Chapter 4

The Sound: Vangelis – Heaven and Hell, Pink Floyd – Wish you Were Here, Bob Seger – Beautiful Loser, Eagles – Hotel California, Tom Waits – Small Change, Fleetwood Mac – Rumors, Lynard Skynard – Freebird , Led Zepplin – Stairway to Heaven, Alan Parsons – Eye in the Sky, Lou Reed – Heroin

You see, Mike and I met when he came to live in my hotel. Actually I already knew him but we had never really gotten along. I was a major waste of oxygen in those days but I had it together enough to see that Mike was having a tough time and decided to help a bro out.

His birth mother was dying of breast cancer and he’d been in a bike accident. Some idiot in a cage had run a red light and T-Boned him on his shovelhead. Totaled the bike and as a result he had both legs in casts from the knee down. They weren’t walking casts so he was living in my hotel cos he couldn’t make it up the three flights of stairs to his apartment. Besides, room service sounded like a good plan for a man on crutches.

For the first couple of weeks he was as resistant to help from me as any human being could be. I knew he didn’t think much of me cos he’d always made no bones about what a waste of time and money drugs were. And how smart people didn’t go that route.

In the past I’d always flipped the bird at him when he got up on that soap box…but I was getting tired and was beginning to come round to his way of thinking. The thing about being a junkie is that you spend your whole drug laden career trying to get back to that very first euphoria.

And it never is that good again. All it does is eat ya. And your money and your family and your friendships.

I was a very old twenty and I was holding on to my hotel by the skin of my teeth. I was pretty much convinced that I was gonna have to go to a loan shark or I was gonna loose it for taxes. My grandfather had left me this hotel when I was eighteen and four scant years later I was about to lose it.

Then one night I was in the bar and someone said something about Mike runnin outta money. That got me to thinking so I went into the kitchen. I made him a big old ham and cheese sandwich, grabbed a coupla beers and then went round and banged on the door.

At first I heard nothing. Then I heard a splash and a big thump, but still no answer, so I used my master key.
I walked into his room and no Mike, but I heard some serious hard core cussing coming from behind the closed bathroom door.

So I called out to him, “Hey Mike…you ok?”

“Fuck…whosssssat?” says a voice from behind the door.

“S’me Baby…you ok?”

“Ahhhh…hmmmmmm ummm nope, ummmmmm don’t come in!…I ahhhh don’t think so…uhhhmmmmm…don’t suppose ahhhh you could get Big D or Al or Boomer er one of them boys to come up here fer a minute do ya?” he says hopefully.

“Wassa matter? Maybe I can help,” says I, as I shoved open the bathroom door.

“No no no no no…shit woman don’t you never listen?”

And there’s Mike, buck nekid, layin in the bathtub, half full of water (the other half having splashed out all over the bathroom floor). One casted leg in and wet, and the other out, and kinda stuck between the shitter and the tub. And the six pack, whew. Lord Tunderin Jesus, that man was built like a brick shit house.

I continued to look up till our eyes met and it was then that I discovered that true red heads blush everywhere…not just in the face!

I guess he’d been trying to get into the tub for a wash using those great big arms of his to lever himself in and slipped. And there he was. I couldn’t help myself. I started to giggle which led to a laugh. I mean come on…have ya got a visual? Eventually he started to laugh as well.

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