By Pete Moss
"I'm getting deported," says Donnelly.
"You're getting deported? To where?"
"But I've known you all my life, since we were toddlers."
"Yeah but I was born in Ireland, apparently. I just found out after the DUI. My mom and dad brought me here when I was 8 months old."
"Ireland? Do you even know anybody there? Or anything about it?"
"Not much. I've been looking it up on Wikipedia and whatnot. I guess I have some cousins in Dublin, I think. They have a place called Dublin In Ireland?"
"Beats me. They're deporting you over a DUI?"
"Well...that and the injury accident."
I ordered another round of Tequila. It was Cinco De Mayo and Donnelly and I were sitting in a bar drinking Herradura.
"It's not so bad. I always knew my parents were born in Ireland and I always planned to visit the ancestral homeland and all that."
"Yeah, but going volutarily and being sent there by the law are a bit different things."
"Yeah, be careful what you wish for, I guess," says Donnelly. He downs his shot.
"Wow....Ireland," I say.
"So about my Aunt Kate..."
"Oh yeah you been staying with her over in East Bay?"
"Yeah, she's gonna need somebody to look out for her. She's 95."
"You got any other family?"
"Well, I got a cousin Patrick. He's doing time in Corcoran."
"What you gonna do?"
"You still living in your van?"
"Well, you could take my place at Aunt Kates."
"I could? But I kind of like living in my van."
"You ever meet Aunt Kate?"
"Years and years ago when we were kids. Was she the one that smoked Pall Malls?"
"Yeah her and my mom got into a huge fight over that."
"I don't know......East Bay really isn't my turf."
"Just meet her, k? If she doesn't have a caregiver the states gonna try and put her in some facility. You and I known each other all our lives. I really don't trust anybody else."
I'm back at my van.
I slice up some sourdough. I grate some cheese. I slice up some Anaheim Chilis.
I fire my little butane stove, set the skillet on it, pour out some olive oil.
I make cheese toast. I eat it with some ketchup I found in a dumpster behind a hi-end food boutique. This ketchup is sweetened with cane sugar and made with heirloom tomatoes. It goes for $14 a bottle retail.
It really does taste good on my cheese toast.
Then Yoyo pulls up on her bicycle.
"Yoyo, baby, I was just gettin ready to make you a cheese toast."
"With that fancy ketchup?"
"You know it!"
Yoyo locks up her bike and climbs into my van. She takes off her helmet and hangs it on the hook and sets herself on the bed that runs across the back of the van. She reaches in the cooler and gets herself a Anchor Steam and pops the cap with her key.
I set the cheese toast on a paper plate and hand it to her with a puddle of ketchup on the side. Yoyo likes to dip her cheese toast in the ketchup.
"So I thought we were broken up?" I say.
"We are," says Yoyo.
"Well then how come you over here makin yourself at home?"
"Well we still friends. We known each other since 7th grade, that's not gonna go away."
"I don't know Yoyo...."
"We can't go out and you know why."
"That's bullshit how you a meter maid and I'm a mobile dweller."
"How you think that makes me look with my co-workers?" says Yoyo. "Anyway, the term is Parking Control Officer, not meter maid."
"Well how you think it makes me look with the other mobile dwellers word gets out I'm going with a 'Parking Control Officer'?"
Yoyo has finished her beer and sandwich.
She comes over and stands close. "What are we gonna do?" she breaths on me.
"Same thing we always do, I guess," I say.
Afterwards we lying on the bed, under my dumptruck blanket. The van is rocking in a wind that's come up. I got my phone tuned to an oldies station.
"You remember Donnelly?" I say.
"Who?" says Yoyo, all drowsy.
Donnelly, used to sell pot back in high school."
"Had red hair?"
"He still alive?"
Yeah, he's getting deported."
"Deported?!" suddenly Yoyo is awake. "To where?"
"Turns out he was born in Ireland."
Then I tell Yoyo about Donnellys Aunt Kate and the possible caretaker position opening up.
"Well you are gonna take that job!"
"Goddam right! You and me both are gonna move in that house and caretake that old girl."
"But it's in Oakland. We hate Oakland."
"Speak for yourself."
"Didn't I tell you I'm getting evicted? You seen the price of rent around here?"
"Why you think I live in my van."
"Ok then you just get on your phone and tell old Donnelly you are very interested in that caretaker position. And make you sure you mention your girlfriend Yoyo, who I'm sure he remembers from High School."
"So now you're back to being my Girlfriend."