Thursday, January 15, 2009


The Contemplated Detective

I fell into private detection a couple months after Mikhail Gorbachev rose atop the Soviet Union six years before the fall depending on which fatalist's story this generation buys. Train traveled the 13th from Winter Park, Florida into New York's Pennsylvania Station, May 14th, 1985. A Mr. David Stockman and President Reagan's advice was to look elsewhere for a job.
Of course there were people with no job in Manhattan. There's always some without a job when they're no longer young enough to tolerably exploit as was done from before The Great Depression and beyond. I had reached my late twenties then with a little time left for taking the second chance on the corporate world if one has the guts. 
I came out from under Madison Square Garden holding my bike-box of stuff and briefly ingested the steady friction of New York City's people hum. This was my fifth trip yo-yo-ing back-and-forth in five years so already my first calculation was made to get from 31st Street and Seventh Avenue to 29th and Third where a struggling actor lived two buildings from former long-time Village Voice gossip columnist, Michael Musto. I remember how it was the sweetest thing to see Mr. Musto with his parents by their car preparing to leave or arrive for Sunday visits in the 1990s. 

Lightspeed, 2nd Floor
After greeting the actor and leaving my stuff on the seventh floor I immediately went downstairs to buy The Voice for the classifieds and in the morning I called the first number and a Mr. Mione answered. So as to not change names to protect the innocent, the company was Lightspeed and a guy Guernsey, who went into television, brainstormed the name the year before with the owner Rob Wyatt. On the phone, Mr. Mione said he wanted to look me over even though I failed a messenger test by not knowing where Great Jones Street was. "It's what 3rd Street is called between Bowery and Broadway," he said and wanted me to come right away to see how long it took me to get at least that right. 

I preferred to want to hem and haw like I was interviewing bike courier services but Mike, Mr. Mione, told me to call other places if I want but I might have a job right then if I came to his office now. Our intuition that was as good a place as any to start was sound. And the first thing they laughed at me about was my polyethylene backpack and they had a messenger bag for me in a couple of days for $20 from Mr. Martini's basement shop on Mott Street. He'd sewed sails for ships when that was a New York business.

Then the first place they sent me was 34 West 15th  Street to 448 West 16th. Memories should be  dreams to hold onto.


AnImagine years before now if deadlines could be so efficiently enforced that Jann Wenner posted Hunter Thompson's copy right from Hunter's machine whether Hunter was ready or not. Of course Hunter would have shot the machine. Speaking of which, in the early nineties I was coming 59th Street east by The Plaza Hotel at a low rate around a parked car that Jann Wenner was assisting his family into. We exchanged smiles. And it was a short distance from there in the mid eighties just east of Fifth Avenue where Norman Lear stopped from entering a car to make sure we traded smiles too. He noticed how appreciative I was noticing he was there.

One particular day I came down the office steps above The Great Jones Diner and there she was on the sidewalk. Susan Hartman. She didn't recognize me from her second term teaching Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida but she kept all the papers so she could have looked me up. She wished me well and told me her brother ran The Great Jones Cafe and consequently since then The Two Boots Restaurant Empire of New York City.

Mr. Martini's daughters came into the business with him later and said they didn't do custom bags anymore and he made one for me anyway.

FIRST COMMENT: January 31, 2009 8:35 AM

Anonymous said...

Stop obsessing about celebrity sightings!


For example in recent memory when I significantly stood on the north side of 48th Street near 5th Avenue in Rockefeller Center, Robert Vaughn, The Man From Uncle turned the corner walking past with his head and chest held high in quite the real life reflection of The Mr. Robert Vaughn image one would expect. An inspirational enough event for me to realize this ratings necessity - where are the chicks? I fear I might not come up with many, right off hand, but I remember holding the door open for Celeste Holme at the National Arts Club on Grammercy Park 28 years ago. While just a few years back Patti Smith and I eyed each other as I passed her sitting on a MacDougal Street stoop below Houston with a friend. Ah, chicks. Now maybe Patti might not like the reference and i apologize but she's always been happening for me.

So it came to pass after my first three months messengering that on the morning of Lightspeed's 1ST Anniversary I was riding west on 19th Street 3 car-lengths short of 5th Avenue by the right curb when the taxi-cab's door I was passing flew open striking me solidly in the left calf throwing me to the concrete ground. Fairly simple fall except for that initially powerful whack and the mammoth swelling over the next several hours. Doored is probably the primary cautionary tale bike messengers tell so I'll take this moment to remember the sound man from the basement of the Town Hall Theatre who was doored into Sixth Avenue traffic just a few years ago before The Prairie Home Companion appeared at his theatre where Garrison Keillor paid homage to his sacrifice from the stage that I heard on the radio.

So the lady was sorry she didn't look first before opening the door, but I had this attitude of why did you do this to me lady causing her to throw up her head diffidently saying she'd been more than nice enough asking how I was. In fact she pointed out how mean I was considering her more responsible than I was for my calamity. As she forgot about the messenger forever for a short while I stood stunned in admiration of her proud exit. The taxi driver broke my trance telling me I should chase her down. Someone had to be insuriancially responsible. I do not like the idea of suing and wasn't hospital bound so ...

1 Comment: February 8, 2009 8:32 AM

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about your take on McCartney in the 21st century -- just don't talk about his love life!


One dreams something different happened besides being constantly banged by metal. Instead of west on 19 I could have continued past, slow-pedaling up Broadway against traffic curious about a profound feeling that occurred to me earlier in the day. Moving up diagonally to the east side at 22nd, this time I had angle and distance to protect myself when another woman exiting a cab at the northeast corner purposely threw her door at me bouncing it back into her shin(s). She said, "Oh!" And more accurately screamed other things I wasn't exactly listening for, such as blaming me for "everything." I couldn't have felt worse for her.

After slipping 23rd's southeast corner congestion I raised my clip and had to only hedge a bit with crosswalk pedestrians where Madison Avenue starts. Coming from the west that short Madison Park block's left turn is more casual than other lunged from corners of the city. Unlike virtual worlds such as finance, where Madison begins everyone seems to have the aware where each other is idea down. I reached 40th with some steam from a full out sprint attack on the 33rd to 36th streets' hill. The side-trip was unmake-up-able time. Too early in my career with the company to be up east and not way-West 26th. But I wouldn't have been there if this building hadn't inspired an idea on the top floor where there's an additional separate elevator to reach a further three floors of single-office tower suites. So windowed the floors feel like an afterthought tree-house built for the pleasure of the builder. Or lawyers who happened to take a fancy to it.

But that first time when I returned to the top floor I was wondering where the next mystery to solve was. A magnificent one just revealed to me was one I'd never wondered about before. There must be more. Such as some coincidence painted to the door at the othe end of the hall from where I stood so I walked closer. Squinted a little to see if there were any finer print. Just a door. But how Private could Investigations be if everyone had access to your front door? I certainly was an anybody standing outside informed of Private Investigations inside. Remember Mannix's office? Out of the way in the back of what could have been some house on a side-street off Sunset. So yes, if I wanted to do anything different it would be spying on people. As Peter Chauncey Sellers said, "I like to watch."

When I went back I was most likely daydreaming as the first elevator reached the top floor where the man with me exited and went to the alcove for the upper floors. I probably paced rather than stand there staring at the door again so it was after I turned around and looked up that I saw his head crooked round the wall watching me. Not trying to hide what he was doing at all. Then I remembered I was some sort of actual bike messenger looking like I didn't know where I was. The one to be suspicious of, who could not run having my reputation in the building to think of.

Then the rest of his body came in the hall for the inquisition.


1/29, "Anonymous said ... Stop obsessing about celebrity sightings!" Then

2/5, "I'm curious about your take on McCartney in the 21st Century -- just don't talk about his love life!"

