Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
It is your most humble petitioner, Inspector Lestrade. As you know it has been many years since I have last requested your assistance in the troubling matter of the disappearance of Lord Douchebag and several years since we examined the obscene affairs of the odious Lady Chatterley and her grass-stained lover. Today I must ask for assistance in an entirely different matter.
Your obedient servant,
Inspector G. Lestrade
November 12, 1903
Sunday, September 25, 2022
General George Armstrong Custer walked into the hotel room in Washington and the notables gathered therein jumped up as though Jesus himself had entered. They looked at his as Jesus since he would have to save them. Because he was the only hope the Democratic Party had of winning the Presidency in the upcoming election in the centennial year of 1876.
The only potentate who did not rise was the nominal canid ate Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York who had been selected by the convention to carry the banner of the Democratic party. A handsome individual in expensive clothing with a diamond stickpin in his cravat he looked at the strutting gamecock with a jaundiced eye. He had been designated as the candidate by the convention but the party bosses wanted to what you should never do. Change horses in midstream. They wanted to replace him with the Hero of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
Bayard and Thurman who had been among the bitter rivals that had contested the nomination were leading the charge. Even Hendricks who Tilden had taken on as his Vice-Presidential nominee was in on the attempt to steal the nomination. The only one who refrained was General Winfield Scott Hancock who thought if a general was to be the nominee it could only be him.
The problem was that the “soft money” contingent led by John Kelly from his own state of New York wanted to abrogate his victory and turn to a successful general to combat the dominance of the Republican Party ever since the War Between the State. They wanted to flood the nation with greenbacks instead of going back to the gold standard that Tilden embraced. This strutting peacock would be their puppet in this since he knew about as much about economics as a dog did about Latin. It is the rest of the duties of a President that would be the rub.
“Gentlemen thank you for inviting me to meet with you today. I have just arrived from the Dakota’s where we put paid to the savages as you well know.” Custer stood tall in his fringed buckskin jacket and battered felt hat like he had just ridden in from the battlefield. He was a theatrical presence of that there could be no doubt. He couldn’t even appear in his correct dress uniform. If these idiots thought they would control this vainglorious lout they had another thing coming. There was no doubt that he would take them into another war.
“Please sit down General and we can put our proposal to you.” John Kelly motioned to a seat in the middle of a circle of chairs that had been set up for the group to discuss their plans. It seemed that the New York Tammany Hall ward heeler had been chosen to be the spokesman for the group. Which was bad news for the Governor since his bitter break with Tammany Hall had poisoned the well. Now the Sachem would have his revenge by stealing the nomination.
O’Malley and Johnson walked into the interrogation room and sat across from Fat Louie DeMaio. Fat Louie sat all calm and collected like a guinea Buddha. He didn’t look calm at first glance because he was sweating like a pig. But that was because of his thermostat not his energy. He was stoic almost meditative as he waited. Louie was cuffed to the table and had to lean slightly forward because he was too fat to sit back as his stomach kept him away from the edge of the table.
O’Malley gestured to Johnson. “Why don’t you unhook this fine gentleman Detective Johnson so we can have a little chat?” Johnson grimaced but went across the table and unlocked the cuffs. Fat Louie sat back and rubbed his wrist that had been severely chaffed as the cuffs as usual where too small for his meaty wrist. He looked at O’Malley expectantly like he would have to answer as to why he was sitting there in a too small chair in a too small room.
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Hipster Holocaust Chapter Thirty-Two
Goldie Hirshberg was pissed. Her fucking dog had run away. The stupid boxer was really her moron husband’s pet but she got stuck taking care of it. Along with their brat of a kid and their stupid brownstone. This wasn’t what she had signed up for when agreed to marry the jerk.
She had thought she had the perfect “Sex in the City” lifestyle when she had graduated from college. She moved to Manhattan from Manhasset to be on the cutting edge of fashion and style. Goldie thought she was in the height of fashion. Part of the hipster invasion she would go from art gallery opening to spoken word poetry slams. She loved to get all dolled up and go out with her three best girlfriends. Cosmo’s and flirting and maybe bringing somebody home when she felt particularly daring. Every week they sat in front of their TV to study “Sex in the City” which served as her textbook and lodestar. Like millions of other young women of her generation she thought she was oh so unique and fascinating while she slavishly copied the attitudes and actions from the show. She sent a decade proving how special she was by acting like everyone else.
Her carefree lifestyle all came to an end when she met Joshy on her birthday when she turned thirty-five. He was a Wall Street Guy. Tall, handsome and best of all he was a Jew. Mazel Tov. Her mother and grandmother could stop haking her to get married. They had a whirlwind courtship of fancy restaurants and trips to the Hamptons to his boss’s mansion on Shelter Island. They even took a helicopter there once when he was working on a big project and his boss wanted him at his fingertips. She didn’t care about him abandoning her to toady to his boss because she got to hang out at the pool with the Eastern European Trophy wife as they downed martini’s and basked in the sun.
They had the big wedding and the honeymoon to the Islands that anyone would want. She thought their life would be golden. A smart Manhattan apartment. A place in the Hamptons. Cocktails at the Carlyle in her Jimmy Choos. Except for one thing. She got pregnant on the honeymoon. Her husband refused to live in a Manhattan apartment with a new baby. He had grown up on the Upper West Side and swore his kid would have a yard. They joined the exodus of the rich urbanites to the wilds of Brooklyn. Brownstone Brooklyn to be exact. It was at least civilized. Not Bensonhurst or Borough Park. Carroll Gardens had smart restaurants and coffee shops. Even a cool bar or two. They bought a two-million-dollar brownstone next to his boss which sort of assuaged her grief at the end of her dream. You see she thought she was Carrie but she turned out to be Miranda. A miserable cunt who married a guy she really didn’t love who got stuck in Brooklyn!
Goldie had to make the best of it. She eventually dropped the rug rat. Bought the expensive stroller. Even got that stupid fucking dog. She just didn’t want the false aura of domesticity end her life. She had to go out for cocktails with her friends. They even took the trip out to Brooklyn now and then to hang out with her. She had been sitting at the outside café at that cool bar that pretended to be a slice of Texas in Brooklyn with her best friend. Along with a whole lineup of pretentious snots who were too cool for school. Other women who had settled for a dude with a dollar now that forty was in the offing and their biological clock has started going Koo-Koo bitch you are approaching your sell by date.
Today was the day that took the cake! She had the stupid dog run away. Her idiot husband would be livid. Sometimes she thought he loved the dog more then he loved her. He was certainly more affectionate toward him. Maybe that was it. He was gay for a dog. What a loser.
All of that didn’t matter. She had to find a way to smooth it over. She was good at that. She can say she was attacked by that bitch in the bakery. And that stupid man with the wagon. He was probably homeless so there would be no point in suing him. But they could sue that waitress, her bakery and anybody else she could think of. She came from a very litigious family.
