It was one of those moments.
Dazed and confused in more or less the middle of Village Plaza, it was one of those moments when the best thing a guy could do would be to just sit down, gather his thoughts, remind himself of what exactly he was trying to do, and start doing it all over again. System overload: Reboot.
So naturally, I didn’t do that.
Instead, I hesitantly jerked my way first one direction then turned heel and stumbled a few steps the opposite way, like a shooting gallery target. Walk… plink… walk the other way… plink… repeat as necessary.
After a half-dozen iterations of this spastic two-step, I broke through the haze and became self-aware of the comical spectacle my indecision was creating. Instead of seizing that moment of clarity to gather whatever was left of my wits, I truncated the two-step into a herky-jerky spinning motion. Whistler’s version of a whirling Dervish. A jerky Dervish? Sounds like a sweet, meaty snack.
“Tourism Whistler paying you to be street entertainment, dude?”
The still too-familiar voice was a little less familiar than usual. The groundglass, whiskey and unfiltered cigarette edges seemed blunted. There was a lyrical quality to his words. A kinder, gentler mockery.
“Just dancin’ with indecision, J.J.,” I replied.
In a most unusual way, I was kind of glad to be bushwhacked by J.J. Geddyup, Whistler’s inveterate, underemployed, over-stimulated, chronically paranoid private eye. If anyone could make me feel like I knew what I was doing, J.J. would be that guy. Living a life that pretty much embodied disorder and uncertainty, J.J. could be relied on to be an island of chaos in a placid sea. No matter how weird my life was, J.J.’s could be counted on to be a few steps closer to Armageddon.
“I know I came to the village to do something; I just can’t remember exactly what it was,” I continued. “Good news is, while I’ve been trying to remember, I’ve thought of several other things to do. Now I’m just trying to figure out the best order to do them in.”
“I suggest we start with a planning session… over a beer,” he said in a voice that seemed way too rational, considering what a half-assed idea it was.
“A beer? It’s 9:30 in the freakin’ morning, J.J.”
“So it is. Better make it a Bloody Mary then,” he counteroffered. “I’m buyin’.”
I froze. “What did you say?” I asked.