So, it has been decided that my author wife is rubbing off on me. Since I made that comment a few days back about smelling the stale beer coming up from the sidewalk, I've had the voice of a hard-boiled detective going around in my head. And, as if often the case with Journey when characters are talking in her head, this will keeping going on until I put it down on paper - or in this case, on screen. So here we go (and please remember, most of my writing is non-fiction or personal rants, so this kind of thing is not exactly my forte).
It was one of those mornings that just makes you wish you had never bothered getting out of bed. Or, it would have been if you had ever actually made to your bed instead of passing out on top of the desk in your office with a mostly empty glass and an even emptier bottle of whiskey right beside you. I probably wouldn't have bothered waking up at all if it weren't for that damned phone and the voice on the other end.
"The Commissioner wants you down at 1st and Jefferson. Now." Detective Michael Bennett - the asshole.
"Mrph - why? What doya need me fer? I quit the force and went freelance. 'member?"
"Look, if it were up to me, the only contact you'd have with the Department would be when we haul your sorry drunk ass out of the gutter and throw it in a cell for the night. But it's not up to me, and it's not up to you either. Just get here." Like I said, an asshole. Must be bad though; usually he takes the time to enjoy telling me just how worthless he thinks I am. If he was distracted to the point that he kept it to a single "sorry drunk" reference and only threatened me with a night in the Tank, it meant that something serious had gone down last night - real serious.
Needless to say, I wasn't in the best of moods when I walked out the door. And the weather sure as shit wasn't helping. Not even eight o'clock in the morning it was already getting hot. And on top of that, it was humid, making you're clothes cling to you as soon as you walk out the door and you're sweating before you've gone half a block. It was the kind of humid that seems to make the city itself sweat and ooze. Walking past the basement dive a couple blocks from my office, you could smell years' worth of stale beer oozing out of the concrete.
The young, rich, and trendy have always taken a certain amount of pleasure slumming - they come to those places where the hard, broke, and broken seek to hide from the rest of the world and congratulate themselves on being "real" and "average". Of course, they congratulate themselves while drinking all of whatever passes for "top shelf" in the place, all the while taking great pains to remind everyone else in the place that they're only visiting. Everyone knows that when these kids have had their fill, they'll head back to the clubs or their pricey condos in the heart of town, leaving behind the dark smoke filled corners and sullen expressions. Is really any wonder than every so often one of these yuppie spawn says or does something to get shown the door - conscious or not.
So maybe a cliched, I know, but I had to write it down just to shut up the voice in my head. And while it's quite at the moment, I'm fairly sure it'll come back at some point and I'll have go through all this again.