Suing everybody in Brooklyn would not solve the problem when her husband came home. The only thing he loved more than that fucking dog was bourbon.
“Maria come down to take of the baby I have to go out,” she shouted in her normal petulant tone. She treated Maria like a slave. Which what these Mexicans were to these rich entitled hipster bitches. Just a robot to do what she said or get fired. They never hired legal immigrants. They wanted the power to intimidate them and bully them with impunity. So only illegals need apply. Mexicans were the new slave labor. She never thought about what Maria thought about her and how she was treated. Goldie had never heard of Nat Turner. But then Goldie had never heard of a lot of things.
Maria rushed down and picked up the baby who immediately started cooing at her and was settled. Goldie felt jealous for a moment but only for a moment. There was time enough for her daughter to get to know her. Then she could torture her the way her mother had done to her. It was a family tradition.
“I don’t expect Joshy until late tonight. But if he calls or God forbid comes home early you can tell him I will be right back. I have to do an errand.” “Yes, Missus I will tell him.”
Goldie went out the door and dialed up an Uber. Thank God for the ride app. No need for a car. Or to call a dirty cab let alone a car service that used to service the transportation needs of people in Brooklyn until the ride share came along. The ride share app made living in Brooklyn almost tolerable.
While she was waiting, she went to the mailbox and reached behind it to the hidden recess in the wall. She slid a panel out and took out the pack of cigarettes and the lighter she had secreted there. She lit up a butt and put the pack and lighter away. She had promised Joshy she would stop smoking after she had the baby but that was just one of the many things she had lied about. She really needed that smoke.
The Uber pulled up. Great. A fuckin’ Toyota. She had to squeeze in a fucking Toyota. Can this day get any shittier. “Car for Goldie,” asked the driver who looked more like a Russian MMA fighter than an Uber Driver. “Yeah, that’s me. Take me to Otsego off Van Brunt in Red Hook.” Goldie threw her ciggie on the floor and got in the back seat.
They drove without incident to the hipster brewery that specialized in home brewed bourbons. She knew Joshy loved their stuff so was going to get him a big bottle to give him before she told him she had lost his dog. Maybe that would distract him for a moment.
She strolled into the place with her usual toxic mix of bravado and entitlement. She bellied up to the bar and order a Cosmo. She needed a little liquid courage to face what she was going to get when her hubby got home. He would be pissed off. Not in a violent way. He was too much of wimpy nerd to raise his hand to her. In any event she would kick his ass if he did. He would just whine and pout and act out unless he got something to distract him. The bourbon should do the trick. Plus, the stupid mutt would probably come home on his own. Didn’t Lassie always find her way home? Why couldn’t that dumb fuck find his way home.
As she ruminated on her sorry lot in life, she had inhaled that Cosmo as if it was water. The bartender was no dummy so he set up a new one by the time she had finished the last drop of her first. He did the same with the next one. And the three after that.
She had managed to get trashed. She did that when she was upset. Or even more when she was uncertain. As she stumbled out of the bar she stopped and took a deep breath of the night air. What time was it? She had no idea. No matter. She had decided on the strategy to deflect her husband’s anger. Shock and awe. She would give him his bottle of bourbon. And a blow job. That always got her what she wanted ever since Hebrew camp. Still, she was pissed. He gets all that and what the fuck does she get?
“I know,” she mumbled to herself. “Ice Cream.” That new fancy ice cream parlor she had read about in Time Out New York was around here somewhere. She would find it and get some ice cream to go with the bourbon. Look out bitches because Goldie has fixed it so everybody would be happy!
She had only a general idea of where she was going. She staggered in a zig zag pattern from the wall of a building to the cars in the street. She would bounce off one and stagger diagonally to the other to bounce off that. Still moving forward in search of her ice cream.
If this kept up much longer, she would just call an Uber and go home. She had just bounced off an older model BMW. What was that car doing in Red Hook. Some people had more money than sense. She barely noticed someone standing in the doorway. Not that she was afraid. Her natural stance was arrogance and entitlement and drink only reinforced her tendencies. She was never afraid. Not even wandering drunkenly in Red Hook.
She tried to straighten up a little as she started past the figure in the darkened doorway of a shuttered shop. She passed him by without a thought in her drunken head. She had only gotten about two feet in past the doorway when she felt a vise like grip around her breasts as an arm grabbed her and held her tight. She tried to scream but nothing came out. Just a wet gurgle. She only felt that wetness. As if she had thrown up on herself. She dropped her bottle and it sounded like a gunshot when it broke on the sidewalk. She wanted to shout. To scream. To complain. But nothing came out. Except more gurgles. And blood.
She fell to the ground and her last thoughts were not of her husband. Not of her child. Her last conscious thought was of the hundred dollars she had lost in that broken bottle.
She was that kind of fool.
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Hipster Holocaust Chapter Thirty-One
Anna was doing her evening self-care ritual. She had taken a warm shower to get all of the grime from working at the bakery and traveling on the subway to another audition. She had even washed her hair which was a pain in the ass because she was a member of the Lotta-hair-club. Then the various creams and oils she always applied after her shower. Ending with her sitting in front of her mirror using her Gua Sha. It was made of her favorite crystal green aventurine.
Green aventurine gave her grounding and stability. It gave her strength and courage which she needed since she had just been in a fight. She hadn’t been in a fight since kindergarten and she didn’t know how she felt about it. She was always getting into it to protect somebody else. She would fight with her bosses when they abused the Mexicans who worked in the kitchen. Anna suspected that they were illegal so they didn’t say shit if they had a mouthful. She had to stick up for them. She would not stand by and see anybody bullied.
That’s why she jumped into help Leo. He seemed to be on the spectrum. Or slow as Celestine put it. He needed someone to step up for him since his mother was gone. She wasn’t going to take him on as a permanent project but she wouldn’t let him be bullied right in front of her eyes.
Using the Gua Sha always calmed her down. The repetitive stroking of her cheek and face up and down to stimulate blood flow and lessen inflammation. She would meditate later to clear her charkas as she had done since she was a teenager and had first gotten into yoga.
“Anna Bella, can you come down for a minute,” Celestine shouted in the hallway. Anna sighed. She loved her dearly but there was a downside to living with a landlord who treated you like family. You were at her beck and call at all times. Celestine was oblivious to the fact that she needed some time alone once in a while. Especially after an emotional upheaval like a fist fight on Court Street.
“Okay Celestine, just a minute,” she shouted in turn. She got up and rinsed her face in warm water and patted it dry. She went down the stairs from her parlor floor apartment to the basement. Celestine was sitting in her chair and motioned to her to sit on the couch. Good thing she was wearing sweats instead of her night gown. Celestine was typical of every old Italian lady has she had her furniture covered in plastic slipcovers. At least the couch and the love seat next to it. She didn’t cover her recliner but it was covered in a crocheted blanket that her sister had sent her.
