Mike's social diary was pretty well empty, but it didn't matter. Days were good. Mike spent most of his free time with Johnny, and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way, except maybe one, and that way was long past realization. Still, Johnny looked a hell of a lot like Scott, and Mike wasn't complaining.
'You ever read Shakespeare, Johnny?' asked Mike as they sat in a Pocatello department store's coffee room. Mike was surrounded by purchases - mostly clothes - and he still had sixty-five bucks in his jeans pocket. His first pay packet in an age. Gave some to the Wilbur's for his keep and spent the rest on replacing his stolen wardrobe.
'Shakespeare? Sure not for fun,' scoffed Johnny.
'Well no, sure not for fun. But I mean, like, ever?'
Johnny wiped pastry from his lips. 'Did "Titus Andronicus" my last year in high school. This guy eats a bunch of pies with his family cooked in 'em.'
'Yeah!' said Mike tucking into a Danish.
'And "King Lear".'
'Jeez! How much stuff did the old fart write anyhow.'
'Beats me. Why d'you want to know?'
'Just used to know someone. Always speaking Shakespeare. I kinda got to like the sound of it. Can you remember any of the lines.'
Johnny leaned back into his chair, furrowed his brow and sucked the sugar off of his teeth. 'Well, here goes. "Look at that cloud an' don't it look like a camel",' misquoted Johnny while he struck a pose and gestured to the ceiling with one arm.
'That Shakespeare?' said Mike laughing out a spray of crumbs.
'Sure is! Here's some more. "Give me thy arm - Poor Tom shall lead thee".'
'Now that's Shakespeare!' said Mike with authority. 'Or rather, it ain't.' Johnny pulled a what-the-Hell-you-talking-about face. 'See, this guy I knew loved Shakespeare. He studied it an' all and he would tell anyone who'd care to listen that Shakespeare never wrote all that stuff. He said it was some other English Lord-type guy with a French name. Edward de Something-or-Other.' Mike noticed the quizzical look Johnny was aiming at him. He took another bite of his pastry and washed it down with a mouthful of coffee. 'Guess I'm full o' shit, huh?'
Johnny nodded thoughtfully. 'Kind I can listen to though.' It was Johnny's turn to gulp down some coffee. 'This guy you knew. Wasn't called "Scottie", was he?' He waited for an answer that didn't come. Thought maybe he'd hit on a raw nerve, and he was just about to change the subject when he noticed Mike's eyes had lost their focus, and his fingers were twitching spasmodically 'Oh, man. You flipping?'
'Yeah! Yeah I'm going out. Help me to the floor.' He grabbed Johnny's arm as he helped him down. 'Give me thy arm, poor Johnny.'
Johnny took the carrier that held Mike's new underwear and socks, then propped it under his head for a pillow 'Have a good sleep, Mike,' whispered Johnny. 'Flights of angels and all that shit.'
The store management was only too glad to supply three assistants to help Johnny with Mike. It didn't look good for them, a young guy unconscious in the middle of the floor, and helping him out of the building was quicker than sending for the paramedics. Reputations were at stake. Two helped Johnny get Mike into his sedan and the other followed behind carrying the bags.
Driving back towards home Johnny tried to put himself in Mike's head. He didn't want his friend to wake up and wonder what happened to the missing hours, and he didn't want Mike to get the story second hand - say, from the Wilburs. He checked his watch. Coming up for eight. He figured Mike would surface around ten. He took his eyes off the road for a second and looked at Mike's sleeping form. 'You're coming home with me, little bro. I'll phone the Wilburs an' let 'em know.'
By way of a reply, Mike snorted and jerked his head.