– And I didn’t want to have to rely on you checking your inbox. You don’t do that all too frequently. Or you do but you’re too lazy a bastard to respond in due time.
– Touche. I’m just wondering here, what you’ve landed yourself in again. Ourselves. What was the beef at the Favela Chic? And how on earth do you pay for all this…stuff? I must have missed a few beats.
– We can’t bother with any of that right now. You’re right I’m going through a rough patch. What I need, what I’ve had you brought here for, is to be able to talk to you. To get your advice.
– Flattering, very charming. What you need…ntzhhh let me backtrack. The thing is that we lead our separate lives, you and I. You can’t just get me mixed up in your shenanigans whenever you fancy it. I think we’ve been over this. I am the vicarious type. I don’t need live action. I don’t want the live action. Moreover, the very last description that fits me is problem solver. I am my own most excellently productive source of problems. I think, breathe and shit problems. Fucking hell, I am one. And if you cannot be bothered «with any of that right now»then I’ll also have a hard time of giving a flying fuck about even starting to listen to what you might conceivably have to say.
I’ve been switching my line of sight between the distant mountain and The Infected One. His skin has a luster to it that looks saintly rather than sickly. His Afro is an atomic blowout with each strand of hair representing a ray of radioactive energy. But he doesn’t exactly look healthy, rather hollow cored as though he has been consumed by feverish activity that I will have the dubious privilege to guess at. I already regret my decision to come here. I haven’t seen him in a long time but that is because he is a character who manages to get himself into different configurations of mierda and learns precisely nothing from them. Yet I am drawn to him, his chaotic, destructive “projects” drawing me nigh like pirates setting sail for fish-tailed bombshells on the rocks.
Then I go back to studying his hotel room, a scene of devastating luxury.
– You’re right. Things should be symmetrical between us. But it’s that old tune, you know: I don’t tell you so you don’t get implicated in my problems anymore than you have to.
– For cunt’s sake, are you smoking or shooting up? What I’ve just been through is 100% implicating me in your predicament. There were shadowy figures chasing after us. And, oh yeah, I had a near-death experience on a motorcycle with an absolute stranger. We are about 45 minutes past the point of no return. Just bloody tell me.
– I’ve come into posession of something that does not strictly belong to me.
– Awgh fuck. Fabulous. You finally did it. What? Embezzelment? Got mixed up in a robbery? So I cannot help you after all. I can come see you in the can and send you kites when they finally nab you. But thanks for turning me into a potential accomplice. Merci beaucoup. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a life to catch.
I’ve taken my eyes of his pleading and disappointed ones, turned towards the door and begun promoting my ass out of there but he beats me to the jilted knob and gently grabs my right wrist. A gesture which in its undertones I would have never thought him capable of. Nor does it go well with his outward appearance. He is dressed in a white, thick terry robe emblazoned with a golden «N» that makes him look Porno-level ridiculous. And then, to top it out, that strange blue glow.
– No, please listen. None of the above. I found something, something extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything like it. Just the fact that somebody could loose something like this has me angry and thinking the original owner unworthy of it. So now it’s with me and the person who’d it belonged to earlier is not so happy about that.
– Give it back. Don’t be a fool, give it back to the owner, stay within the law, out of jail. Simple. So what are we talking about?
– It’s an e-book.
– Just cut the bullshit, please. You’re making me want to clock you for all this ass pain.
– No, that is the truth. An electronic book. But as far as I can tell it is – The best way to put it would be to say that it is an ultra-advanced prototype. Even the suitcase I found it in was a high tech gem all on its own.
– So you’re almost getting me killed and criminally involved for an e-book? An e-book. You throw my life in the balance with a gadget. Cock-sucking bastard. Anything else?
I force myself to say everything very slowly, to rest among words. I can feel the blood accumulate quickly in my head and hands, which are balled into fists itching to fly. I don’t understand what The Infected One is doing, why he is perpetuating his craziness, the empire of his insanity. An e-book. I count four, inhale deeply, the entire list of anger management strategies but it just gets worse, a big, red balloon ready to burst.