The crowd in the atrium was growing and now included
some uniformed security guys and two Trenton cops. One
of the cops was on his two-way, probably calling Morelli to
tell him I was involved in yet another disaster. A cameraman
and his assistant joined the crowd.
Were on television, I told Pickle.
Pickle looked down, waved at the camera, and everyone
This is getting too weird, I told Pickle. Im leaving.
You cant leave. If you leave, Ill jump.
I dont care, remember?
Of course you care. Youll be responsible for my
Oh no. No, no, no. I wagged my finger at him. That
wont work with me. I grew up in the Burg. I was raised
Catholic. I know guilt in and out. The first thirty years of
my life were ruled by guilt. Not that guilt is an entirely
bad thing. But youre not going to lay it on me. Whether
you live or die is your choice. I have nothing to do with it.
Im not taking responsibility for the state of the pot roast
Every Friday Im expected for dinner at my parents
house. Every Friday my mom makes pot roast. If Im late,
the pot roast cooks too long and gets dry, and its all my
And its not my fault!
Of course its your fault. You were late. They were nice
enough to make a pot roast for you. Then they were nice
enough to hold dinner for you even though it meant ruining
the pot roast. Boy, you should learn some manners.
My cell phone rang again. It was my Grandma Mazur.
She lives with my mom and dad. She moved in when
Grandpa Mazur sailed off in a heaven-bound gravy boat.
Youre on television, she said. I was trying to find
Judge Judy, and you popped up. They said you were breaking
news. Are you trying to rescue that guy on the railing,
or are you trying to get him to jump?
In the beginning I was trying to rescue him, I said.
But Im starting to change my mind.
I gotta go now, Grandma said. I gotta call Ruth Biablocki
and tell her youre on television. Shes always going
on about her granddaughter and how shes got that good
job at the bank. Well lets see her top this one. Her
granddaughter dont get on television!
What are you so depressed about that you want to jump
off this balcony? I asked Pickle. Jumping to your death is
My life sucks! My wife left me and took everything, including
my clothes and my dog. I got fired from my job
and had to go to work in a shoe store. I have no money, so
I had to move back home and live with my mother. And I
got caught whacking off in a multiplex. Could it possibly
get any worse?
You have your health.
I think Im getting a cold. I have a huge oozing cold
My phone rang again.
Cupcake, Morelli said. I dont like finding you in a
hotel with another guy.
I looked down and saw Morelli standing next to Lula.
Hes a jumper, I told Morelli.
Yeah, Morelli said. I can see that. Whats the story?
He got caught whacking off in the multiplex and
doesnt want to go to jail.
He wont get a lot of jail time for that, Morelli said.
Maybe a couple weekends or community service. Its not a
big deal. Everyone whacks off in t he multiplex.
I relayed the message to Pickle.
Its not just jail, Pickle said. Its me. Im a loser.
Morelli was still on the phone. Now what?
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