Sidewalk Drunk

The sunlight washed over me as I stumbled out of the bar, feeling the effects of all the “free” beer I had just consumed.

“Stupid sun. Making me squint.” I muttered, squinting in the process. My body found its way across the sidewalk, and I draped myself against the nearby pole. Fishing around in my pocket, I produced my phone, and began to type out a text. Several minutes later, after struggling with autocorrect and deciding that my fingers were too drunk for the task at hand, I punched the quick dial and brought the phone to my ear.

Several rings later, I heard the familiar voice. “Sup, Chuck?”

Jordan thank god you answered. I need your help.” I knew that if I sounded desperate enough, he couldn’t turn me away.

“Of course man. What is it?”

“I’m drunk and you need to be my chauffeur.” I swayed in place, listening to the silence from his end. “Jordan? Hello? C’mon buddy, I’ll buy you a snickers or something. I got some extra funds today.” Another pause.

Then came the heavy sigh. “Goddamnit Chuck, it’s not even two in the afternoon.”

“I know,” I said, raising a hand to shade my face from that sunlight. “Don’t remind me.”

I ran my tongue across my teeth as the dead air across the line became deafening. “So was that a yes? I’m so vulnerable out here, alone on the street. Anything could happen.” I said, winking at the attractive brunette I had just noticed standing at the bus stop a few feet away. She frowned, and looked back down at her smartphone. Playing it cool, eh chica? Fair enough. Jordan broke his silence.

“Fucking fine. But you owe me. My break is in a few minutes, I can come pick you up then.”

“Neat. I’m at -”

“I know where you are.” My phone clicked as Jordan hung up. Guess he must be in one of his moods. Content with my ability to make things work out for me, I poured myself onto the bench alongside the bus stop and directed my attention at the few people gathered around.

My focus settled on the back pocket of the portly fellow in front of me. There, sticking out with just the corner visible, was his wallet. Instantly, I began to question whether or not I had the ability to successfully pick pocket the man. Would he notice? Would I have to run? I tapped my shoe on the cement, checking to see if the laces were tight. They were. I could book it if need be, as long as I was able to keep my balance. How did life as a pick pocket work anyway? Was there an initiation? Or would you just grab that first wallet and go from there? Did they practice? I mean, you don’t start out with expert skills, and people tend to get upset if they catch you stealing from them. Seems like it’d be risky to not hone your skills first. Would a pick pocket get a dummy and practice on that? Would they take turns volunteering as the victim, giving each other tips and critique? Why did I assume pick pockets rolled around in groups like some sort of “newsies gone bad” scenario?

I was so engrossed in this pick pocket train of thought that I hadn’t even noticed the brunette from before standing directly in front of me, arms crossed and clearly fuming.

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