Now, though, at only 46 I sometimes feel like I'm 86. My bones creak and crackle so much when I get out of a chair it sounds like someone set a pile of dry leaves on fire. Recent surgeries on my legs have left them weak to the point where just going to the supermarket to buy groceries tires me out.
Growing old is a real drag. But, in the final analysis, it comes down to this: the alternative to growing old is dying young. And when faced with only those two options I'll take growing old every single time.
46 years ago, at 1:55 pm, I was born in Mobile, Alabama. Despite being very sickly and almost dying a couple of times I had a great childhood, filled with my favorite, but incongruous, things like KISS and The Dukes Of Hazzard and G.I. Joe and Spider-Man comic books. My coming-of-age years were in the 80's and I was very much a product of that time, with many hours and quarters burned standing in front of a Pac-Man machine.
It seems like yesterday and it seems like a thousand years ago all at the same time.
I laughed, "Well, you can't win 'em all. So, is Whistling Eddie in?"
Ari looked back at the magazine. "Never took you for a betting man, Randolph."
I nodded my head, "Every day is a gamble in my business, Ari. I just need some info and I think Eddie might be able to give it to me."
"Eddie don't give nothin' for nothin', ya know what I mean?"
"You let me worry about the transaction, Ari. Can you just let me back there, please?"
He reached under the counter and pressed a button. The door to the back swung open...
"That was her, Mo. I dreamed about a woman I'd never even seen. She came to me for some reason."
"Teddy, you listen to me. You get your things and you get out of that house. You need to get someone with a bulldozer to raze that damned thing to the ground. It's evil. You hear me?"
I grinned, "Mo, a house can't be evil. It's an inanimate object."
"Yeah," Mo said as she wiped a towel across the counter, "well that inanimate object belonged to Betty Finch. And she obviously wants it back!"
I laughed, "Mo, you're too much!"
I took another swig of the coffee and then asked, "But is he a murderer?"
She stopped and looked down. I think she was searching her mind for all her encounters and run-ins with Dunn.
"Honestly, I think he's too cowardly for that. Besides, he was crazy about Paige. She was alternately sweet and cruel with him on a daily basis and I never saw anything but love in his eyes for Paige."
"Well," I said, "if it wasn't Dunn then you might be a suspect. After all, you got her job."
She looked at me with fiery eyes...
We were both hungry so we decided to discuss the matter over dinner. I locked up my broom closet for the night and we went downtown to Le Bistro De Paris. Rivers told me he'd "fallen in love with French cuisine" when we were stationed over there, so what the lieutenant wanted the lieutenant got.
It was all I could do not to vomit all over the table as I sat there watching Rivers eat his plate of escargot. Gastropods aren't exactly my idea of suitable dinner fare.
We had settled back with coffee before Rivers got down to business...