I got the call early in the week.
An agent had broken her arm, or her leg, or quit, or got assassinated. Something like that. She covers Fall River.
"Phil, you have boxes, right? We need you to deliver them to The Riv."
The Riv is an hour-and-a-half from me. It's so far that the easiest way for me to get there is to cut through Rhode Island and then double back into Massachusetts. Suddenly I'm starting to feel like I'm in an A.J. O'Connell "Beware the Hawk" sequel.
But money and mileage reimbursement are hard to turn down. So my alarm goes off at 4 am. I grab my boxes, throw them in the back seat of the car and head down to The Riv. I'm alone, and that's the way it has to be. There will be enough potential conflict when I get down there.
Luckily, I'm not without friends. My MFA Li'l Sis Erin has nothing to do with these boxes or this assignment. But she is a native of The Riv and she can provide crucial guidance and directions. I tell her only what I have to.
I get down to Fall River and park in as safe a place as possible -- it's The Riv and at any moment bullets could be whizzing past me. Worse, I need to shitload of stuff to complete this task and hardly any of it is here. Stolen. Probably by some thug or homeless person.
And then there's conflict. People coming up to me and asking, "What are you doing?" "You can;t be here." Trying to confiscate my boxes. Adversaries in every direction.
Fuck that noise. I have an assignment and I'm going to complete it. It took about four hours. But the contents of the boxes have been installed.
Mission accomplished. I had another long, 90-minute drive back home and a trail of bodies behind me. But I rewarded myself for a job well done with an afternoon nap.