The Ultimate Friend Date


delia_icon.gif nick2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Ultimate Friend Date
Synopsis Nick makes good on his promise to contact Delia after her birthday and gets serenaded.
Date March 11, 2011

Fort Greene — Nick Ruskin's Apartment

She'd told Logan that she'd keep her iPad on at all times should he wish to contact her. True to her word, it's on and she's got her earplugs in and is rapping along to one of the songs that Brad had loaded onto the contraption months ago. "Yeah— Yeah— I'll be hood forever… uh uh… yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back.. for foreigners it ain't fitted act like they forgot how to act.." She raps about as well as she sings, except instead of being out of tune, she just stammers and sometimes makes up her own words.

She doesn't hear the scrape of metal against metal as Nick's key pushes into the lock and turns it. The little chain isn't latched because she's been semi expecting him. Only she's not expecting him now. The redhead's back is turned to the door when it's pushed open and she's in the middle of pumping her arms close to her chest. Her long hair sways from side to side as she twists her body, eyes closed, and belts out, "IN NEW YOOOOOORK~ Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of~"

The off key singing doesn't actually get better the louder it is. A german shepard mix is cowered under the table, whining at the raucous noise. The moment the door opens, he skitters from his place and makes a dash for whoever is opening it.

"No wonder Lupita gave me a dirty look in the elevator," Nick mutters as he closes the door swiftly before the mutt can escape, though he takes a step back to make sure the dog isn't attacking. One hand — scratched and welted — comes out, palm up for the dog to sniff as Nick keeps one hand on the doorknob. If the dog's unfriendly, he might just let it out.

"Hey, Delia," he says with a bit more volume to cut through her headphones, though not loud enough (he hopes) to scare his newest "roommate."

The whining mutt isn't aggressive, just the opposite in fact. Perhaps overly friendly as he jumps up onto Nick for attention that he's not getting from the dancing young woman in the living room. The shadow of movement caught through her closed eyelids has her blue eyes opening to find herself almost face to face with Nick. To her credit, she doesn't scream. What she does do is stumble backward and trip over the coffee table. Recovery would be simple for someone with more agility, she's still trying to get hers back.

The bony thunk of her thin body hitting the hardwood is punctuated by a groan of pain. Pulling the plugs out of her ears, the redhead looks up at the legal resident of the apartment with a shamed grimace. "N-nick.. I didn't— You're here."

The dog is petted and scritched once Nick is sure it isn't going to bite, but then he moves away to try to grab Delia before she falls.

Too late.

His brows arch and blue eyes twinkle just a little with amusement when it's clear she didn't break anything but her pride in the fall. "I rang a bit ago but you were probably too busy caterwauling," he says with a crooked smirk, reaching a hand out to her to help her up. "I didn't mean to surprise you."

Using him as leverage, Delia grips his hand with both of hers and pulls herself to a stand. She doesn't let go right away when she's upright, matching his smirk with a lopsided grin of her own. Tilting her head down, she eyes their linked hands and finally lets go. "It's okay, I might have been bugging the neighbors?"

The dog stalks up to the two of them and nudges between, looking for more attention. The furry body against her bare knees tickles a little and she moves, squatting down to ruffle Rhett's mane before looking up at Nick again. "I didn't think you'd be home this early."

There's a slight wince as her hand pulls on his, her long fingers around those ragged scratches on his hands that never seem to heal before some other injury falls upon them. "Figured it's lunch time and as good a time to get food as any, unless you've already eaten?" Nick says, ignoring the pain. He jangles keys in one hand and reaches with the other to pet the dog, glancing at it rather than her.

"Oh.. lunch…" The ultimate friend date. "Sure! I've been saving my appetite." Perhaps since their phone call. Ramen noodles and cereal have made up a large portion of her diet since she arrived, and of course Nick might be missing a few beers but only because she was testing them out. After running out of milk the day before, she skipped breakfast. Instead, she opted for a coffee at a local breakfast spot. Free refills.

"Lemme change," from her t-shirt and basketball shorts to something a little more outdoorsy perhaps. "Is it a dress up place or can I wear jeans?" The worried expression on her face lends to the assumption that she doesn't have anything else to wear.

Nick glances at himself in order to respond to the question. He's in jeans, his Docs, a t-shirt and his leather jacket, so it can't be too dressy of a place. "Casual. Hole in the walls are the best for something like this. They ain't trying to put on airs and make it all posh, yeah? Like… Paki Fusion Bistro or sommat like that."

