Serge wakes at midnight, swings his legs, white, veined, old mans legs, carefully onto the lino and makes the familiar, the horribly familiar journey down the corridor. There is something bubbling inside his brain, something more than the desperate need to wee and afterwards shuffling back along the walkway, resisting the urge the hold onto the grab rail, he remembers, Harry and the last job and he smiles, a toothless wolf.
Rolling a smoke, he begins to think it through, it’s not impossible, they need wheels and muscle, there’s enough money involved to buy in some help, put a team together and as he sits, waiting for sleep to creep up on him, his hands move, make the patterns of gear change, slippered feet on invisible pedals hit the accelerator, slam hard on the brakes. He is visualizing it, seeing the car speed down the gravel drive, through the gates and away.
He stands up, winces at a too eager movement and heads towards Harrys’ room. Harry is asleep and for a moment, as Serge looks down on the other old man, he feels doubt, wonders if this is just the mad fantasies of two old lags in denial that they have reached their final destination.
Harry is slow to wake, looks around confused and takes several minutes to process the fact of Serge standing above him, but finally, he sits up, collects himself while his left hand collects up teeth and glasses.
Serge is elated
“we can do this” he says “I’ve got an idea” and while all around them old people sleep and mutter and cry out and dream, Serge begins to put the job together.
“Are you fucking insane?”
Daniel looks carefully at his grandfather
“Are you actually loosing your fucking mind”,
it’s not so much a question as a statement of possible fact.
There is a pause, Harry and Serge continue to look at the lad, their faces serious and it finally sinks in, Daniel shakes his head, but cannot, does not try to, hide the grin on his face.
And suddenly, Daniel is all business, how much money, how much security, cuts, percentages, exit routes.
The three of them are sitting in the optimistically christened courtyard garden, paving slabs and a few dispirited pots of ever-green, low maintenance shrubs. What it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in not over heardness.
Daniel is here because his grandfather told him to be or more accurately, texted him to be here and Danny, Danny boy is a good lad, nearly a face himself, got a few tasty rackets going on, fingers in lots of pies and looks up to the old man, shows respect for someone who is, was really connected, in a way that fly boy Danny can only dream of.
Serge runs through the plan again, next Friday, he, Harry and Danny will create a diversion and then, nice as pie, saunter into the back office, grab the dosh and away. All Danny has to do is to provide the motor, something with a bit of ommph, run back up and think of a diversion to pull all the staff into the lounge and bedrooms.
“Easy, peasy” say Serge and looks at Danny again and Danny can’t help it, the words just pop out of his mouth
“E’s, you need some E’s, get them all loved up, that should do it”
Serge twists on the bench, he’s not sure how he feels about drugs, doesn’t really approve, back in the day, The Twins didn’t touch drugs, left that to the coloureds. Girls, now girls were a different matter, but Serge doesn’t see how they can use girls, so he nods, approvingly.
The motor is less complicated
“Go for something solid, not too flashy, BMW, Rover”
Danny smiles, decides not to tell his grandfather about the demise of Rover, but agrees that a BMW would fit the bill, says he knows a chop shop that can locate exactly what they need, talks figures and Serge nods again.
Harry is breathing slowly, gasping with every in breath, Serge knows that he is trying to do this without the little oxygen cart, applauds the bravery and wonders if Harry can make it through another week.
The old men exchange glances and Harry leans towards Serge
“Be alright mate, just wait until we get to that beach in Acapulco” and they almost hold hands, just for second, until Danny boys’ phone rings and pings and the moment is gone.
At night, Serge drives, sitting bolt upright in bed, feet braced against the bed end, one hand on an invisible gear stick, the other feeding the movement of the steering wheel. He practices the movements again and again, feels himself become a driver again, feels himself become at one with the motor.
He is ready.