“Anna whata you do? I hear you were fighting in front of your store today. What’s the matter? You in trouble?” Celestine asked as she looked very concerned. Anna just laughed to herself. Sure, she was a neighborhood girl now. Which means everybody was up in her business. “The jungle telegraph really works Celestine. How did you hear about that?” she asked with a smile. “You know more about what is happening in the neighborhood than I do and you never leave the house.”
Celestine answered with a guilty smile of her own. “Please Bella I donna wanna gossip. But that chiacchierone Birdie Rubino couldn’t wait to call me up and tell me you were in a fight. Why were you fighting?” Anna laughed again. “Boy she gets around. She always comes into the store and minds everybody’s
business. I wasn’t really in a fight. I just had to straighten out this girl that was hitting Leo. You know Leo? Your friend that died son. He is always walking around with the pushcart. Some nasty lady had her dog and he ran and attacked him. Got all tangled up in his legs and the cart. Then the waitress started hitting him. I couldn’t let that happen. So I decked her,” Anna said all in a rush.
Celestine laughed out loud. “Good for you Bella. You canta let them hurt poor Leo. That Bambino is lost without his mother. Good for you! But are you gonna get in trouble? These new people they like to sue. They sued Connie because she wouldn’t shovel her snow. They will sue anybody. Are you gonna have a problem with this?” “No, I don’t think so. It was the waitress and she doesn’t any money for a lawyer. She works at that bar on the corner. She doesn’t want any trouble.”
Celestine looked at her for a moment as if she was deciding if she should say something. “You know what you should do? If the girl makes a problem, you tell Vincenzo. He will take care of it. I promise you.” Anna smiled deeply at this and Celestine blushed because she knew that Anna was thinking.
“Oh, so I should ask your boyfriend to take of it for me?” Anna joked. “If I tell him you were asking he will be sure to jump in.” “Statazit you. He will do it because he likes you. Don’t you tell me he is nice to you every day. He don’t do that with people he don’t like. You tell him and he will do it. For you. Now let’s a stop with this foolishness. How about we have some ice cream, eh?”
Anna laughed at the obvious way Celestine tried to wiggle out of talking about her long-lost love. Plus, the fact that she thought that ice cream cured everything. Well at least in that she was right.
Anna went into kitchen and opened the old school freezer compartment. She took out a half empty gallon of butter pecan ice cream and went over to the counter. She took out two spoons and a couple of small bowls from the cabinet. She got the ice cream scooper that she had gifted Celestine out of the red ceramic La Creuset cylinder that held all of her utensils. Another gift she had given her on her birthday. She made two bowls of ice cream that used up what was left in the carton.
Anna walked back to the living room and gave Celestine a bowl and a spoon. They sat quietly for a moment as they both turned their attention to the tasty frozen treat. As they spooned up the butter pecan Anna decided to ask some questions.
“Let me ask you a question Celestine. Leo what’s his story. I know you told me some of it. He lived with his mom who was you friend. Ever since he was a kid. Now that she is passed, he is all alone. He just walks all over the neighborhood and picks thing out of the garbage. What don’t I know about him?” “Well, he is slow. Not mentally retarded like Rose that poor girl from Tompkins Place. He is just slow and can’t really deal with people. His mother took him at of school at an early age. I thought she was wrong to do it but she wouldn’t listen to anyone. A lot of people kept their children home if they were slow in the old days. Not so much anymore. I never thought he was that slow but he did have a problem talking to people he didn’t know. The problem was always gonna be when the mother died. They have no other family. Lucky there is money. She owned a couple of houses and made a lot of rent money. I think the lawyer on Court Street collects the money now and gives Leo an allowance every month. She set it up before she died.”
Anna thought about that for a moment. “But if nobody checks on the lawyer, he can steal all the money, right? I wouldn’t trust him with that. I hear bad things about him.” Celestine smiled at her as though she had made a smart observation. “Yes, that is true. But you see Leo’s father used to work with Vincenzo. In fact, the story is he saved his life. He told the lawyer no funny business after the mother died. And the lawyer would never cross Vincenzo.” Anna giggled. “It all goes back to Vincenzo doesn’t it Celestine?” “Not all of it but a lot of it does Bella. He looks out for Leo in his own way.” Anna agreed with that, “He looks out for me too. I saw that when I got into the tussle, he was ready to intervene. But he let me handle it. I just saw that he had my back.”
Celestine looked a little cowed at that news. “Bella please donna get too close with Vincenzo. He is a bad man. I know he sometime does good things but you have to remember he is a bad one. The Black Hand has always been like that. They give with one hand and take with the other. Please donna get too close to him. It is nice that he was behind you but he really didn’t do anything did he? He should have helped Leo. Not you. Still, you dida good thing. I am proud of you.”
Celestine put out her arms and Anna got up and hugged the old lady. They looked at each other and laughed. It was great that they had found each other. It made both of them a lot less lonely.
Anna picked up the bowls and spoons and brought them to the sink to wash. She put them on the drainboard and wiped her hands on the dish towel. She went back to the living room.
“I going upstairs Celestine. Thanks for the ice cream and your concern about me. Don’t worry. I will be careful. I am not too worried. After all I have you and Vincenzo looking after me.”
Celestine waved at her and said, “You kidder you. You go and get your sleep. I will see you tomorrow.”
Anna went upstairs and changed and brushed her teeth. She crawled into bed and pulled the covers up. She really did appreciate Celestine and how she cared about her. It was so different than how she grew up. It gave her a warm feeling. She really wanted to do something nice for her. She stopped moving for a minute. That’s it.
She would get her some ice cream.
Monday, August 22, 2022
Hipster Holocaust Chapter Thirty
The old man sat silently in the car as Fat Louie drove him from the bakery back to the club. He sat in the back seat like it was an Uber because he never let anyone sit behind him in a car. Nobody was going to Paulie Gatto his ass if he could help it.
Fat Louie just sat and drove and sweated through his purple silk shirt. He thought being the old man's driver would lead to a promotion. More scratch. At least some shy customers. Something. It had for Geno but so far, he hadn't seen ugotz. That might be because Frankie always seemed to be his wingman when he went to pick up the boss. Frankie was always pushing his way in there kissing the old man's ass. Fat Louie thought that was a mistake. The old man didn't care about that shit. He was long past the place where empty flattery meant something to him. They all kissed his ass and had for fifty years. That's what you do with a killer. You certainly didn't want to piss the old man off. Frankie was just too brash. He acted like he was respectful but there was always an underlying layer of contempt that Fat Louie could feel. And if Fat Louie could feel it, you know the old man could. Fat Louie was so fat he couldn't even feel his dick under his stomach, but he sure could feel the oleaginous bullshit that Frankie ladled on the boss. Now that he didn't show up today, he thought that Fast Frankie might have finally stepped in it. Fat Louie played the long game.