His eyes skim the apartment for any changes in the few days he's been gone. "I'll wait in the hall so you don't gotta change in the water closet," he offers. It's a rather small restroom, little maneuvering room due to the shower and the commode taking up most of it. He pets the dog once more and nods to the hallway, opening the door and letting himself out of his own flat.

Rhett follows as Nick makes his exit, slipping through the crack in the door just before it's closed. He sits at the man's feet, the squeak of a whine making him seem a little more pathetic than a dog of his stature should. Nudging his furry head under the man's hand, the dog moves to force a bit of petting out of him.

Inside the apartment, Delia rushes to change. Her jeans are a little bit loose, a few pounds of weight loss in the past few days is noticeable on a frame that doesn't carry much in the first place. Her arms are stretched up into the air and a long sleeved t-shirt tumbles down to cover her torso. The soft material makes it seem like the piece of clothing is ancient and a hint of fraying at the cuffs would confirm the same.

When she's all dressed again, aside from her coat and boots, Delia opens the door to let both of the men back in. There's a slight grin on her face that turns somber wehn she spies the hand the dog is nudging. "You're hurt, again. What is with men?"

"Escape artist," Nick tells the dog. He'd push Rhett back in the apartment but doesn't want to invade privacy and walk in on Delia naked, so he waits, scritching the dog's ears. When Delia opens the door, he looks up, and nudges the dog back inside.

"This isn't hurt," the Brit says with a chuckle. "And you don't getta nag about injuries until you go a day without falling over a piece of furniture." The words are playful as he waits for her to put on her boots.

"Oh good, I didn't fall over anything yesterday or the day before. So be prepared." The return smile is soft and full of affection. Taking a seat on one of the kitchen chairs, she pulls her painted Docs on and laces them up tight. The pattern on each boot is different but in the same colors of black, white, and gold.

Her coat is pulled on as soon as she stands and before long, she's completely ready. Pointing under the table, she looks down at Rhett. "Go lie down, we'll be back soon." When the dog obeys her order, she looks back up at Nick again. "Are we walking? Or taking your truck?"

"Truck," Nick says, nodding her out the door that he opens for her, and then closing and locking it behind him. He shoves his hands into his pockets and strides through the hallway to the apartment building's front doors, pushing it open for her and following to where his F150 is parked on the street. The door is unlocked via remote and he moves to open the passenger door for her, a hand out in case the long step up is difficult.

"So what's this errand?" he asks, before moving around to the driver's side, waiting for a speeding Vespa to near-miss him before climbing in the driver's seat. "Coming and going on the boat ain't good for you with a cold," he points out.

Luckily, she's almost as tall as he is, so the injured hand is treated kindly enough in the fact that she doesn't need too much help. The climb has her visibly winded for a moment though, especially after all of the dancing and falling. Climbs are more difficult.

Delia waits for Nick to get into his seat and close the door before answering him. Her blue eyes sweep over his form and then focus on his face before she raises her eyebrows. "Supplies, I went to a sort of antique store yesterday and talked to a man." She smiles and her cheeks flush a little before she starts again, "I bought a ceramic kitten for your apartment. You don't have any decorations, so I bought the girliest one I could find."

"A ceramic kitten," Nick says with a smirk and a shake of his head. "I'm not really a knick-knack kinda guy, Del." He does glance at his raked-up hands as he puts the truck into gear and pulls away from the curb.

"Speaking of 'kittens,'" Tybalt doesn't really count, he's full-grown, if not old, from what Nick can tell, "I sorta adopted a stray. It's out at Eileen's place, though. He's the one who done the damage there you're so worried 'bout."

"I know you're not and it's just one. Since it's only one, it'll be special. So whenever you see it you'll be all 'Oh hey, Delia bought that' and you'll remember me." Sort of like marking a spot out of her own in his head, only with tiny figurines.

She reaches out and slips her left hand under his right one to guide it closer for inspection. "Cat scratches can be pretty nasty," she explains as she pours over each of the angry red marks. "I know you've had all your shots— Wait for a week before getting your cat his? Just to make sure its not sick. You didn't let it loose again, did you? You have to keep it inside." Her right hand closes over his, sandwiching it.

