My City by the Bay (Chapter 2, Part 2 of 6)

Up-down-up-down-up-down. An urge to vomit grabbed Sig’s stomach as he stared at the water. Sea sickness was calling to him. “Oh, bucket… buck-ET… BUCK-ET!” Wildly twisting to Captain Fryer, he mimed for some sort of medical assistance.

“Off the stern, boy.” Fryer said without removing the nautical pipe from his mouth. Dots lined up on the bridge like birds on a telephone line. He heard a screech, and the Barracuda darted back to Old Town. That must have been the cause of all this commotion. He’ll make a note of it on his report.

*Herf* “Oh!” *hurbrle* “Oh, God!” *hooooool* “Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick!” Sig rested on the railing with his chest. This was worse than being hung over. “I need to get off this boat, Cap’n.” Closing his rheumy eyes, he tightened his face in vain to shake off the nausea and immediately recalled the time he made a mess on the Tilt-A-Whirl at the county fair. Fumbling for his badge, Sig offered it to Fryer with a sour composure. He felt like a soaked shopping bag in the middle of a grocery store parking lot.

“City police, eh? Well, we’ll get you to your station. Before that happens, we’ll need to get your story on all this excitement. You mind?” Fryer’s face didn’t move from its original position since they first met.

“Eh, mind if I send it to you later? I can get back on my own all right. I need to do a few other things first.” No! No paperwork right now. He’d rather make a harmonica out of a cheese grater.

“I suppose,” Fryer said, “but don’t make me wait. Last time I played ball with you boys, it took two weeks to get a profile. I’m not a man to be kept waiting.”

“Yes! Yes. Oh, absolutely! You’ve got it, Cap’n.” Sig’s sickness eased with the glee of a temporary reprieve. The boat moored on the safer side of the Nagawatachumi, and Sig clambered out on to the docks. He was never very graceful, and often felt like the slow clown in a pie fight.

Bus Stop

Sig stood in a lonely puddle, with the rest of the riders clumped conspicuously to the left of him. He might as well be wet; there were storm clouds over him. Pantsed again, and it wasn’t even gym class! Damn gawkers. He plugged another cigarette in his mouth but instantly realized they were soaked, too. “Bah!” He launched the pack at the trash can and made a few of the other riders jump.

The silver box on wheels rolled up and opened its doors with an exasperated sigh. Banners of slick law firms and exotic vacations clung loosely to the sides like the hopes of their financiers. A squeaky slosh was heard ascending the stairs and Ralph Kramden was given his fare, and maybe some algae, for his service. Although this time Ralph was Bunny Washington and he was just as suspicious as anyone else on the bus. “Damn,” Bunny shook his head and muttered, “just when I thought I’ve seen it all. Some honkey has to come and test me.”

With a sluggish gait, Sig sat right beside a little old lady who recoiled from the moisture. As the bus resumed its course, he looked over to her and gave a Jack Nicholson smile. “There’s nothing like a good swim to make someone few brand new. Wouldn’t you say?” It wasn’t his best impression, but it was good enough for jazz.

Apartment
It wasn’t luxurious, but it was home. The wet clothes quickly made a pile near the door, and he lumbered to the fridge. “Great! My car’s gone, and now my beer, too.” He slammed the door shut to antagonize his forgetfulness. Exhausted. Moments later, he was sprawled over his single bed. Before he passed out, he figured he’d go out and buy Star Trek bed sheets. If he were to be single like this, he might as well enjoy some of the small things in life.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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