Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
[Mariachi Radio] Wash, rinse, repeat.
Wes calls at some ungodly hour of night. Joop takes the 202 and then the 10, going 90 miles an hour all the way out to the east side of Peoria. Last week, he was able to make it in 22 minutes, but this time it takes half an hour.
He parks down by the communal mailbox and speedwalks until he reaches the ugly, mint green one story house with the elm out front. There are splotches of color in the long deserted flower bed that stands in solitude before the porch. They're African daisies, shining orange and yellow in the on-and-off flicker of a nearby streetlamp. He assumes that they're from Kasper's students. He's probably right.
He jumps the cinderblock wall on the left side of the house and knocks lightly on the first window. There's a faint light coming from the room.
The blinds open slowly, and he can see Wes' subdued movements in silhouette. The window slides open, and he can smell cigarette smoke. He takes off the screen and gently places it below the windowsill.
"Hey," Wes croaks.
He removes the cigarette from his mouth and holds it between his index and middle fingers, placing his hands on the sill to steady himself as he crawls out of the window. There's blood on the filter. His lip is split in the middle.
"Can you walk?"
Joop waits silently for an answer. Wes stands and thinks for a moment.
"Yeah. I'm fine."
He manages four cautious steps before yelping in pain, fumbling, and catching himself on the stucco wall. He hisses as the cement tears into the palms of his hands.
Joop pulls a cigarette and lighter out of his shirt pocket with his right hand. He places the cigarette between his lips, lights up, and catches Wes behind the knees and shoulderblades when he's not paying attention. Wes complains, but Joop still carries him, with some difficulty, to the other side of the house, through the back gate, and down the street two blocks to his car and the mailboxes.
Joop sets Wes down by the passenger door, supporting him as he gingerly makes his way into the passenger seat of Joop's '94 Ford Escort. Joop closes the door gently and walks around to the driver's side, lighting a cigarette as he goes. He stands there, leaning against the car, the metal and cheap, white paint cold in the February night. He can't see the stars this far into the city.
After five minutes, he throws his cigarette to the years-old asphalt, grinds it out with the toe of his right sneaker, and gets in the car.
He starts the ignition and lets the car idle for a few minutes. Wes turns on the heater before they begin their drive home.