Ch. 10

Back at the compound, I lay upon my rack pondering the terrible fact that I had lurched on my fellow rubba-dubba-bubba workers in the VA kitchen. I had quit at the beginning of the shift. Without yours truly there doing his day-to-day chores, they were working harder now. I had never had the honor of working with a better bunch, including the supervisors ~ and now I had let them down. Damn damn damn!

And oh well.

When my roommate, the indomitable Quest, showed-up, we got not into a raucous discussion concerning the upcoming elections, nor a heated argument over the bully culture of his televison, nor aflame memories of playing football ages ago in high school, or anything else. I was mum. Whenever he started anything, all he got back was a "um hmmm," 'til finally Quest too said nothing. He slipped his earphones on & listened to politico-geronimo talk-radio shows & mellow-fellow jazz.

And my thoughts continued their jog around and around the track. I had quit my job. And I had quit all the poor old & young, broken-down & lame, lonesome & homeless, veteran-patients waiting for dinner at the VA.

Oh well. Now what?

I couldn't talk to Quest about it. The last thing I needed or wanted was his input. We'd both been living in the same scrawny cell for so long that I knew exactly what his input would be: go to court and get a pension! Well. I had other things to do this Spring. I glanced at the backpack sitting ominously in the chair next to where I lay. The backpack was already packed. It had been packed for about a year ~ now, baby, now. I'd been living out of it for that long, anticipating a move ~ now, baby, now. My hand slipped into my pocket to make sure over $800 in cash was still there. It was still there ~ now, baby, now! The money had been burning a hole in my pocket for about a week - had been $1,000 at first ~ was dribbling away, dribbling away fast. I had taken my loot out of my credit-union account when I suspected the VA of whittling on it to pay my unpayed new "co-payments." Now that I had a job for over a year ~ although just a part-time job ~ their medical services were no longer free. I was going to stick my loot in another bank. But guess what? It must be time to go.

But first, I'd get a good night's sleep. Now, baby, now ~ tomorrow.