Mr. McCartney was my held back teaser. So before I set up an even more incredible run-of-the-mill disappointment, Ladies and Gentleman, my wad.

Without the humidity that given half a chance could crack a Florida Pine, the day was mild for an early August New York City afternoon. I chose being outside rather than in a city library and actually thought while looking at the sky that an efficient, no hassle, Killer Image run would be nice to get right then to take a casual ride and move around the city. And Brian gave me the run. The envelope, assumably of photos, went to a small building with a second floor studio on the West Side Highway around Charles Street thereabouts. A blip of an exclusive old faded pink red brick building at the end of the street with a view over West St. of the Hudson River and Park. I regretfully don't remember the name of the photographer, having never been there before or since. Though I'd recognize him as he was then since an audience with Sir Paul McCartney can be verily singed on your brain.

On the side street, whose address the building was, I rolled up slowly because there was a Black Car and driver next to the door looking me over. Then I circled back a little distance to the nearest pole while he asked if I was delivering there. Man do I owe that man a lot. The indifference I showed and the generosity he gave me in return is unfathomable. Because no matter how many times people say the right things and take packages off your hands, it's uncomfortable letting others take charge of your decisions especially when you haven't even entered the address you're going to. Only now is this overshadowed detail clearer in my memory. He even said they'd prefer he take the deliveries but I could go up. Have a good time. And I know I said, "Huh," thinking of course I'm going up and he probably didn't want to be bothered.

Inside my next thought while turning left after steps up in the large vestibule was "oh no" one of the older freight elevators I have to operate. But I was thrilled it was simple enough doors that opened and closed themselves. Out on 2 my messenger's pace angled swiftly right into an office seen from the elevator of people grouped in a half-moon having a discussion. It wasn't too large a room and before reaching the center I assessed from the left the first woman was civilian and the next two men the photographer and assistant. So at that point I'm only following eyes to the right passing over the woman in the first chair to the woman with her back to me in the next one at the desk who was on the phone. To not bother her I looked back left this time ready to gauge volunteers for the package. And this time when I reached the moon's middle Paul McCartney was looking me directly in the eyes. And man if his wasn't so brilliant I'd say my grin was bigger. And I know I made it through the whole sentence in my head thinking Paul McCartney is looking at me should I say something no, it's best I'm professional so I turned back to the desk and put the flat cardboard box down with the manifest on top. The woman on the phone easily signed with the pen she had in her hand. When I looked back Mr. McCartney was still smiling with me as I nodded my goodbye to go. The photographer led the charge back on reality saying, "you were saying," and Paul said "yes I remember" and talked but darned if when I turned back around at the elevator to look he's smiling right at me still. Unfortunately I'd pushed the elevator button before I turned to see him so the doors soon opened and closed precisely on the conclusion of our smiling at each other event.

And somehow I came out the downstairs door as if I were the only person in the world so by the time I realized I had been allowed up and should thank the driver he was gone. Most likely seeing what if anything I had done. Thanks dude.

Thank you Mr. McCartney.


I didn’t take my eyes off the man coming towards me from the extra elevator. I was confident, ready to say I missed a lower floor. Until he looked up from my sneakers, signs on my feet stating I didn’t care about my own poverty. Sometimes people’s reason for suspicion. However he was inquisitive, not impatient. Misleading me to feel it was okay not proclaiming my innocence right away. Testing him to know where inside his head he listened. Which turned out to be from authority that bore a little more in me.

He said, "Looking for someone? Or going in." Unbalancing my bearings, kicking in instinct again. Giggling at the irony of my first detour embarrassing me by hearing

what I said right along with him.

"No-o, I was just curious about this door. I really have to say I have no business here." And I smiled with gracious honesty, hoping sincerity was enough to get me out of this jam.

But in 1985 to be just curious was still allowed. He asked, "What do you mean?” As if I could explain.

So I nodded my eyes south believing, "Back in Florida, before coming here. My friend Ed made friends with a transplant whose father owned a detective agency here. A conversation we three had established this particular gig unavailable for me as a sideline here. The guy explained generally a moving messenger would be suspicious standing around watching."

He said, "Come with me," immediately getting us inside. As if on a conveyor past the male receptionist. His office had a sliver of a view of the 40th and Fifth Avenue intersection.

Looking with me, he said, “Ah, yes. Why I brought you in. Sometimes through this window thinking, I actually watch what’s out there noticing things. Do you know what it is?”

And I said, “Traffic” risking myself a smart-ass.” But here’s where I started feeling I was receiving a pitch.

He said, “Yes. And it’s most common element besides vehicles, is you guys. People are accustomed to seeing you faceless. Slithering everywhere. You can be in and out with just glances. Missing a lower floor when you’re not where you’re supposed to be. I thought this the other day. And today you appear. Want an application?


“Sure” I wanted an application and even said, “I have a pen." But even then I wished I’d slipped him in the hall. Because either way, good or bad, our meeting was more in his favor than mine. Incredible what one can realize right away, yet live through happening.

He shook a thin booklet from his lower right drawer, saying, “Let’s not bother now.” And after dropping it back he looked up from the sound expecting me to agree, “Formalities are just in the way." That, "If this takes,” his shrugged, “you’ll need a license” justifies, "Right now we’re experimenting.”

So I said, “Cash?”

And he smiled on cue, encouraging me to believe, “We’re working together. Above board between us. What were you thinking?”


But he wasn’t listening. And I’d volunteered by mentioning money because he brought it up. Gone along because, “Cash is logical." I told him he said, "this might not work.” But he’d lost track that I'd ever not want to go along. Even after I told my dispatcher I left my pouch of signed tickets downtown and I covered two uptowns and way west 25, plus two more in between, that part-time job interview looped through my mind. So efficiently stored there seemed no way out but to cut the tape. Let me go.

My distaste for the job's genre should have been it. But I was just sitting there when he swiveled back around from his window laughing and scaring me with his certainty of having heard the ethics of naïve youth. So calculated, he’d been impromptu. I’d been taken in as if I’d only been going to his house anyway. Our lives made easier by running into each other when we did. The guy could sell.

He had me up. Downtown the towers looked taller. The streets wider. Less crowd. In traffic every space was mine filled by me. A power to be reckoned with.

He'd said, “She’s inside The Millennium. Brand-new virtually vacant hotel. Except official guests for the opening. Customers don’t walk in off the street at those prices. She’s a promoter arranging a party. Making sure they’re fuller opening night. You’re there to sell her your messenger service so she talks a little. This time don't drop and fly. Otherwise no one in this place gets by the frontdesk. You’re carrying this bill I bought off one of her suppliers’ messengers.”

So I mentioned the obvious. “Why me, not him?” And though, “He took a bribe” was funny the laugh wound him up to think I was thriving on his business.

He said, “When she comes out." Then grimaced, "We don’t see anything. Whether us or not, she’s one of those women who knows she’s being watched.”

Sexist I thought, but he corrected me just from the look on my face.

“No, you’ll see,” he said. "Notice right away. She’s especially always ready for Mr. DeMille.”

Right, he said that without stuttering. He wasn’t a mental lug and all the more reason to be wary. I was too smart for this and he too smart for me.

He flipped my lever with, “This might be tough.” Defining my mission a challenge. Then he snickered, “They already don’t let messengers up," like he really identified with a lower class. He said, "They’ve gone for pretentious right away," and probably laughed this time to himself because he said, "That’s why I like sending you in. Two couches form an aisle in the lobby, not conducive to lounging. Old hotels were built for espionage. No? Yes, funny. Uh-hum. Third floor has a Hospitality Lounge, but the place is new. No one hangs. Portraying no one is impossible. Where you come in.”

