“Hey doofus, whatcha doin’, starin’ off into space?”
“Hey Kent. I was just waitin’ for ya.”
Kent punched him on the arm and mussed his hair.
“Ow. Why you gotta do that Kent? You know I don’t like it.”
“You don’t like a lot of things doofus. So what? Hey, whatcha got in the bag?”
“Oh, just some laundry and stuff. So whatcha been doin’ today?”
Kent picked his nose and flung the nugget onto the curb. He spit after it for good measure then ran his fingers through his greasy hair.
“Important stuff, that’s what. Nothin’ you’d know about.”
Kent reached down and dragged Manny to his feet. C’mon, let’s see what’s what.”
They shuffled along the avenue, a couple of ne’er-do-wells in a sea of the same, such was the neighbourhood they called home on the down side of town. No one gave them so much as a second look.
Manny was deep in thought.
“Hey Kent, there’s sumthin’ I been meanin’ to talk to you about…”
“Yeah? Well put it on ice Manny, I ain’t in talkin’ mode right now.”
Manny’s mouth set in a grim line, but he kept it shut and trudged on.
“So look Manny, we need to get some dough. This bein’ broke all the time ain’t cuttin’ it.”
Manny got a queasy feeling.
“This is what I think. You know those hard-asses down on Biltmore St.? They’ve moved into dealin’ weed, leastways that’s what I heard. I’m thinkin’ maybe we could buddy up with them and be runners or sumthin’, what do ya think?
“Oh, I dunno Kent, those guys don’t really know us. Why would they wanna do anything for us?”
“See, that’s your problem doofus, you’re all negative all the time. You gotta be, um, enterprisin’, that’s what. You ain’t gonna get anywhere thinkin’ small.”
Manny kept his head down and stumbled along. Oh, he was enterprising all right. Kent didn’t know everything there was to know. He would soon though.
“What, you got nothin’ to say?”
“Well, I do, but you told me you didn’t want to talk Kent. Geez, I was just…”
“Never mind doofus, there they are, sitting outside that sandwich place. Let’s go get somethin’ to eat and sit near them. I’ll see if I can talk to them.”
They sat down at the next table with a couple of beers while Kent tried to think how to approach them.
“Listen Kent, we gotta talk. I need you to stop pickin’ on me all the time. I got ideas, see? I got me a plan. I been workin’ on…”
Kent slammed his beer down.
“Look Manny, you don’t like the way I treat you then you can just fuck off, got that?”
Manny’s face reddened and he stared hard at Kent.
“You should treat me better Kent.”
Kent laughed in his face and took another swig. Manny looked over at the hard-asses and made a decision.
Part 2 Tomorrow