Choked by a raincoat, sweep inside a bar and order a shot. Pay in cash and walk out the back. Those two thugs follow, around the corner across the street and right into traffic, run run run down the median; everything is rain-slicked and wet, dark, cold. Everything brightly lit is disorted into waves by sheets of water, everything is a reflection; and down down down to a basement apartment, trip over trashcan and lights out as a heavy fist disorts a wet and worried face. Wake tied to a chair, in an empty warehouse, tonguing around for missing teeth, tasting blood, black eye throbs and an uncommon pain tempered by the satisfaction of being alive, another chance to talk a way our or run out the nearest exit. Guns are for the violent sort, stunted intellects, men with a real courage, nothing worth possesing these days; in walks Mr Mean, man with brass knuckles (nothing can pound a mind), says nothing but connects with the right ear, pain as sound and light and warm tickle of blood. “More?” he asks and a burn and split from the left ear, “More?” he asks, let the words run out, talk talk squeal.
I am in deep shit.
And after speaking everything, more concussions, contusions more broken bones and all misery, dumped off at a free clinic only because they took all the money, young doctor plus boozer-hag nurse, pump painkillers and dab away blood and stitch the cuts and plaster all shattered bones. “Stay in bed for a few weeks, you need rest,” but who can these days, work waits for no man, nevermind time and tide.
No voodoo spirits, no magic priests for a quick cure, back to where it all started, searching for clues in an ash and cinder rubble, nothing but a few bone chips the investigators missed, nothing solid nothing real, only the tangible evidence of shitty police work; good work fellas. Client’ll pitch a fit over this, no more checks no nothing, back to waiting tables, one handed that is, back to sweet talking the lonely and desperate for twenty, twenty five percent. A step down.
Wouldn’t you know it, a week later reading a note that says, “Look for a clue in the Rock Out and In Club” in a pleasant chick’s handwriting, no excessive loops, god love it. Later under flashing lights the better part of three drinks who should walk by by Mr Mean, no brass knuckles, followed by the followers from that night; swagger after them in a they go to the john, cokeheads for certain, push open the door everything goes wrong gun shots in an enclosed space, strobe light gunfire in a dark room; blood on the coat goddamnit! A chick screams and another fist to the face.
Wake in prison cell, all alone just as guard walks by to say “You’re free, get the fuck out” and just promise to keep the authorities up to date, sure sure you know it, back to office and client is there, happy as a fart, all smiles and a checkbook, daughter’s killer found bad men dead; money money money. Everyone will know about this, everyone will come to YOU, out she goes; dumbfounded gawking at the check, almost immediately think:
“I’m getting a gun with this!”