she wasn’t a prostitute?”
Lee began to speak…but then stopped. He started again, with an embarrassed expression upon his face, and then finally admitted, sheepishly,
“You know, I hadn’t really prepared for that possibility. Sorry bout that. Here, let me add a line to the card.”
An old Chevy Camero blasted by, but then screeched to a stop at a distant red light.
“DRIVE! FOLLOW HIM!”
Lee’s attention snapped to the car, and he eagerly eyed the muscle car over.
“Lee, I can’t…”
I stopped mid-sentence. An automatic pistol pressed against your cheek will usually do that. Lee spoke in a silly voice out of the corner of his mouth, while bobbing the pistol up and down,
“Hey there, Darrin! My name’s Mr. Gun! I really think you should start following that car, or else Lee is going to get upset…”
I was not about to start an argument with Mr. Gun. I put the car in drive and followed. The other driver was pushing his car a little fast, but he didn’t seem to know he was being followed.
Well, not until Lee popped a swirling blue police light on top of my roof. To my surprise (but not Lee’s), the other care accelerated instead of stopping, quickly turning down the wrong way of a one way street. Lee didn’t have time to call out an order, and instead once again directly pulled on the steering wheel, forcing my car to follow.
Going down the wrong way of a one way street is dangerous enough without there being construction in the way. The other driver was driving recklessly, almost running a few of the union workers over.
Lee then stuck his arm out the window, and fired a few shots up into the air, to make sure the workers got out of the way. I wanted to say something, somehow making Lee see the insanity of his actions, but when I glanced over to him, Mr. Gun was back pointing towards me, shaking his head back and forth. I was beginning to wish that Lee was as sensible as Mr. Gun.
I realized, a few seconds too late, that I’d spent far too long not looking at the road.
When the Camero reached an intersection, passing traffic forced him to stop, which was exactly the moment the bumper of my car slammed into the back left corner of his, bringing us both to a sudden halt. Luckily, the damage to both cars was merely cosmetic (the road work had slowed us down), and was barely enough to distract me from Lee, who had leaped out the side door, and pointed Mr. Gun at the driver of the Camero.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE CAR RIGHT NOW! YOU GET OUT OF THAT CAR RIGHT NOW OR I WILL SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD MOTHER…”
The driver, a young man in a sports jersey and red sneakers, climbed out with his hands up, and moved towards the ground.
“NO NO, YOU STAY STANDING UP! YOU DO NOT LIE DOWN! NOW LOOK AT YOUR CAR! THAT’S A REALLY NICE CAR! THERE’S SOME MINOR COSMETIC DAMAGE, YOU HORSE RAPING SON OF A BITCH, BUT I CAN OVERLOOK THAT! NOW YOU STAY RIGHT THERE, AND RECITE ALL MAJOR ENGINE PROBLEMS WITHIN THE LAST TWO YEARS, WHILE I CHECK THE SPEEDOMETER!”
The panicked twenty-ish young man stammered about a brake job the previous month, and yelped out about a minor fender bender the previous year, as Lee continued his shouting furiously,
“I WILL BLOW OFF YOUR KNEECAPS AS QUICKLY AS I CAN SPIT UNLESS YOU POP THE HOOD RIGHT FUCKING NOW!”
The boy nearly collapsed as he reached down to pop the hood. Lee pointed his gun at the engine, checking each of the major spots, and then screamed in the young man’s ear.
“YOU HAVE A VERY NICE VEHICLE YOUNG MAN, BUT THINGS ARE KIND OF TIGHT BACK HOME, SO I CAN ONLY OFFER YOU SIX THOUSAND FOR THIS FINE VEHICLE.”
The young man nearly choked in confusion, as Lee nodded his head and stroked his small beard, sympathetically,
“ALRIGHT, I SEE YOUR POINT, BUT I REALLY CAN’T GO OVER SIXTY SEVEN FIFTY, YOU SWEATY, PORCINE BITCH! KEEP YOUR HANDS UP, OR SO HELP ME GOD I WILL SHOOT YOU RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN!”
Lee motioned to the construction workers as he said the word ‘children’. Regardless, the young man kept his hands way up in the air.
“DO WE HAVE A DEAL, MOTHERFUCKER?!”
The young man enthusiastically nodded, his eyes filled with mortal dread, and Lee looked more pleased than I’ve ever seen him before. In a flash, Lee was receiving the young man’s keys, exchanging phone numbers with him (so they could change the title into Lee's name), allowed the young man to empty his stuff out of the car (well, not so much ‘allowed’ as pointed a gun at the young man’s head and started counting backwards from sixty), and then counted out six thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars in cash.
With the money handed over, Lee fired randomly around the young man’s feet, to get him running away, and then hopped in the driver’s seat. I hadn’t moved since the car stopped. I hadn’t dared to.
Lee revved the engine of the Camaro and then pulled it backwards, alongside mine. With a smug grin, Lee happily announced,
“Man, I made out like a bandit back there! Can you believe the guy was willing to part with this beauty for anything less than eight grand? I missed my calling, Darrin, I should have been a salesman.”
I said nothing. To be honest, I was on the verge of a complete breakdown, but somehow, for some reason I can’t explain, when Lee spoke rationally, everything seemed to somehow make sense, as if he was re-inventing the world in his own image, and what would seem insane merely ten minutes ago, was not perfectly fine.
To make the morning complete, Lee popped on a pair of sunglasses, and spoke thankfully,
“Listen, thanks for helping me find a car, but I’ve got some personal business to attend to. I got you a present though, in return for the ride. A very special gift.”
I prepared myself for death.
“I paid Sandy for both of us, and told her you’d be up within the hour. Go ahead, it’ll help.”
With a wink, Lee took off, ignoring traffic, and nearly sideswiping a mini-van.
I considered waiting for the police to arrive, but I’d had quite a morning, and didn’t want to spend the afternoon being interrogated.
I decided to go pay Sandy a visit instead.
Lee was the kind of guy who made things happen.
(Word Count: 2372)