But by the time I reached the Front Desk I’d rationalized enough to let that crack lie. Just be the messenger in between. A role I'd grown accustomed to, like it was my shield. I told the 30-ish, perfectly polished suit that, “They want me to give it to her. It was delayed. They don’t want it to wait.”

And just then the beaming blonde comes by glancing over her sunglasses so the concierge says, “Mrs. Enright. Messenger with an envelope.”

Then as if she only ever had to be partly involved, she said, “What is it?”

And I finally looked, but was stunned for a second. But since it was all I had to do I read what she wanted to hear. “Able Liquors.”

“Come with me,” she beckoned without waiting at all. And I caught up because I passed the desk without even eye-contact clearance. I was with her. I knew my job.

In the elevator she said, “There are bottles I want taken back with you to bring back their replacements. I know the price list. I’m not paying more than I should. Think the tycoons that made this country ever paid more than they should for their sauce. Nah, not if they can help it. You have to have something else on them. I’ll get my liquor. The party is tomorrow, so you better hurry.”


And she shrilled, “What’s that noise?” I ignored because life happens. Demanding people should figure things out for themselves. I wasn’t there to explain, nor she listen. Just get her “Damned case of liquor.

“One Able tells me I can upgrade to higher proof at lower cost. Other Able says the one that does the books is crazy. I told him he shouldn’t be answering the phone. He says, ‘Happens sometimes,’ like I’m on the phone to joke with. That’s why you’re going back. I’m not toying around. Tell him if he wants a repeat customer he better throw in a few more ‘Stolichnaya-like’ vodkas. Profit margin, my ass. I’m his profit margin. I knew last time’s deal was to draw me in, but they’re not making up their loss on me. Business. I know business.”

Bizarre. Messengering cost them more than either could make on one disputed case. She wanted a third-party go between rather than settling a deal herself. The Ables were getting the back of her hand.

And look at me risking expenses. I saw no other way than drawn in. Otherwise I’d be out, and he said, “don’t drop and run,” or hide.

I walked to the phone way in the back running my eyes along the long bar’s glistening wood. Gentle curves and flat surfaces, perfect for a bartender’s work. There were three, two males and a female, stocking the backbar from a row of three-high cases they left under the bar when the top row was emptied. Clink-cling a clink, clink. I was listening to a Lionel Hampton diddy about the night getting underway. The tables and chairs were scrunched waiting in the opposite corner for the rest of the help to straighten them out. She was in charge.

When I reached the phone she stuck her head out of her office yelling, “Make sure my liquor’s here by six. And speak to me before you leave.”

I saw her desk and didn’t want to face her from behind it without witnesses. I doubted she’d tell the messenger much to his face. I was supposed to try to just hang around rudderless, but I was thinking three jobs if cash could be gotten out of her. Undercover, I might not collect. But my business now, was being shrewd. Smalltime, wasn’t I? You think you’ll act with an overview of situations. But none of us can. We can’t help involving ourselves with the elements that change with the seconds going by.

But I was inside where he’d wanted me to be. Over the phone I took my company’s four runs and balling out for whatever I’d been doing on their time. “Workers get runs, bullshitters bullshit.” But they took my roundtrip truck-run because a party none of the bums were invited to was a hit as long as I did their runs.

I made it to the elevator but she caught me there snapping, “No, you’re not leaving without the case.”

And it all became clear. Just remain in character. I was a messenger. Just be who you were, was, are. I laughed relieved that, “If the job can’t be fun, there’s no point doing it.”

After a bit she kind of understood it was unsafe carrying a box that size and weight on a bicycle. But I had to wear away her resolve, telling her carrying it on the subway isn’t a piece of cake. Finally saying, “Lady. Work doesn’t mean make work harder. The truck or van is efficient.” Still, either way, I was nothing. She went back to her office confident she’d solve any problem regardless of the hired help. Summing us all up as, “Guys goofing off. All alike. How I make my money.” And worthy of a parting shot. “Before six,” she said. "No riff-raff in the way. Tonight is about image.”


I told myself pedaling toward the boss’ at Fortieth, rehearsing how to get the round-tripped liquor paid for so the Able nephew wouldn’t kill the deal if he knew Ms. Matthews thought she’d gotten away with something after he’d caught her hoodwinking his uncle. The Stolichnaya he got back by threatening litigation.

Able the nephew told me, “She doesn’t have written receipt because we’d never promise what she asked for. Then she talked my uncle in circles on the phone. I recognized her lowered voice asking for my uncle. I listened from up front here. Real customers come to me for the straight story. The shysters go to him. He only thinks in numbers back there with the books. And she’s sweet with him. Telling him what a big help, “sweety” is. Disgusting how he fell for that. He knew what he was doing putting that box on the truck himself without me seeing it. I found out because I watch inventory. While he tries doing little things for people he can’t see aren’t worth it. She’s not a mover. Two parties in three months.”

So I got to ask if that was, “Surely some sign of eventual growth?”

And he said, “No, it’s a guess. I don’t know for sure. But she doesn’t come across needing this. You say it’s a party in a new building by The Trade Center, yeah?”

But I hadn’t said that, so I let it be. He knew the address. Obviously looking for anything newsworthy out of me. I let him try a little longer but neither of us knew much more than the other and I was pretty much out-a there.

The train of thought began after the final drop when Fortieth was my destination. About how it was his idea to not to drop and run. Infiltrate if I can. But on the other hand he had a slippery way of talking. Most do. Earlier that day he seemed to lean back extra far in his chair more relaxed when the subject was money. I remembered his indifferent smile capable of cold or harshness just the same as the smile. Overshadowed by the money talk smile. Distracting me away forward and far from why I’d spy like this in the first place.

He tapped his pen on the desk a little bit like a conductor and said, “You see son. I know cash is your only reason to stay.”

And I just wanted out-a-there, squirming cool in my seat. I made the funny assumption the mail on his desk was his and said, “Mr. Mooney. Money. We’re glued to it. Nothing will change that. I just want to know why I do anything. Is everyone so easily bought?”


“Times were when people were happy to have a job,” Mooney joked. And you have two.” With a glow in his eyes he was honest with me himself. Told me I’d be “Someone who could pass easily among bums. Among those who have nowhere to be or anywhere to go. My perfect spy when I can fit you in.” A career trajectory that hasn’t been my own, since.

You see the secret of management is keeping your labor hungry. In my case curious. He told me Ms. Matthews was a trial run he didn’t expect much from. She’d found compromising pictures of her husband, our client, in the cloakroom of his club and he needed to have something on her for balance. But she was in Waiting for the Money mode so Mooney didn’t expect more our client paying for not as much information as he wanted. We were in a business that included not quite giving your customers everything they wanted. He called it, “The flow of life people have a hard time getting used to.”

So I’m asking myself these twenty years later by retrieving my story from the dustbin of my mind if I’d still be here where I am if I’d just kept that one job and not been so ambitious to get off the bike that still goes everywhere I do but it’s just not the same accessory. Here together in my hotel room/sans TV with a window-sized view of the wall next door.

Rundown downtown L.A. where the old world’s buildings aren’t as young even as the by shopping plazas and hamburgers they’ve been surrounded by. Choked off to another time where Hollywood needs another set. And they’ve got 1930’s downtown where I sit satisfied for the first time in a long time thinking to myself, for myself about me. I’ve gotta get out of this place. Regretting Mooney’s excellently executed scenario for at least the hundredth time today. Wondering why I never liked myself enough to stay away from other peoples’ troubles. Sidetracked reading ON THE ROAD that I found on the lawn passing a Sunset Boulevard Branch of the Hollywood Public Library.

