Posts Tagged ‘romance’


THE SUPER SUPER

 

RING RING went the black wall mounted phone.

“Stephen, please answer that,” said Paul

“Okay Paul, I said as I took the phone from its cradle and spoke into it.

Hello? Yes this is the number for Paul The Super. Who’s calling please? One moment, I‘ll get him for you.”

“Well, who is it?” Paul asked me.

“It’s the Mayor.”

“The Mayor of what?”

“The Mayor of New York City, he wants to speak with you. “

Paul DiNioa, the superintendent of my apartment building, , my godfather and my mentor, stood up from his workbench and walked toward me as I held the phone out to him. He was the strongest man I’ve ever seen. Built like a truck, with forearms and hands that could crush a stone, I was always in awe of his strength and silent steely gaze. An immigrant from Italy with a zest for life and unwavering love for his family (and me) this man was very well respected in the neighborhood as a capable and successful jack of all trades. I watched as he took the phone into his hand looked at me, and then spoke in a soft  controlled voice with his heavy Italian accent, a sound that I can still hear to this very day.

“Mr. Mayor, so nice to hear from you again sir.” Yes, sir I do remember that I told you to call me if you needed my help. Yes sir I am always willing to help. Hmm I see, yes sir, I can be there in a few minutes. Yes sir I will do my best, I know my city is counting on me. I’m on my way sir, you’re welcome, goodbye sir.”

“Stephen, get my tool bag we have to hurry.”

I gathered up the usual tools that Paul used in these situations. His trusty measuring tape, an assortment of wrenches and screwdrivers and of course Paul’s favorite tool of all, “The Goesinta”. It’s actually only a hammer but Paul used to say that if something needed a little help, hit it hard with the hammer. The hammer makes “this goes into that”. The Goesinta”

I stood there holding The Goesinta in my hand, I marveled at its sleek wooden molded handle and the brilliance of the steel head with its curved claw at one end, while the front of it was perfectly rounded and smooth like glass.

“Stephen, get your head in the game, we’ve got to go now,” said Paul.

I threw the bag over my shoulder and raced outside to the street where we kept our vehicle.  As I climbed the steps from the alleyway to the street, I remembered all the times I used to play in this alleyway with Paul’s children. We all grew up together in this apartment building and spent most of every waking moment with each other. Paul was the superintendent, my family and I lived on the 3rd floor.  Our apartment building had so many other families and we all got along, it was a great place to be a kid. As I reached the top of the stairs I could see the wheels of The Rambler.

With its majestic sleek lines and the curves of its strong and reliable body. Its gray color came into view and as I made my way around the front of the car I reached out and touched the chrome emblem on its hood. It was our good luck charm and I rubbed that emblem every time we went out on a call.

“THE RAMBLER”

Man do I remember it well. Paul used to let me steer the wheel sometimes while we drove through the city streets of our neighborhood.

I opened the door and hopped inside while I watched Paul gracefully leap up the alleyway steps and as usual he slid across the front hood, landed perfectly and jumped inside the car. He looked at me and smiled as he turned the key in the ignition we felt the old engine come to life. Paul had spent countless hours working under the hood of this car. He practically rebuilt the entire car himself. I helped of course, he always taught me how to tune the engine, replace brake pads and anything else that we could do ourselves.

His feeling was that why we would have someone else do what we were capable of doing. I believed that fully and still pass that on to my own children. I hope they’ll be as self sufficient as he taught me to be.

Paul looked at me and said,” Stephen buckle in, we have to get to an apartment building on Seaman Ave, right away. There’s a water main leak and The Mayor is afraid that if we don’t get the leak under control the entire city could flood, it’s up to us.” Paul threw The Rambler into first gear and as I listened to the screeching tires and smelt the burning rubber of the white walls. I was again reminded of how very lucky I was to have this man in my life.

I watched out the window of the Rambler at the passing cars and street signs. All the other kids in the neighborhood saw me and I know deep down they all wished it was them sitting in my seat.  All of them knew of the man called The Super. They knew of his heroic escapades. He was the talk of all the other superintendents in the city. He did it all, and when they needed help, they always called him.

“Stephen,” he started saying, “make sure that when we get to the building you take my tool bag and go directly to the basement. I’ll enter the area of the leak and assess the situation then meet you in the basement, okay?”

“Okay, Paul.” I said, happy to once again be called into action.

“There’s the building,” he said pointing to an apartment building down the block. I didn’t have to know the number of the building; it was clear that we had arrived at the right one. There were crowds of people standing around in the street while the tenants were streaming out of the building soaking wet and terrified. A policeman moved away a barricade when he saw that it was Paul in his trademark Rambler automobile.

“CLEAR THE WAY FOLKS, THE SUPER IS COMING THRU, ” the officer was yelling to the crowd.

