this is a follow-up on Abe, https://inaweblogisback.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/abe/ my entry for
It was a dark day in Amsterdam, some years after Abe had visited our home. I was eighteen now and lived in Amsterdam , where I felt right at home. I rented a tiny room with no running water. My best friend at work was a gay hooker, he would make money during our lunch breaks from the city’s energy company, where we had to copy forms, and with those extra earnings he bought fancy food to share. We would often eat his salads and sandwiches in the Vondelpark next to our office building, me sitting, and he standing, for obvious reasons. His name was Rick.
He was a real nice guy, earrings and lipstick and all. So this one day it was too rainy for eating in the park, and none of his regular customers had phoned for a trick, as he called his second job, so we decided to take shelter in a café and have lunch there.
It was the kind of weather we had when this Abe showed up years before, thunder and lightning. As the storm started to get nasty outside, we entered. We wanted a beer. The café was full of rather stoned hippies who smiled friendly and instead of beer, we decided to go with the flow and have tea.
The air was thick of hashish. Everyone was talking English or Arab, and we forgot we had to go back to our desks to push pencils.
We befriended some Americans and went to their hotel room, my friend to smoke pot and I just listened to their fantastic music recordings from India and sort of danced to it. Hey we were hippies, right?
All of the sudden there was trouble in the hotel, we heard shouting and angry banging on doors. It was a police raid, no idea what they were looking for. The Americans got nervous.
We all decided to leave the shabby hotel room by the window, it was a bit of a climb down. We had to take a fence, and all of a sudden, in the middle of a thunder-storm, we were in somebody’s city garden.
“Hi there.” The man in the white suit waved, we had to follow him inside. “Welcome, come in,” he said, in English. “So you are Americans? The police is after you?”
We all nodded, even Rick and me. He seemed to like Americans.
We stayed all evening, drinking wine and eating nice little dishes of raw fish (sushi, but we didn’t know that then).
The rain stopped. Rick and I had to leave and we said our goodbyes. It was obvious the Americans were too stoned to go anywhere.
“Thanks for the shelter,” I said.
“You are welcome. This is not really my house, you know. That food isn’t mine. It is from the man who wants me dead.” He laughed. “He is in Germany now. He took my wife, so I take his house. He will have a surprise when he comes back tomorrow! Six stoned Yanks in his living room! And this!”
All of the sudden I saw a picture on the wall. It was a picture of my cousin Billy, the same picture my parents had on the mantelpiece for years.
“That is him,” the criminal creep said. “And I will be waiting for him.”
I now saw a gun sticking out of his pocket. I pulled Rick out of the house and we ran away. I tried to tell him what had happened, but he just cried. He was too stoned and drunk. I took him to his room where we both fell asleep. The next day we went to work and never spoke about what had happened.
A week later my mother, now a widow, called me at work. Cousin Billy had died and in his will he had left everything to her.
I didn’t ask how he had died. She got a nice inheritance and went to America to live with her sister-in-law.