It’s been a while, so you may want to reacquaint yourself with Part I and Part II.
When I woke up, I was in a dark room. The air felt like a sponge an hour after you do the dishes. The darkness suited me because I had a mother of a headache, a two-bottles-of-wine headache. Only I couldn’t remember enjoying the wine.
I mumbled something and let my hand drop to the floor. Concrete. Somebody had gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I needed a drink.
“I need a drink,” I said aloud.
“Don’t we all,” a rough man’s voice said somewhere to my right.
Nothing surprised me by then. I did the smart thing and sat right where I was, waiting for him to come to me. He did. He arrived beard-first. The hair arrived before his face like horses arrive before a carriage. You could hardly see up it until he got close enough to show nostril. Above that, I saw, was a pair of sunglasses. Continue reading
After my lunch with Cistulli, I knew I had to do three things. I had to take care of some business in a public restroom far from my quarters, I had to ponder what Cistulli said under counsel of a bottle of rye, and I had to call in my man. The man who knew people. The man who had everybody’s ear.
He wasn’t doing anything important, so he came by in two hours. It helps when you tell him you have a six of India Pale Ale.
Eno’s hair flopped around his head like an ingratiating puppy. It looked bigger than normal, like he’d been fertilizing his scalp. He opened one of the beers with his belt loop and started drinking.
“What’s the story,” he said. It was flat, not like a question. He swung a leg over the armrest like he owned the place. Not that I did, either. I might not even be renting in a week.
So I filled him in. Continue reading
It was a dark morning, and the clouds hung low like a dame who didn’t want to get out of bed. I woke up in my desk chair. I’d left the door unlocked overnight, my trousers had about thirteen thousand new pleats from the way I’d slept, and a medieval sculptor was chiseling at my skull. I got up to wash my face and pour a brown drink.
Things were rough for a private dick those days. The only business I’d had all week was following a cheating husband to his motel and taking the lovely long-distance portraits his wife had asked for. Rent was due. I was running low on brown drinks. I was sleeping in the office and eating microwaved burritos in the kitchenette down the hall. At least there was no sun to pickle my eyeballs after a long night crawled up in a bottle.
There was a knock on the door. Three knocks. I couldn’t remember what day it was.
“Come in,” I said, sitting down again, pouring myself a glass of amber, looking at the trash can to see if there was anything compromising that hadn’t been wadded properly.
The first thing I heard was the clock, clock of the heels. Then the swish of the fabric. Continue reading