With her studies, her political work and her regular job, I hardly got more than two or three evenings with Petra for a couple weeks after that. Late nights, weekends, she was out for long stretches, probably postering, though she’d never talk about it. Everything was always top secret — police agents could be anywhere, which I got — but anyone could tell there was a big push on for the demo coming up. Not just with Petra’s people. Leaflets from all kindsa groups were shoved in my hands every time I was down on Fourth or downtown. Peace groups, students for one thing or another, communists of all stripes, Trots, anarchists, the Vancouver Anti-Racist Front, the Fudge It Comedy Collective. Most of them were part of some joint committee that was supposed to be coordinating the whole thing. A long name like Ad Hoc something about ending Canadian involvement in Vietnam. Though it was getting to be about a lot more than any war.
Gus’s work was drying up now too. He was back to once or twice a week. Billy never never did get chosen for work by Nick and stopped going in the morning.
Our money was down to sixty-five bucks and our board was overdue again.
“Just pay two weeks,” Gus said. “Then we’ll take off, like you want.”
“Do we wanna?” I said now.
“Thought you did.”
“Maybe pawn some of our stuff,” I said.
“These fancy sleeping bags. We don’t need bags for thirty below here.”
“We might later. Anyways you don’t get much for pawning stuff.”
“Wesley did for his tape recorder.”
“Says he did.”
“Ever think of us moving in with Petra and Loren?” I said.
“Me and Loren are kinda cooling it. She’s thinking about her kid. Wants to get Jesse back but she’s gotta provide a stable home. Figure I don’t fit into that picture. Look at me. Living in a toolshed. But Petra, is that a real possibility?”
I knew it’d be a few more days before Petra would bring up our overdue board. By then I could see what the chances were of moving in with her.
Turned out though I never got the chance.