Billie Joe had cashed his check, met his dealer and walked the whole way home to the Lower East side feeling no pain. Fuck that job. He'd go back later maybe. Maybe not. He had a pile of money in his pocket, along with a bag of his shit and could do whatever in the fuck he wanted. He had a big big smile. What was next- getting laid? Hm might not be the best time for that. Getting drunk, now that was a given. He noticed he was still carrying his hard hat. Now why would he still have this thing? He handed it to the next person he made eye contact with, an elderly gentleman who did not care for the cut of Billie Joe's jib, not one bit. The old man took the hard hat and shaking his head, watched Billie Joe walk down the sidewalk.
It wasn't until he got to his girlfriend's building that he noticed he'd lost his keys. The good-time buzz had worn off slightly. He rang the bell. Her voice came on immediately, “Hello”
“Hey baby, I left my keys at work I think” he said, leaning his head against the call box “can you buzz me in?” There was no response. He waited a minute, looked around at the people walking past and buzzed again. Then his stuff started landing on the sidewalk all around him.
“Whoa whoa whoa!!” he yelled and backed out onto the curb, looking up to her window. The mistake in this was that he gave her a clear target. One of his boots nearly connected with his face. She shrieked , long hair waving widly in the wind all around her face. He was high enough to think she looked even more beautiful than ever.
“Selene, baby come on!” he shouted up to her
“Why don't you take your shit and go stay with your little Peurto Rican friend in Queens, you stupid wacked out fuck?”
“Man, all me and Sofia did was make out that one time.” he shouted
“Sofia?” the woman responded, incredulous “Who said anything about Sofia? I was talking...about Marta...you motherfucker!” She took breaks in screaming at him to throw more of his clothes at him.
“Ah God.” he said and held his head, pacing. Man he had fucked up now.
Foot traffic had halted on both sides of the block to watch the scene. Billie Joe looked around at the little old Polish ladies in their head scarves who looked at him scornfully. He smiled and waved to them, chuckling slightly. They weren't buying it in the least.
“Baby, just let me in so we can talk this thing out.” he pleaded as more of his possesions rained down from her window.
“What is there to talk about that we haven't talked about a hundred times before?” she said, “Where you been all afternoon? You got off at three.” It was at least six o'clock, and he realized he didn't have an answer in the world for this one. He shrugged and decided to raise both his hands in an attempt to beg mercy.
“Marty called looking for you,” she said. Marty was his best jobsite buddy, an electrician. “He was worried on account of you getting fired today. He was afraid you might get into something stupid.”
“Man, fuck Marty!” Billie Joe called, “It's no big deal, honey, I can make some calls, I'll get right back to work come Monday.”
“Billie Joe that's what you always say.” she said, almost mournfully. Her face softened and she looked as though she were about to cry. Mostly she just looked tired and beautiful. Her white shirt was unbuttoned midway down and hung open so that he could see her small white breasts. As he held his hands up to her, he realized he would never touch those breasts again.
“Selene, you gotta realize this is such a cliche'd breakup technique.” he said. Laughter might not be the best option, but he tried a chuckle. She ignored it.
“How many jobs has it been now?” she asked “How many even this year, Billie Joe?”
He puzzled about this for a minute. Looking up at the sky past the building and doing the math, he realized he didn't know the answer.
The girl in the high window shook her head mournfully and finally tossed down a battered leather jacket.
“Good-bye, Billy Joe.” she said, and closed the window.
Stunned, he looked around at his belongings strewn all over the sidewalk. Foot traffic had re-commenced, with a collective sighing and shaking of heads. Woeful comments were muttered just under breath but loud enough to hear about the sad state of the neighborhood as Billie Joe Maynard tried to prioritize which parts of his life should be slavaged from the sidewalk.