“Jonathan!,” Moira and I shouted. I snatched Lexington from him, and Moira and I both hugged Jonathan and pounded his back. Jonathan turned red with pleasure, embarrassment, and possibly pain.
“Hi, Mike,” Jonathan said to Mike, who was still busy pulling out his hair. Jonathan looked quizzically at us. “We’ll tell you later,” Moira mouthed.
“Hi, Jonathan,” Mike said, without looking up.
The little old lesbians smiled and waved and shut the door behind them, happy at having to contributed to the reunion.
“Mike killed his landlady,” I said to Jonathan. “So he’s a little upset, right now. We are hoping he’ll get over it quick. We saw Jill, and we want to rescue her tonight. While Mike is recovering, maybe you’ll tell us WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?”
Moira went to the bedroom safe for a couple of cans and started making breakfast or supper, or whatever. Lexington ran to bug her. Who knows when his last meal had been. Moira cursed him, but immediately started dropping bits on the floor for him. Bethel ran over to compete.
Jonathan and I wandered over to sit at the kitchen table and he began his story.
“Well, I felt shitty that we’d left Lexington behind when we ended up at Show World and everything seemed OK. Lexington was just an avenue over, and it was HIS apartment we were staying in. Well, his and Jill’s. So I got up early and I told Lynn that I was going back to Manhattan Plaza for Lexington.”
“You told Lynn,” I said. “You TOLD Lynn where you were going?”
“Yes,” he said, “Everybody was asleep. Lynn got up to pee, and I told her where I was going and she said she would tell everyone.”
“What she actually did was draw a crazy ass picture of us all watching you go that made us think we’d lost our minds,” Moira said.
“Oh,” Jonathan said. “That was probably bad.”
“Damn right it was bad. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve said that it’s foolish to trust a crack whore,” Moira declared. She plopped plates down on the table. “Get the fuck over here, Mike. Murder is hungry work and we got a damsel to liberate before the sun goes down or comes up or whatever.”
Mike dragged his feet over to the table. He thumped into a chair. He stared down at his plate. “For Jill,” he said, and started cramming Spam and tuna into his mouth with all of the enjoyment of a chipper/shredder making mulch.
“How did you get back into Manhattan Plaza?,” I asked. “They weren’t exactly wild about us, over there.”
“I waited until I saw Bob leave, then I gave the guys at the door $500 to let me in to get the cat. I had some cigarettes with me, but the guards control Food Emporium, so money seemed like a better bribe.”
“You were walking around with $500?,” I gasped.
“Oh, sure. Me and some buddies were planning to go to Runway 69 before the bird thing. It was going to be a big night.”
“Obviously it was,” Moira muttered.
“Well, I, for one, am touched that you gave up your stripper panty money to save Jill’s cat,” I declared.
“Jill is my friend. You guys are all my friends,” Jonathan said.
The chipper/shredder actually stopped, mid-bite, and reached over to squeeze Jonathan’s shoulder.
“So,” Jonathan continued, “I went up to Jeffrey’s apartment. He was really freaking out. People had been knocking on doors, telling the tenants over there that they didn’t have a choice over whether or not to rush the Lincoln tunnel with Bob. I don’t know why, but Bob wants to force people to go. Jeffrey was trying to figure out how to barricade himself in his apartment. He wants to stay with his cats and wait for his partner. I gave him $500, too. Maybe he can bride someone into being missing him at the head count.”
“Jesus Christ, Jonathan! Where do you get all of this money?,” Moira asked.
“I take my lunch to work every day. I thought I’d made a quick enough trip of it, but you people had already gotten kicked the hell out of Show World before I got back. Kate told me. She was really upset.”
“Aw. See? Kate is actually a nice person, too,” I said. “She was worried about us.”
“No,” Jonathan said, “she was mad that you guys took her gun.”
“Oh, well. So, how did you find us? We didn’t tell anyone where we were going.”
“I just guessed, honestly. You live way way uptown, Moira lives in Brooklyn. I thought it was a good bet all around for me to come this way, and it actually was. I was far behind you. I wasn’t going to make it here before the sun rose, so I stopped at my parent’s apartment for the day.”
“You stopped…at your parent’s apartment.” Jonathan’s statement had finally broken Mike’s chipper/shredder exterior. He’d been shocked into being a talking, interacting person, again.
“Your parents live in the city?,” Moira asked.
“Oh, yes,” Jonathan said. “They live about five blocks from here.”
“Then what the hell are you doing with us, Jonathan?,” I asked.
“You guys are my friends,” he said.