The Delivery Man

"How you gonna pay for that pizza, boy?" the hot blonde asks. Brown chicken. Brown cow.

Sorry. Wrong storyline. Tuck it away, boys. Tuck it away....

The Delivery Man by Paul Greenberg

A trail of Keystone Beer dripped through the thick hair that ran down the center of Bobo’s chest. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and sat on the edge of his bed, cigarette stuck between his teeth, shaking Jiffy Pop over a hot plate.

When the popcorn had finished popping he brought it to his battered leather recliner that he had positioned by a window, where he could eat, drink, and watch the street. Bobo lived in a low-income housing project.

Here, the former Bobby “Bobo” Hines eeked out a meager existence, eating Ramen Noodles and anything else that was remotely edible from the Dollar Store downtown. The Witness Protection plan wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. When he was promised a new life, he imagined it would be better than this.

After finally flipping on the local mob in Cleveland, Bobo found the Feds had taken a particularly strong disliking to him during negotiations. The transition could have gone smoother. The Feds promised him a new life, in a nice quiet seaside community on the North Shore of Boston. What he got was a two-room apartment in a brick, single-story building with laundry hanging from every window and dog shit decorating every front lawn. It was five hours to the nearest beach.

To retaliate, Bobo spent his days looking out his window, calling in reports on his neighbors. Douchebag’s dog is out without a leash. Mrs. Cumstain is fighting with the mailman. Right now it looked like the asswipe in 309 just stiffed the Domino’s guy. Not worth calling this one in.

The police were always coming and going for one reason or another, and when they showed up, Bobo would emerge from his apartment wearing his stained wife beater, belly protruding. He’d watch the cops and take a piss behind a bush where no one but Mrs. Gleason from next door could see him, as she poked her big head out her window. He’d let her have an eyeful and then tuck it back in and go inside.

The cops had no Idea that they were so close to the great Bobo Hines, ex-hitman of the Cleveland mob.

Bobo’s days went by, each very similar to the next. He didn’t take care of himself and was surprised that he’d lived as long as he had. How long had it been since he was taken out of Cleveland? Five and a half years, maybe more. He didn’t keep track. What did it matter, anyway?

“Old Man” by Neil Young was playing on someone’s radio. Appropriate, he supposed, having a chuckle at his own expense and thinking that maybe he was getting a little melodramatic.

He continued to watch as the Domino’s delivery guy had a meltdown by his car, putting his foot into the back panel of his Ford Fiesta. They locked eyes and the deliveryman reached into his back seat and started to walk over with another pizza box in his hands.

Bobo met him at the door. “Hey man,” he said. “That fucking asshole just stiffed me on a delivery. I have an extra pizza and I’ll give it to you for five bucks if you want it. It’ll be that much less that will have to come out of my pocket at the end of the day. What do you say? You’d be helping me out. It’s a fresh hot pizza, man.”

“Sure. Let me get some money.” As he went into the house the deliveryman opened the box, taking out a .38 special. Stepping through the doorway, he dropped the pizza on the ground and when Bobo turned around, crinkled five-dollar bill in his fist, the Delivery Man shot him, three times in the face.

The Delivery Man took a piece of pizza from the box and walked it over. Opening what was left of Bobo’s mouth, he shoved the slice in, and took a picture with his iPhone. Then he took the five-dollar bill and stuffed it in his pocket.

Paul Greenberg is convinced God doesn't want him to work. So he spends his time mentally cataloging his long lost record collection and writing. Jim Morrison said: The future's uncertain and the end is always near. So, fuck it. The Delivery Man is Paul's fifth story for Out of the Gutter.