Nah. Frank didn't look like nobody sent him glossy tickets in the mail. Maybe a roundtrip on Uncle Sam, but Nick looked him over good, faded bruises dull yellow and amethyst like his foster-mom's favorite tennis bracelet and figured Uncle Sam had ditched him if Frank was here. The Facility out on the outskirts, that place reeked military, a bunch of yes-men in uniforms who guarded the place like the town was gonna run it off but Frank was old-school. Recent booting, if he was booted because the hair-cut was all Uncle Sam.
He didn't say nothing about wife or kids. That wasn't the old neighborhood jungle-drums beating or blue-line insight, Nick just looked the guy up and fuckin down and didn't see Sarah off of his shoulder or a rugrat. Frank had slunk up to the counter like the shadows were real good fuckin friends and drinking buddies now and Nick was familiar with those kinds of nights. Hell, they were still repeating on him.
"So you wanted the ends of the fuckin earth?" Nick's laugh was short, abrupt, bark rather than real warm and giving. The city didn't give no ground. It kept on and that was the point, right. It lived, electricity and neon and the smell of the subway late at night, walkin streets that left the hairs on the back of your neck lifting high or listening to the apartment over the way squeal laughter as dad came through the fuckin door. The city was the city and it was a dull ache in the back of Nick's head, maybe his chest sometimes too. It hadn't made no room for him and he'd walked away without looking back.
"Well, brother, you're in fucking luck. You gotta guide here," he thumbed his chest, "And the best fuckin coffee in town. And a sandwich. Caesar," he hollered at the back door, "Cubano for the man here." He wheeled close enough to get a real side-on view of those bruises trying to heal like a cloud strata across Frank's mug.