Just in case you’re planning on being interrogated.

Rewatch of Burn Notice (god, I love that show) and ER (it’s a challenging show and I love it too). Thinking about a Homicide rewatch.

Anybody who can see the throughline between Burn Notice and what I’m currently writing …. yeah, it’s there. The supercompetent guy who’s so rarely at a loss. Also I’m rereading Niccolo. Some cross-contamination is inevitable.

Jeff took me to brekky, and after many hints I made banana bread yesterday, and did some laundry and practiced mandolin, and talked to Keith on the phone, and wrote 2000 words in two lots, first thing and around 3 pm.

Today I need to go for a walk quite desperately.  If I don’t hear from Paul I’ll probably take a trek over to David’s Market.

Thinking about chicken schnitzel later.  It’s cooled off so much that I’m thinking of more cooking and baking.  The summer fell off a Labour Day cliff by the feel of things.

13. Client-free interlude II

Jesse had never seen George eat, or show interest in a woman, or take a personal phone call, or drive a car (he claimed not to know how), or do any banking, unless you considered his apparently endless supply of cash to be some form of banking, or go to the washroom except as a ruse (although Jesse admitted to himself that if George really did have some kind of digestive problem that only allowed him to take a shit during a household move it was probably okay to feel sorry for him) or drink a beer, or, indeed, anything, or take a bong hit, or admit to watching current television, or talk about any celebrities, or show much interest in politics that wasn’t local, or show any interest in sports (besides a not always compellingly sincere appreciation of sports as a demonstration of fitness.) It was telling that he didn’t care if athletes used performance enhancing drugs.

Jesse solemnly asked for his opinion, and his bloviation was unleashed. “What a ludicrous question. Since the bar is set at detection, virtually everyone is doing it, and trying to follow whatever protocols will allow them to pass whatever inane, inconsistent and media-infested tests which are applied to them during their careers. Some have good doctors and canny coaches and some don’t, but with a few honest exceptions, most athletes are doping, and they’d be fools not to.”

Jesse started laughing. “You don’t even watch sports!” Jesse said.  He followed Junior A hockey, it being the only game he could imagine himself playing, but not much else. Soccer was oka-a-ay as long as it wasn’t one of those fucking snore-fests, all about the defence, and long boring stretches of nothing happening but some sonorous wanker with a deferential English accent going on about nothing to do with the game. “And yet somehow you always have an opinion,” Jesse added.

“In that, how do I differ from anyone else?” George said, apparently offended.  “I have an opinion about excellence, and I’m not as fussy as you about where the excellence comes from.”

“Spoken like a man being supported by his girlfriend,” Jesse ventured.

“Oh no,” George said, smiling a weird little smile. “That teat has been decently tucked away.” Then, poking Jesse, who resentfully said, “Ow!” he added, “And that was a sexist remark.  There’s no reason for me to feel guilty about that if it doesn’t bother her.”

“Wait a minute. You’re kidding. She cut you off?”

“Um. I’m trying — trying to think of a compassionate way of putting this,” George said, as if he didn’t give much for his chances.

“Tell me straight, doc, am I dyin’?” Jesse said. He was concerned about the business, and would have a hard time without George, and didn’t feel like hiding that he knew this.  George took it the wrong way, but not in a bad way.

“Screw you,” George said amiably. “She has projects which require all the cash both of us can raise.  Since I, too, will profit immensely from the positive outcome of these projects, I am helping her with the sales and turning the proceeds over, less the bank charges of course, because I can’t run it all cash, as much as I’d like to. And, of course, there’s the difficulty associated with keeping the transaction sizes small enough that they don’t raise the attention of the feds, also a concern. But — I have to raise enough money to be taken seriously, or this whole project won’t work.”

Jesse got that whiff of fantasy again, and poked. “How much money.”

“I can’t see doing it for less than twenty million dollars,” George said. He didn’t sound worried.  He sounded like a man considering what he said, as he said it. 

Jesse was entranced. “What is it? An indie film project?” He could see having some fun with this sunny-tempered grandiosity. “World’s first 3D Zero-G porn film?”

George, laughing, sputtered something in a language Jesse didn’t recognize. “I should keep that in the queue as a potential money maker,” he said, sobering. “Good suggestion! Good talk!” and Jesse knew that the moment of honesty, during which George revealed himself as an anxious man, and possibly as a full-stop lunatic, had floated away.

He had spent intense bursts of time these last three months with George, and still had no idea what the hell he was up to. He didn’t lie about anything Jesse thought was important, but he’d evaded basic questions about his past.

In retrospect it had been the right thing to do, but Jesse remembered the disbelief — which started as a blast of heat between his eyes and rapidly spread to his whole face — when George had handed over their whole take to the nanny. The fairytale ending was the stack of bills he’d made a slick for in the bedroom door of his co-op house in Strathcona, but there had been no way to expect that outcome when a well-connected Communist Party scion married to a multi-millionaire’s daughter shoved a gun in his face.

George lived a charmed life, and a lot of it happened where and when Jesse couldn’t see him. It was part of the fascination, and the lion’s share of the aggro.

He couldn’t sneak up on him.  The fucker was uncanny, always knew where he was. He’d considered it, but there seemed to be no point in paying to have someone else follow him when he was that careful of his surroundings. During his most aggrieved and somnambulant plotting, Jesse thought of bugging George’s apartment but that didn’t seem wise. George had a knack for noticing security cameras and more than once had stopped Jesse from doing something stupid in plain view.