Sam was five hours out of New York City and in desperate need of a pit stop.
He had consumed eight frosty cold, amazingly delicious and satisfying beers in that time out of the NASCAR -sticker covered cooler sitting next to him on the seat, and although his driving skills were not impaired his bladder control was.
Sam was proud of the amount of beer he could hold and snickered at all the pansies who couldn't last more than three of four beers before having to run to the little girls room.
Eight beers was pushing it, though.
He also could not respect a man who could not hold his whiskey.
Sam believed there were only two desirably evil drinks in the world - whiskey and tequila. Everything else was for losers.
He loved his whiskey and drank any brand any time anywhere. His preference was Crown Royal but he did not often have the spare change necessary to afford a premium drink like that, so he took what he got and never once grimaced as it burned its way down.
Tequila was for special occasions. Sam called it liquid heroin and for good reason. Every time he drank it he woke up on a bathroom floor with an anonymous pair of panties wrapped around his head.
Which was not necessarily a bad thing. It's just that he could never remember who he was with or what he had done; didn't even know for sure if he had a good time. And the hangovers were a bitch.
Anyway, Sam was looking at another lost job in his rear view mirror. Fired again. If Sam had any kind of career at all it was the profession of getting fired. He was good at it.
What he wasn't good at was dealing with authority. Bosses really pissed him off because he always felt he was smarter than they were and he also felt like they were shitting on him all the time.
He dropped out of school in the tenth grade and figured out pretty quick that if people did not see him as smart they damn well better see him as tough. This was a challenge he accepted with enthusiasm. He is the kind of guy you take one look at and immediately look away from. His attitude, his body language, his cold, emotionless eyes - all of these things combine to send one message: "You do not want to fuck with me."
Most people don't.
He was doing carpentry work in the city and sleeping on the couch in a friend's apartment. He kicked in as much rent money as he could afford, but the truth was he pissed away most of his money on booze, and any stray, judgment impaired and desperate woman who would have him. This put a heavy strain on his friendship, which was at the breaking point when he got fired.
So maybe losing the job was a good thing.
He was an hour and a half out of Berlin, NH where he had some "friends" who would give him a place to crash for a while. Sam's definition of the word friend was kind of loose. He could talk, or bully, his way into and out of just about any situation. Anybody who didn't end up throwing punches or calling the cops was a friend.
Berlin was just fine with Sam; it was out of the way anonymous, quiet, and a cheap place to live. He could lay low here for a while, pick up some random carpentry work and glide by just under the radar.
But first things first.
He had to go.
He pulled off in Tilton, a nothing kind of place, and immediately came across a McDonald's.
Sam hated McDonald's; they were so fucking low rent. He would take an out of the way, run down diner any day - he felt comfortable there. But right now he had no choice; it was do or die time as far as making it to a bathroom.
He whipped the big glass door open and walked rapidly towards the bathroom as a nerdy little wimp behind the counter said "Excuse me sir - excuse me!"
Sam ignored him, made it to the bathroom and did what he came here to do.
As Sam walked towards the exit, the nerdy little wimp said "Excuse me!" again - he was new and was trying to impress his new boss, a guy who really didn't care if the kid lived or died. The same boss who was out back running his hand across the ass of his favorite 18 year old employee; a girl who really needed the job.
Sam stopped short and slowly turned around. He stared at the kid, who began to tremble a bit but stupidly went on to say "If you are going to use the bathroom you are going to have to purchase something."
To which Sam replied "Is that right?"
He walked up to the counter and ordered a small hot coffee, paid for it and walked over to another counter where he dumped in three sugars, two creams and slowly stirred it all up.
A woman with a five year old boy beside her had moved up to the counter and was giving the nerdy little wimp their order.
Sam walked over ever so slowly, and elbowed the woman out of the way. She started to give him shit but he turned around and looked her right in the eye - she stopped short, mid sentence.
Sam turned back to the counter, raised the paper cup three inches off the surface and began to dump the coffee out, moving left to right for about two feet across the counter.
When the cup was empty he crumpled it up and threw it in nerdy little wimp's face, growling: "Have a nice day, kid."
The five year old was crying loudly as Sam turned and walked out the door.