Return to Mojoland III
Harold, taller than Buddy, tentative, just that fraction of a move that asks if it OK to move in close, Buddy bows his head an’ holds Harold’s wrists. “I can’t Harold. I can’t and it’s not fair on you, but I just can’t.” He raises his face, and the first time Harold’s ever seen him cry, tears runnin’ like a river down his face. “It ain’t that I can’t do the thing, Harold, not my body, nothing wrong with it. It’s just a wall, Harold, and I don’t know how to jump it. You know, I never thought I’d say this to a man, but you’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I’ll spend my days doing everything else in the world I can to make you happy, but I can’t do that and I’m so, so sorry. Mrs Buchenwald taught little Jimmy hard and good to obey the Bible, and I don’t know how to jump that wall.”
An’ he drops his head an’ lets go Harold’s wrists, his own arms down by his side. Harold, gentle, gentle, gentle, puts his arms around Buddy’s neck an’ shoulders, pulls him to him, Buddy’s head against his chest an’ shoulder, “Poor James, poor James, poor James”, kisses Buddy on the temple, lets him go, “Poor Harold too. Come on, give me your hand.” He leads him across to the couch, and they sit there, lookin’ out of the window across the flatlands leadin’ down to the Mudindanoze, Buddy still slow an’ gentle weepin’, Harold with his left arm through Buddy’s right arm, holdin’ Buddy’s right hand with his own right.
They sat like that for over an hour, Harold silent, waitin’ for the tears to stop, waitin’ for Buddy to speak his mind. Buddy turns to Harold, still holds his hand, an’ quietly talks, “I know about mental conditioning, it’s a thing we got in training when I was first selected for the job I did, and they reckon the deepest conditioning you can ever have is what you get as a kid.” A shake of the head and a wry smile, a bitter voice, “They sure as hell got that one right. Mom and Pop would go out to work, they’d leave me with Mrs Irene Buchenwald, four years old and being indoctrinated every day by a woman who could have gotten honest work in a Nazi camp. Four years old and I can still remember my arm being twisted up my back for not repeating what she said word perfect.” A crabbed, scratchy, cruel old lady voice now, “No use complaining to your Mom and Pop about this, they sent you here, if you tell them, they’ll send you away and you’ll never be seen again.” Silence, then on again, “Ask me to, Harold, and I will recite Leviticus word for word, I can do it backwards, blindfold and in my sleep. I want to be your man, but all I can hear is that crow and her endless repetition of instructions I didn’t understand. How could I? I was a frightened, innocent little kid. I asked what things meant and she said there would be time enough until the Lord revealed them to me. And now I know, I know about Middle Eastern holy men and their head up the ass fears about anyone different, and they haven’t changed in the thousands of years since Leviticus. Because of some long dead flea bitten bigot and the Hattiesburg Harpy, I’m conditioned to hold you at arm’s length and punish myself for wanting to be close to you. You know, don’t you, if you were a woman, I’d have dragged you down the aisle a month after I moved in and you wouldn’t know what the house outside the bedroom looked like yet? But we’re sat here on the couch with a love I never imagined, I’m living like a priest or a monk and now I’m dragging you into it too. God help me Harold, I love you and it’s all turning out all wrong, and I don’t know what I’m, we’re, going to do now.”
“We sit here like this a while longer is what we’re going to do now. You never even held my hand before, so I’ll be happy with that. Mrs Buchenwald never said you couldn’t hold hands, did she?” Buddy grins, “No, nothing against holding hands.” He grows serious, thoughtful, “ We can’t do it outside the house, mind, folks might leave us alone if we keep our heads down, but that’s only going to be so long as we don’t wave it in their faces.” Harold smiles, laughing at some private joke. Buddy leans back a little, “What are you laughing at?” “Nothing.” An’ it’s plainly not nothin’ cus his face is strugglin’ to keep under control. “Come on now Harold, this is no time to be keeping secrets, tell James or James is going to take you across his knee.” “No, no, it’s nothing, really.” An’ Buddy starts to tickle him, “Come on, out with it, resistance is futile, this here’s James Elvington Wheldrake jr, and he will not be denied.” “OK, OK, stop, I’ll tell you. But you have to promise not to get mad at me.” “Well go on, tell James.” “No, you didn’t promise.” “Well, all right, I promise.” “Scouts honor?” “Absolutely.” “You just said we’ve got to keep our heads down and not wave it in folks’ faces.” A frown, “What’s so funny about that?” “James, I have been waiting for months to get my head down and have it waved in my face. And now I’m waiting to be taken across your knee too!” Buddy goes bright red and starts tickling Harold again, then the phone rings and Harold breaks free, prances (cain’t think of no better word for it) over to it.