I’ve Never Felt Poorer Than In The Hollywood Hills

Or more adventurous than that first day rollerblading L.A. from the downtown train station all the way up to Hollywood. Finding what costs what and how out of my budget each thing was. I could amalgamate pennies for tacos, but that’s about it. A room to lay my head that first day was out of my twenty-three dollars reach. Though I’d been living as if I had little to go on, I’d never really suffered before. I’d felt covered. But this time he said we’d play it for real. Mooney’s believed, “The poor have a way to get by out there.”

So the next morning after trudging tourist by most all the sidewalk stars I rolled back downtown in the afternoon to wait out four nights in a doorway boxed(s) catty-corner to the Sheriff’s Department until money arrived from a friend. And though I could never say I was ever content those four days, I admit having had satisfaction over my sleeping-boxes survival undisturbed behind bushes during most of my stay while I was at the downtown library some four or five large city blocks away. The funny part being I had no idea the free food was the other way near the Ronald Reagan building and I could have ate for nothing and concentrated on my nest egg.

Now of course it’s Mooney’s money that’s paid enough so that any mere wage earner would engage in such an erratic cover. The result of the mistake of having become just a bike messenger to begin with. Trolling the metropolis’ lower levels, hanging out downtrodden, destitute on the edges of parking lots watching the established world roll on by. I’m too young to be there, but too old to face anyone personally about the down and out circumstances my life had become. Watching the Paramount’s gates twice a day for my mark’s coming and going from a job her Cadillac had no choice but to take her to. No explanation necessary for her to know I got there. My situation explained itself well enough. None of us are so special we can’t be brought down. Mooney, I want you to understand that.

Two hundred and 40 bucks came and I brought my bike from Baggage Claim to this television-less 40 dollar a week room with a wall view where I’ve found myself living out my life anew through the books I took from the ground around the Sunset Boulevard branch of the Hollywood public Library.

That first night I knew from nothing about living on the street and I spent it in a coffee shop. The whole night at a bar where through the night it seemed people arrived by the back door until in the morning I saw in back was a parking lot. Twenty years with the bike and the obvious had no hold on me. I don’t have any car on my brain. One cup of coffee and they let me stay all night watching the night people’s charades.

They’d put the chairs in a circle and there were at least ten of them playing the game the owner was asked about as his, which he claimed no ownership to at all. “Telling the truth provocatively has even made it to the movies.”

It was like each person tried harder than the next to make my ears burn. The one who wasn’t revealing or sharing anything. Innocent, running deadbeat me.

Here, peaceful, propped against the wall on the bed with books stashed around me, my life a literary mystery too, On The Road was just On The Road and I got through it in a couple of days like the first time. Not the book’s fault it greeted me here. A nobody no one’s looking to know. Ya know?


Mooney’s cavern. My imprisonment. So because electric light is unnatural for reading in the middle of the day, my back’s to the window with my feet on the bed occasionally leaning backwards hoping the chair is not about to break.

Mooney told me, “It will look good, stepping off that train, just 23 bucks in your wallet.”

And All I Want To Do

Is lie here and not worry anymore. Not think about tomorrow because I’ve already planned ahead. Not that bastard Mooney’s moving me wherever he wants. More than anything I’d take being back on that bike falling down potholes just like I do when I wake from my nightmares about him. I want freedom out from under his next scheme. Rushing to the next package. No trouble at all from traffic’s attacking me between the red lights, getting there as fast as they can. All I want is to ride away the days on my bike again.

Yesterday the downtown library’s fourth floor computers were full and reserved for hours so I took off for the beach. Not long since last time coming back a squad car slowed down to warn me about not having any lights. They could tell I was from out of town and rushing to whatever home was so they went on by. Some ride yesterday. The homes on the Venice Beach Canals are quaint, and the ocean too big to cross. Mooney should have never let me leave town.


Not some little weasel infiltrating others’ lives against their self-interest. I took my sense of decency for a long dark walk down a lonely empty hall. And I’m getting out. Now I have the desire to never be told what to do ever again. Never bother or be bothered by anyone ever again. Unload this bad idea of Mooney’s that integrity is just an idea while humans are inherently corrupt. Justice is whatever is gotten away with within the limits of the law when we’re found out. But I’d like to expect better, so I’m starting with me. Drop this bad dream and go for the gusto accomplishing things. Same as anyone. Someone whose life hadn’t been taken from them by what wasn’t even surface story. All lie. She was a lie and I was one too. And a lie I’ll be again to my advantage!


In L. A., home of the motoring brave, I can even hide on the sidewalks. I doubt these people know what outside is really like. From theater to tennis, they bounce from their cars happy they’re a part of the sun’s magnanimousness. Not thinking of appreciating it for more than they have. They’re for the spoils of war over nature like anywhere else. Like everywhere else, they are above it all. I attended a free night at an expensive Westwood gallery and I was the only one there feeling embarrassed, like the only one in town who could afford to be seen.


Mooney is to blame for my not taking my own life in hand and working it out who I really am.

I’ve been thinking when the Los Angeles Public Library guards let me catch some sleep so I can read. Despite their waking me groggy I’ve gotten some done. Read that those Otis-Chandlers really had this whole valley locked up. Sold the mine and so the story goes, fortunes are so difficult to hold over time. Fighting inflation with the rest of us. Their less-for-not-enough revolutionary foes never had a clue that money will never shrivel up or die. For centuries it’s outlived all of us, even the most elderly trees.

When I’m back to the terminal rested I want to get as much out of me as I can. I’ve found this is better than unloading on a shrink who might have to form an opinion of me. I’m not that satisfied with myself at the moment and can’t expect anyone else to be.

So I was reading


I've got to get my head around this before I tell you what I'm going to do.


Later than usual this morning. He made me miss my breakfast special at the Burger King so I went to the free food for the deadbeats roundabout where they lounge around further down the street from the hotel.

Eating among the downtrodden when they have tables and chairs is a little like a celebration. I had to get out of there. When you can't face yourself very well, it's hard to be around those who can.

Mooney says the bird is flying to Frisco and I need to beg my way up that way on the bus. Good thing I know they have libraries, because I'd hate to think only Mooney will hear what I have to say.


Yep, I'm ready. I have a train ticket for New York and one for the bus when one or the other doesn't feel right. And I'm figuring, given my serpentine delay, I'll make town in about five days. I reckon I'll write again for sure in Chicago where both my transportations have hubs because the bus heads to Denver and the train goes through Texas. I'd use a rental car but Mooney's a freak for tracking credit cards.


This time with headphones into another downtown of tall buildings with a library. I love writing on the Internet where words sit uncovered till everyone reads the evidence.

I think I'm going to spend today's five dollars on the biggest sandwich I can get.

Be back.

I Kind Of Feel At Home In The Library

You know if I didn't wish over the last years that I'd bike messengered more because of Mooney, I'd blame him for my not spending more time n the library. At first it was to get my hands on this mode of information storage. But now I find little corners where I can read all alone.So now I'm thinking why give Mooney the satisfaction. I don't have to go back. Revenge? My going to jail won't provide balance.

That's why we write. To figure out who we are.

Outside the hot dog guy started talking to me. Said I looked a little thin. He was willing to sell me a hot dog. Ya see, people are good in general. That man was willing to take the time to crack me up. Not all of us spend so much of our time on each other.

Ow gee, ya see? It all rides on Mooney. Doin that horseshit poor shit messenger down on his luck running away from his life stuff cost more than money and Mooney has mine. Mooney and anyone's money are soon parted. You see when someone steals your identity they poison everything. Revenge. Like I say, this is more than about money.

There's a train to the city tonight and I might be on it. I hear from Cleveland the bus ride gets wild. I'd like to catch this train. Or maybe a room to be by myself in to get a good night sleep.

Damn. The librarian is hot.

Ya Ever Think About Breakfast?

It was the best this morning.

