Thursday, May 14, 2015

Venomous Clay

“What was that about?” asked Gal. She added water to my glass. “What words were you talkin’ about and what did they have to do with Clay?”

Taking a sip, I looked at the half melted ice cubes.

“I’ll tell ya Gal, my heart feels like these ice cubes dissolving away and my sanity with it.”  I sat the glass down and looked for Chong as a distraction from answering her question but the cockroach stayed in his condo beneath the table.

“Yah, okay Migizi, but about those words.”

“C’mon Gal, you know the story of how Clay and I became real friends. Those were the words at the train bridge, the ones where he ended up calling me Ain’t It.”

“What the hell you talkin about?” she asked. “You guys go back to little guys. I don’t recall anything about a train bridge.”

Feeling almost feverish, I wondered if delusion was setting in from a concussion. A person can vomit with head trauma but maybe I had some poison in me from somewhere. 

The phone on the wall rang and it sounded far off and distorted. Gal got up and answered it.

“Yah? Hey, where the hell you at mister? Where? Oh boy. Yah, he’s right here, hold on.”

Gal handed me the phone then started loading up her go-bag to leave. My spirit sunk.  

“What are you up to Clay?” I asked. “No shit? Alright then, suppose I better come. Besides, it puts me that much closer to home if I decide to bail and buddy, I’m damned close already.”

Hanging up the phone, I finished my water and interrupted Gal’s departure.

“No need to leave Gal, I’m heading out to connect with Clay.”

“HMmmm. I don’t know Ain’t It.  I got an eerie feelin’ about things. Not sure I wanna be here until things settle down.”

Chong was already waiting at the door with bedroll on board.

“I don’t blame you. You need a few bucks for anything before I leave?” I asked.

“Actually, yah, I could use a twenty.”

Pulling my wallet from the rear pocket of my jeans, it felt a freckle thinner. I hadn’t noticed it before. A quick inventory revealed a missing credit card.

“Dammit Clay! Gal, he took a credit card. Lucky for me, it was one with a low limit I keep capped. Still, Clay could tap it for a grand.”

“Cripes Migizi, sucks to be you. Clay can get in lots of mischief with that much moola.” 

I handed Gal her money and hurried to get my travel bag. Leaving, she offered me good luck and was gone.
I turned on the porch light, locked the door, and hurried to my car. Once there, I reached in my bag for my phone intending to call my wife for an update. It was gone as well. It hadn’t occurred to me Clay was using my phone when he called. Not that it mattered; I missed the cue when Gal didn’t need to accept a collect call.

Going archaic, I pulled a paper Michigan map from the storage compartment. Feeling even more vulnerable, I got on the road and headed for the destination Clay gave me. It had been a long time since camping and fishing with him on the Boredman River near Kalkasker.

It would take about 2 hours, plenty of time for any poison to undo me.  

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