“Oh, hi Mrs Wheldrake.” “Oh yes, but he’s not really hurt at all.” “It scared me too, Mrs Wheldrake, we all thought he was dead.” “No, no bones broken or such. He landed safely,” turns to pull a face at Buddy, “on his head.” “Oh, that was kind of Chester, but you don’t really need to come out at all.” He blushes, “Well, I haven’t really done that, but I suppose most folks round here see us together so much.” “Of course I will, I’ll bring him over so you can see he’s all right.” “Well that’s for him to decide. I know he’s spent his own money on it, I know he’s spent months making it, but I’d rather see it melted down before I see him get on it again.” “Me too, I never know what some men see in them.” “I suppose I should be glad he doesn’t drink or gamble or beat me up or anything like that.” “That might make his life simpler, that’s true.” “I will, you take care too, we’ll be over after you’ve been to church tomorrow.” “We have not sinned, ma’am, but I still don’t want to face Reverend Janus, you know how he goes on about things, I don’t want to provoke him and cause a scene. And I don’t want anyone taking it further outside of the church either, so I” (smiles and does that little girlie finger wave at Buddy) “am keeping my head down.” “Bye now, see you tomorrow.”
“What was all that about?” “That was your Mom.” “Lordy, you do surprise me.” “Chester told her about your accident, so she rang to see how you were. I told her she didn’t need to come out and she said that was true, I’d already done that. She wants to know what you want doing with that” (distastefully) “thing in Chester’s pickup. She says she thinks it’s horrible too, but you men love them and you need a hobby. I said you didn’t do bad things and she said ‘like chase other women?’ And she says it’s about time we went to church again. And she says I’ve got to take care of you, you’re a good boy at heart.”
“Harold, do people talk about us like that, you know, like that? And my Mom knows too?” Harold looks at him, he can’t believe what he’s just heard. “James Elvington Wheldrake, for a clever man you sure are dumb sometimes. Your mother has known how things were between us before you did. I suppose when we go into Blinckanmissett for stuff we sound like a couple too. People don’t give us any trouble because they know you can give it back, and they respect you anyway for seeing off Sandburg and the way you organised the repairs for the McLennans and the Gowers after that big storm wrecked their places. That’s a pretty neat trick, James, getting your local black activist and the local Klansman on board.” “I didn’t do it for any sort of politics, and you know it, there were people in trouble and I stepped in the same as the Newtons and the Ridleys, they didn’t look at a badge of color either, they helped because help was needed.” “Yes, but they didn’t get two families nigh on at war with each other helping nail each other’s roof back on, nor do all the quick fixes that you did or organise the labor or materials. Folks will forgive heroes stuff ordinary guys would be hanged for. All that goodwill you built up is keeping us safe, James, just so long as we stay quiet here.” “But I ain’t a hero, Harold, I just do things that have to be done. Heroism is going into work every day to support a family, burying your soul to bring in a wage so you can pay doctor bills, put food in the freezer, kids through college. All I did was arrange a little stuff.” Harold just looks playful at him, “So I’m not living with a hero, am I? I suppose I’ll have to go out, find one then.”
“Do folks think we’re, er, well?” says a pink Buddy. “I’m sure they do, James.” “Can’t we do something to put them right?”, horrified. “You know, this is so unusual, I’m seeing you so confused and unsure. No, I don’t think any amount of denial is going to change the way people think, even if some of them believe you, there will always be the ones that go ‘oh, yeah, sure’.” “Oh Lord. Oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord, this is terrible. Oh Lord. And if Mom knows, that means Pop does too. Oh, I’ve got to tell him at least, put him right. I’ve got to put Pop right at least. Oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord.” “You’re Pop’s all right James, leastways for the moment, your mother says he’s still in some sort of denial, thinks we’re just two bachelors going to invite young women round for parties that go on until as late as nine p.m. and then we drive them home and after that we go to our cots with a cup of hot milk each.”
