Somewhere between ten and two, I decided that a bowl of sliced cucumbers did not, in fact, make for a good dessert. Even with Himalayan salt, and even after a fistful of double gins on the rocks, the crunchy greens left me wanting, waiting for more.
Today was rough. A rough finish to a stressful few days. Sunday burned by as we tore through Milledgeville and Sparta on our way to Macon. The ugly arid palms of the Carolinas rolled away to the inviting turf of Georgia, but the hours oozed by – an uncomfortably slow drain. Night saw us sweltering from the rental to the hotel lobby, 89 degrees of moist discomfort. I passed out quickly after a few words home on a busted cell phone – lousy VOIP with a shitty mobile. Anyways, it’s always good to hear the voices of home.
Monday was a waste. We pissed away the morning pretending not to be terrorists as we scoped out the base. We picked a few pairs of garbage-made steel toes from Wally World, then headed over to ‘Bucks to review some slides and partake of overpriced hippy swill. I was not nervous. This wasn’t my bag. I was there for the money, and they had already handed that over. I was here just to manage expectations. Dr. Gray was bandaging Physics, not promising solutions. They already had their solutions. I told them how it would work. I’d spill the details that might sweeten the pot, a little.
We slid through security on a smile and a few coverups of anger. We weren’t there to hear the civilians gossip about local fast food. I didn’t want to know about Landia’s baby, nor about Dix’s skipping out without a text. Give me the fucking badge, and let me on my way.’
We had been told parking would be a bitch. “Good Luck and God Bless” was how they put it. But, at 11 am, we rolled into an unmarked spot a few yards from the building. We were too early. Thirty minutes too early. We waited in the air conditioned car for half an hour. That damned Georgia sun was cooking the air to a boil. I could smell the humidity through the car windows.
Fuck it. It was time. It was close enough to time. We bolted from the car armed to the teeth with a laptop, a rotting quad-ruled notebook, and two minds full of unrivaled cunning. Nothing could stand in our way now. We weren’t looking to take prisoners – we were negotiating our victory.
The building was horrid Air Force brick. Landscaping was dry – all stemmy bushes atop hard back, baked sand. Toss in a few vines that grew too high on the building facade, and bingo – Robins Air Force base. We sat on a pair of mildewed benches. I didn’t have on a tie, and so I didn’t mind the sweating. Well, not as much as with a tie anyways.
11:45. We call. No answer. Leave a message. Wait. No answer. Fuck it. It’s hot. Let’s go in.
We go in. It’s all cube-farms and blue uniforms. Toss in a few clean-cut civvies now and again. No one seems to notice us. No one wants to answer us. Dr. Gray is insulted. At this point, their words have become moot. I have changed my tune, and am not at all interested in appeasement. This venture has now become a tax on my time – I will be looking for someone to punish.
All in all, things went well. I learned something. Someone called me Dr. Gray, and asked a loaded question. I missed the bait, swallowed the hook, and buried the questioner in science and logic. Marley bailed me out. He tossed the poor bastard a bone, nodded to me that an explanation would come later, and shut the fucker down. That was all finished.
The drive back was too long. Too many words, too much lecturing. I don’t really care now, because I can smell the mischief of my girls even from 8 hours out. I’ve got an itch that only five special women can scratch, and the miles are creeping by. 500. 450. 420. Damn!
We’re about to crash for the night when Marley drops the bomb. It’s over. Our little empire is coming down around me now, and I’ve got Atlas’s burden impending in the morning. Damn! That’s a sharp blow on a Monday evening. It is Monday, right? Damn!
We hint at drinks. God knows I need a gin. I can’t do it. Not tonight. Not after that carpet yanking. I think back to an airline bottle of Beefeater. I should have packed that in my bag. Who can afford ten bucks for a rail hit of gin? Why would you? Where’s a snifter of Hendricks when you need it?
I call home. It’s good. Everything is good. I’m jut too far away, and pillars keep tumbling around me. I need to get back to the world, but this jackass has set my mind afire. Dr. Gray’s ego swells, even as the burdens pile up. How many hours are in a week? Is that a law, or am I allowed to bend it?
Tuesday night. I eat my chicken. Raw. Burned. It’s fine. Four ounces of gin, and my veins are aching for some sugar. We got nothing, and I mean nothing.
So, its a bowl of sliced cucumbers. Cucumbers with pink Himalayan salt. But, it’s only cucumbers. And, everyone knows, cucumbers don’t make for a very good dessert.
I have moved. Find me at dtdeedge.com