I picked him up in the van two days after he left, my first day off. I told him about Steve.
“See you? You’re a dick,” I told Enrique as we drove to my house. “Steve is a knob. Understand?”
“Being a dick is fine. Anybody can be a dick now and again but if you’re a knob then you’re a knob all of the time.”
“It’s better to be a dick than a knob.”
Steve was Enrique’s replacement and was from the Haute Croix store. Steve was a knob. He was too jolly. His name was Steve, like Steve’s was, and it delighted him that there was another person working in the shop with the same name as his. “Two Steves, eh!” He’d said pointing at his face and Steve’s face on his first day in charge. I’d smiled politely. The other Steve checks the paper every night for jobs.
Knob Steve asked me if I knew what the package was in Enrique’s drawer. I told him it was Maxi-Muscle He laughed and said he thought it was heroin. Then he’d looked at the Slush Puppie machine. “Whose idea was that thing?” He asked, momentarily not a jolly knob.
“Guess!” I’d replied and rolled my eyes.
I’d taken the heroin and put it in one of the boxes that we were carrying from the garage to the van. In a different box I’d put the letters that had arrived for him over the years, the ones I’d hidden, and in another I’d put his life story. With the boxes and small furniture on the van all that remained was the couch.
“Chu wan’ dat?” He asked.
“Not really,” I told him and he nodded. We put it on the van with the plan of stopping off at the dump. After the couch was loaded I went back into the garage to see if he’d left anything. I stared at the end of the coaxial cable which now didn’t plug into anything and then we left.
Just before Christmas I saw him wobble into the car park on his bicycle. He’s got a mountain bike now and a waterproof jacket. And he wears a helmet. I went out. “Sweet!” I’d said as he parked. “Suspension!” He was smiling. I pressed down on the handlebars to test the suspension. “How you getting on?” I asked him.
“Good good!” He’d replied.
“Good, good. Really good!” I said. Then we stood there for a bit and he went in to Knob Steve’s office. The other Steve had left and was replaced by an old woman. “See ya!” I said when he left.
“I be up all de time, man!” He said. I gave him a thumbs up.
Since then he’d been up twice and both times I hid until he’d left. Don’t really know why. I just hid. Paula never added me on Facebook. Her page seems to be private or she doesn’t use it.