Narrowly narrowing my eyes, I spy, Morris, a big guy, full bloke, in the region of 55th and 52, it's that old situation again, the agony, the pain, I take aim and fire, my 35MM SLR captures him, frozen in time, and space and in the window of a retail store the name of which I forget, or do I? I can't even remember the date, no doubt it will all come back later, much, much later, all that goes around comes around, all that goes around comes around, all that comes around is going around, and some people get sick, some people get old, but by the grace of nighthoover and a large BK and fries we can make it.
I can't remember the date of that day, but I remember the weather, it was a cold wintry day, the wind beating at the door of my office like one of the beggars on 35th Street and the rain was leaking down from a crack in the ceiling right on my favourite derby hat. Not a good day to do any work, specifically not my kind of job. I took my '45 out of the drawer and examined it carefully. I hoped that it won't let me down this time, even though Morris Semchevsky was pretty slug-proof. A big guy, built like a refrigerator but clever like a weasel, and always surrounded by a bunch of his sleazy yes-men. I had a plan to get him alone, but no assurance it'd work. Dammit, I shouldn't have taken this job, if it wasn't for the money, and that guy with the steely eyes that kept smoking his pipe, not saying a word, just smoking his pipe and looking at me till I said I'd do it.
I have no recollection of anything else that night, but when I woke up I was 500 miles away, in a motel room in a town whose name I didn't know, with nothing but my '45, my hat, a fiver and a hangover. And a hideous purple rayon suit I never saw before. And an ice cube, which melted in a puddle when put too near the hot hoover.
But 'Fear Bob' I thought as I awoke, and despite my finest snooting around the room couldn't find any decent clothing, Morris Semchevsky might be a tricky trout, but the tuna fish hadn't landed me in this herring for a low down dirty pilchard of a bass. I called room service, and asked the astonished and slightly frizzled young girl if she could pop out and get me some cloths. I took the opportunity to find out where I was, and I slowly pieced together the previous evening.
I began remembering.
At 5 in the evening I'd left my office and hot-footed it over to Marvin's place, where I'd again met the pipe-smoking trout faced young old man with the wig, he'd gone through what he knew, and we drank Manhattans, till around 7, when I shot the joint and legged it over to the 'Mil Pond'.
Old man Cray was there, hacking away under the pink umbrella as per usual, and I probed him.
He had two broken ribs, but despite this I found out what I needed to know, and slinging a few cases in the back of my '69 Mustang, fled out on the freeway, stopping only once to fill up with gas, and buy four kilograms of extra strong mints; this would be a tough job, and bad breath was the last thing I needed.
It had been three AM the next day when I'd arrived in Hooverville, and had booked into the motel...
It was at this moment the girl returned, carrying my cases from the car, which she left on the side of the bed, before throwing the keys at me. The keys glanced off my shoulder, and I caught them as they bounced off. I dismissed the girl.
I'd known where to go, instinctively, and had walked over to 'Joe's', my '45 in my jacket, and my extra-strong mints in my pocket.
He was there.
Standing in Joe's, propped up against the coat stand, and I eyed him contemptuously as I slung my coat on to the stand besides him, and looked in the direction of the bar, before walking that way, closely followed by Morris Semchevsky.
That's when it had all got dirty, and when I say dirty I mean real dirty, like those corners in the bottom of your fridge you haven't cleaned since last spring. Semchevsky wasn't alone. My plan was to get him to that bar and then finish him off as quietly as possible, but something failed miserably. I cursed under my breath when I saw who was sitting at the table towards which he was heading.
It wasn't the usual bunch of dog-faces that always followed him around downtown. It was a broad. And dammit, it was one of the finest broads I ever set eyes on. She had a kid with her too, a little three-year-old with gold hair that didn't shut her kisser for a single second. His mom was there, too - I knew his mom from the old days when Morris and me were kids together on Hoover Street. A nice old lady she was, and I started feeling bad about the whole job, which is the worst thing you can do when you got a job like that.
'Hey Morris,' I told him, trying to look as sober as I could 'I see you got the whole family here'. He looked at me and smiled like a wolf, and I knew he knows exactly what I'm thinking.
'We're on a little vacation' he said.
I went to the bar to order some breakfast before he could start introducing me to them. The barkeeper looked strange, fuzzy around the edges, like there was something wrong with my eyes, but I couldn't quite put my haddock on it.
Written by 'various"