Swirl Love is Not Forbidden(6)By: Tamara Black
“What kind of pizza?” he asked.
“I’ll do it,” he said then laughed, his belly bouncing in a jolly manner.
“Great, thanks,” I said.
“I’ll have you hooked up in a jiffy.”
He walked to the back of his truck and hit a button, lowering the apparatus that lifted my car. I watched in amazement as he connected chains and a bar. A minute later, he had the front end of Betsy raised up in the air.
“Let’s go,” he said. “And bring my pizza.”
I went back to my car and grabbed the one pizza bag that held an actual pizza. The situation was not optimal, but it could be a lot worse. I climbed into the cab of the tow-truck.
“Smells good,” he noted, turning a key in the ignition.
The engine roared to life.
“You want it now?”
“No, I shouldn’t,” he said. “Fuck it, let me have a slice.”
“Go to town,” I said, opening the bag and pulling out the box. “Here…”
I opened the lid. He grabbed a slice of semi-warm pizza and devoured half of it in a single massive bite. Impressed, I sat back on the bench seat, wondering if I should buckle in or not.
“Let’s roll,” he shouted as he put the tow-truck into gear.
We lurched forward. I noticed him looking in the side mirror after we drove out onto the road.
“You need the address for my last delivery?” I asked.
“That might help.”
He roared with laughter as he shifted gears. I turned and looked out the back window. My car bounced up and down as we sped down the road.
“You sure it’s okay back there?”
“Let me do my job, kid, and you do yours.”
“More pizza?” I asked.
He reached over and grabbed two slices at the same time. After slapping them together, he pushed most of them into his mouth. I turned away, looking out the passenger side window.
“This is it,” I said as we pulled up to a driveway with a gate. “Just wait here.”
I handed him the pizza box and got out of the cab. After retrieving the other pizza bags filled with weed out of the back of my car, I headed down the long driveway toward the survivalists’ bunker slash house.
What would Tanesha think of me if she knew about this? I wondered as I walked, having to lift my feet high into the air to get through the unplowed snow on the gravel path leading to their compound.
A coyote howled in the distance as I reached my destination. Before I could knock on the door, three bright lights switched on, and I heard the snap-action of a shotgun.
“Hey guys, it’s me,” I said. “Tony.”
“What’s the password?” a man asked in a gruff voice.
“Look, I forgot. My car broke down. You need to get this so I can get back to the tow-truck driver and get out of here.”
I shielded my eyes with my hand and saw a dark figure walk out of the light.
“You got all of it?” he asked through his thick, brown beard.
“Yeah, where do you want it.”
“Just drop it here and step off the porch slowly.”
I emptied the wrapped bundles of weed and slung the pizza bags over my shoulder.
“What about the money?”
“The money?” the man laughed.
“Yeah, the money for the weed,” I said.
“Are you wired?” he asked in a voice full of paranoia.
“No, of course not. But I need the money.”
“Here,” he said, handing me two huge burlap sacks.
“What the hell is this?” I asked as my arm dropped three inches after I grabbed a bag.
“It’s the money. All we had is quarters.”
“You’re fucking kidding me, right?”
“No, is there a problem?” He pointed the shotgun at me.
“We’re cool,” I said, struggling to hold both bags full of quarters.
They better be rolled at least, I thought as I turned and trudged back to the main road. After stashing them in the backseat of my car, I climbed back into the cab of the tow-truck.
“Mission accomplished,” he said.
I noticed he had devoured the entire pizza.
“Thanks again.” I shut the door. “Back to my house.”
“You don’t want me to drop the car at a shop?”
“No, I have a guy that will look at it for me tomorrow. I just need to get home.”
He put the tow-truck into gear and pulled back onto the road.
“Here we go,” he said, speeding up.
“You sound like you enjoy your job,” I said.
“It’s okay, but it can be tough sometimes.”
“Yeah? How so?”
“The people I have to deal with,” he said bluntly.
“Like me, huh?” I laughed nervously.
“No, you’re fine. It’s the liars I hate.”
He turned and stared into my eyes. Does he know? How the hell could he know I lied to him about the pizza delivery? I cleared my throat as he turned his attention back to the road. We rode in silence the rest of the trip.
As he drove off into the sunset, I stood by my dead car in my driveway and called Jimmy, the best backyard mechanic I knew. Well, the cheapest anyway. Even though I was flush with two bags full of quarters, I had to give that money to Bullet.