The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 21
Two or three beers into Friday night back inside my tiny room, third floor, top floor of the hotel trying to work out the riddle of Sandy’s Benz. Six bloody grand to fix it. Yeah, probably Jack and I can come to an arrangement, but then, no matter what gigs Sandy lines up next, I’m stuck climbing out of a six thousand dollar hole.
And then I remembered: there are no gigs coming up. Sandy’s leaving for two weeks in China, tomorrow, with the president of the Santa Monica condo homeowner’s association. Good, sort of. That’ll stall out any move on Brad’s part.
I light a smoke, crack another beer, phone rings:
Sandy: God I wish you were taking us to the airport tomorrow.
Me: Hm. Me too. Except…
Sandy: I wish it was us going.
Me: Hm. Yeah. Down the road. Only to Europe. Screw China.
Sandy: Except what? God, I may as well tell you…
Me: What? You’re laughing but good news never starts out like that.
Sandy: (Laughter fades) The Schwartz’s are suing you.
Me: Excuse me?
Sandy: (Now almost hysterical with laughter) Arnold’s mother is in a wheelchair, right? And he’s pushing her over that beautiful, cracked slab driveway you made and planted and he fucking dumps her…
Me: No shit.
Sandy: (Choking with laughter, maybe slightly drunk) And the old cunt fractures her arm, wrist, something else…
Next day. Late afternoon. I wheel the bike across the hardwood hotel lobby floor, making sure I get the manager’s attention. “Nice,” she says.
Me: Thanks. Thought I’d take her on her maiden voyage down to the Marina.
Manager: Have fun. Be careful.
I get lucky. The Hare Krishna guy’s back selling his trinkets on Venice Blvd.. Incense, incense holders, beads, copies of The Bhagavad Gita, so on.
Me: Uh, listen… interested in making some real money?
Guy: Doing what?
Me: Bus looks like it’s in good shape, yeah?
He’s there, in front of the hotel, at 4AM the next morning, like we’d arranged. I throw the bike and my fully loaded backpacking gear inside the bus.
Only Sandy would know, eventually, I had not fallen victim to foul play.