Fired Up

They settled on $5000, Johnson taken out of the room still complaining.  Sometimes Josh got more, sometimes less, for a week or so’s half-assed work at a company that would rather pay him off than fight publicly.  A couple of companies waited him out, just letting him drone on like the rest of the company, until he had to quit and move on to a more promising situation.  Once, only once, a guy who ran his own company threw him out.  Josh went into the job in a wheelchair, thinking the handicapped scam would work here because the owner was handicapped and would be sympathetic.  But it ended a few days later with Josh flying across the shop floor in his wheelchair, rolling the thing as fast as he could go, looking back at the owner in his own wheelchair, coming after him, red-faced, waving one of the axe handles the company made.  Josh was lucky to get out alive, but he stayed in character, made it out the door and onto the street before he ditched the wheelchair.

So now Josh walked out the door of the environmental company with the check, threw the sacred blanket in the trash by the big Fred Meyer’s, and headed back to the Western World.

Mayor was behind the bar, three in the afternoon still morning in the bar, too early to have a hired bartender, not to mention that Mayor was way too cheap to pay somebody to just sit behind his own bar and watch sports reruns, which was all Mayor ever did anyway. He looked up at Josh like he was another channel on the old RCA.

“Thought I might not see you this time.  Make a score, keep going someplace better.  Become a citizen,” said Mayor.

Josh looked at him, sorry again to bring the disappointment to Mayor’s eyes, Mayor and the skinny girl who danced here his only real links to the world, but that was it, too: this was the only world he could really stand anymore.

“Hey, you know you’d miss me.”  But Mayor just stared, not joining in the joke, not willing to keep it light and make it easier on Josh.

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