The phone rang again. Harold walks, more sedate than last time,
“Schickelgruber 65000” “Oh hello Chester” “He’s as good as he’s ever going to be” His face darkens “James, what’s Chester to do with that thing in the back of the truck? Only he needs to go into Schickelgruber on Monday to collect the new windows for their house.” “Hold on, I’ll talk to him myself.” Takes the phone off Harold who leans in to listen to the conversation. “Hi Chester, yep, takes more than a little bouncing around to worry me.” “If it’s all right with you, I’ll pay your gas if you can bring it back over here.” “Thank you Chester, I’ll see you in 20 minutes.”
Harold puts the coffee back on, Buddy goes out to the back yard an’ starts tidyin’ up all the wrenches an’ oil cans, puts them back in the shed. The gas can goes over in the corner of the yard, a ways off from the house an’ shed an’ separate from the oil tank. Harold leans out of the window, “James, why can’t you put the gas in the shed or under the tank? It looks so untidy there.” “Gasoline’s volatile, Harold, you never seen what it can do? I met a guy once, he was working in his garage in Iowa one winter and forgot to move a can away from the heater. It exploded. You know that Elm Street movie you keep watching from behind a pillow? Freddie Krueger’s what he looked like. No fingernails, ears, no need ever again to visit a barbershop. The can stays where it is. I’ll build a proper store for all the flammables there, that be right enough for you?” “Oh, OK,” pauses, “Did he really look that bad?” “Yes Harold.” “Oh.”
The crunch of tires on the side of the road outside announces Chester ‘fore he evens sounds the horn. Buddy walks round, he still limps some if you look close but hides it when Chester comes into view, waves him over, an’ they goes back through to the back yard. “Howdy Chester, want some coffee before we pull that thing down?” “Thank you Mr Wheldrake, that’d be mighty kind of you, I haven’t had a lot to drink today.” “Well, come on in then, drag up a chair.” Chester hesitates, looks embarassed. “Chester?” “I’ll be fine out here, thank you.” “Chester, you have a problem. I know it ain’t because we’re white, you and the Cherry boys go fishing together and you’ve been in their house often enough. And don’t try convincing me that you and their Elaine haven’t shared a sideways glance, neither, Harold’s noticed when he’s been in the store. It’s me and Harold, ain’t it?” Chester looks like he wants to go hide somewhere, “I’m sorry, Mr Wheldrake. You’s good folks an’ all, but I just feels uncomfortable about it close to.” “Well you stay where you’re comfortable Chester, Harold will fetch the coffee out. Sugar? Cream?” “Please.” Buddy sets down on the bench. “Feel safe enough to sit at the other end, Chester?” Chester sits down, self conscious in every movement. “I’m going to explain this to you, Chester, you can believe or disbelieve, but I’m going to have my say.” Chester waits nervously, Buddy speaks, “I came back to Blinckanmissett after I was discharged from the Corps, my idea was that I’d look after Mom and Pop, but I couldn’t live in a house where they still treated me like I was thirteen years old. I needed a place to stay where I could be close enough to them when I was needed, far enough away to have my independence, so I moved in to the spare bedroom here. Time went by, and I found that Harold occupied a part of my life that I didn’t know existed before. I’d spent my life learning how to do harm to the enemies of the Republic, he’d spent his learning to cook. I’ve come to enjoy the peace here, and I suppose we do look like a pair of old daisies to the world, but I want you to know this, you can keep it to yourself or spread it around, but I’m telling you true, we don’t do that stuff. We don’t touch each other, and we’ve never done that thing the Bible’s against. Now that’s the end of my speech. Lord, I am thirsty too, Harold where’s the – oh, there you are, thank you Harold.” Harold goes back in, doin’ that woman thing, sayin’, “If you want me, I’ll be inside the house.” Like that was just a photograph walkin’ through the door.
Takes the cups, hands one to a calmer looking Chester. “You feel better about things now?” “I think so. Mr Wheldrake-” “Chester, everybody else calls me Buddy, you do it too.” “You sure? It feel disrespectful after all the stuff you done in these parts.” “I’m sure.” “OK. Well, Mr, sorry, Buddy, you said Harold noticed me and Elaine lookin’ at each other?” “Yes, he did.” “You won’t tell her dad, will you? He’s a good man, but this is still Mississippi an’ it might be a step too far.” “You don’t need to tell us about that, Chester, not us here.” Chester leans forward, elbows on knees, cup cradled, lookin’ at somethin’ outa focus. “You been away from here, is it like this everywheres? Folks afraid to follow their hearts cus Jim Crow ain’t dead? Goes to different churches, can’t be wedded cus the pastors won’t give any ground? They gets disowned for bein’ untrue to their own kind? Is it like that all over?”
