Reggie came inside with a big bite o' death in his hands. He shook his head.
"I keep trying to avoid Henry, but as soon as he sees me he insists on giving me a free hot dog!"
"That better not be a euphemism," I said through clenched teeth.
"I mean, his weiners are good, but..."
Across from the library was a hot dog vendor. One acquired a hot dog by exchanging legal currency--however, Reggie was exempt from the laws of our mercantile system.
"The guy's a commie," I said, reaching for the phone. "Don't worry. I'm calling Homeland Security."
"No, no. It's because I'm black," Reggie said. "He feels sorry for me."
"For once racism works in your favor," I said, chuckling.
"Yeah. Once. By the way, Tad has been getting on me to give him more stuff."
"The homeless guy with the weeping sores on his back?"
"Wait, wait. Let me finish this first before we start talking about him..." Reggie started folding and stuffing the greasy weiner into his mouth, making mmm noises and snorting.
"Actually, I should probably..." I typed randomly on my keyboard.
"Anyway..." Reggie belched hot dog gas. Now it was my turn to go mm. "Tad gave me this list. Can you believe this shit, man? Just because I give the guy some smokes and buy him a cup of soup, now he thinks I'm his dad! Look, look." Reggie smoothed out a piece of paper covered in a lunatic's hand. "It's a list of things he wants me to buy. But that's not all, he's got all the prices at Wal-Mart and Target, like where I can get the best deals. He wants underwear, a shaving kit, toe clippers, a knit cap..."
"This randomly typing stuff never works."
"And look, look at this, he wants me to buy him some condoms. Some Magnum XL's! Je-sus. Can you believe that? What makes him think I want to know the size of his dick?"
"Why are you still here?"
"Shouldn't you be out buying these items for your well-hung homeless friend?"
"No! I told him to go fuck himself. Then he got all hurt, and..." Reggie shook his head. "I told him you have some money. I mean, I feel sorry for the guy! My heart is just too big, you know? He sleeps on the concrete, and gets food out of the dumpsters. But anyway, I told him I'd borrow the money from you. Just for some of these things. I'm not buying him the condoms! I told him that..."
"No," I said.
"I'm not giving you money. In fact, I should be the last resort when you need money..."
"Fuck you, then," Reggie said. "I have my own way to get money."
"By, uh, working?"
"Ha, ha. No, man. You forget I'm an artist. I'm going to paint a doberman fighting another dog. Just tearing each other up, with blood and everything. It's going to be off the chain."
"A guy on the west side wants me to do it. He's paying me 300."
"Allow me to summarize: You are going to paint a vicious dog fight in order to fund a homeless man who needs condoms for his very large penis. Well, at least we had a happy ending."
"No," Reggie said, picking at his teeth. "Without a handjob it's just an ending."
"So true. So true."
Next Week: Reggie paints his house being fire-bombed by PETA.