Despite the curiosity of the scribes, no one had seen Victor for weeks and rumors abounded as to his whereabouts.
I contacted Allen and he told me I could find him at the Community Mission on Locust Street. I didn’t believe him but Allen explained Victor was too proud to take a handout from a friend. Sure enough when I arrived that evening, there he was alone on a threadbare recliner chair in the common room. The place was as dismal and somber as you could imagine although there was a surprisingly pleasant aroma in the air.
When Victor looked in my direction I could tell he had been crying. I went to his chair and cradled him in my arms, telling him to let it all out. I admit I had to fight back the tears too as I tried to come to grips that this once mighty word-wielding King of The Chat Pack, was at rock bottom on his secondhand Lay-Z-Boy throne.
“It’s okay. I promise you this is the worst it will get. You can live with me. It’s a small bungalow but there’s a couch in the basement. You need to remember that I, and along with many others, still love you, Victor.”
“Raymond—lives—here,” Victor managed to staccato between sobs.
“Raymond? Who is Raymond?”
“Contestant—Milwaukee Mentor — made—best tacos—-tonight.”
“Honestly!? I’m offering to help you get out of this disaster you created for yourself and you’re still going on about your stupid restaurant??!”
“Delicious—if knew then—what know now—he woulda—worked at Talko— wouldn’t—need you!”
Victor then full on broke down to a sobbing mess.
“You’re an asshole.”
“That’s what—I love—about us—we were always— honest.”
– April Mae June (nee June-Shell) still ex-wife of Vic Shell and ex-co-host of Milwaukee Talk
Next: Episode 59: Shell Game