"And ye will soon know who it is that is in error manifest."


Squatman, eyes to binoculars, scans the scene on which he focuses:
concrete steps
leading down from street level
to a flat-black, nondescript door
through which, thus far, no one has exited
three gone in:
     one male
     two females
young, indigenous to The Haight (the 'Lower Haight' to be precise) each dressed in counter-cultural acting-out attire; each looking to score?
Were drugs essential in explaining the "A-rab's" long-drawn surveillance...
piles of empty pizza boxes signifying patience...
as he scouted out new territory?
Drummed up customers?
Why else wait?
Why spend a week or more holed up in some unspeakably foul hotel to watch the humdrum comings and goings of juvenile delinquents?
Why 'off' Joleena?
Why sell hash on another man's turf?
And why allow a mortal enemy (which the A-rab made of Squatman when their paths and purposes jointly crossed) to survive?

It is this last irregularity that has hijacked Squatman's thoughts, his soul held hostage by an act of 'mercy' loathsome to recall:
had the gun misfired just once, he might have chalked it up to Chance.
But twice!
To bite the bullet twice and still exist suggested Fate; and it is Squatman's to avenge this two-fold insult.


Cab out front.

His cellphone cackling with a heads-up from the lobby, Willie tenses. Vindication in the offing, he resolves to persevere. If it means dying in the line of duty, death will be his ally, death the proof that he is worthy, death promoting him to FRIEND instead of LACKEY, GOFER, YES-MAN—roles devoid of  self-esteem, the major factor in protracting his good-for-nothing status. This time will be different; no more cowardice; no more ducking. He will lead the charge himself, ignore the A-rab's fickle firearm, get there first to whip his ass and serve it up on a silver tray, then be invited—as an equal—to share the spoils.