I was riding on my bicycle when the cop pulled up beside me, rolled down the window and asked if I was Henry Cherry. Not a popularity contest you want to win. They had me in cuffs pretty quick, but were kind enough to let me drop the bike off.
No one really bragged about riding on the back of the trash truck. It was the short time gig. Some bartenders would lay pints of beer on you, and the smell of the garage was enough to cover the booze on your breath. It wasn’t a prize, though. Nothing was a prize. The taste of it just ruined your sleep, counting the days until you could get your own pint, until you could get the garbage smell and the baloney sandwiches out of your system once and for all.
I knew the people that served drinks the way you know people in your twenties. They came over and helped make dinners and ate them, and tapped kegs and helped drink them. Some put out actual fires that sprouted in the backyard. And they knew me the way you know someone with too many chances. They knew I was running out.
When I got released, Jimmy came and we drove over the bridge to pick up his things. A guitar, some wide collared shirts with short sleeves, half polyester drip dry things. I stuck my head out of the passenger window and left it there until the rain drops started to hurt.