Thursday, June 4, 2009
As Matt drove to the hospital he tried to remember the last time he had seen his cousin, and he couldn’t. Last Christmas, the summer before, he couldn’t pin it down. It threw him a little, the way his number had popped up so readily in Billy’s cell-phone. Matt certainly didn’t have Billy’s number, wouldn’t have taken it on a bet. Thanksgiving, he decided. Must’ve been right around Thanksgiving sometime, ran into him pretty much by chance. Some restaurant downtown. Even if he couldn’t quite remember it, he could still imagine the scene pretty clearly. Billy red-faced and laughing too hard at his own stories, talking too loud at the bar. His wiry little girlfriend nervous behind him. Matt saying how good it was to see him again and looking for the door. Must’ve been Thanksgiving.
Billy had gone down to Florida not that long back, thought he’d go down there and make some money, never did say how. Get fat and happy, sit out in the sun. Drink Coronas and fish for Marlin all day, that was the plan. He was convinced a whole new life of ease was just down there waiting for him, that’s what he called it. All he had to do was go down and grab it. He was back home within the year and he’d gotten fat alright but Matt couldn’t say he seemed particularly happy. He’d brought the girlfriend back up with him, the thin nervous girl with the auburn hair. The girl with the yellow Honda.