The end is about two chapters away. Ready to rewrite by the time I get back from NY. Not sure how much work I’ll get done there. Here’s what I wrote today.
Come Halloween icicles hung from the fire escapes and the condemned notices on the halfway house were illegible beneath the dark scrawls of graffiti. The “Man Up! Sober Living House” plaque swung from one nail above the entrance. Night after night the shiny new City bulldozer slept on the street outside in its metal cage and waited. Ben sat at the fifth floor window and watched The Trap through the army binoculars he found in the footlocker on the forth floor. He watched the man who’d taken his life pull up to The Trap and get out of his car. Ben’s car. The man, let’s call him Charlie, sat inside the car and checked his phone.
‘What’s the time?’ Ben said from behind his binoculars.
There was a shuffling on the mattress behind him. “Just before nine.’
Ben watched Mitchell pull up beside Charlie’s car and he and Charlie went into the tavern together. Ben noticed that Mitchell seemed stiffer, a little more formal with Charlie than before. Charlie put his arm around him but Mitch managed to slip out of his grip by the time they reached the bouncer. They disappeared into the Trap and Ben lowered his binoculars.
Cold air blew in through the broken window smelling of lake water and of exhaust. The bulldozers would have to start in before Thanksgiving or wait until after New Year. Ben had begun to grow a thin layer of hair, let’s call it pelt, over his arms, legs and face. The wiry hairs sprouted around the blisters, sometimes right through them. Grim islands of scar tissue floated in the jungle of hair.
Sean found blankets dumped outside the Goodwill, and made herself fires in the basement kitchen. Ben gave her money to buy a small generator but they hadn’t set it up yet. She spent most of her time up here with him and Marcy, sitting on the edge of the bed in darkness, wrapped in her blanket and watching the Ebay auctions on her phone. Ben gave her money to buy a new laptop too, but it was mostly him who used it.
‘Twelve grand,’ she said. The phone screen lit up her face and her dread locks fell over the tan folds of the blanket. She looked like a small mountain lit by the moon. ‘Two days to go.’
There was movement at the Trap and Ben turned and lifted the binoculars to his eyes again. Mitchell got into his car and drove away, skidding the wheels a little as he shot out of the parking lot. Ben had never known Mitchell to hit anything over sixty in the streets, drunk or sober.
‘Twelve one,’ Sean said. Marcy lifted a tortoiseshell leg and started licking her ass. Sean nudged her with the toe of her Doc Marten. ‘Be nice.’