Charlie Runkle looks suspiciously bright-eyed for this hour of the morning. Hank would tell him so, if only the lemurs gnawing away at vital parts of his brain-pan would stop for a few minutes. Of course, Hank has told Charlie shit like that before only to be met with responses like "Lemurs are vegetarian,Hank. What would they want with your brain?"
Just like an agent. Knowing shit you never asked for. "I keep telling you, man, you got no respect for the metaphor."
"You're paying me to sell it, not respect it. Speaking of, have you written anything lately?"
'True dat. But not to worry, Secret Agent Man, it's all...percolating."
The agent looked skeptical.Hank didn't mind...he had reason to. At least a decade's worth. But the next thing he said was completely unfair."If 'true dat' has reached aging hipsters like you, it's got a limited urban shelf life."
Hank fell back on the bed as if struck, a shtick that required only limited investment since his effort to get up was half-assed in the first place."You may be right...have to check with the progeny.However, you took entirely too much pleasure in rubbing that in. At the risk of making a 'That's what she said" joke."
" Now you're on the right track," Runkle said, pitching as always. "Just mix in some Miller or Blake and how is that different from your usual style?"
Hank, feeling twelve years old even as he did it, offered his trusted friend and agent the gesture known in Brooklyn as "the bird".
"Fuck you. You know damned well I steal from Bukowski, too, you sick, cheerful in the morning, bald sonofabitch."
"I'll amend your press kit to reflect that."
"You'd better. Lest I take my services elsewhere."
"Yeah, I'd be lost without your invisible novels. Look, Hank, in all seriousness, I rented you this hotel room so you can work. Not just sit in here pulling your pud like yesterday."
"Hey, I explained about that. One of the channels has a new news anchor that looks like Karen. Can you imagine? Those lips and she can solve the problems of the Middle East? I'm only human, my friend."
"That does sound pretty hot," Charlie agreed, reluctantly. "But still, can you pretend to respect the deadline this time?"
"As much as I ever have."
"See? A little lip service...that's all I'm asking."