I made sure I set the alarm clock for 8:00 am and woke up late. Real late. I remembered hearing it, I remembered telling myself it was time to get up, and that was all I remembered. I rolled out of the platform bed, I like them low to the ground because its easier to fall into them when you're really drunk, and it doesn't hurt as much when you fall out of them, scrambling for clothes while I cursed life. I pulled on the same pants I had worn the day before, grabbed a shirt off the floor, and gargled while I pissed.
I hit the door muttering "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." As I exited the elevator my cell rang, I didn't even look at the ID, I just said, "I'm on the way," hung up, and broke into a run. I hate running. My knees hate running. I might as well start smoking again I told myself since I ready to dry heave after the first block. I slowed to a walk just before I got there as I wanted to look calm and composed and not like I was going to spew beer all over him.
He was sitting at one of the tables in front and smoking a cigarette. He didn't look happy. I settled in across from him and decided to go with brazen instead of hanging my head and whimpering my apologies. "Hey there! Isn't that against the rules? I mean smoking and you being..."
"Shut up." This was said flatly and with zero emotion. That scared me. What he said next only deepened it, "I could put this out in your eye and no one would say anything and nothing would happen to me. Don't. Do. It. Again."
He dropped the cigarette to the ground and crushed it with his shoe. "You're a fuckup but you're my fuckup, at least for now." He smiled, "But you're not a stupid one. Are you?"
I shook my head, and told him, "No."
His face was amazing. He could switch from cold and pissed to beaming warmth in a heartbeat. I liked that and wondered how much practice that took. I was going to work on it when I got back.
"I have plans, and you Dakota are going to help me and your country. You do want to help your country?"
'Of course!" What else was I supposed to say? No, I want to blow it up? My ass would be buried in some cell until I rotted if I said anything else.
"I don't know what you believe deep down inside but I don't want you to think of this as punishment. No! It's an opportunity to make history. You do know what we are fighting for?"
Damn, I hated trick questions, I also didn't have an answer so I shook my head "No."
"I know you don't. Not many of our generation does but Dakota we will be fighting against chaos, the destruction of what America stands for, and for freedom!"
He said "Freedom" loud enough for a few heads to turn in our direction. He caught it, lowered his voice, and leaned into me, "This is the battle of our generation. A battle that will define the world for generation's to come just as our forefathers did when they stormed the beaches of Norway. We can make a difference and we will."
He paused, I suppose to see what effect his little speech had on me, while I thought "Norway?" No, it started with a "N" but it wasn't "Norway." I focused enough to nod my head, grin, and tell him, "You can count me in!"