"Why inside? He's a tom cat, used to being outside, and there's lots of free green space to roam where we're at. I'd feel bad keepin' him in," Nick says, glancing at her before squeezing her hand and withdrawing his to place on the truck's stick shift. "I don't think he'll really need me to look after it, and he looks to be a pretty good mouser so I figured I'd give him free rein."

He watches the traffic, pulling to a stop at a red light. "I'm not gonna get cat scratch fever or aught like that."

"So you say now, but if your hand starts swelling you better make sure that you see a doctor." Avoiding them is all fine and dandy for her but she can't exactly go to the doctor. "All I need is for you to show up one day with two hooks instead of hands. I'd never get a good hug again." Delia's crooked smile is pointed toward him as she lifts her chin, defiant to any arguments he might have.

The smile wanes a little and she turns to look out the window, studying the streets. "Oh… I was going to ask.. the supplies that I have to get, will you help me move them to the boat? There's a lot of them, he said a truck will probably fit all of them. I sent one pack home already— met the boat early this morning."

"'Course," Nick says in regards to the supplies, not commenting on whether or not he gives good hugs. "The Ford and I are at your service. I can also just leave the truck for you. I gotta the bike, and can get around on that."

A turn is made and then he's watching out her side for a parking spot. The truck's good for running supplies, but not for parallel parking in New York City. Luckily, a SUV is pulling out of a spot big enough for his vehicle, and he pulls forward, reaching behind her seat to rest his hand as he peers out the back window to back up.

"It's another half a block up but I doubt I'll get anything closer. You okay to walk that far, Snoop Dog?"

"It was Jay-Z and you just wish you could rap as good as I can." Delia's confidence in her own singing/rapping is misplaced egotism. "I've been walking everywhere since I got here, I can make over three hundred steps before I get tired out. Over a thousand before I drop dead from exhaustion." The fact that she knows such things means she probably tested it out. "It's climbing things and running that I can't do very well yet."

As she climbs out of the truck, she dips her hands into her pockets and waits for him to come over to her side and then starts walking beside him. "I climbed one of the towers at home though, with Brian. We scaled it to the top— couldn't figure out how to get down until he found this little stairs thing. Good thing he found it though, I was ready to just jump and pray." She doesn't reveal that she was pretty drunk at the time.

"It's noise," Nick retorts back regarding the rapping, but he smirks a bit, his hands tucking into his pocket as he walks — his pace slower than it would be without her at his side. "Home meaning Bannerman? Be careful. Brian may have spare parts; you don't."

The half a block doesn't take long, and he nods to a non-descript little restaurant, no clever name on the green awning, simply "Curry" in both English and Hindi beneath it. "And Vindaloo's what you want for the spiciest. We can get that and some korma, rice and naan?" he suggests, opening the door for her and letting the tall redhead enter the quaint little restaurant within. There are only about 15 tables, and most are taken — those of Indian origin take up about half of the tables, which is always a good sign for a curry shop; the others a variety of sorts: students, business people. Nick's been here often enough that he gets a wave from a harried looking waiter, and the Brit touches Delia's arm to guide her to a corner booth.

"I'll try the ones you like best, you're the expert." She grins as he leads her to the booth. The redhead slides in ahead of him and rounds the edge to place herself just somewhere off center, so she can see the whole restaurant. "You know something stupid? I've never been to a place like this before and I lived in Queens almost all my life." She speaks in a hushed voice, even leaning closer to keep the secret between them.

Most of her attention is split between the various tables, trying to see what everyone else is eating, mentally noting which ones look and smell the best as they're whisked past the table. What's that? is asked more than once, almost every time as Delia tries not to point, merely tilting her chin wherever she wants him to look.

He shrugs at most. Curry is curry, and unless you know the combination of the sauces, it's hard to know for sure, but he names the few he can - spinach paneer, bainghan bharta, vindaloo, masala.

"You should go to places like this. The mom and pop shops, the ethnic places, they're real, you know? Way better than McDonalds," he says with a smile. The waiter comes by with menus, water, and poppodoms with all the sauces that the waiter explains.

Nick orders a coke and tips his head to Delia for hers, then breaks off a piece of poppodom, spooning the tangy tamarind sauce onto it. "So did you get anything for your birthday?" he asks, eyes down on the cracker-like thing in his hand. "Sorry I forgot."

Two cokes.

