almost seems like you should be chipping in for my expenses,"
he laughed nervously, "but no, it's alright. How much? Is $5 cool?"
Again Juan twitched his eye; then he broke
the spell. "Twelve thousand."
Light traffic passed by on the sleepy street in
front of Wink's. Overhead a condor could be heard screaming his hunting
song. Fifty feet away a herd of grandmas were making their way from
the restaurant to their Buicks. They were all watching him and Juan.
"I wasn't --" began Schlitz, "I mean, The Doctor,
he didn't say anything about --"
Juan impersonated a monolith.
Inside the Justy, Fair Harrington had a sudden
inspiration: soon, very soon, he was going to move. But not
just yet. He also wondered what was going on outside, who
those people were and why it was morning yet he was not at
Outside the Justy, Thurgood Schlitz was flailing and
blathering along the lines of, "I'm not sure why he didn't tell us
that payment would be due, not sure why he did not endow me with these
funds, but I am sure that The Doctor will pay you in full,
and very quickly; he is a man of status, a man of means. And
a man of honor. And a man of his word. He wouldn't --"
"Shut up!" barked the fattest man in Nogales.
Schlitz was a man who was known to never lose his
cool. He was Mr. Fucking Cool as a Cucumber, all the time. Come hell
or high water, this guy was Sade's original "smooth operator." But
at the present moment, if truth be told, he was about a hairsbreadth
away from getting down on his knees and weeping and begging that Juan