| Choose Your Own Novella: Part 4 || march 20 2005, 04:47 pm |
| submitted by: normal mc |
“C’mon, man. We have time. Breakfast…”
“I already had a waffle.”
“I’m not allowed in there anymore.”
A little less than a year ago, right before Chip went to rehab, we had a little ‘situation’ at Dale’s. It’s a miracle I’m still allowed there, but I’ve since cut most of my hair off and lost the beard, so maybe they don’t recognize me. Anyway, after a particularly debauched night out on the town, Chip and I decided to hit the way-back machine and grab some greasy spoon slop like we used to back in the day (back in the day meaning before we got day jobs). It was empty save for the two of us and the waitress. We were a bit loud of course, Chip sent back his black and white milkshake saying it was ‘too thin’ and threw a mozzarella stick at me as I walked to the bathroom. Rather tame stuff, it had been tolerated before, but that night it was a problem.
The waitresses’ anger was a slow boil. When Chip chugged ketchup straight from the bottle and then slapped me in the face and called me a cocksucker (apparently I hadn’t done a very good job as ‘wingman’), she decided that was enough and told us it was time to leave. I threw some bills on the table and was ready to go. Chip got up with his plate in hand, still working on a ruben and started to follow me out.
“Where are you going with that plate?” she screamed.
“Home you fucking idiot?”
He kicked the door wide open on his way out, firmly smacking an old man right in the face, knocking him down the steps in the process. He tumbled twice and came to a rest at the bottom of the stoop. I skipped down to check on the poor bastard, he must’ve been in his late sixties.
“I’m alright, I’m alright.”
“You took quite a fall old man!” Chip was a master of the obvious.
“You should watch how you fling open those doors, son.”
“You’re not my dad, don’t call me son.”
The old man was sitting up now, he reached in his jacket pocket for a Vantage-brand cigarette. His lip was bleeding.
“Got a light?”
“Sure.” I flipped a Zippo and lit it. “You’re bleeding a bit, guy.”
He pulled his cigarette away and looked at the trace of blood on the filter. He shrugged as if he didn’t care. I don’t think he did. Chip was still up the top of the stairs, eating his ruben.
“You gonna apologize, son?”
“Real sincere, Chip. Let’s try again, the motherfucker is bleeding.” I motioned him down the steps. As he was coming down the stairs, still chomping on that damn sandwich.
“I’m really sorry, man. I’m a little drunk, I can’t be…”
“Held responsible for your, yeah, I know.”
The old man was taking this much better than I would have. Chip extended his hand out to pull the guy up just as the cops pulled in.
It was Smitty though… we knew Smitty, we had graduated with Smitty, we liked Smitty… more importantly, Smitty liked us. He kept the lights going as he walked over.
“Chip. You stole that ladies plate.” He pointed up to the diner entrance and we saw the waitress with a cordless phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
“That’s not all, then he beat the shit out of me.” The old man started laughing.
“What’s the story, why is he bleeding Chip?” Smitty started tapping the top of his nightstick still holstered on his belt.
“Oh yeah, listen: I made a scene in there…”
“He did,” I interrupted.
“And that rotten cunt kicked us out…”
“The waitress.” I clarified. Smitty nodded.
“But I wasn’t done with my ruben, so I fuckin’ took it with me.”
“And the plate. You took the plate too. We can’t have that. Go give the lady her plate back.”
“What, I was just gonna chomp on the sandwich and maybe get the crumbs and shit all over me? No way, that’s what plates are for, Smitty! Fuck that! I’m not done, she can have the plate when I’m done, Smitty!”
This was getting uncomfortable. The old man had started up the steps and stayed up top by the waitress as Chip rambled on. I noticed that I had created some distance from Smitty and Chip, now a good ten feet from their conversation. From where I was to Chip and Smitty to the waitress and the old man, it was an uncomfortable triangle of shame. Smitty then grabbed the sandwich and threw it in the street.
“You’re done now, Chip. Go give her the fucking plate.”
“That’s fucking littering Smitty! Punishable by law with a…” Chip should’ve shut up. I grabbed the plate from Chip.
“Give it back to Chip,” Smitty commanded, “he has to go give it back to the waitress.”
“Smitty I got it.”
He grabbed the plate from my hand forcefully and pushed it into Chip’s chest, telling him to give it back unless he wanted some real problems. I didn’t want any more problems, so I pleaded with Chip.
“C’mon you dipshit, just do it.” I could tell he was about to blow.
“Here’s your fucking plate!” He grabbed it from Smitty’s hand still holding it to his chest and tossed it discuss-style into the street… where it hit a passing car right in the drivers side window.
So he was arrested, I had to bail him out later. The car he hit with the plate belonged to the town first selectman, that wasn’t good. That’s the story of why Chip went to rehab. Trust me, it’ll all tie in soon.
“Look, I know you had a waffle, alright? I got two words for you. Breakfast. Burrito.”
“I already ate. Want drive through? Fine.” Damn he was pissing me off with his single-mindedness. I hung a left into Mooby’s and we hit the drive-up.
“Mooby’s, may I interest you in a breakfast…”
“Burrito! Yeah!” chip was screaming in my ear. I slapped him in the back of the head. “Ow, motherfuck!”
“I’m sorry?” the voice cackled.
“Two breakfast burritos and two coffees.”
“What’s your name?” Where was Chip going with this one?
Chip punched me on the shoulder.
“Just drive up,” he told me sotto voce.
comment no. 1
Please don't make us wait as long next time for part 5. It just keeps getting better!