"I got— uhm… I was going to buy myself something but I almost got hit by a car instead." The young woman grins as she tries to make light of the milestone birthday. Another bit of the poppodom is broken off and Delia copies Nick exactly, spooning the same sauce and the same amount onto her piece. "You didn't forget, you didn't know. I don't think I ever told you what day it was… just that it was soon. Besides, it's not like you knew I was going to be in the city, right?"

After taking the first bite, she chews slowly before adding another sauce onto the lump already on there. "Do they taste good together?"

"You can try it. I don't like the green," Nick says with a smirk. "But if it tastes good to you, go for it."

He crunches his own, chewing, before nodding. "I don't remember how old you are," he says, looking away, brows twitching. So many questions he hasn't asked her because he's trying to keep his distance, and yet, here they are in the corner booth to celebrate her birthday he didn't know about. "And I'm gonna go find that dome guy to put you in a dome if you don't stop almost dying or somethin'." Like he's one to talk.

Maybe just because he doesn't like it, she puts the bit of cracker that she's already chewing on down onto her plate and breaks off another. This one get a small bit of the green and she takes a tentative bite. Her grimace as she considers the food and how much she likes it borders on comical but when she swallows, she offers a close lipped grin. "It's not so bad." But she puts it down in favor of the first.

"How old are you?" She asks, tilting to nudge him with her shoulder before straightening. "Older than me but younger tha— " The woman cuts herself off before finishing the sentence, not wishing to cast a shadow on what is supposed to be a good day. "Twenty one and three days, that's the official count." Another bite is taken from the first bit to finish it and the Delia gives Nick a narrow eyed glare. "That's not very fair, I barely ever almost die."

He doesn't catch the cut-off sentence or its intent. Younger than could include a lot of people, after all. "I donno the official count," he says, with a smirk. "Twenty-three since September. Saying 23 and a half sounds like I'm five or something so I refuse to do that. If you want a beer, I can order one so they don't card you." Because it's her birthday lunch and she's "legally" allowed to drink — even if she doesn't have the legal paperwork to order the beer.

"I don't need a beer, I've been scamming yours for the past few days." Giving Nick a wide smile, Delia keeps her focus on him while the waiter drops off their drinks. He gets a nod of thanks but the redhead's attention is mostly on the Brit than anything else. "Twenty three and a half," she provides, still smiling. "I'm not afraid to sound five for you, better than sounding ninety five and crotchety." That might be a joke at his expense.

"Anyway, maybe I should find the dome guy and put you in a bubble instead. That way I can just roll you around where you need to go and I don't have to worry about you getting hurt anymore." A sip of her coke is taken through the straw and placed back down on the table for the moment.

He gives a short huff of a laugh at both jokes, shaking his head. "Well, I guess consider the beer part of your birthday present. Some woul argue it's the perfect present. Goes with everything."

He studies the menu for a few moments, and when he sets it down, the waiter is there instantly to take his order: chicken korma, chicken vindaloo, basmati rice, naan, and the spinach paneer for some vegetables.

"How's Toru? And who's dog is that mutt?" he asks, curiously, once the waiter goes to the kitchen to turn in their order.

"Well it doesn't go with everything, at least not the kind you drink. So I got a bunch of alcohol for my twenty first, that's almost normal, which is good. All I'm missing is the big party at the bar, right?" Maybe passing out over a toilet bowl or waking up with writing all over her face. Those are two memories Delia will probably never have.

"Toru's good, he's trying to save up enough to get a place of his own. He doesn't think you like him, but if you didn't you wouldn't have invited him to stay at your place. Right?" She glances to the side, just enough to catch his profile. "The dog belongs to one of the flu victims… Do you know Abby? Rhett belongs to her."

"Bass is perfectly normal. You should be happy I'm not a Guinness guy most of the time," he points out, chuckling, breaking off another piece of poppodom and spooning the tamarind sauce onto it. "Toru can stay there, I don't care. The lease is paid for and I'm never there, but I get wanting to get his own place," is offered in a non-comital manner, accompanied by a left-shouldered shrug. "You can stay there when you're in town too. It's just a room, right?" It doesn't mean anything to offer it to either of them, his tone says, though he doesn't look at her.

"Well at least it's not like… Michelobe extra light," she muses as she eyes the little table card with the strange brews they offer. She's just looking though, not ordering. Delia is also not eating more of the poppodom and sauces. Curling her fingers around the sweaty glass of coke, she lifts it to take a drink and a few drops collect on the thigh of her knee.

