TITLE: Catcher's Keeper
GENRE: Commercial fiction
I finish up in the can and put on ol’ Jerry’s robe that’s hanging on the door, since I’m just sporting boxers. Robe’s kind of ratty, but soft and smells like our parents’ place. Sweet nostalgia.
But then as I round the corner – the aroma of coffee leading me like Le Pew to Penelope – I stop dead when I see Jerry rifling through my boxes. And he doesn’t even flinch when I come in. Why can’t he wait until I’m out like a normal nosy brother? But I can’t complain. He’s allowing my forty-year-old ass to crash here. Besides, I’m on a caffeine mission and I hear the coffee maker’s final, steamy percolation. Pavlov’s so right.
I like it black. I pour my joe into a YMCA mug and check out Jerry’s lousy view. What I’d call ‘low LA.’ Parking lot. Smoke stacks. Bird shit. Litter. I guess Jerry moved here for the scenery. I’m chuckling about it, and scratching my nuts, when he reads aloud:
“Now he’s out in Hollywood, being a prostitute. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.”
It’s familiar, but far away. I feel this tingling behind my eyes. It’s like that time the cops found a joint in my shirt pocket. I’m caught. Ol’ YMCA feels heavy as I take my first sip. It’s hot and tangy and gets my stomach ready. But I can’t find my cigarettes anywhere.
“Holy crap, Alden,” Jerry says. “What is this?”