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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 16 page 23

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“Look,” I told Lobo, “You gotta pay. It's not fair to the other alumni if you don’t.”

“I never signed a pledge,” he retorted.

“It’s got your signature.” I waved a copy of the pledge in front of his eyes.

He snatched the paper from my hands, gazed at it for a few seconds. “I don’t write like that anymore,” he said. He tore it up and let the shreds flutter to the floor like snowflakes.

We stared at the flakes of paper on the floor.

Lobo heaved his shoulders. “I'm beat. It’s time I shot up,” he said. "I got a lot of stuff to do.”

They were speedfreaks, the pair of them. As Cindy prepared a needle, Lobo removed his jacket and spent the next half-hour trying to find a vein that wasn't already popped to death.

“I never did speed till I met Lobo,” Cindy said. Logically she must have been speaking to me but she was looking straight at him as if I wasn't there. “His name was Dillon back then, he drove a BMW. I was a groom and he would come out to the stable at night to check out the horses and check me out too.” Her voice trailed off with a note of puzzlement, as if unsure what to make of life’s byways.

“You a pusher?” I asked Lobo. I find it is more productive to be direct and non-judgmental.

“A pusher? No, never. Except a couple times I helped the mayor out, but that’s all.”

“So how do you make a living?”

“I take contracts sometimes.”

“Contracts to do what?”

“You know, contracts. To convince someone to do something. Or to stop doing something. Whatever.”

“Do you have a contract right now?”

“Maybe.”

He tied a necktie tight around his bicep to get a vein to show finally. Cindy passed him what looked like a pretty big dose.

“Want some?” he asked me.

“No.”

“Make him a pipe,” he told Cindy.

I figured OK, a few tokes would be enough to establish my cred. I can pretty well handle any substance you throw at me.

Lobo picked up his phone and starting pushing buttons. “It’s time we got the jewels back,” he announced.

He was calling his lawyer but it was two in the morning so he just ended up on voicemail and he didn’t have the patience to leave a message. He slammed the phone back onto the table.

I knew, because Sally my admin assistant had informed me, that Lobo had been caught with a bag of jewelry which the cops confiscated from him but they hadn’t charged him with anything yet, probably they couldn’t figure where he swiped it from.

“That stuff’s worth $10,000. They got no right to keep it. They don’t know whose it is,” Lobo said with indignation. “They said it was the proceeds of crime. They’re full of shit. I told them I borrowed those jewels from my mother. They have to give them back.”

He re-dialed again and again like a maniac for the rest of the night, even at three, four a.m., angrily slamming the phone down each time the voicemail came on.

“Lobo, here’s how I see it,” I said. My mouth was parched like the Sahara and it was nearly twenty hours since I slept but I was wide awake, my mental processes were sharper than ever. “You’ve known all along,” I said, “You’ve known that Drake was spiking his horses to win the polo trophies and probably he was giving a little juice to the players too. His social circle will never forgive him when they find out. He’ll be a pariah.”

“What’s your point?”

<CONT...>