When the drink is replaced on the table, she wipes her hand off on the same thigh, leaving a darker streak. "It's more than just a room, it's your space." The way she's looking at him, not smiling, her eyebrows twitched up in worry. 'Space I've invaded, sorry' is more of a silent addition.

Nick shrugs, studying his own glass. "It's not really," he says, with a shrug. "My space. I didn't choose it. Someone else paid for it. Probably ain't supposed to have roommates, but until I get another gig, it ain't hurting nothin' either."

Their food comes out with a team of waiters, getting laid out with all the pomp and circumstance as if it were a five-star restaurant. "'Sides, I kinda got a new perspective on what space means anyway," he adds quietly, reaching for the rice and spooning some first onto her plate and then to his. "I got enough of it, even with you and Toru and a dog in one place, a cat and a coon and Eileen's crazy family in the other. Can't complain."

Delia's smile grows into a crooked one as she watches Nick. "I'm happy for you," even though the spoon is in his hand and he's trying to dish out their plates, she reaches over and wraps her arms around his shuolders to give him a little squeeze. In order not to embarrass him, the redhead doesn't draw it out. Her arms slip back down to her sides and she rubs her hands on her thighs, looking a little sheepish for him about the public display.

"I mean— It's baby steps, you and Eileen…" Her voice is a little hushed as she speaks, her eyes looking at him out of her periphery the entire time. "Sharing space is a big thing."

He swallows when she hugs him, eyes darting away though he doesn't pull away. "Don't be too happy for me. It's an exercise in humility, I'm pretty sure. The raccoon's higher on that totem pole than I am, trust me." More food is spooned onto each plate, and he points. "That's the spicy, that's the sweet. This is spinach with like cheese bits. You don't have to eat it if you don't like it, though."

A piece of naan is taken from the basket, dipped into the sauces on his own plate and bitten. "It's all temporary anyway," he adds with a shrug. He doesn't follow it with the usual threat, at least not verbally.

"Not for long," she picks up her fork to mix some of the rice in with the spinach and cheese sauce first. She sounds much more confident than he sounds solemn, "I think it's great. It's trust." Pulling the fork up to her mouth she takes her first taste of the ricey mix, chewing only a few times before swalloing and taking another bite. It takes almost a full minute before she adds, "even if the raccoon is higher, you'll knock him down soon enough."

Mimicking him again, she pulls a bit of naan from the basket and grins at it. "Hey this is like pita pockets." Except without the pita filling, maybe it tastes different, she's not sure yet.

Chuckling, Nick shakes his head. "You're pretty optimistic. Anyway, it's all right. I'll be low man on the totem pole if I'm useful to 'em." To her, he means.

"Change of subject?" he says lightly. "If you could buy yourself anything — no saying supplies for y'know where or whatnot — what would you get for your birthday?" There aren't many topics that they both have in common that are cheery lunch discussions.

She falters a little, instead of continuing to eat, she pauses and looks down at her legs. Delia doesn't answer for a few minutes, Nick might be led to believe that she's about to say new legs or a new body. "Can I say a unicorn?" She glances up at him with a close lipped smile that seems a little more sad than happy. "I don't know," is her honest and more serious answer. "I don't really ask for things anymore. I had twenty dollars to buy myself something but— " She looks away finally to take another bite.

After swallowing, she shrugs one shoulder, letting it drop quickly. "— I couldn't find anything for twenty dollars. What would you get?" The question is deflected back to him with a quirk upward of both her eyebrows.

"Something real, please," Nick says with a chuckle and shakes his head. Unicorn. "I buy myself whatever I want when I want it," he points out. Not that he has a lot, and what he has is mostly practical. It's hard to tell what's his for pleasure and what's his for work.

He forks some of his curry and rice, chewing before adding, "After lunch we'll hit a mall, get you some new clothes and some books. You probably got not much but cold weather stuff, and it's looking to be spring soon, yeah?"

"I have jeans and t-shirts," Delia says quietly, looking down as she twists her fork through her rice. Her hair falls forward to shield her face, like a copper curtain, from his view. "They're good for all year round, I won't need a coat so the one I have will be good until the weather warms up." She hasn't been concerned with clothing for years, five of them actually.