They pulled up in front of the club on Carroll Street to see Geno standing outside. He went and opened the door and the old man got out on to the sidewalk as Geno slammed the door shut. The old man looked at the door as if it made that slamming sound by itself. "What?" the old man said out of the side of his mouth as he looked away. "I need to talk to you about something boss," Geno said as he rushed to open the door of the club.
They walked in silence to the "safe" room and closed the door. The old man sat in his chair and waited for the problem. There was always a problem. Geno was a fuckin' problem. Because he was not a problem solver.
"That scumbag McCarthy and his Rican sidekick scooped up Frankie and drove off with him," Geno blurted. "I wasn't able to stop it without violence and they took him in their piece of shit car and drove away. That dumb shit admitted he knew one of the whores that got killed. When he admitted that I knew they had to take him in. I went into the club to call the lawyer and they were gone when I got back. I called the precinct, and they didn't know anything about it. McCarthy didn't answer the phone, so I called that other mook. You know. The guy. He said they hadn't seen those two numbnuts all day. So, I don't know what the fuck you know?"
The old man sat silently and looked at Geno like he was an idiot child. "Did you do what you were supposed to do?" he said. Geno nodded affirmatively. "Yeah, I just swept for bugs an hour ago. We are fine. Nobody else came in the room. We're clean." The old man sat and thought for a moment. This all sounded fugazy. Was Frankie talking to the cops? No that wasn't happening. They wouldn't make a big show of picking him up at the club if that was the case. Was he really a suspect in one of the killings or the disappearance of that girl Lydia? Did they actually think he did or did they have something that tied him to the bodies.
"Did you talk to him like I told you about the broads?" "No boss I didn't get a chance before those two scumbags showed up. They didn't say anything. They just grabbed him up and took him before I had a chance to brace him about his bullshit. You think they really like him for these broads that got killed?" The old man grunted. "Yeah, I think that would be it. Especially if that chootch told them he knew one of them. He had to since we do since she worked down the block. They had to take him in to sweat him for information at the very least. That scumbag McCarthy asked for our help, but they got their own shit they do. That DNA shit. All kinds of bullshit. Maybe they are coming at him for some reason we don't know. Like a witness. McCarthy knows he's with us. He wouldn't grab him up just to roust him. There had to be some reason. Tell the lawyer to go to the precinct and demand to see Frankie. In the meantime, go out and find him and tell him I want to see him. McCarthy I mean. Don't take no for an answer. But no rough stuff. He might be bent but he is still a copper."
Geno hesitated. "McCarthy is a major league prick. He ain't gonna listen to reason boss. I don't know how I am gonna get him here without threatening him." The old man grunted again. Geno would never learn. He was getting tired of him. "I said no rough stuff but of course you can set him straight. You need to remind him of what he owes. And what happens if he doesn't pay. If he still holds out on you come and see me and I will tell you what to do. Now go and do it."
Geno turned and left without another word.
Aiello sat and thought about the whole mess. He was getting tired of Geno and his limitations. The kid had his heart in the right place, but he just didn't have what it takes. Maybe he should think about bringing up somebody from the minors. It was late in the game for him to change it up but needs must. He gripped his chair and pushed himself up. It was getting harder and harder to maneuver these days. He just couldn't let anybody see it. His weakness. Because if he did then the hyenas would pounce. He walked over to the door and called out. "Get Louie here I want to talk to him." One of the wannabees sitting at the bar said, "Which Louie boss?" There was at least four Louie's in the crew. "Fat Louie. He might be out with the car. Tell him I want to see him."
Five long minutes later there was a knock on the door. It must have taken that fat fuck that long to waddle in from the car. "Come in," the old man said loud enough for him to hear through the door. The door opened and Fat Louie came in. The old man looked him up and down. He was a fat fuck. But the thing was he had a brain. The old man had noticed that. He hadn't commented on it, but he knew it just the same.
"Siddown kid I wanna talk to you. Use the straight chair so you don't sweat onna the upholstery." Fat Louie made a noise as he gingerly lowered himself into the chair. Like a lot of fat guys, he had a strange grace about him. Like Jackie Gleason or something. "Where's your shadow?" the old man spit out like he was pissed. He wanted to keep this mook on his toes. No complacency in his crew.
"Who Frankie?" Fat Louie said. "I don't know. He usually jumps in the car if he knows I am picking you up, but he wasn't around today. Maybe Geno has him doing something." Smart. Pushing it onto Geno. The old man had noticed the unspoken rivalry between them. Even more he noticed that Geno was oblivious to it. Another reason that it might be time for a change. The problem is that Geno was a made guy and Fatso was just an associate. There were only two made guys left in his crew. Him and Geno. The whole crew knew that somebody was due to get straightened out soon but they didn't know who. This situation might tell the tale.
"Geno said that McCarthy and the spic picked him up in front of the club while we were on Court Street at the bakery. I assume somebody filled you in." "Yeah, I heard. He must be in the hoosegow, no?" "Hoosegow? Who the fuck are you Roy Rodgers for fucks sake. He ain't in the jug on Union Street. The guy said he didn't come in. Find him. Or McCarthy. And tell him I want to see him. Now. Capice?" "Sure boss no problem."
Fat Louie hoisted himself up out of the chair and left the room. It was like the fucking Hindenburg had just left the building. The room got twenty degrees colder when his fat carcass left. It was good. He had set up a sort of half ass competition. Let's see who got to that Irish prick first. More importantly who will get him here the quickest.
Fat Louie went out the street. He had to figure out where to go to find Frankie. He knew his usual haunts so he could eliminate them first. If he wasn't in the jug at Union Street, then he might hold up in one of his locals to nurse his sores. He would come back tomorrow full of bluster and bullshit. If that is what happened. But Fat Louie didn't think so. Still, he would cover all of his bases.
He stuck his head back into the club. 'Hey, I want three of youse out here now." Three of the wannabees at the bar came out on the street. They were poor imitations of the mob associates of the Seventies and Eighties. They wore designer jeans and silk shirts like they were auditioning for an extra role on the Sopranos. You might as well have called them Huey, Dewey and Louie. Their actual names were Nino, Enzo and Louie.
"Boys we are looking for Frankie. And that Irish prick McCarthy. They might be together they might not. Enzo you go check that strip joint the Foxy Den. Nino you check out the bars down Atlantic. I know he hangs out at Monteros sometimes so he might be drowning his sorrows. It is also a haunt of McCarthy so go slow. If you see him tell him the old man wants him. Or better yet call me. Louie, you get that Spanish place in Sunset Park. You know the one. With the cheap semi-pros. Check it out and then come back here. Remember grab up Frankie. If he gives you any shit call me and sit on him. In fact, if he says he ain't coming in then sit and drink with him and call me and wait. If you see McCarthy tell him the old man wants to talk to him. Now. Got it?"
