Perch adjusts the 50″ flat screen in his grasp, scared paranoid above anything else of allowing it to touch the sidewalk. The way they make these things now, they’re almost designed to shatter.

His mind babbles, groans, mutters.

It’s a goddamn conspiracy. To Perch, it was always a conspiracy. A goddamn conspiracy. The government conspired to deny him health coverage when his prescription  ran out. The city conspired to shut down the old shelter on Powell, the one where he and Gus and ol’ Bags used to hang out and play thirty-one for butts and score. Even his new neighbours, his family, ol’ Bags and Gus and the rest of them, they all conspired to keep him down, keep him hungry, make him do things Perch never thought he’d do to get by.

Bastards. Goddamn bastards. Made him beg. Made him starve. Made him steal. Made him hump a big-ass flat screen over half the city, across a fucking bridge, take two buses and do everything but load into an airplane. Just so Nick can spit up some cash for it.

If Perch was being honest, it was Cal’s idea to do this. It was Cal who had the tip about the monitors in the alley behind the hotel. Cal got a call on that cell of his while they were on the beach with the girls, and a minute later Cal’s telling Perch about how they gotta shoot over to 2nd, behind the Rosedale, and Sorry girls but there’s opportunity knockin’ on the door and if we don’t answer some other son of a bitch will.

Perch didn’t really feel like leaving just then. After all, the day was hot and the girls’d just taken off their tops and were lettin’ their titties hang out all over creation. Besides, it was the girls who bought the beers and wouldn’t let him or Cal go off with more than one apiece. No way they’d let that bottle of vodka go. They were saving that for laters.

Stingy cunts. Nice titties, though. Well, on the one. Janette, or Janelle was her name. Something like that. The younger one. The older one, Perch couldn’t remember her name at all. Cal’s friend, anyway. He was the one invited them along.

Cal was the one who thought it’d be a good idea to go to the beach, get loaded. Cal always had ideas. He was full of them. My daddy, the epic drunk and glue-freak, he used to say a guy full of ideas is also full of shit, and full of excuses why he’s that way. Guess you could say that’s Cal.

His idea to bring to girls down to the beach. His idea to leave them there with all that beer and vodka to chase down flat screen monitors. His idea to have me haul it all the way across the bridge and break my fuckin’ arms and back for some cash.

Keep thinking about those titties, wobblin’ about in the sun. Nick better fuckin’ be there today.

Published by bernardsbarnes

Writer. Artist. Performer. A little boy dreaming of the stars.

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