The Trouble with Thousand Island (fragment)

Digby reclined on the couch, sighed and interlaced his chunky fingers across his chest.

“It started when I’d be out doing something, walking along the street, thinking about stuff. I’d think of something, come to some conclusion, pause, and think, ‘You can say that again, Billy!’ or ‘ya not wrong there Billy boy.’, or ‘No shit Billy’.”
“Y’know? It’s just the kind of thing you do when you’re thinking things through by yourself.”

Digby looped his hands around behind his head and dragged them loosely across his afro, absent-mindedly massaging his scalp. He clicked his tongue against the back of his teeth like he’d made a bad move playing checkers.

“Then sometime after we finished the last case it started to get more. Like I was getting my sneakers cleaned and came out of the shop, about to put my wallet away and thought, — hang on, did that guy just short-change me? ‘You’re damn right Billy. You better get back in there and get what’s yours.’
So I did – or tried at least. Turns out it was my mistake. Made a real scene.”

“So, y’know. Stuff like that. The next thing I know There’s one of those life-size plastic Flight Centre captains standing in my living room, and the cops have nabbed me trying to unscrew the oversized plastic hood ornament from the roof of the Jaguar dealership at 3am.”

From his chair behind where Digby lay, the doctor spoke.

“And you think, Billy, has something to do with this?”

“Nah… ah… the way I figure it, there’s this thing in my head, and it’s calling me Billy.”

“I see.”

Digby sat up quickly and looked around at the man.
“Do you? Doctor, my name’s not Billy. I’m not Billy“.

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