"Yeah sure Louie," the three chorused. They went off to their individual cars that were parked on Hicks Street.
Fat Louie was going to do his own search. He took the big car. The SUV. This way if the old man needed a ride, he would call him. He didn't want anybody else to bogart his spot. He drove off the block and headed deeper into Red Hook. There was a bar in an out of the way corner that McCarthy could often be found at when he wanted to lay low. It was where he had found him when he was in deep with the bookies. He had floated him enough escarole to get straight and put the word out that nobody should take his action. That was how they got their hooks into him.
He turned down Lorraine and off to a side street and pulled in front of the bar. It was a nondescript hole in the wall. He had definitely found McCarthy. His car was outside. Fat Louie sighed. This was not going to be fun.
He slowly lumbered out of the car and waddled into the bar. McCarthy and Torrez were seated in the back at a table against the wall. Various shades of hipsters were strewn around the bar busy staring at their phones. Fat Louie waddled up to the table as the two detectives stared into their drinks.
"Hey McCarthy. The old man wants to see you. Now." McCarthy looked up blearily and laughed. "He does? Good for him. Look Fatso I don't work for him so he can go fuck himself. I'm tired of sucking guinea dick you hear me you miserable fat rice ball? Go fuck yourself."
Fat Louie took it. He didn't get upset at the invective. He was fat. He knew that. Calling him fat didn't make him blink. But blowing off the old man was a bad choice. For both of them.
"Look Dummy, can I call you Dummy? I know all of your friends do. It ain't smart for you to get on the wrong side of the old man. I am telling you this so you don't fuck up. Look I'm on your side. Didn't I get you out of those gambling debts? Now I want to help you again. Lets just go talk to the old man."
"I already told you I ain't gonna play your game anymore you shit. So just fuck off and die all right you fat fuck."
"Hey I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself. But here's the thing. Where's Frankie? He left with you and now he is in the wind. He ain't in the jug we know that. So where is he Dummy?"
"That piece of human garbage. Where do find garbage Fatso? You know they found that girl in the garbage. In the dump on Staten Island. She got all chewed up from the truck. Frankie said he knew her. So maybe he is in the garbage. It's where the elite meet you know what I'm talking about. I mean where do you find garbage in Red Hook? Riddle me that Fat Man?"
Fat Louie stopped to think for a minute. He knew that the girl had gone in a dumpster. He knew all about it. He knew about all the crime that happened in the neighborhood. The clerk in the precinct was his cousin. She fed him all the details of what was going on. Especially murders. So he knew about the girl from the nursery. In fact he knew her. He had bought some plants for his Mom from her. She was a nice girl. He was upset at her murder. If he thought Frankie had done it he would have whacked him then and there. So what was this drunken Irish prick telling him. That Frankie was garbage. Where would he put him. Then it hit him.
In a dumpster.
He turned and left them without another word. If the dumb Irish prick was going to blow off the old man it was on him. He went back to the car and got in and drove off. He started driving up and down the streets in a grid pattern. Stopping at every dumpster he found. He would get out of the car and look in each one. It was amazing how many of them there were in Red Hook. Gentrification led to a lot of refurbishing. Refurbishing lead to a lot of dumpsters. There seemed to be one on every block.
The first five came up empty. The sixth one not so much. It was an old rusty dirty one. He looked inside and there was nothing but rotting garbage.
Behind it there was more garbage.
Frankie was lying in the street covered in blood. He bent down to check his pulse. There was a steady strong beat. He was alive. Just unconscious. For now.
That could change if the old man got his balls twisted.
He didn't want to bet either way.
Sunday, August 21, 2022
Some of the biggest authors around have websites where they publish snippets of their latest work. Especially sci-fi guys like Eric Flint or George RR Martin or Peter Rholdan. They publish a few chapters of their latest to whet the appetite of their fans.
Now I am not doing that because I don't have a bunch of fans like they do. I just do it as an exercise. Well, that was until I ran into a problem.
My Microsoft 365 that I bought with my new computer has expired. A purchased a different one from this company Mashable which was a great bargain. The problem is as with all great bargains it is not easy, and it is not working yet. I downloaded it fast enough, but it is not working for some reason.
So, in the meantime I will publish some snippets here. I am up to Chapter Twenty-Nine so far as we will see where we are as we go.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated.
If there is anybody out there.
Hipster Holocaust Chapter Twenty-Nine
Lydia lay back on the stained mattress trying to remain hopeful. It was a very hard task as nothing had changed. No one had come to save her. No one had come into the cellar other than the strange man who must be her captor. He would bring her some food and water. Replace the spackle bucket where she went to the bathroom with a clean one. He never spoke to her.
But he did start touching her.
It was very strange. At first, he seemed afraid. Tentative. He would touch her leg. Or maybe her hair. Then he started rubbing his palm up and down her body. First it had been her legs. Then her arms. Her stomach. Gradually he had progressed to touching her breasts. Each day he went a little further. Each day he got a little stranger. Lately he had begun rubbing her sex. It was beyond strange.
She wanted to resist the touching. But she immediately realized that would not be the best strategy. If he got upset, he might turn against her. He could beat her. Abuse her. Or worst of all just go away and leave her here to starve. So, she tried to be receptive without over doing it. She sensed that if she tried to be seductive, he would balk. She couldn't come on strong and initiate anything. His whole demeanor was inscrutable. In the beginning, she thought he was just shy. But more and more she thought that wasn't it. It seemed like he was savoring something. Her weakness. Her helplessness. Her nakedness. Her fear.
It was like he had an itch and the only thing that scratched it was the fear in her eyes as she trembled under his touch.
Her fear had become a palpable thing. She had always been an optimist and had thought there was some way she could get out of her predicament. Now she was afraid that she would be stuck down here for a long time. She was afraid that this would be like those stories you read about where a girl was kidnapped and held for years on end. She remembered that case with the young girl on Long Island who was held captive by a family friend for seventeen days. She hoped that was what would happen to her. She couldn't be here for months or years. Someone would find her soon. It all depended on who this guy was, and could he be traced back to her? Was it someone she knew? Someone she had a relationship with or worse had rejected in some way? Could that be how the people who must be searching for her would find her in this cellar? The police must look at all of those possibilities if they were looking for her. This guy just seemed too weird for it to be that simple.
Lydia heard the toggle of the lock to the cellar door. He was back. The door opened and he walked in carrying a sandwich and the empty bucket. He took a bottle of orange juice out of the bucket and put it next to her with the sandwich that he also placed on the floor. He took the dirty bucket and put it on the other side of the door. Then he came over and knelt on the floor next to her.