Then I came here and you know what I found out? Someone has checked my e-mails. Mooney thinks I'm in cahoots and he's opened a field of attack. That's why my hotel was a flea bag and I bribed a busboy to get in on the a la carte at the swanky hotel don the street. This is a good town, Chicago. Diversity. My father grew up here, that's why I wanted to stop. Visit Oak Park.

I changed my mind on surprise. Mooney and I are going face to face. I'm going to call him from the corner by the library and tell him we'll meet across the streets at the big building with the steps. Let's see what he thinks out in public. Already I'm thinking I'm good. All I have to do is straighten this out.

I didn't know she was his wife.


Like at the end of that Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer when he says it's a man baby. All exclamation points.!!! He could write exciting. I want to and tried to hold out on the tie in as long as I could. And that's my story, I swear to it. Mooney set me up. Now he the money is some straight trade on a gambling debt he says he lost because I din't come through just doing my job following people. He bets on the outcome of surveillances? Is that ethical for an owner of a detective agency?

I did him a dishonor. I'm goinfg to read a book. That's it. Finish Moby Dick then I'm after Mooney.

Had Lunch Today In This Bar

People say you can and some places it's very good. I always liked to use the bathroom at Smith's in New York at 44th and Eighth. So since I can't eat in the library anyway I went to a bar. The gut asked me what I'd have to drink and I told him does water come in doubles. He told me to just make sure I leave a tip. Then he said don't say it and I said but I must. "Sea Biscuit in the third and we promised to not knock each others lights out.

So I thought about getting a card and taking the book with me to read, but you never like using false ID more than you need to. What book did I choose? The Big Sleep. I could have gotten an anthology and read several Chandlers, but I guess I'm in a hurry.

Mooney said he was going to make me a detective. I never got to help anyone. My reports are about how people aren't where they say they're supposed to be. Big business. Finding out the truth.

No matter how many times I read it I love when the Bogart stand-in talks to the old man in the hothouse with the hibiscus. It's a literary science for the ages. The plot mapped out. Like Mooney's office that first night. Hot as hell.

Isn't That Cool

The Big Sleep turns on naked books. A decade before Hefner, slippery men in moustaches were taking pictures of little girls.

Bogart would have slapped that man around if he'd found him alive.


There were these pornographers he wanted me to follow. They weren't. Just this rich lady looking for fun had her pictures taken and these guys were upset they couldn't make money on it and the husband didn't want to call the cops. Any of these people would slice my neck but Mooney would take any job. Told me his partner took it, but I doubt it. Why tell me the truth when a lie works just as good.


is a long time to read The Big Sleep, but I've read it before. I'm savoring it in pieces. Truth is not a word in it surprises me and that's what we read for. The cumpulsion to read forward devouring words that give us something to think about. We may even believe what we have is most important to us but it's what's in our brains that's most important.

Cubs beat the White Sox. What a great time to be in this town.

I'm Going To Florida

Trains go there from here.

This e-mail just arrived.

Hot news…Wade just spotted Mooney at the $100 table at the Sands…drunker than Cooter Jones with a floozie from Philly on his arm. Della reserved your seat on the Delta 1009 @ 1232 out of JFK. It’s time for you two to settle this score for good.

Jim in Florida looking out, thinks I'm still in New York. He wouldn't approve of my running around, yet his mistress Della does his errands. I wonder what he'll say when this website's no longer a secret to him either and he finds out I cancelled the ticket and got the refund. Jim will get his money, but not his revenge on Mooney till I'm ready to get mine. I wonder if it's the wife that's with him in Vegas? She could play a floozie. Wade's always mistaking Queens for Jacks. Maybe it's the wife with him after all and he's taking her around in public for bait.

I'll go serpentine on Mooney just in case. Say good bye to the sunset on all five coasts maybe before he sees me. Like an alligator moving it's eyes across the top of the water.

I found a book. Elmore Leonard's Stick. I was just going to read it after I finished sleeping, but now I'll reread it on the Miami train. Stick takes place in Miami so I bought my ticket there. We'll see. I may want to get off around home first. I love train travel. I really want to go and show Mooney I'm not in a hurry.

Well I have to go to sleep now. I won't be able to on the train. Everyone in our business has an eye out somewhere. I found this spot by a ball field for shelter from the rain. I'll eat on the train.

Bye. I'm goin home.


to the east coast and there's a possibility there's more than one guy following me. I'm moving too much and he can't predict what I'll do so there's two. I'm going to siphon Mooney's resources.

No, it's not funny. I bought a laptop. Thin little sucker. They me pegged for the libraries and I have to get all this down so I bought two batteries. Maybe a hotel room when I need more juice. No more just writing as if I'm getting it off my chest.

Mooney's wife

I heard something outside

As It Turned Out

I just needed to take a walk and the beach is nice this time of day. I'm fairly sure my tails thought I caught a bus back to the west coast. I do want to detour by Tampa to see some friends, but the city there was always so big to me. I might not feel comfortable hanging casual there, wondering which net Mooney called in an I.O.U. on to trap me. It's best moving where I don't know and he just can't expect me to be there. You hear that Mooney? Are you tapped in, closing in, yeah I am running but you don't know where.

This morning I watched pelicans diving for fish. I didn't want to stay on the beach for too long because I didn't really know this place yet enough to want to be recognized. Small place here, deserted during the day generally. Like the clues Mooney? Notice I need none for you. I'll reach out and get you when the time comes. Watch your back, cause if you don't take your eyes off my coming the peopple that really hate you are going to have a clean shot.

Mooney, if you're reading this, I'm gonna be sittin out on this little porch I got for watchin the neighbors come and go. None of us give a shit about each other but we watch for no other reason than to not want to bother. Know what that means you nosy scoundrel? Mindin one's own business. Of course you don't. But here we just sit on the porch because life goes by us outside. If you wanna dig and find me you should be out there workin in the ground. Ever did that Mooney? Get on your hands and knees and pull some weeds. Bet ya haven't. You're a city slicker. In fact I'm worried you never even learned to ride a bike. you're so cement and give me a ride. isn't that you Mooney? One of the New Yorkers that lat the past go on by and expect the future to provide you with your ride.

You know I don't know how or why the credit card worked. I just thought a different state maybe. And apparently Mooney was still fiddling with funds in my name so I took some from him. I've got fifty hundreds and I know that's it because the credit card doesn't work anymore and that's how I got a look at at least one of the guys following me. He was New York. They don't vacation around the little towns. I figure he'll have to spend at least so much time in a bar because Phil's one of those guys that travel light and he needs his alcohol.I don't know though unless he doesn't tell Mooney I saw him. Guy lives to get to his car so I got away. But I have to watch, Phil doesn't like to lose. Thing is I know he's on management's side. I need to figure out a way to get him drunk. There's this lady I saw last night. I saw her tie one on the night before too. Thing is getting them together without my being around will be tough.

That's the ticket. Imagine the impossible and some of it happens.

Whew. I'm going for a swim.


the bar habitue, turned out to be in real estate and she's not very happy with how I shaped things. I told her I knew a guy looking for a house who might be easily convinced if he was liquored up.

She said I had a way with talking to women.

And I told her I was sure I didn't but that this friend of mine needed a house and it was only a matter of persuasive convincing.

She told me to wait a minute because she had to go outside to talk on the phone. I know it was for a cigarette, but I don't think she was blowing me off. We seemed to get along well, and well, you know I have this Idea. Maybe I won't try to get the drunks together. It was just an idea.

You know it's raining now. One of those big ones where everything blows. The tree limbs become trash on the ground. Everything's flying as Mother Nature's gettin around.

So I'm goin to the Post Office when the rain let's up. I like a nice drizzle. I'm thinkin about sendin a package.

Notice how I'm droppin all my g-s. Shoot. Miss bike messengering? I missed home too. Thing is I can't be out in the open ridin a bike. That's who they're lookin for.

