“Who buys a used safe?”
Calhoun Gildihorn was sure of that one, even if he wasn’t sure of much as he circled to park. Today was Full Album Friday on his favorite station. “Yellow Submarine” was on, adding irony to his drive. That he also knew, plus he knew he was full. His stomach tidal wave rolled as he took the Grenade through right after right.
“Calhoun, you hate lefts. There’s a danger in them. Too risky. Keep taking the Grenade right. Right is might, Calhoun. Right is might.”
The Grenade groaned, its shocks absorbing every pockmark Western Avenue and its perpendicular and parallel cousins gave its suspension. Chicago, a veritable swampy mess of a city if there ever was one, has enough holes in its collective tar to make an acne-covered teenager blush.
“I gave you the name, Grenade. Never forget that. You know once you name…”
Calhoun belched out an octave of hot dog. There was bound to be more.
“Apologies, Grenade. You earned your gas… guess I earned mine too.”
The light pushed amber as Calhoun set in motion another trip around the block.
“Calhoun, let me ask you something. Who would consider a used safe with a used combination the previous owner could have certainly written down? What if this previous owner knows you?”
“Knows me?” Calhoun sang out loud. “Knows me? Hell I barely even know me. Who really does? Hey, is that a spot?”
Calhoun Gildihorn was not one to pay for much, and parking was certainly not on the list. Frittering away a dime or a dollar for a temporary position of stillness wasn’t happening now, if ever. He was a thrifty man, even if Calhoun’s days were filled with thoughts of wrong. Preferably with no blood spilled but sometimes pride gets in the way of sanity.
Right, though? Today right was a bilious volume of wrong. 30¢ a gallon is savings, but eating three footlong hot dogs to attain said savings to fill up the Grenade? Only fools fall for a marketing ploy like that.
“Three for Thirty is ridiculous, Calhoun. Purely. Absolutely. Ridiculous. Not with a slathering of brilliant yellow mustard though. Goddamn that fit. Ah, yes.”
The Grenade parallel-bombed into a spot, its green Ford sedan largess negotiating enough room between its brothers in rubber to allow enough room for an alley rat to squeeze through if so desired.
“Who buys a used safe, Calhoun? Someone who shouldn’t buy a new one, buddy. Arouses suspicion.”
After looting, lathering, lauding and landing, Calhoun had taken his prized possession, his first – and only – work of original art, back to his first floor one room in a two flat. He placed it on a wall where no sun ever splashed light, sat and stared. This would not do. Purloined coin or not, there was no possibility of hanging it for all to see. Someone could steal it.
He sat parked for three minutes. “Bulldog” had started rolling through the Grenade’s speaker. There were speakers, but part of the Grenada’s overall erosion included working its way from stereo to mono. But, you don’t shut off “Bulldog.” Doesn’t come on that often.
“Ah, Calhoun. Who doesn’t like a good dog?”
Another shot of wiener came up from the depths of his gastrointestinal system with enough odor to provoke a cough.
Damn. Mother would be so happy – he had washed his hands before entering the gallery as no one would want to shake a hand sticky with blood – yet, so disappointed. Three foot-longs in one sitting. Now that’s a crime.
“Let’s go get that safe, Calhoun.”