She smiled at him. Maybe she could still charm him. "Hey why don't you want to talk to me? I bet you do, Let's talk. I know you are not a bad person. You don't want to get in trouble. Please if you let me go, I will not tell anyone about what happened. It would be our secret. Just please I feel so dirty. I haven't showered and I smell. Can you at least take me to somewhere I can shower? I swear I will be good. I won't try to get away or anything. I just want to clean myself up. Please. I know you are kind. Please."
He sat up and stared at her though the mask that he always wore. He never took it off. She had no idea what he looked like. She knew he was definitely a white boy because he had taken off his gloves to feel her up. His hands were a working man's hands. Or at least not a guy who sat behind a desk all day. She didn't remember anyone that looked like him. Or at least she couldn't focus enough to remember. The constant fear and dread she felt just kept her discombobulated. He stood up and left the room making sure to lock the door behind him.
That went well.
At least he hadn't touched her again. She reached for the sandwich and saw that it was a potato and egg special from Joe's luncheonette. He must be a local. She was definitely still in Red Hook. The knowledge strangely comforted her even though it didn't mean anything unless she could break free. She started to eat the sandwich and drink the juice. Fear didn't cancel out hunger. Not when you are afraid all the time.
She heard the door again. He was coming back. She folded the paper back on the sandwich and put it aside. He walked in carrying another spackle bucket. Filled with what looked like soapy water. This was new. He put the bucket down on the floor. He motioned for her to stand. She just looked at him. What was he going to do? Pour the water over her? She just sat there and looked at him. He stood there for what seemed like forever. And then he acted.
He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up. She struggled and complained. "Hey, stop you're hurting me! Ow! Stop!" She struggled in his grasp. Once he got her standing up, he switched his grip to his right hand. He let go of her hair and grabbed her around the throat. He squeezed and shook her like a cat shaking a mouse he had just caught. She tried to catch her breath and tried to flail away at him with her arms, but he held her away from his body and tightened his grip. He reached down and took a soapy sponge out of the bucket. He wiped it up and down her body. Just the way he used to do with his hands. Only he was much rougher. He washed her back and legs. Then her stomach. He gave particular attention to her breasts and sex. Not is a sexual or sensual way. In a violent angry way. Like it was something dirty. Which it was. She was dirty and he was cleaning her. Finally, he stopped and threw the sponge on the floor. He reached down and picked up the bucket and held it over her head while choking her all the while. He poured the now dirty luke-warm water all over her in an impromptu shower as she shivered and moaned and tried to catch her breath as soapy water ran into her nose and mouth. Water went everywhere as it ran down her naked shivering body. Luckily, she was not standing on her mattress so while it got a little wet it was not soaked.
When he poured all of the water out, he pushed her hard, and she fell down on to the mattress. He threw a roughly textured towel at her and picked up the sponge and bucket and left without a word or a glance back. She sat there and wept. At the ordeal. At the violence. At her fears.
She eventually stopped weeping and grabbed the towel. She tried to dry herself as best she could. Her mattress had been spared the worst of it, but it was still soaked where she sat. Still there must have been a puddle of water on the floor that she would have to deal with. The water would get stagnant and pool there on the floor. She might get mosquitos if there were any still around. But when she looked it seemed that there was no puddle. She couldn't understand. Then she saw it. There was a large drain in the middle of the floor which must have been sloped so the water would run in.
That can't be good.
The only other place she had seen that was when she worked in the Western Beef franchise a few years ago. They had a drain just like that. Where they cut the meat. To drain the blood off.
My God is that what this is?
Hipster Holocaust Chapter Four
Dummy McCarthy and Julio Torrez were standing at the autopsy while the Medical Examiner made an incision down the breastbone of the almost albino body on the table. Pale and thin she was a big boned girl who must have kept the weight off by subsisting on the hipster diet of premium coffee and menthol cigarettes. The stark evidence of her white privilege made her numerous tattoos stand out like a dog shit on freshly fallen snow. She had the usual tribal band on her arm and the ubiquitous tramp stamp. A large cartoon mushroom was growing out of her pubes. Or where her pubes would have been if she had not been freshly shaved. Funny that she would shave her twat and not her armpits.
“So how did she die Doc? I take it she didn’t drown? Unless the big hole where her throat should have been made her swallow too much of that Canal Water?” asked McCarthy while he idly scratched his balls. Torrez did not complain because he had his finger shoved up his nose as if he was mining for a gold nugget. They were both famous for their couth.
“Cause of death was exsanguination Dummy. She bled out almost before she hit the water. There was no water in her lungs so she must have been dead when she hit the water.” “Shit Doc that ain’t water in the Canal” Torrez joked. “Did she have any oil slick scum in her lungs?” “No, it was the throat cutting that did the deed. The perp might have some knowledge of anatomy because he hit the exact right spot on the jugular that meant almost instant death. There was no slashing or hesitation marks. Just one slit nice and neat.”
Doc Isaac was short and frizzy haired under the dirty surgical cap he wore. It was extra-large because he had pushed up his curls to keep them out of the miasma on the table. He was a rotund Hebrew in a dirty ill-fitting suit covered in dandruff and lint. The Doc was sloppy in his personal hygiene but fastidious in his professional life. He squinted through a thick pair of wire rimmed glasses as he ripped out her heart and placed on the scale. He weighed it and called out the specifics to the tape and to the silent tiny Asian girl who was his assistant. She hadn’t said a word so far today. She rationed them. No more than ten sentences a day. Which was all right with Isaac. That was the whole reason he loved to work in the morgue. The corpses talked to him. Just not with words. The solace of silence was his haven before we went home to his wife Rivka and their ten kids in Borough Park. The life of an Orthodox Jew was many things but one thing it was not is quiet. Still and all he enjoyed the dynamic duo of the loud-mouthed Irishman and the sardonic Puerto Rican. They were like a comedy team. They took him back to the old Brooklyn he had grown up in. He enjoyed their nonsense. It was his guilty pleasure. He wouldn’t want to make a diet of it but now and again it was some welcome comic relief.
“Did you identify her Dummy?” “Yeah. My excellent police work told me her name was Sunshine nee Karen Eastman. I shit you not. Stone hipster moved here from upstate. Works in a boutique up on Court Street. That’s our next stop.” “That’s impressive. Quick work” said the Doc as he stripped her liver out and replaced the heart on the scale. May Ling had already put the heart in a specimen jar for later examination.
“Don’t let him pull you dick Doc,” laughed Torrez. “He found her wallet in her pants. Her driver’s license had an address from upstate and she had a pay stub from that vintage clothing store on President Street,
“Well time of death is not a mystery. It was three am yesterday give or take a few minutes. Her blood alcohol was pretty high, and she had pizza in her stomach. She must have been drinking before she died so there is that.”
“Yeah, I figured she was boozing Doc,” said Dummy. “Why else would you be wandering around at that hour. Unless you were trying to score and there is nobody dealing around there these days. We will be hitting the bars around the neighborhood tonight after we finish with you and report into the Twat.” Torrez shook his head. “You keep saying that and it is going to get back to her Dummy. You don’t want her on your ass any more than she already is dude.”
