The Garbage Man
After the little PTA meeting, I fished out a twenty and left it for waitress Candi. Its a bit much of a tip for coffee service, but waitress Candi was only an hour off her shift as single mom Candace, and 6 hours away from being exotic dancer Candy Cane.
Hell even if i couldn't read her surface thoughts about an aching back, daycare issues, and the perils of dancing in stilettos; the scent of peppermint body glitter and diaper cream lingers a bit after she leaves the table.
Candi was the kind of woman who could smile through anything, and she did. That kind of attitude might be powerful enough to charm even an old cynic like me into giving a damn.
But not today.
Using my abilities requires a sensitive blend of neurochemistry that only really takes effect after twenty-four hours of being awake. Once they activate I can usually ride the endorphin high and use some stimulants to stay awake till the jobs done.
Yes, anything over 36 hours of runtime causes the brain to go a bit loopy. Mild hallucinations are common. They aren't so bad and can be ignored for the most part.
The longer I run the stronger the abilities get ... and it was time to leave the diner before the hallucinations spread to the other patrons.
I decided to walk home, can't trust myself not to fall asleep in a cab. That would be ... bad.
What's it like to walk though a big city while hallucinating? Usually its about the same, but the homeless crazes make a lot more sense and your fine unless you try to follow any white rabbits.
A knock on the door woke me. I was on the couch half dressed, my shoes still on, but with my pants in a ball around my ankles. Apparently the effort of untying shoes was a bit much.
My body walked home on auto-pilot. I knew I was hovering just on the north side of consciousness, but i didn't think I would sleepwalk. I didn't remember anything about the five blocks between the Village Inn and my apartment. I hope i didn't end up doing anything too horrible or too public. My ID can be a real monstrous son of a bitch. I pulled up my pants, did a quick check for bloodstains ( none ), the money (still there) and went to answer the door.