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Dollar Joe Chapter 3
The Train Station
Andre was having a rough day. And it was going to rain on top of that.
Nobody would give you a job in this town and nobody would give you any money to get to the next town. And if that were not enough to get you down, the big fat man half asleep behind the counter who he had asked about train tickets said that Amtrak did not take cash. So, if he was going to get out of this place, plain old panhandling would not cut it.
He needed phone-to-phone transfer payments or a cash for credit trade at the ticket counter.
The nice white people had been buying him breakfast lunch and dinner and the old dude who had sucked his dick in his car across the street the other day, had given him $200. The guy had seemed in a hurry to get away, like he knew all of a sudden that Andre wasn’t gay and felt embarrassed and drove off in a hurry in his Mercedes. So there would be no more money coming from there.
And there was only one mark getting off at this stop, this blonde-headed man with a camo backpack, who didn’t look homeless, just looked “don't give a shit,” rough. The dude probably got high and was too young to be all about the cash—I mean you couldn’t tell with them people, being like vampires and all and aging all weird. This guy was used to being in strange places, you could tell, so would be suspicious of Andre but also not scared, so that gave him an in so long as Andre brought something to the table.
The dude was reading the street sign outside the station, so Andre had to move in before he called his Uber.
The man was shorter than Andre, who was a good six foot and two inches, but seemed strong and paced a lot, so he decided on Plan B: Ebony and Ivory. No way was Plan A working on this white trash.
He walked up to the man and asked, from a respectful distance, “Brother-man—good morning.”
Andre could see that Plan B had already wrecked upon the unwelcoming rocks of suspicion and stopped short, drew out his iPhone in his left hand and his cash in his right hand and went to Plan C: We All Know its Rough Out Here and said, “I ain't walkin’ up on ya brutha—you true I can see. I just need to turn this cash into phone money so I can get a train ticket and get the fuck outa dis town.”
The man had a fucked up eye, he could see now, like da police done put the boot-heels to his face. But nothing risked, nothing won, as Andre had been telling himself since Mama put him out at age fourteen these sixteen years gone. He could see this man was his same age by his walk. White dudes didn’t walk like that anymore, like they owned shit. They all pranced or tiptoed like they was renters on the earth nowadays. “Brutha, I know we on the same side a dese tracks. I gots two-hundred I'll give you for one-eighty in phone money—PayPal—you got PayPal?”
Oh yeah, this real white boy is game—he wants—oh shit, I hope he don't take it!
Andre's heart sank as he realized that this was some Aryan Brotherhood psycho-yeti and it walked right up to him without a flinch saying, “I could use da money, straight up. But all I got is this and it’s got but one prepaid minute left,” and pulled a hand that was a might too big for its wiry five-foot-ten owner out of his pocket and held up a cheap-ass burner.
His heart sank but he recovered. This dude did not stink like a wet dog living in a dumpster and was therefore not full-blown homeless—was somewhere in the Middle World where Andre lurked.
“Brutha-man, I'm Andre and I really do need a ticket, It is only a hundred and sixty-seven dollars. If you could just use your card to buy me the ticket at the counter, I'll give you all two-hundred straight up. I ain't gonna lie—dare some weird-ass faggots in this town and I need ta go.”
The man looked at him and said, “Bro, all I got is this cheap-ass phone en this nice little pack that some rich dude in L.A. gave me at the air-port. The Thai police put me on dat flight in nothing but a hospital gown, so some rich mountain climber dude gave me this pack en I’m wearin’ ’is clothes. Dis even ’is phone—only numbers in it his wife and the U.S. Embassy. The only number I can remember is out of service.”
The man was so honest he must have been some kind of athlete—was totally see through like a screen door.
It must be hell not having any game in this Middle World. Oh, shit!
It then occurred to Andre that the world had turned and that he had just caught a glimpse of it wobbling on its axis and the earth would never be the same. His Aunt Rose had told him it was his Shiny Sense, that he had the gift for sensing shit falling down and bad shit coming around. Now he just wanted to get away from this cursed man, who was beginning to ask him a question about the bus service and Andre just had to step the fuck off, held both his hands out at arms length and backed away, his money and phone dangling from pinkie and thumb, “Sir, I'm sorry—I'm real sorry, but I got ta step away. I don't mean ta be rude—but I'm sensitive about misfortune—please, have a blessed day and God go with you.”
He backed away some more as the man stopped talking and seemed to relax like a dude on Death Row headed to the gas chair or the electric chamber.
Clear of the accursed drifter, Andre caught his breath, walked over to the shaded glass window of the train station, looked at his reflection and hoped beyond all hope that he was not going to see that dead-eyed white man trapped in his re-flection, which would have been a sure sign that the Demonic Cracker of Misfortune had taken up his possession.
Nothing. Good. Whew, Negro. I thought that was it—the Devil come to take you to the Pit! Thank you God and please let me find a dick-sucking white man who pays with credit—fuck dis cash!
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RubenMay 13, 2021

Great scenario. A great start or great ending to anything.
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