“He’s right Dummy” said the Doc as he leaned over the body and peered into the cavity as he poked around with his fingers. “She is a klafte for sure. Everybody knows that.” “Why you know her from up around Jewtown Doc?” asked Dummy. “I thought she lived in Jamaica Estates not Borough Park.’ “She moved there now but she came from Borough Park. In fact, her family used to belong to my shul. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with her. She was that nasty.”
“I hear you, but we still have to deal with her. Fuck it. I got twenty-five years in so I don’t have to kiss her pimply fat ass. I just have to do enough so she doesn’t have cause to shitcan me. Let’s go Torrez. Might as well get it over with. Doc shoot me a copy of the autopsy as soon as you can all right? A prelim is fine. I got to get a handle on this quick.” “I will Dummy no worries.”
McCarthy and Torrez went out into the rain and got into their car. As they drove through the rain slicked streets Torrez stared pensively out the window. “So, waddya think? Lover’s quarrel? Robbery? Crime of passion? Lots of room for speculation here Dummy.” Dummy sat hunched over the steering wheel as he tried to see out of the dirty windows. They had to get this fucking shit box cleaned one of these days. “Don’t know Beaner. We have to see. Let’s go into this with an open mind. And don’t say too much to this cunt. The less she knows the better.” “Okey dokey,” Torrez agreed.
They pulled up Union Street and stopped a few feet away from the front door of the 76. The Toyota slid up on the sidewalk and they parked it sideways like the rest of the hotshots in the precinct. Cops didn’t have to parallel park like regular people.
They walked slowly in the door and greeted the desk sergeant as they ambled up the stairs to the Detective Squad room. Battered green metal desks were set up in two lines that had not changed since the forties. The only innovation were the computers on each desk. They were archaic models which about five years out of date. Some of the detectives had their own personal laptops or tablets to augment the lack of support. The City of New York was a harsh mistress. Defunding the police was a reality not just a slogan. The 76 was at the end of the supply chain. What they had was better than nothing but not by much.
They both went over to the stained coffee urn and poured a cup of mud like coffee. It was the lube that kept the gears moving in this joint. Or at least it kept some of them awake. No sooner did they sit down then the captains butt boy came scurrying over. He was a yapping little weasel who looked like a half ass Poindexter. The fucker even sported a bow tie over his plaid shirt and a sweater vest that he even wore in the summer. He was all of four feet ten and weighed about ninety pounds. This was the future of the department. Jesus wept.
“The Captain wants to see you now McCarthy. Right now.” “Take it easy you little shit or I will hold you out the fucking window until you piss down your pants into your mouth.” The weasel almost foamed at the aforementioned mouth. “I’m going to report that McCarthy. You can’t talk to me like that.” McCarthy flicked some imaginary dust off his sleeve. He didn’t touch any of the actual dust because that was stuck on like glue. “Fuck you…you little pissant I will talk to you any way I want. Tell the Captain we will be there in a few minutes. I want to take a leak so unless she wants to follow me into the crapper, she has to wait a freaking minute. You know what? Fuck it. Let’s just go in and piss all over her desk instead.
The two detectives went to the back of the second floor to the Captain’s office. Torrez knocked on the door jam twice. “Enter” shouted the diminutive precinct commander. All of five feet tall and round as a bowling ball she was 200 pounds of resentment and bile topped by a curly Jew fro and a schnozzola that went out of style when Jimmy Durante retired. It made sense that she was so small. You could only stack shit so high.
“So, what do you have to say for yourself McCarthy” spit the midget sized commander. “Not much Captain. Twenty-five-year-old woman name Sunshine Eastman. From upstate but she works at the boutique on President and Court. She had her throat cut and was tossed in the Canal off the Carroll Street bridge around three in the morning. She was drinking so we are going to hit the bars tonight to see what’s up. That’s all we got so far.” The captain sniffed like she smelt something bad. But then she always did that around these detectives. They were not her kind of cops. Not her kind of people. She planned to get these dinosaurs out as soon as possible to get some diversity into the unit. She had her eye on a couple of Latino lesbians from patrol to promote into the Detective bureau as soon as she could get a chance.
“See that you get this cleared as soon as possible McCarthy. You hear me? None of your bullshit or I will have you out of here so fast you won’t know what hit you.” “Sure thing Cappy. Whatever you say. Why don’t you let us get on with it? Ok?” “Don’t give me your good ol’boy white supremacist bullshit! I am the Captain and you will respect me or you will be fired. You got that McCarthy?” “What does being white have to do with it?” “Don’t talk back to me you shit. I will write you up and call in Internal Affairs. You are on a tight leash. I want a written report every night, make it the first thing I see on my desk in the morning. You understand McCarthy? You are on thin ice here. Your day is done in this department.”
“Sure thing Captain. Written report every night. You got it.” “Get out of my office and get this done.”
They left the office and walked back to their desks. They looked at each other and both detectives mouthed the same word at the same time.
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
My dear Holmes,
Your obedient servant,
Inspector G. Lestrade
July 25, 1898
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Anna Feola walked into the Brooklyn Loaf to start her shift at 6 am. Just about five feet tall she was slim but shapely with dark brown hair with auburn highlights. Anna looked like an Italian neighborhood girl even though she came from Suffolk County. She fit right in on Court Street.
Anna was always one of the first employees at the store because she liked the first shift. First of all, it was always busy so she was always moving. Anna hated having to wait around with nothing to do. Best of all she got off early at 2 o’clock so she had the rest of the day to do whatever she wanted. She could take a class or go to an audition. Or even just help out the nice old Italian lady that was her landlord. She was like her Mom. Or more like the Grandmother that she had never had back home. Her family originally came from this neighborhood even though they had moved out to Long Island back in the sixties. Even so she felt a prosperity interest in the Italian culture that was fading away in the face of all the hedge fund managers and Wall Street aholes who were buying up the neighborhood. There were still a few pockets of the old Italian American Immigrant culture left and this coffee shop was one of them even though it was only about ten years old. It featured bagels and rolls and prepared sandwiches with coffee and tea. Not fancy like Starbucks but not as declassee as the Dunkin Donuts on the corner of First Place. It was sort of in-between. Just like Anna.
She started the coffees in the giant urns and Pepe brought up a couple of paper sacks filled with fresh hot bagels. She sorted them out and put them in the wire bins designated for each flavor with a little ceramic name plate attached to the front. Plain. Salt. Poppy. Sesame. Onion. Everything. A bin for everyone and a pile of hot steaming goodness. If only life could be like that.