"So, we don't have to buy clothes, it's okay." There's a finality in her tone and her fork free hand reaches up to whisk her hair out of the way and back behind her shoulder. She looks over at him with a weak smile and nudges his side with her elbow. "Besides, you're feeding me and putting a roof over my head."

"You don't cost me much as far as the roof goes," Nick argues. "Hair cut? New shoes? A $20 meal a birthday present doesn't make." It's more than he's gotten for any of his birthdays in pretty much ever, but he's fairly certain normal people get more than that.

His plate mostly cleared, he picks up his Coke, taking a long pull of the straw. "It's good?" he asks, seeming to want her to like it.

"Best birthday lunch ever," Delia beams as she scoops another bite into her mouth and chews it. While her plate isn't quite as empty as his, there's quite a bit missing. Her eating has gotten slower and slower as time passed, simply because she's getting full. She doesn't eat much anymore.

Putting her food down, she leans back against the booth and pats her belly with both hands. "I think I'm growing a little food baby. This is the biggest meal I've had since I woke up…" Turning her head, she looks up at him and gives him another silly grin. "Why don't you surprise me instead of taking me somewhere to look?" She doesn't seem worried that she won't like whatever it is he buys.

The waiters, ever watchful, come to clear plates and ask if they need boxes, which Nick nods to, pulling out his wallet to toss more than enough on the table to cover the meal and a generous tip. "I'm not a good gift buyer," he says with a shrug. "And if you're leavin' tomorrow there's not a lot of time."

The food is brought back just as quick, boxes handed over and Nick arches a brow. "Ready, Red?"

Catching her lower lip between her teeth, Delia gives Nick a timid glance. "Nick— I meant to ask you, but I sort of got distracted. I need to talk to Eileen before I go back…" Following Nick to slide out of the booth, she stands and holds out her hands, offering to carry the boxes. "The guy that pulled me out of the way, when the car almost hit me, I think he was clairevoyant or something. I don't think he was insane… he seemed really serious and he knew about home."

She pulls her heavy coat on again and buttons it up slowly. Then without regard to whether he said yes or no, she picks half the boxes out of his hands and carries them. "He told me that if I go back, I'm going to die."

Nick frowns, his distraction from her words allowing her to pull the boxes away before he can protest. He nods toward the door and once outside, he shakes his head. "If he was a precog, it doesn't mean things won't change, but you should be careful," he agrees. "I'll tell Eileen you're looking for her, have her call you before you go back. She might know more."

He strides toward his car, his brow knit as he stares straight ahead, before turning. "So you're going anyway? Tomorrow?"

"No, the supplies won't be ready yet. Within the week sometime." Delia stares at the sidewalk as they move along toward the truck. "I met the guy last night, he said it would take a week or so to get everything. I sent the first bit back this morning but I want to stay until I can get everything." Really, she will be staying longer, much longer, but not at Nick's apartment.

When they reach the truck, she holds out her boxes, offering to take the rest of his while he unlocks the vehicle. "I'm just worried, that's all. He seemed— so sure. He knew about the island when I've never seen him before in my life."

Nick unlocks the vehicle with a hand to his pocket, then takes her boxes so she can get in. "All right. Just… be careful. Talk to Eileen before you go back. We can send the supplies, even if you don't go, after all." He doesn't open the door for her this time, since his hands are full but lets her get in, then hands her the boxes to hold on her lap before moving around to get in his side.

The truck is started, and he glances at her. "Back to the apartment then? I'll try to get you a birthday present before you go. If you go."

"Okay," she says with a nod. Her eyes drift toward the silver chain peeking from the collar of his shirt and she gives him a grateful smile. "The apartment sounds great, are you staying there tonight or leaving again right away?" The boxes are held firmly in place on her lap, the residual heat from their meal warming her legs before the heater kicks on.

"Because I know exactly what I want for my birthday," she turns her head to look down at the boxes and takes a deep breath inward. "You didn't agree… but you didn't disagree either, so I think I want a dance."

Her words draw a frown, and he focuses on pulling out of the spot without hitting the Honda in front or the VW behind him — it takes a few tries, thanks to the VW hemming him with few inches to spare. "I need to do some work this afternoon, and then I should get back, but I'll see if I can get Eileen to give you a call or send one of her 'couriers,'" he says, reaching up to rub his forehead a bit.

The dance is again not agreed nor disagreed to. "I'll be back before you need to go again, help you with the boxes."

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