Miguel plunked his gear on the top bunk; the bottom wasn't an option with the new pod mate to whom McManus had assigned him. "What's up, cuz?". Augustus Hill, seemingly as mild-mannered as ever. "Hey, Hill, what's up?". Miguel didn't really know what else to say. He wasn't close enough emotionally to Hill to engage him in meaningful dialogue. "Just wondering what you're doing in here with yours truly, Alvarez? McManus must think you need some type of mental break, yo. Typically, I get those kinds of dudes as pod mates."
"He actually did say something like that. He thinks I need a rest."
"The way your face looks, he's probably right, Alvarez. And I am a mellow individual. However, this is my house, and I have some rules. I use the toilet first in the morning. I don't want to see or hear you jacking off. Don't touch my shit unless you have permission. Keep your hands to yourself."
"I'm good with all that."
"We should get along then. Like I said, I'm fairly laid back for a convicted murderer."
Miguel made up his bed. Hill indicated an area where he could put his trunk, shaving kit, and other belongings. "I noticed you've been working on the Unit, Alvarez," said Augustus. "When's McManus giving you a real job?"
"I guess he thinks he just did, Hill. I'm going to be working with Cyril O'Reily three days a week' for some kind of Occupational Therapy."
Hill threw back his head and roared with laughter. "Cyril O'Reily? You gonna, what? Teach him the occupation of whacking off during Miss Sally?". Hill chuckled again, and wiped his eyes. "Alvarez that's about the funniest thing I've heard in a long time!"
Miguel scowled and cut his eyes to Hill, who was still giggling intermittently and was now wiping his eyes with a piece of toilet paper. Finally, seeing the other man laugh so hard, he had to grin as well, and soon the two of them were laughing like a couple of crazies. "I get you man," said Miguel when he was able to talk again. "But you know McManus. He fucking thinks he's going to save us all and he thinks all this
service work shit is one way to get it done. I have to let Cyril work with me on the Unit, cleaning. But I told McManus that Cyril wants a racing car set, and I think he may actually buy the damn thing."
"You mean like Matchbox cars and race tracks and shit? That might be fun," said Augustus.
"Probably not as much fun as teaching Cyril the fine art of self-stimulation, though," Miguel deadpanned, and they both broke up again.
Miguel and Augustus left their Pod to explore the quad in all its glory. Thankfully, the atmosphere was calm. Men were sitting at tables playing cards, paging through magazines, making deals for drugs and planning violence, same as usual. As Miguel sauntered through the area, Cyril O'Reily ran toward him with enthusiasm. "Hey, Miguel! You're better! You're not in the hospital any more!". Cyril looked like he was going to hug Mguel, which had to be averted. "Yo, Cyril, check out my new cool handshake, man. It's just for cleaning guys like us.". Miguel showed Cyril some complicated finger pulling and fist-tapping handshake, then bumped his fist. "I like our secret handshake, Miguel! I won't show Ryan."
"You can tell him about it, Cyril. It's wrong to keep secrets from Ryan. But Ryan can't learn our handshake because he's not a cleaning guy
like we are. Where's Ryan now, Cyril?"
In typical Ryan O'Reily fashion, the slippery Irishman suddenly appeared next to Cyril. "I'm right here, hermano. Why?" Ryan seemed to leer at Miguel. It wasn't his best look in Miguel's opinion.
"Let's talk, *hermano*" said Miguel in a voice he hoped was dripping sarcasm. "Not here. Wait and then meet me in the copier storage room in five minutes.". Miguel sauntered off without waiting for Ryan's response. If he truly was 'hard' for Miguel, his skinny ass would show up.