Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The First

            I found the first one in the usual way. I just wandered the back alleys of the city after dark on a Friday and listened for the music. Stretches of free jazz don't usually play in the alleyways, not any more. And those where they are aren't usually the place where you hear muffled cries. He'd gone back to his old ways. He'd always said this was how he'd spent his Friday nights, but I never believed him until I had to look for him. 
     He doesn't see me in his black suit and unusually kempt hair, but I see him. I see him and step over the boombox he's using to play what was Coleman and what's now Miles Davis...Birth of the Cool era Miles Davis as he sits down next to what looks like a body and takes a package of green stuff out of his jacket pocket. Within moments, he's laid it out in nice lines on the body-thing --She's decked out in a short dress and a big fur coat and cheap but sexy heels, the kind I woulda wore back in my golden days when I dressed like a--...Oh my god, I think to myself, That's a hooker...and rips a line right up his nose. I have to cover my ears when the girlish scream pierces the air...people scream all the time in alleys. It's kind of a part of this life to ignore them straight. But Sage is better at it than I am, so it still bothers me to see this green-eyed bastard hammering rails of god-knows-what up his nose.
     I don't think he sees me as he bumps the second rail of green stuff through his nasal passages, weeping "Great scott, that hurts..." As he rummages through his jacket, I put my hand on his shoulder and get a brick to my hip for my trouble. As I fall over, he notices me. "Why, Tao! How nice of you to join me!" He casually moves the hooker out of the way and I look horrified. He shakes his head. "Oh, gods, no, I didn't kill her, dear boy. I haven't gone completely off the reservation." He waves the brick. "I paid her all my remaining funds to knock her out and have a typical Friday evening." He smiled. "Though the drugs are not making an appearance again." He hands me his little nose-straw and I wave it away. "Enjoy yourself, Adam." I say weakly.
     Adam laughs. "It's sooner than you think, dear boy. And you're here to offer me a job I'll accept. Things are getting bleaker, and we all have to get back together like the old days. Like the desert, hmm? Tell me, has that dear, lovely girl we know gotten the house yet?" Adam and Naoms. They've known each other the longest, so they're the closest. He refers to her with extra adjectives for some reason. I can't quite get my head around the bond. Maybe it's that they both come from around the same area. Naomi lives with me, but she ran off for a little to "get some things together". ", of course you haven't. A pity you won't join me for some wasabi." He sighs. I sigh too. This little "I know all. I see all." act is really getting on my nerves, even more than it used to, and he knows that, too. 
     I pull out a cigarette and he looks shocked and then annoyed at me. I put it back. "Let's go, since you've pre-accepted." I say. "Oh, Tao..." Adam shakes his shaggy head. "It doesn't work like that." He cuts the line in half, takes out another straw, and dual-bumps his nostrils, almost suffocating on the overly-spicy condiment before he chokes it down and whips his head around to kill the feeling. "Now I'm ready to go. But I shan't come with you just yet. Have her get the house, and when that's done, I'll be right there with you." 
      He gets up and ruffles my hair before walking off, those long strides putting mine to shame, his suit now looking ruined, his boombox in one hand like a briefcase, half-shuffling half-dancing off into the night. "Don't worry about me, Tao. I'm not going to be receding into my old ways. Just take care of business and I'll show up."

So now not only do I have to figure out what half the stuff meant, I have to find a house and meet up with Naomi again. When I get home, I shoot Sage off an email. "One down, four to go. This used to be easier." and start looking for more leads.