Paul slowly drove to the front of the apartment building while we both looked out the car window at the water that was dripping from the rooftop down the side of the building into the street. As we exited the car we both stepped into the small stream of water that was now passing under our feet.

“You ready, Stephen?” He asked me

“Yes I am.”

“Okay hurry now, it looks like we don’t have much time. If we don’t fix this leak soon, you and I both will be out of a job. And, our neighborhood will be called Swimwood not Inwood.” He patted me on the back and off I went to the basement. I caught a glimpse of him as he ran into the front door of the building, he showed no fear, only determination to get the job done.

I was in the basement and in position near the boiler room when I heard a huge roar coming down the dumbwaiter shaft. “It must be the water overflowing”. I went to the alleyway and looked up towards the second floor. There was Paul pushing with all his strength against a steel door on the second floor landing. I could see him holding the door with one hand while reaching over with the other to slide a thick metal bar to keep the door closed.

HE DID IT!

He looked down and saw me. Then I saw a look in his eyes, he was looking past me, but at what?

“STEPHEN LOOK OUT,” he yelled.

I turned just in time to see a wall of water rushing towards me. The water from the dumbwaiter was my last thought as I was swept into the alleyway. Smashing me into metal garbage cans, the water was rising now and as it did I took me with it. I was getting tangled up in the clothes lines that hung there. Paul saw this and yelled for me to hang on. I was trying to but the water was stronger. One of the clotheslines was hanging loose and I kept trying to grab it as it fished like a snake in the rushing water. I almost had a few times and I felt myself getting weaker and going under.

Suddenly I heard Paul yelling; only he wasn’t yelling my name. Through my grogginess and constant gulping of air I could almost make out what he was saying.

“Grrrr lunniy.”

Up and down into the water I went. I kept hearing the yelling.

“GO LUCY.”

GO LUCY, why would Paul be yelling that? Then it came clearer to me. I pushed myself out of the waters pull one last time. I could see Paul in a window, he was pointing to something in the water. Something that was coming directly towards me.

IT WAS LUCKY, Paul was yelling GO LUCKY.

It was Lucky, the DiNioa’s black dog. Lucky was swimming towards me with the clothesline in her teeth. I reached out and took the line. Wrapping it around my hand and with Lucky safely in my other arm, Paul pulled us both to the window where he stood.

“Are you alright?” he asked me.

“I’m fine now, thanks to you and Lucky”, I replied.

“Good”, he said, “now let’s go finish this job.”

We all ran towards the basement where I had left Paul’s tool bag. There it was right where I left it, thank god. Paul grabbed the bag and we all sprinted towards the boiler room. When we got there he pointed up at a massive steering wheel looking thing.

“That’s the main for the water pressure. We need to get there and shut that down, “he said as the water was starting to puddle up around my already soaking wet Pro Keds. “When I get to the top, you need to throw me the tool bag, it’s too much for me to climb and carry the bag.”

“Okay Paul,” please be careful I whimpered along with Lucky.

“Don’t you two worry, okay I can handle this,” he said as he scooted up the side of the boiler.

While he climbed I positioned myself underneath the huge boiler and got ready to throw him the tools.

“Okay,” he yelled thru the roar of the water coming down all around him. His clothes were soaked and he was barley holding onto a small piece of steel mounted to the top of the boiler.

“Throw me the bag” “Okay,” I said as water filled my open mouth.

I took the canvas tool bag in both hands. Swinging it thru my open legs I gathered enough momentum and heaved it in the air towards Paul. The bag sailed higher and higher. Paul reached out one hand and with his very fingertips he touched the wet canvas handle of the tool bag. Just then the water exploded into the air and Paul was thrown from where he was. Lucky and I stood there unable to do anything, I was sure that he had been knocked off the top of the boiler; I listened for the sound of his body landing near us. Squinting thru tear and water soaked eyes; I painfully looked up at the spot where I last saw him.

THERE HE WAS, he was still hanging onto the massive wheel. And there in his right hand was THE GOESINTA.

With his trademark smile always warm, bright and reassuring, he winked at Lucky and I as he swang the Goesinta at the rusty steel wheel.  I could see the bulging muscles of his bicep. His arm swung at the steel like he was playing a musical instrument. Slowly at first then with increasing speed the wheel started to turn. The water was slowing down, till finally with one last might swing of the Goesinta the last drop of water fell.

Paul holstered the Goesinta into his belt and slid down the boiler to Lucky and me.

I picked up the wet tool bag as he came over and ruffled my wet hair. Lucky did a gigantic dog shake and almost knocked herself off her own feet. Paul and I both laughed as we walked out of the basement and into the bright sunshine.