I wonder what will convince them I'm not on the west coast. You see that Mooney. I still have to think like a detective. How about you? That bill collecting making your life meaningful? Meals always in diners make your catered life special? when was the last time you walked your own dog. Yeah, we've come a long way from two careers needing a spurt and a bigger break.

Whatcha thinkin Mooney? How much I'm really pissing you off.

Mr. Mooney

And I am speaking to you directly now Arthur.

So tell me. What do you think of our little game? The summer is over and surely you've thought of some way to get me to shut up. The suspense is killing me. What are you going to do? Have a crew take me down. File a motion with the District Attorney. You haven't the balls. You don't like to mingle in the light of day. You like those late hours designed to come up with just the right devious plan. You said there were guys buildin websites paying their employees too much.

You said open an e-mail account and see what they try to send you. All these years later I was your guinea pig.

You had your wife set up a company

You had your wife st up a fund

And you had your wife set up a friend

Granted I was an employee

But YOU talked me into too many things to not have a responsible relationship

You sir are a traitor

Wait I hear a noise. Are your assassins here? Send them in in groups. I shouldn't have to wait on them one at a time.


The question now is when the end comes, Mooney? How’s your wallet? Mine’s thin. I’m having lobster later that may or may not be Maine or locally fed but I’m celebrating the funds from your trailer account running out. I need to replenish my stake, you know. The workingman has to have backup for the daily grind. You know. Hey! You won a bet with myself because I had a small doubt you’d let real cops come after me about that account. Unless those guys were your cops? But I doubt you’d spend enough money to chance ruining real careers. Graft isn’t what it used to be now that outrageous sums aren’t enough. Then again, you robbed me of my future. Maybe you could trick some naïve cops. No one’s up to your level of deceit, huh Mooney? I have a sense of satisfaction drawing real desperation out of you. That is it, isn’t it Mooney? You think you can smite me like a gnat when I return but your business is catching people and I’ve yapped the whole time on this world-wide window.
My clues must burn you. How’s the heart and indigestion? The D. A. waits but with work on anyone’s part it can all be tied up in here. You can see the headline too, can’t you? Private Sleuth Uncovered Covering Up Privacy. Why leave things to chance, when I must succeed and your revenge fail? It’s wonderful to write like this free to oneself as we all do by breathing. But Mooney, to me, you’re one of those people just biding your time to collect a tax on the simpler acts of life like taking in air. You don’t care. You’d squeeze a turnip if it was up next. But I’m proving this is not your world after all. Remember when we met? Computers were just made to make business faster. Now we’re all customers grappling with a marketplace that can’t be expected to behave.
What d’ya think Mooney? A vast world got vaster and we’re here for its’ happening. That’s happened to generations for generations. Can the next modern world be much different from anyone in which a warrior doesn’t put down their gun?
You tell me Mooney.
Your mouthpiece will make a deal. You’ll get to see your family. I know behind bars isn’t thrilling. Why society can’t see the loss of freedom as punishment enough, I’ll never know. But we know, Mooney, don’t we? There for the grace of God they say and we know it’s true don’t we. From the clutches of private spies our lives are lived as our own, right Mooney? When your ilk is involved it’s the tubes the victims slide down. Maybe you get slapped around by the authorities a little you’ll live your own life after all, but I doubt it. You doubt it too Mooney that trust will ever become the primary form of life we live. That civilization’s files and cases will not just consist of why people betray each other. Revenge is difficult to satisfy.
I’ll bet you only lose your license. Get time served if you let them hold you for a month or so over some contrived reason so the judge has a loophole not to berate your politically connected carcass. Yeah, you’ll get away with it. Yet I’m prey.
Mooney. Yesterday at 9:41pm an L.G. left a note at the hotel desk. If you were that close you’d have come in. But no. Apparently this person, portraying a civilian, followed me three towns up the Florida coast because his sister was taken in that liquored up real estate deal I brokered between the lovebirds. I know. Because that trailer you’d never give a job slid through town right behind him. Are you running out of money, hiring Jack Rabbit? Or are you really particular about what you don’t want your wife to see? You’re saving the first team for your perimeter. I told you I didn’t trust this business. Lying to expose the truth. Your wife told me when you two were young and in love she’d never lie to you. And she still can’t. That’s why you know she lied to me. You should have been with her then Mooney so I wouldn’t have met her that drizzly under the awning night.
So this cryptic note L.G. wrote I thought I’d share with you because we’ve shared so much. Could have been her brother so maybe you didn’t hear their part of the story. You’re so used to using people and shedding them. L.G. -

“But the cab that waited outside the saloon for him was left driver...less on an abandoned side street. Not a trace of blood anywhere. Wild nights are always like this. Right Mooney?”

What do you think Jack told him? Huh Mooney? His sister P.G. is around the corner, a lurked a shadowed figure. Dime store novelized. Red glow of a cigarette...could this be.....Bud? What thell does that mean? You’re caving all of this in on me now here. 8 hours ago this no tell motel parking lot was a hive. Parkers in curlicues without a clue where to stop. Cause your people’s priorities came first. Everyday life’s aristocracy pushing us littler people around.

This is bad, Mooney. I can’t go out the front or the back. This note was just under the door where all the furniture now stands in front of it.


"Yes. It was Bud. I could feel the chill run down my mind. He'd been there for a while. Motionless, watching, waiting ... thinking about the time he was here before. Thinking unthinkable things that no one speaks about. Things locked deep. I should have known he was here. He's always here. Then he ..."

Funkier than me, huh Mooney? Nice game. Who goes crazy first, I’m it.

Here’s what they just pulled on the phone and I think P.G.’s gravely voice.

"He stays in the shadows, walking quietly, but quickly. He can smell the harbor. The diesel fuel, fish, the smells take him back...but he fights the impulse to remember. He finds his boat, the boat. Slips onto the deck, silently. Waiting and watching to see if anyone else is there. Realizing he's alone, he relaxes and lets out a held breath. He sees something to the left of him, turns and his head explodes into pain. Falling to his knees, the last thing he sees, before passing out, are red boots."

Can you believe it. She’s warning me away from the red boots. That blonde I saw earlier in the grey slacks that I thought noticed me for me and it was probably just for you and I’m fed up with this world for you anymore.

Your tails are goofballs Mooney. What are they on. Alcohol would pin them to their barstools, what’s going on? You’ve imported narcotics fueled assisins from foreign wars where they’re fodder and promised them three square meals of the lithium satisfied life. Nirvana if you’fd just wait to pull the trigger while standing over here.
The phone, P. G. in her woman’s voice now.

“then he dropped his cigarette, stepping on fires, not tonight...but there will be smoke. Hidden in the shadows, if a light were turned on, the knowing look on Bud's face, would stop you in your tracks: possibly causing you to cross the street. Which is exactly what Bud is hoping for. Follow is plan and you will......

Follow is plan? You hired Limeys and they corned me, I don’t believe it. You know this phone stuff is even buggier cause there not leading either of us to a point. I think I’ll call the cops and clear me an out. You can’t do this in civilized society. The phone.

L. G. “Follow his plan and you will rest easy tonight. Rest easy? Is … resting easy? Dare I do likewise? Where is she? I know she will let me rest. She never sleeps. Sits in a chair, hand on my bare skin, smoking, staring out the window, waiting. Keeping the night away."

Can’t be his sister. Phone.


"It's like he's in two bodies. Worried, and relaxed..remembering. It's still and hot, sweat runs down his chest, his mind drifts to another time and place. Her tears running down his chest..he'd lost that part of her long ago, why go there now? He's safe, is she? Does he care? Should he care? He gets up and moves to the window, rain on the pavement, when did that happen? Looking at the clock next to the bed, it is 3:45 am. Time to move. He reaches down and picks up his...."