“No Chester, a lot of places don’t have our problems and attitudes. More than that, if you leave the country, there’s places in Europe or South America where color’s not even a thing that notices or matters. I can’t advise you to go or stay, but my experience was that it was worth travelling. The career I chose damn near got me killed a few dozen times, but it was worth it, I saw places and met people and came out, I don’t know, bigger is maybe the right word, I hadn’t realised how little this place is and how little it matters what goes on here. There’s a new world out there if you want it.”
“But Mr, sorry again, Buddy, what do I do about the store? Granpa an’ Granma Rainey been good kin to me, they’re getting’ old, who goin’ to run the store for them? Luella will take them in, but their keep got to come from somewhere.” Buddy turns a little, calls Harold. He comes out blinkin’ in the light, ever present dishcloth in his hands. “Harold, remember we were talking and I said about a man who will do stuff for good and not complain?” “Yes, James.” “Well we got one here. What do you think of that?” “I think it’s wonderful. What is it he’s doing?” “Chester’s got a problem, he might want to leave this town, but he’s troubled about the Raineys’ welfare. Any ideas?”
“Perhaps your mother can talk to Granma, not be obvious, let her talk about kids and what they’re going to do. You don’t know, they might be concerned still about Chester and how he’s going to live. And they might be concerned about how John Cherry will react to the way Elaine looks at him, too. You got to add in the fact that the Ferguson boys are hanging around with the Gowers lately, too. Chester, I’ll be honest with you. We haven’t done anything here that breaks any laws or rules, but if James wasn’t so worried about his own parents, I’d ask him to come to San Francisco with me and let this place sink back into the Mudindanoze. God’s honest truth.”
“You never mentioned SF.” “You never asked, and I wouldn’t put you on the spot. That would be cruel to you.” Buddy looks Chester in the eye, smilin’, “Welcome to the real world, Chester, looks like we’ve both got decisions to make.” Shakes Chester’s hand, slaps him on the shoulder, “Come on young man, we’ve got a motorsickle to get down.” Chester jumps up, young, strong, undamaged, Buddy stands up slower, older, stiff and bruised. “You sure you want to do this Mr Wheldrake? Buddy, I mean.” “We’re alright, Chester, we have the technology,” goes to the shed an’ fetches out a length of aluminum channel just the right width an’ length to roll the bike down. Once it was down, Buddy gives Chester a tour of it, Harold radiatin’ disapproval like a nuclear detractor. Buddy looks at it, looks at Harold, “OK, OK, I’ll put it away for tonight, jeez, Chester, you sure you want to get married? It’ll end up like this, they all do.” Chester laughs, “Well, gotta be honest with you, marriage ain’t the first thing that springs to our minds when me an’ Elaine talk together.”
They spent the rest of the evenin’ in the easy fellowship of men on the edge of society, Harold rustles up some fancy chicken recipe he got off of a TV program, Chester askin’ about the countries Buddy been to, answerin’ his cellphone twice, once to say, “Hi Granma, yes, I’m still over with Mr Wheldrake, he bin showin’ me round his ole Harley Davidson. No, no, I won’t go ridin’ on it, I promise. I’ll be back tonight, I will, now quit worryin’.” The next time, he said “Hold on,” asked to be excused outside a moment, came back, “That was just a friend, wanted to know about some stuff.” Course, even Buddy seed the shinin’ eyes, the bounce in the step.
A few weeks went by, an’ one day, Buddy gets a text message on his cell phone at college, Warren want him to call by at the Sheriff office when he’s done. Buddy goes round, Warren asks him to come take a walk with him to the Bismarck Memorial Park. Warren’s sorta quiet as they walk down to it, Buddy don’t push it. They gets in there, sits on the edge of the fountain, Warren says, “Sorry to take your time, but I don’t have no-one else to tell about this, you’re the only person I can trust to keep their mouth shut an’ not cause no trouble. I ain’t askin’ for no more help than you just let me get it out, y’understand, but it’s just so hard to think straight on my own, I been goin’ crazy with it. You happy with that?” “Sure.” Warren draws breath, looks serious, “It’s Debbie. She’s pregnant, an’ I want Debbie to have it, an’ she do too. I can’t be seen to be doin’ ‘immoral’ things as sheriff, can’t divorce Mamie easy cus she’s the strict Catholic of us two.”
