He woke up to the usual pounding in his head, felt the sunlight streaming through the bedroom window before he even opened his eyes. Rubbing the crust from his eyes he could feel the sheen of sweat on his face, inhaling deeply he could smell the acrid aroma of sour booze leaving his body. He put his feet on the floor and stumbled the few steps to the bathroom for his morning piss.
Right hand on the wall to steady himself and left on his cock for aim he started to urinate. Upon looking down to direct the stream he noticed dried blood caked around his thumbnail, not awake enough to give it much thought he finished and walked slowly to the kitchen. Up until recently he would have went to the coffee pot first thing but in the last few months he hadn`t bothered to make coffee, he instead went to the freezer and poured himself a mug of vodka instead. He sat at the table and took a big swallow then lit a cigarette, coughed and took another drag. Holding up his hand he looked at the blood again, his thumb wasn`t the only one with the dried residue on it. He looked his body over as he sat there and didn`t see any fresh wounds, grabbing his mug he went back to the bathroom to check in the mirror. Not spotting any cuts on his face he ran cold water over his hands and watched the reddish brown substance run down the drain as he tried to remember last nights events. Not an easy thing to do lately , as his drinking got worse so did his memory when drinking. It seemed half his life was spent in a blackout state.
He went back to his room and sipped his vodka sitting in a worn recliner and grabbed the remote and turned on the local news. Commercial, “fuck” he said to the walls” there are more ads than fuckin news”. trying to remember anything from yesterday as he waited for the tampon ad to end he had a fleeting thought of going for burritos and beer in a shithole of a cantina over in the Mexican side of town, then riding his bike a few blocks to a dive that had a hot senorita barmaid and pool tables.
The weather came on and it was going to be 94 and sunny, same as the last week and same as the next week, if anything southern California weather was consistent if not perfect for an old biker. Drinking some more breakfast he watched the sports updates without paying any attention to the tv, but thinking about the blood on his hands. “is my brain that fuckin pickled that I can`t even remember my own fuckin life” he muttered to himself while blindly looking out the window. At the end of the newscast he caught a short recap of the lead story about a woman found in a dumpster behind a bar, dead with her neck broken and no id. He knew he had a few things to do today, just wasn`t real sure what they were and hoped a hot shower would revive his memory. He stood under the steamy water and soaped up, rinsed off then got out and did a quick dry off with a worn frayed towel that he tossed back in the corner when he was done. Brushing out his grey hair and beard in front of the mirror he remembered he was supposed to help jeff rebuild the top end of his motor today, well he thought I have something useful to do besides sit here and drink all day.
He went back to his room and pulled on the jeans he wore yesterday and grabbed a t shirt from the dresser. Socks, boots and leather vest followed. Pulling his phone from his vest pocket he put on his glasses to read the screen on the phone and called his friend, telling him he`d see him in a half hour or so and to get all the parts and tools ready. He went back to the kitchen and refilled his mug and drank it down while he had another smoke. By the time he finished the second mug of cheap vodka he could smoke his malboro without his hand shaking.
After a quick ten minute ride using side streets to avoid freeeway traffic he pulled up into jeff`s driveway and parked in front of the open garage. His buddy already had the parts unboxed and tools all laid out on the workbench. The old flh was up on a stand with the tanks already off. The friends hugged and he went in the house and helped himself to a glass of vodka which he took a gulp of and set on the bench. He sat on a small rolling stool and started dismantling the motor. He asked jeff where the 1/2inch combo wrench was and jef said he couldn`t find his, to just use a crescent wrench. Having learned over the years that an adjustable wrench will round off bolt heads and make then unusable too quick he got up and walked over to his bike to grab his own wrench set. He opened the right saddlebag and without looking reached in to grab the leather wrapped set of snap-on wrenches. Instead of the wrenches being on top where they belonged was a small purse.
Curious as to who it belonged to and where it came from he grabbed the purse and the wrenches and carried them over to the workbench. He pulled the zipper open and rooted around until he found a thin wallet and pulled the drivers license from it. Going by the picture on the license he guessed the purse belonged to Dona, the sexy bartender from the bar he was at last night. He put his glasses on and read the license and verified she was the owner. How her purse ended up in his saddlebag while he woke up alone didn`t make any sense, maybe I gave her a ride home last night he thought to himself , I`ll drop it at the bar after I`m done here and put the purse back in the bag. Jeff and him finished up about noon and took the bikes for a run to check out their work, he figured they would hit the bar and between jeff buying drinks for his help and Dona giving him a few freebies for the return of her purse he could get a damn good buzz for nothing today. They pulled into the bars lot at a bit after one after a ride up into the canyon and back.
The blacktop was empty and there was yellow police tape across the front door. He felt a sinking feeling in his stomach and motioned for Jeff to follow him as he sped out of the abandoned lot and headed to the nearest bar that was open