L. G.

"his best friend. Packs it away. Silently slips out the door. Time to move. Can't stop now. Got to get out of this town. It's too big. Too closed in. Maybe it will be somewhere to come back to. Maybe to look in her eyes again. See if it's still there. But not now. The

boat, the darkness is waiting. Moving quickly now...time doesn't wait."

I’m changin boats Mooney. The phone.

L. G.

Hey Bud ..... Mooney's on the move. Slipped away this morning. You've got to find 'em...

I’ll tell Bud if I see em. I'm just waitin for the shrimp to run.


There weren't even by the door and this time I had a big wheel terrain bike and they didn't stand a chance. I saw the cops outside the window and took a chance they weren't on your side too. Kind of convenient isn't it that everyone can't quite own the whole world themselves., huh Mooney. The loophole in your plan besides the election of a new D.A.. How long could one person stay in office. I was beginning to think that man was trying to prove it might always be possible.

Starbuck's where everyone hangs and they don't care what's in your cup as long as you have one is a flashy trademark. People seem to like hanging their hats under it if they happen to be wearing one and I'd tell you but I don't want you assuming I made it to the northeast yet.

Yeah. Mooney, Detectives Are Us is what you should have gone with. Not Integrity Private Security. The fraud's got me really p o'ed.

added from week before

The following episode was to have appeared 

I'm thinking a little clearer now. I actually went for a drink. That dame was there. She said there's this guy Mickey Finn looking for me. I told her it was none of his business if I was in town and so here I am on the bus. It said Miami on the front but the guy told me we go past Daytona all the way to Jacksonville if I want. I don't. I know a guy there that if he sees a corrupt bone in my body he'll turn me over to these guys that deprogram.

Wait I'm gettin out here. Melbourne. Are you following Mooney ya lazy ____. You know what's the fine print on language on Google. I have to think about it. When the time is right I'm taking off the artists and putting up Mooney's paper trail. Yes Mooney. You never paid me much, but even I too listened to Deep Throat and followed the money. Remember the Cayman's. Better move it. I've got a file and you know what you had to do there. Close the other account. So close this one. I might need some monmey to make up for you wife. Now that pisses ya off. Doesn't it Arthur?

So Man Yeah

They were tracing me on the Net. Watching me for about a week. Phil was drinkin but that guy Emory was my tail.

Thing is, he can't stop this confession. I heard him once say, "Court order! I don't need no stinkin court order."

He's not going to lift a finger to stop me the legal way. He thinks that's for all the clients who pay his bills. He doesn't like to get trapped into any of that in his personal life. So why Mooney? It was all about money. How much you can get and some day I'll spend it. You're in the office all the time. What do you spend it on and don't say it's the wife because I think she's pulling scams on the side because you don't give her enough.

Any, I thought I should tell you she told me that when we were in bed. I was so pissed off but agreed to have a go again because we probably wouldn't be seeing each other for awhile. Anyway, it I don't get to tell her, no hard feelings between us. I think both of you will understand. How ya doin Mooney. Holdin up? Your heart rate? I don't think you paid Google enough. They told me you inquired about shutting this site down.

Good night Arthur

Yeah Alaska Was Fine

But it's better in Toledo. Yep. Maybe I'm near and coming home by bus. Or maybe I'm in the Winter Park, Florida library finishing rereading the copy of On The Road I read summer of 80. You weren't there then, were you Mr. Mooney? Recruiting upper class spies from Rollins College. No, probably not. They'd have nothing to do with you.

But back then, yeah. Maybe you were dashing. Maybe you weren't grazing humanity's fallow fields of sin.

Tell anyone who'll listen Mooney. I won't believe you. Maybe Morgenthau stayed in office just to be there when you were gotten. The e-mail is loaded and there's no time to find it to stop it. You're going to have to come to the library steps. I'm waiting watch your step.

You Showed

That was nice making it appear you were alone. This time go for a walk. You'll know when I'll let you know I want to talk. Walk. I know you don't like it, loving manipulation from your chair.

Are you boiling Mooney? Ready to scratch my eyes out?

You know where the e-mails are loaded to go? The gossips eat up fraud like this for lunch. Served as celebrity escargot. Idiots investing before you had it. It's all borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, isn't it Mooney? That's your defense. Who were you or anyone to step out of line. Your honor. The devil made me do it. Sock it, to me.

You gonna have a last meal, cause there's a lot more destinations than just gossip?

By The Way

I might still be in Florida.


You say two mil is plenty and yet I'm going to pay taxes so it's not two mil. We all have to come to an understanding. If I took any money it would be because i finally felt sorry for you, because I don't want your money, I want mine. What was it? One hundred and twenty something thousand or so or what? God forbid you could produce a receipt.

Ooh. My finger just went terribly close to e-mail. Are you out of town yet? I kind of want the cops to chase like a dispossessed as you've done with me this year.

I'm tired. I think I'll sleep before I hit SEND.

Of Course I'm Transcrbing What Mooney E-Mailed

Ever since that day we met you were a ____. Let me do the talking. That's what you've been telling anyone who'd listen. But I'm the one who gave you your opportunity off the bike. And what are you doin hittin on my wife for anyway when she's cheating you out of money. Who gave you the right to be so free? Huh? I wasn't cheating you out of much anyway. ____. Take the two mil.

I'm not going to kill you.

You see. If that's the last thing Mooney ever says to me, I can't trust it.

So Maybe

I'm working a boat out of Miami and living in the Caribbean. Rumors place Mooney's Phyllis letting a load of his cash fly to Atlantis. If you went places with your wife more often we wouldn't be in this mess.

I think I'm quiting this job. There's a freighter parked near us that's going to Somalia. Or not. Somebody skipped port because real cops were after him and the boat has to leave and the three grand bonus makes my job null and void. I needed a boost so I wouldn't have to dip into the Trailer Fund I tapped. That money should get me around New York, if I show up.

People talk about doin stuff, don't they Mooney? We eaves dropped on so much shootin the ___. Haven't we? Then we package the lies into a conceivable con. Who gets what hardly matters when everyone is conceivably in for a piece. Huh Mooney?

The Gift

A bigger box than I expected came today in the mail. Guy in one of those squat postal trucks came up to the porch and asked if I wanted to sign for something he didn't want to carry all the way to the front door if no one was going to sign for it. He said, "If that broken car weren't soldered to your driveway I could have driven up closer."

I shoulda told him, "Shoulda, coulda, woulda," and not followed him back to the truck. He didn't even smile. Just said, "Sign anything. I just want the box out of my truck. Tired of movin it around. Aren't you ever home?"

I said, Why didn't you just take it back to the Post Office and leave me a notice."

"Supervisor doesn't want it there either. People think we got room when they're not payin rent. Say, what is it you do? I'll bet you drive a big truck, don't ya? Carry thousands a bucks worth a load. If I wasn't thinkin pension, that's what I'd do."

And I'm just standing there listening, not really taking it all in. You see he was just curious, but nosy. You had feelers in the postal network Mooney, and this guy got a whiff I might be worth something.


is the box wasn't THE gift. Buncha styrofoam and sumthin. But stuck to the box was an un-postmarked letter the chatterbox for a mailman knew nothing about. Otherwise he'd have looked at it and I don't think he could have stuck it there like it was himself. I assumed I was being watched and left on the bike through the woods in the back as you probably know Mooney if your people were close enough to watch. There was a few thousand in cash in the house but I couldn't risk getting closed in on.

Now I'm planning you don't know which coast I'm heading for. If you think I'm on the right one I'm waiting on the left and vice-versa, go.


Nope, not any. You know that Mooney. You made me leave Florida and your list of reasons to not be forgiven grows. Huh. You know when we used to go for coffee in the morning I'd wonder why all the eyes turned from you in disgust and now I know. Don't blink now, but how near am I?