People started drifting in. Moms on their way to PS 58 to drop off their little monsters. Nannies with their over privileged charges in super expensive strollers. A couple of in a hurry commuters who wanted to pick up something to take on the subway. The crowd grew and the line went out the door into the street. She poured the coffee and buttered the bagels and even had to serve the one section of tables against the wall. They were easy as they were usually her regulars. The same people every day.
One of them was an older Italian gentleman with hard eyes and pure white hair. He was always elegantly dressed in an expensive leather jacket and a silk shirt. He wore expensive custom-made shoes and had a Rolex on his wrist that was worth more than everything that was in the whole shop. He wore dark glasses inside and was very quiet. Occasionally someone from the neighborhood would come and whisper something in his ear. He would nod or make a gesture with his hand or very infrequently whisper something back. His order was always the same. A cup of espresso and a plate of Italian biscotti. He never varied it unless he wanted a short snort of anisette in his coffee. They kept a bottle behind the counter just for him. He was always very kind to her and there was always something mysterious about him. Anna didn’t know much about him and was sort of intrigued.
What she really didn’t know was that he was the real owner of the joint.
You see the Mob had gone into the bagel business in a big way in the 1980’s. What’s not to like? A cash business perfect for washing money. And you didn’t even have to lose money at it to boot. So bagel stores went up in Bensonhurst and Kew Gardens and Staten Island and Ozone Park. There were two in South Brooklyn that now had the Real Estate name of Carroll Gardens. One on Smith Street was controlled by the Columbo’s and was full of cowboys. They ran guns and drugs out of it and a bunch of them got pinched and put away on a Ricco charge. This one was much cleaner. They kept the drugs and the guns and gambling out of it. It was just bagels and a schmear.
At one time the cafes in the neighborhood had been part of the fabric of their existence. People would come in and sip an espresso and talk. It was a social thing. That’s why they were called social clubs. You knew everyone and everyone knew you. Now it was like the rest of New York. Anonymous and lonely. Sometimes people might know each other and nod before they became engrossed in their phones. But most of the time they just stared at their laptops or phones as though they could find the meaning of life.
He came in around eight this morning and sat in his usual seat. The second table from the front with his back to the wall. Anna hurried over with his order. “Good morning Mr. Aiello. Here is your breakfast. How are you feeling?” she chirped as she put down the plate. “Great sweetheart” he rasped with his heavy Brooklyn accent. “Just great. Can youse bring over the papers when you get a chance.” “Yessir right away.” ”Thank youse.”
When he asked for the papers, he only wanted the Post and the News. He never touched the Times or the Wall St Journal. Tabloids were all he read. Oh well the rest were there for all the pretentious noobs who came in and hit on her. But they wouldn’t be here for hours yet, so she was safe. Maybe she would have time to practice that song for the audition she was going to hit next week. She just hoped that Mrs. DiMartino would be okay with her singing the same song over and over for hours. What was she thinking? Of course, she would be fine with it. But she was going to bring her a bag of Italian cookies just to make sure.
She had learned her lessons well. She was morphing into a real neighborhood girl.
Detective Charlie McCarthy looked over the rail on the Carroll Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal and spit while a thin drizzle fell on everything and bounced off the surface. A six-foot-tall pale Irishman he had the map of Ireland on his face. With the landmarks represented by the veins and broken blood vessels of a life spent with his gut pressed against a bar. He wore what he always wore. A cheap suit with a $5 tie from the bodega. One look at him and you said cop. Bad cop. Drunk cop. Dangerous cop. Not that he felt dangerous these days. Mostly he felt gassy.
A police diver fell backwards of the side of the police launch. And bounced. He had to cut a hole through the surface scum as though he was an ice fisherman freezing his balls off on a lake in Minnesota. How he was going to find anything was a mystery, but they still had to try. They had a report that there had been a jumper last night and some blood evidence on the rail that was enough for the shit heel captain to demand that they investigate.
His partner Julio Torrez walked up carrying two cups of coffee with the plastic tops attached. A slim slick Puerto Rica with a pencil thin mustache that went out of style in the fifties. He had a moderate fro and a decided limp from an old gunshot wound from the Red Hook Projects during the crack years. They had been partners for a long time.
“Hey Dummy, what’s happening?” He handed over a coffee and they both ripped off a small piece of the top so they could sip the coffee while keeping the cover on to protect it from the rain. “Did they find anything or are we just jerking ourselves off here?”
“Nothing yet Beaner but they just started. How the fuck they gonna find anything in this shit is beyond my freaking understanding. I think that twat captain is just busting our balls with this shit.”
“I don’t know jefe. They said they had a witness. Some old biddy looking through her window. Said she saw some dude in a hoodie push a girl over the side.”
“How the fuck did she see that. There nearest house is half a block away. What the fuck does she have Xray fucking eyes?”
“What the fuck are you talking about? Opera. What she was singing? You are one dumb Rican you know that.”
“Nah man she had Opera Glasses. She is one of the liberals that moved in. A fucking college professor or some such shit. She had a pair of Opera glasses and she looks out her window and writes down what she sees so she can call 411 to complain. Logged over 100 complaints so far this month. Only this time she called and got right through to the Captain.”
“Well how the fuck did she do that? What did they just put her through? What da fuck?”
“No dude her name is Karen Cohen. She went to summer camp with the Captain and shit. They probably licked each other like a lemon ice.”
“Great another Jew bag. I shoulda retired like my third wife told me too before she split. What a shit show.”
The diver burst though the scum blanket that cover the canal and not without effort. He was about five yards from the boat and was waving his hand. The boat putt putted over to him and they threw him a line. He went back down and everyone waited for a minute holding their breath. Too be fair everyone had been holding their breath the whole time since it smelled like the monkey house at the Prospect Park zoo. There was a series of tugs on the line and the two coppers in the boat started pulling up the line. They had caught something. A body. Covered in slime and debries. Pampers, plastic bags. Maybe a condom or three. They rolled the body into the skiff and waited for the diver to come up. When he did they pulled him in the boat. The maneuvered up to the bridge and the sergeant in the boat called up. “Hey Dummy we got a fresh one for ya. Wadda wanna us to do? Bring it to the dock or bring it over there to youse and you can take custody?”
“Shit forensic is on the way and they need some space to work. Just bring it over to the dock in the back of the furniture warehouse on 9th. I’ll have these guys go over and take custody so they can bag her. No need to take it back to your shop. Thanks Flynn. Thanks a lot. Now I got another body on my tab. Fuck it never ends.”
The partners looked at each other and sighed in unison. “Let’s get over there and get this shit show on the road. Oh and give Captain Jew Bag a call and let her know we found a stiff. That will give her a lady hard on now that she is finally right about something.” “Ok Dummy I will call it in.”
They went to the unmarked Toyota and drove on to Third Avenue. This was really going to be a shit show. Cause the stiff looked white. And young. And a cooze. A shit show of the first water. Fuck. Some days it didn’t even pay to get up.