Now, Warren’s been havin’ an affair with Debbie for ‘bout four years now, Mamie does know, but since she ain’t interested in Warren an’ her life goes by pleasant enough, she ain’t been bothered. Up to now. Harold’s told Buddy what Mamie says about it, so he knows some from that side, Warren’s told him some too so if’n questions get asked he knows what it is he’s not supposed to know about. An’ this comes along. Warren actually loves Debbie, wants to move in, marry, all the good stuff, but Debbie still don’t feel safe since that business with her Granville an’ what he was doin’ to the kids. Shakes a body to find the one you’re supposed to trust the most is the worst one in the world to leave ‘em with.
Buddy asks, “Feel better now you’ve let it out?” Warren, “Some, it’s just been that isolation, you ever been there?” “I had to tell men to do stuff that got them killed. We signed up, we did our best, but war and all that, you know, sometimes you buy a wrong ticket. Where I could, I went to see the widows and girlfriends and the parents, helped them through the funerals or memorial services best I knew. Gave up going in uniform after seeing Jimmy Suzuki’s wife, the kids came running out when they saw it, shouting ‘Daddy, daddy,’ I still get upset about seeing their little confused faces, and her white hot madder than you could believe at my insensitivity. Yeah, I been there. Moments like this, remembering, I want to start smoking again. High tar.” “I get to tell folks about car wrecks, accidents, deaths, never gets easier, you’re bringin’ bad news to ‘em, been attacked, real bad once, I had to knock a man down, his girlfriend went under a Mack in one of them itty bitty European sports cars, fire crew said she weren’t much more’n soup when they was getting’ her out. Glad I weren’t there, just wish I could have gotten that fat, lazy, no good O’Toole to tell the man, earn his keep. Never done enough wrong to fire him, never done enough right to justify his paycheck.” He stands up, “Thanks for comin’ over Buddy, I feels so much better. Say, how’d you feel about you an’ me splittin’ a bottle of Turkey by the river, Sunday? I got a spare rod if’n you ain’t got one.” Buddy thinks, or appears to, for a second, “That’s a fine idea, don’t know if Harold’s got anything planned, but I like the sound of that. Can I call you?” “Sure, Buddy, I understand,” leans down, whispers in his ear, “Hell on earth if’n you don’t keep the little woman happy.” Slaps his back, walks off, winks, thumb raised. Buddy laughs after him, “You watch your step, Warren, I’m voting for Coleman Walker next time!”
Buddy goes back to his car, a discreet metallic gray Toyota pickup, drives home, turnin’ over what Warren’s told him in his head, measurin’ it against knowin’ (through Harold) Mamie’s got to break it to him about wantin’ to move in with Granville McGhee now he’s out on parole. Gonna be some sparks there, you can put your shirt on that one. Warren an’ Mamie might not have had a real marriage for years now, but he’s still the best friend she’s got. Question is if she recognises that or just treat him like he interferin’. He figures that maybe Harold should wait to find out about Debbie an’ the kid, more folks poke their noses in, more complicated life gets, an’ he don’t want none of that. An’ he smiles as he thinks about Chester an’ Elaine, Chester’s supposed to be visitin’ LA an’ his cousins, Elaine’s on vacation in Europe. Strange, y’know, Chester needin’ a passport an’ visa to visit LA. They won’t have no guarantee of happiness, but they’s lookin’ for some.
Late on that night, about one a.m., Buddy wakes up, there’s a noise from the kitchen which ain’t that ole Whirlpool refrigerator, you know how an ole one can rattle, sound like it ready to die, but hold on like a rich relative for years an’ years. So he gets up, pulls on his jeans, goes in. The small light over the sink is on. Harold is sat at the table, CD player goin’, got headphones on, two bottles of Thunderbird in front of him, no glass, an’ one’s already empty. He’s cryin’. Buddy moves round into his field of view. Harold looks up, pulls the phones off. Boozily, “Mr Wheldrake I presume? Can I pour you some of this fine American wine? Been matured for twenty minutes.” “No thanks Harold,” sits down, “What are you doing, Harold? This is not like you, what’s the matter?”