I'm not talking to you anymore.

You see Mooney and I were supposed to watch some money some investors needed held in cash until it could be transferred to a particular bank after a certain date. 1% sounded like a lot to be paid for part-time guarding but Mooney was always bragging his services were of such quality and making up figures later to cover his tracks.

His wife wouldn't stop calling me as she was wont to do when he wasn't paying attention and I was stupid trusting Mooney. Pretty convincing head gash he had. Mine they didn't like. In fact I couldn't show my face. these guys have been with Mooney after me from the beginning but they're just the dupes. Ya think one of them would know what the Internet was and see where that damned name Mooney was popping up so much.

I want to win so bad. Take him down attached to money that was never his. Where's mine? where's marshmallow's now that he no longer here to collect. All that secret crap about accounts need to be hidden so the wrong people couldn't trace your people. My money better be waiting when you lose. Trust me. I want to humiliate you dragging you by the collar down stairs to your most convenient bank where you probably stored my lack of funds for a long time. Some guys touched their own money, but me and that identity and damn plan. You know Mooney? Money does grow on trees. You should plant your own.


I saw a gun, but I didn't think anyone would use it. What an idiot I was. Why else would one be there if it wasn't for using. Mooney said I didn't need one and didn't have to have one but that was because he never trusted me, I realize now. I was a mark from the moment i went in that elevator. I told him to not bother holdingf it there were always more coming and he smiled like he did that everyday. Mooney look out for someone? Not on anyone's life. The jerk.

I gotta get out-a-here. Dave the bread guy is coming through soon. today with one of those carts big enough so that I'll fit inside. Bastads weren't supposed to shoot me but they also weren't supposed to let me get away either. So I came in here, cause I knew Shirley who manages the Au Bon Pain. "Ah," which one Mooney thinks if he's following me close enough in here. In this flat world of pages. Mooney, what do ya think? You deserve a Production Oscar for sending Marshmallow in there with a gun. You'd have been ahead if you just let him chew his gum like he wants. What are you afraid of? Jail? You know I'm not killing you. I don't believe in it. I don't think anyone but God has the right. How about you Mooney? Marshmallow! The kid used to bring you coffee and all he ever wanted to be was involved. You made him one of these heroes that sticks their necks where people don't like other necks other than their own to be. That's Mooney. You know you were a real pain.

Ah, is that the cops? Well, my ride is here. Yours, if not now, will get there soon.

Did They Come Mooney?

Meet them at the door with that rye smile on your face. That one where people think you're glad to see them but you're just sizing up the opportunity.

I'm sitting here with my legs under my laptop wondering how everything could have possibly gone right. I hated you. Revenge should have been the only result. Yet, here I am. Technology is my conveyance.

I like life simple. Looks good this Mooney free life. I'm glad it worked out all around. Really nothing to be crying about back there in sleaze-dive east Hollywood where I drifted thinking I'd get away from you. One must learn to live in peace with your enemies. That's a little known secret of life.

So I dressed like a bum. Word get back to you I was looking? A lot of Mooney's people had no idea what I looked like.

So I follow my lure in a van, Mooney's team wouldn't expect to see me in. It's legend I get nauseous in cars. So I'm following and this guy I hire knows I can't break cover so he does two Wendy's every morning and it takes me two weeks to establish the aura of imminence when I'd planned for the process to only take a week. So my bait needs more money before we finish off because he realizes i can't get another beard now. Too late in the game. That's what it was and I knew it. So I got this guy Barney I knew to follow the guys following me following the bait guy.

It was noting I'm tellin ya. ya see Mooney couldn't find me because I always kept moving. But Mooney? A desk jockey. We met when he was going home to the office. No, he wasn't hiding there. But he just couldn't be much more than sedentary. The hub with its' tentacles reaching for me and i didn't get away.

I made sure Burns and Allen picked me up. They were covering Rockefeller Center and i started acting like one of those irate New Yorkers who lost it over nothing. I screamed, "Where's the Barnes and Nobles? What the hell is going on around here? people can't pay rent long enough for me to buy a book when I come to town."

By the time I was finished the pair was on me talking about how I was their cousin from Debuque and there was medication the mean man at the pharmacy said couldn't be filled unless the doctor was someone he recognized from the community. Real hay-seed low life. Those two, Burns and Allen, were real cutups. One time they bought me diner in a diner and I didn't know I was paying for it until I realized I was drinking coffee alone. It was tranceful, being somewhere all alone you weren't expecting to be.

That's why I chose them to trick. I owed them one. Everyone else on Mooney's team I might need some day, including Burns and Allen.

So, yeah, they put me in a van.

The End?

Hell no it's not over.
I've never tried a daiquiri.


Here on the future's precipice 2010, my tendency is to look forward back. I think that by unraveling this past year next year, I'll flesh out Mooney. Give the D.A.'s story a barbecue feel. I confess I didn't follow some broad to the west coast for Mooney. I ran out on a surveillance with $30 in my wallet left from a one way train ticket to LA. I asked a friend to lend me money if I went so I e-mailed him and he bought the scam and sent the money I borrowed if he should ever get it back. I was just sick of the spy and distrust shit.

The truth is Mooney, that the truth invariably comes out in The End.

This BBC NEWS Ripoff results from a scheduling error that's left room for one more under the wire.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year arrived first in the South Pacific at midnight local time (1100 GMT).

In preparation Police minister Michael Daley warned attendees to avoid excessive drinking. Sternly admonishing that, "If you're one of these fools that can't handle their grog and likes to go out and ruin other people's nights, make yourself a new year's resolution to grow up and behave yourself and start practicing that on New Year's Eve."

Then Fireworks were set off over Auckland's Sky Tower in New Zealand as well as the subsequent massive display in Sydney, Australia, of some 5,000kg of explosives sent up around the famous harbour bridge. The Works were launched from the bridge, boats and buildings around the waterfront before an estimated 1.5 million attending the city's dramatic show that gathered crowds since the early morning with some having camped overnight to secure the best vantage point for the 12-minute midnight fireworks display that the state premier of New South Wales, Kristina Keneally, described the "best show on Earth".

Meanwhile Malaysians held placards reading "2010" during New Year's Eve celebrations in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, inciting the Sydney Morning Herald to reveal Australia's display cost some A$264,000 (US$237,500; £147,000) when The Kuala Lumpurians admit the cost of their 'Magical' display can't be calculated.

The Japanese capital, Tokyo, greeted the new year in traditional style, with bells rung in temples at midnight such as the city's Sensoji Temple draped with banners wishing visitors a happy new year. While in lieu of no major events planned on mainland China which instead celebrates the change of the Lunar New Year, The Eiffel Tower will transform itself into a giant Christmas tree with tinsel so in Hong Kong about half a million revellers can crowd the harbourfront to watch fireworks set off from the top of city's skyscrapers. And typically despite heavy snowfall and temperatures down to -10C (14F), celebrations were planned for Red Square in Moscow. Said one city resident, "I wish everybody spiritual well-being in the coming year. I wish health to the children and all the best to all in the new year."

At the Vatican, the Pope - apparently unaffected by the Christmas Eve assault where he was knocked to the ground - returned to St Peter's Basilica to lead a year-end service reconciled that he now carries the tabloid moniker - assault. Reached for comment God said: .

Wow cool. Meanwhile among the Lord's facsimiles London's show will focus around the huge London Eye wheel on the banks of the River Thames with those attending warned to prepare for temperatures of around 0C (32F). And further west, an estimated one million are expected in New York's Times Square to join in the countdown to midnight and see the famous New Year ball descend from its flagpole.

"You know leaps in decades feel different, if only in an abstract way." - Hank Greenway

Welcome Next Year, Last Year Welcomes You.

This site is an incomplete fiction that devolves into notes.

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