Colfax and Dead Part 3 Chapter 2
I caught a ride from the Loves Truckstop to a the off/on ramp at Chambers and I-70. Offered to buy the trucker some food from a Jack in the Box nearby but he was in a hurry to pick up a load. When he stopped at the stoplight offramp I thanked him and jumped out. Then jogged south a little, I had a friend who owed me a couple of favors who lived nearby in one of the trailer parks around Chambers and Colfax.
Nick’s trailer at one time was a top-of-the-line double wide mobile home. Sometime in the 70’s someone set it up and lived in it for twenty years treating the home like it was a mansion. Then when the land it was on was bought out the owner had to move it and couldn’t afford it. So they sold the home to Nick who happened to come into some money, he moved it by going with the cheapest person he could find. The move didn’t go so well and one half of the double wide ended up destroyed on the side of the highway. Nick not to be deterred built a new half for the trailer. His place is one half elegant as a trailer home could be and other half something that looked like it belonged on the side of a hill in some third world country.
“NICK! NICK! It’s Daxx open up.” I called out while pounding a few times on the door. I released the screen door and stepped back a moment to give him time to answer. There was some lights in the trailer and I thought I heard voices but didn’t know if it was his trailer or a neighbors. Stepping forward I opened the screen door to knock some more but the door opened and Nick was standing there. Nick looked much older than his forty years should. When we were younger he used to look a little like Nicholas Cage, now he still looked like the actor but only if he wasted his fortune and health in a meth addiction. I’m not one to judge but I should start cashing out any favors Nick owes me cause I doubt he will be around another year or two.
“Daxx, what’s up, man?” Nick answered as his slightly unfocused eyes scanned the area behind me and he tilted his head to glance towards the street.
“Have a minute to chat?” I asked, keeping my hands visible and trying to not make any sudden movements.
“Sure, man, come in.” Nick stepped outside to hold the door open for me with his left hand, in his right hand he carried a shotgun that had been shortened. I stepped inside and out of the corner of my eye I saw him looking around towards the street and around his yard. A moment later he followed me inside and placed the gun in an umbrella holder. “What’s up?”
“Not much, a friend of mine is missing and I’m trying to find out what happened to him.” I said as casually as I could while sitting down on a nearby chair. I reached in my jacket and pulled out the photo, it was a group picture of Signs of Danger, my daughter Karen, some lady who’s name escapes me, and Tony standing in the back looking moody and dark. A stylized logo of the band name in the middle of a yellow caution sign. Nick picked up the picture and the fifty dollar bill I had under it.
“He doesn’t look like a tweeker.” Nick said while pocketing the money and looking closely at the picture. “This logo…” Nick trailed off a little looking at the logo as if trying to remember something.
“They are a local band, used to play where I drink.” I replied and held out a hand to take the picture back. Nick took another look at it and shook his head. Then he gently handed it back to me.
“Have not seen him or the girls. Too upscale for my crowd.” Nick then leaned back in his chair, reached behind it and slowly pulled up a bottle of beer from behind the chair. He set it on the table and grabbed another for himself. I snagged the beer and opened it.
“Know anyone who is that upscale to set up a meet?” I asked then took a sip of the beer. I’m sure it tasted like piss but couldn’t tell either way. Did not want to be rude to my host though.
“Ha, like after you meet with Jeb?” Nick laughed and took a long drink from his bottle. “Na, those high and mighty types tend to not be chummy with the likes of me.” He took another long drink from his bottle and continued as I consider my next option, “Daxx, honestly you got issues man. You should seek help or meds,” his tone softened almost into a whisper. “People around you tend to end up broken.”
“Hey, thanks for the beer, man. You gonna join a crew anytime soon?” I asked seeking to change the subject as I did remember what happened to Jeb.
“Nah, maybe once summer is here, always hated roughnecking in the fucking cold.” Nick said and finished the rest of his beer. He looked at the almost empty bottle in my hand and nodded his head towards where he got the beers from.
“No thank you, I’ll be driving soon. I’ll bring the beers next time though.” I stood up and finished what was in the bottle before setting it on the table then turned towards the door. Nick stood up with me.
“Hey, Daxx, hang on.” He quickly said as he stood up. I looked back at Nick and he continued, “Before the accident, how many fights did you get into?”
“What?” I asked and without thinking clenched both fists.
“You used to be a man of peace, now you’re fucking Tyler Durden.” Nick raised both of his hands up, palms facing me as he said that.
“Don’t know, not many.” I replied slowly unclenching my fists.
“The accident, man, it changed you.” Nick quickly replied as if in a hurry. He seemed to hold his breath as I paused to consider his words. I’ve known Nick for a long time and aside from his disregard for some laws he was a good person.
“The accident took everything from me, Nick. All I have left is…” I held my hands up, palms towards the ceiling and shrugged my shoulders. “Thank you, I’ll see you around.” I stepped towards the door and opened it. Just a few big steps and I was on the last step to his porch before he got to the door. I didn’t look back but imagined he was watching me walk to the street holding the screen door with one hand and his shotgun with the other. Next time I visit I’ll suggest we both get help, maybe a group discount.