The author pedals slowly through the streets of North Portland, dim and quiet on a sleepy Tuesday morning.
The Doctor insists he’s Type II. The Doctor is an earnest young Asian guy. Seems to care and know his stuff. Yet, in the corner, an invisible, scowling Doctor Benway stabs his slim Aurturo Fuente at the author’s chest, dropping ash as he goes.
“You weren’t Type II six months ago. Who’s more high here?”
The author stares into his wallet. Somehow there’s more French Euros and Vietnamese Dong than US dollars. In simple truth, The Author qualifies for food stamps. Doctor Benway works for the favors he knows he’ll get down the line. And the connections. The Kaiser doctor works on the Oregon Health Plan.
The Author pedals The Locomotive slowly down Mississippi. He’s trailing a bottle of Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale in his right hand, the good stuff, from days gone past. The Consul had leaned in close, and spoke in that metered and slow cadence of his, “perhaps we should go for a few … drinks…” The Consul always needs some company.
The Author had woken at 4am. The job that was scheduled for yesterday has been rescheduled for someday, somehow. The Author scratches his chin. He’d count his cigarettes if he had them.