Fired Up

“He’s a cork in a bottle,” said Mayor.  “And you’re a professional heartbreak.  Don’t waste it on this one.”

And Josh remembered, less clear: the skinny girl, sometime in the middle, holding his head, saying, “Oh Josh baby, oh Josh baby.  You could do it for me, Josh baby.”  He couldn’t remember if the words came during one of the times she had shown him a kindness, or just one of the times when he was too drunk to get to his room without help.  But she said it, he was sure, and now he wondered what to do with it.

#

The tall robber came to his window now and he scooped up his cash, dye pack, too, and dumped it in the bag.  The robbers finished, told them all to lie down on the floor, facing away from the door.  Then they were gone and the bank was silent until the police crashed in, heroes here to save the day now that the day had walked away.  Now they were all milling around while the detectives asked all the wrong questions.  They were each given numbers, like they were in a deli or something, waiting to be served but they were waiting their turn to be brought into the conference room to have their formal interview.  His number was nine; they were on seven.  He looked at the clock and knew it was running against him.  Once they pulled his record, checked him out, it was over for him.  He went to a detective, guy standing around drinking free bank coffee and texting on a cell phone, tried to tell him about the silent robber, the one who knew what he was doing.  Josh had recognized the walk, knew it had to be the assistant manager.  Let the cops nail him and get out of here before they pulled his record and talked to him.  But no, the detective waved him back, take your turn, sir, follow procedure, sir, we’re not really interested in solving the crime, sir, just doing our jobs, sir.

He saw the manager leaning on one of the desks in the middle of it all, impassive, could have been watching guys mow his lawn for all the interest he showed.  Josh went over to him.

“Mr. Bono, sir?” he said.  The manager looked up, squinted a minute, then it came to him.

“Joe Chan?” he said.





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