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“My cousin says Oakland sucks,” I said. “He says it’s just Detroit in drag.” “My cousin just got locked up in rehab last week.” “No kidding? What was his thing?” “Anything—everything.” “I get it …” Then we didn’t say anything for what seemed like a minute. Two really well-built blondes pranced by us on the joggers’ path—the one nearest me had striking blue eyes. I glanced over to see if Joe was going to pull it out. But he didn’t move a muscle. Then he started in talking about how bad the Raiders sucked and how they were traitors for ever leaving Oakland in the first place. “LA really stinks, man, I hate that town,” he complained. Then he said something about the ducks on the lake. I tuned the guy out and started thinking about how I had wound up here in Oakland in the first place. Like I already said, I was a wilderness tracker and forest foraging specialist, one of the best. If I do say so myself. A little over a year ago I was working for the UFF, tracking a rouge band of homosexual backpackers through the Sierras—the sonofabitches left a trail of banana peels and apple cores wide enough to follow on a moonless night during dust fallout from meteor 23

The Metric Issue 08 - Literary Magazine