waking up and smoking a joint had become a ritual. it was a good way to start the day. that and several cigarettes. when he wasn’t with stephanie he just hung out and collected his unemployment check. a small sum but enough to keep him in food, drink, and drugs. plus, a roof over his head and gas for the car. the car was paid for with the money he’d saved while in vietnam.
the chinese lady he saw at the state unemployment office every two weeks or so was very nice and semi amazed that he never secured a job with the leads she provided him. as a vet, jake got a little more attention from the folks that worked there. the thing is he never followed through on any of the leads. jake’s reasoning being he had done his year in nam and he earned the right to screw off for another year courtesy of whoever. he didn’t care. though he knew enough not to say that to the nice chinese lady. that would have been way to stupid. even for jake.
on occasion he made a little extra money working for a concert promoter doing odd jobs here and there for the guy. like running errands and such. the promoter paid cash so there weren’t any problems with the state or anyone else for that matter. plus, jake got to see plenty of good live music.
when jake did see stephanie they spent their time seeing frankie and mary, doing coke, drinking, smoking pot and having sex. in jake’s words, all in all not a bad deal. the only trouble being with jake is it seemed his times with stephanie were getting further apart. jake knew why, he was in love and she wasn’t. not a big problem really. but a problem none the less.
jake began to spend more time with jimmy and bea. they all got along fairly well and bea and jake kept each other company when jimmy was working and stephanie wasn’t around.
home alone late one morning jake was napping when the ringing phone woke him up. it was stephanie.
hey, what’s up?
i called last night and you weren’t home.
yeah, i went to see ‘the godfather’ with bea. the last showing. got home sorta late.
i was going to come over.
how was the movie? i hear it’s great.
best movie i’ve seen in years. it was a zoo outside the theater. we…
a friend is dropping me off at mary and franks. come by and pick me up later. ok? you can tell me the story tonight.
sure. what time today?
late afternoon. i’m going to help mary with a sewing project she has.
alright. see you later then.
jake was thinking stephanie wasn’t real pleased with him spending so much time with bea. he’d tried to tell her that they were just good friends and besides why was she being so jealous? she after all wasn’t even in love with jake. or so she said. women.
last night had been fun though. the ‘godfather’ movie had been a spur of the moment thing. jake had been hearing a lot of good things about the movie and called bea to see what was up. she was home alone and jake invited her to go see the movie. hell, he hadn’t seen stephanie in over a week. bea agreed.
when jake picked bea up they snorted what was left of some coke jake had and smoked a joint of some killer weed a friend had given jake. all that before they left for the movie theatre. by the time they got to berkeley and parked they were both pretty well fucked up.
look at all those people. the line is around the corner.
jesus. ok. bea. you get in line and i’ll go up front and see what the deal is.
jake wandered up to the box office. it was like a mob scene from a movie. he was so stoned he wasn’t sure what the deal was. he asked some of the people in the mob but no one else seemed to know either. ah, yes. berkeley in the 70’s. so jake just stood there trying to figure out what was going on. interesting thing was he was slowly getting closer to the box office window so he just went with the flow.
ten or fifteen minutes later he found himself at the window.
how many tickets do you want to buy?
oh. sure. ah, two adults.
jake got the tickets and hurried back to bea waiting in line.
god what a mob scene up at the window. it’s crazy. i’ve never seen anything like it. people are like animals up there. but we have tickets.
someone from behind him spoke.
you have tickets?
someone in front of them said.
this is the line for tickets. you cut the line to get tickets??
jake looked at bea grabbed her hand and pulled her from the line. they scuttled around the corner laughing hysterically. the mob scene at the box office hadn’t changed much once they got there. bea and jake milled around outside on the edge of the madness. watching.
a few minutes later a theatre employee came outside and said.
the current showing will be over in a few minutes. if you have tickets please, form a line right here.
he was pointing to the left side of the door. jake grabbed bea’s hand again and they made it to the front of the line ahead of the others with tickets. the employee then started to work on the box office window chaos. finally gaining some control of the area around the box office. the ticket selling then went on at a more normal pace.
when the line they were in was finally let inside. bea took over.
follow me. i’ve been here before.
lead on, bea.
she made a beeline for the stairs and took them two at a time. jake followed suit. they found themselves in the loge section. in the front row. the two middle seats. perfect.
god are we lucky or what?
you can say that again.
the thoughts of the evening before made jake laugh out loud. yeah, one hell of a night for sure. he took a shower. changed clothes. locked up then left to pick up stephanie.