“What’s the matter? I’ll tell you, Mr Wheldrake, what all is the freakin’ matter.” Buddy says nothing, shows nothing, but under the mask, he’s worried, Harold don’t use bad language. Now what follows starts off with Harold sat down an’ at a normal volume, an’ ends up with him stood up, leanin’ across the table, takin’ his weight on one hand while he points an’ waves with the other an’ near shoutin’. “What all the matter is, is that I look at you bent over your college books an’ I think ‘that’s my man James’, I see your butt stuck out of my car’s hood when you do things at it for me, an’ I think ‘that’s my man James’ an’ I walk down the street nex’ to ya, knowin’ all the freakin’ neighborhood respec’ my man James, my man James is the local freakin’ hero. They can kiss my ass. Kiss my ass. Every mother one of ‘em can kiss my freakin’ ass. You wanna know why, Mr freakin’ Wheldrake? Well? Well? You know every freakin’ thing there is to know about every freakin’ thing. Excep’ you don’t know squat about what it like to lie awake in that big ole bed o’ mine, big enough for two people, two lovin’ people. My man James? I don’t got no man, I got a dream that bein’ broke in two every motherfreakin’ night. I know I don’t look much, ain’t clever like your fancy college friends, ain’t brave like your soldier compadres, but I know this, Mr freakin’ Wheldrake, I don’t have to take this no more.”
“You tell me you loves me, you do this for me an’ that for me, well I can get Carl Feinmechanick to service the car, I can dig my own yard, I done ‘fore you come here, I can do it again.” He throws the second bottle at Buddy, who fields it almost without looking. “Here, have a drink on me. I’m getting’ ready for bed.” An he pushes the chair out of the way, pulls off his t shirt, holds the back of the chair an’ drops his track pants. “See anythin’ there you likes, Big Boy?” Turns round, “How’s about this view?” An’ he looks at James over his shoulder an’ sees his face lined with sorrow an’ collapses back down onto the chair, tries to pull his pants back on, fails an’ slumps an’ starts to cry again, agony in his voice, “I can’t be a father, I can’t be a mother, an’ with you I can’t even be a lover. I ain’t your brother, your sister. What am I? What am I? A housekeeper? Maid? It’s my birthday next month, I’ll be a freakin’ old maid. Oh James, James, James, I love you more than life itself,” crying harder now, “An’ I lays awake at night wantin’ you so bad. I don’t care about no Bible or law or Buchenwald woman or what the whole motherfreakin’ goddam asshole neighborhood thinks, I want you to come to me an’ I want your lips on mine an’ what you got in front of you an’ I want it so bad it’s a pain in my heart.” An’ now he just folds in on hisself, great sobs shakin’ him, grief beyond measure, an’ Buddy steps in close, kneels in front of Harold, puts his arms around him, Harold’s head is on his shoulder, an’ he’s wet with tears an’ snot, Harold’s shudderin’ an’ shakin’, an’ Buddy weeps too for the pain his love is in, an’ some for himself cus he wants Harold but the chains of the mind won’t let him.
Harold goes on like this for minutes, he slows an’ eases, finally he’s quiet, sniffin’ an’ gulpin’. “It’s OK James, you can let go now, I ain’t goin’ to make a fuss again. I’m sorry, I’ve been so lonely an’ you only twenty feet away. It won’t happen again.” Buddy gets up, gets the roll of paper towel, wets a sheet, wipes Harold’s face like he’s a seven year old been playin’ in the dirt, dries him an’ his tears, cleans own his icky shoulder.
Harold reaches down to pull the track pants up properly, Buddy stays his hand. “No Harold, I have to face up to it. I have to face up to it all, and I have shirked my responsibility to you. I have rolled over and let Irene Buchenwald win. I don’t know if I can fight what she beat into me, but I have to try, I can’t let you hurt like this again.” “You don’t have to try anything, I’ve just been stupid, let me go to my bed an’ go to sleep.” “Now it’s my turn, ‘for a clever man, you sure are dumb sometimes’, I been lonely too, I don’t want to sleep alone any more either. Come on, there’s as much space in my bed as yours and it’s closer.” An’ he stands Harold up an’ pushes him to the door, pickin’ up the t shirt an’ track pants as he does.
to be continued…..