Sunlight streamed in past the dirt that coated Eric's basement apartment's road view windows, and cast painful spikes through his eyelids.  Gripping his throbbing head, he rolled over to a sitting position, and smoothed back his greasy hair.

The couch that served as his bed was old, and came with the apartment.  Nicknamed, "That '70s Couch," by his friends, for its crossing rectagles of brown, orange, and yellow.  But it was his couch, in his apartment.  Better than that squatter hole Randolph was stuck in.

He dug around in his pocket for his Camels and his pills.  Both would help with the headache he hoped.  The pills went down raw and hard, with no water to follow.  A flick of his lighter, a pink one lifted from an older woman at the bar the night before, and he felt better already.

Except for Randolph.  Eric held the palms of his hands against his closed eyes for a few breaths, trying to recall hazy drink addled memories of Randolph's problems.  Something about thirty bills, and someone called, "The White Lady."  He grunted out loud in exasperation, why couldn't Randolph's street friends have real names?

Of course, Eric had the three thousand Randolph needed.  Or rather he could get it quickly enough.  However, he had his own problems, so forget Randolph.

Groaning, he pulled on his ratty old Nikes.  They were the most basic of old man walking shoes, but they were only a buck and a half at the thrift store, so they were Eric's.  He snatched up the keys to the Datsun and took the stairs to the side door two at a time.

He wasn't ready for Albert, in his brown suit and derby hat, to be on his porch waiting.  Not ready at all.

The End

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