“How about a Coke a Cola and a Hostess cupcake Stephen, I think you deserved it.”

I looked up at him and nodded yes. I couldn’t wait to get back to his workshop and hear the phone ring again.

 

The End…….for now

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girl with rose

 

My Tip Toe Rose

 

Shall we dance

While we’re here

Just us two

I ask you dear

 

Will it hurt

When we spin

When your thorns

Start digging in

 

How can I

Begin to dream

That I know

What you have seen

 

I can walk

Or skip away

You are where

You must stay

 

At least until

You are selected

And sadly then

No longer protected

 

I am grateful

That you chose

Me as partner

My Tip Toe Rose

 

-peace


usmc flagan excerpt from Tales of a Sinner…

I was becoming too comfortable with this lifestyle. My friends and family endured me because deep down there had to be a “good-guy” in there somewhere. I had seen and been part of more than life’s fair share of death and near death.

Karma was winning. I had to make a change. I had to save myself.  There was a place that I heard of where men like me could go to, a place that would never judge or discriminate against those who sought its embrace. I’m sure that the local authorities would endorse my application into this organization. I was at a dead-end in my life and I felt it was going nowhere fast.

So I did what all good blue blooded males do at this point in their lives. I signed up to do three years in the Marine Corp. I wanted to do something totally different, something I had never done before. This was certainly different.

After all the paperwork and legal shit was done. I had gotten into a fight and got arrested and the judge wanted to send me away. Luckily the Gunny who recruited me, bailed me out of that jail in Long Island by telling the judge I was entering the military. I was told to report to the USMC recruiting station at 181st and Broadway on the 3rd of September.

The night or two or three before the 3rd of September, I was out partying with as many good friends I could possibly find. We drank and smoked everything we could possibly smoke and drink in three days time. I was so hammered when the morning came for me to report to the recruiting station. I couldn’t walk on my own so like good buddies they were and not wanting me to miss my appointment. They literally carried me and dropped me off at the front door of the recruiter’s office. I actually awoke inside the doorstep of the recruiter’s office.

It was early morning and there were people stepping over my drunken ass in the doorway. Moms and dads hugging and kissing their sons and daughters goodbye and everyone wishing everyone good luck.

All this mushy shit please, “Give me a break”, (and a beer and a cigarette). When all the crying and good wishing was finally over, the Gunnery Sergeant who recruited all of us said, “I want everyone upstairs in my office for a quick meeting before the bus that’ll take you to the military processing center gets here.”

We go to his office and he proceeds to tell us that our group of 22 recruits from NY City is the second largest group of New Yorkers to go into boot camp at one time this year. In his infinite wisdom he decides that one of us should be the “group leader” and handle all the medical and personnel files for the 22 of us.

For some ungodly reason he hands “ME” this large briefcase type luggage looking thing with all the personnel and medical records for all us recruits. He declared that “I” should be this responsible person. He must have regretted that decision once he handed me that records. Because then I choose as my assistant record keeper, this crazy looking dude with a Mohawk haircut.

So here we go, getting onto a bus that will take us to the Fort Hamilton military processing center in Brooklyn. All 22 of us, 18 men and 4 women including me and Mohawk guy, “The Keepers of the Records.”

It takes us about an hour or so on the bus to get to Ft Hamilton and then another 10 hours of physicals, stress tests and assorted other useless examinations. From the base we take another bus shuttle to JFK airport. We check in at the ticket line. The airline proceeds to tell us that we have a good 7 or 8 hours to wait until our flight takes off.

“7 hours? What the hell do you do at JFK International airport for 7 hours?”

Dig this; because I was the “leader”, I felt it was my duty to take care of us in the best way I knew how. I rounded everyone up and said, “Now some of us have money in our pockets and some of us don’t have any money at all. And since we’re going to boot camp for three months none of us will need any money.”

I collect every dime from the whole group we actually ended up with a few hundred dollars. Then me and Mohawk Hair Dude take a yellow cab into downtown Queens and buy 25 cases of beer, ice, smokes and munchies. We then take another cab back to JFK, gather our fellow recruits and we all march across to the other side of the airport till we get to what was then known as the Flying Tigers airplane cargo hanger (now it’s the FedEx terminal).

We then spent the next 6 hours drinking, and getting to know each other. What a fucking blast. Most of these kids never had a drink in their life, it was awesome.

By the time we went back to the main terminal and the gate to board our plane we were so freaking drunk that the 4 girls with us were actually placed into wheelchairs. As for the rest of us, we were farting, burping and making all sorts of other humorous bodily noises. We finally get seated and the plane takes off, and of course, we continue to buy drinks and food.  We get thru the majority of the flight without any major problems, other than vomiting and a few fights with some of the other passengers. We safely land in South Carolina.  Of course, we have another hour or so to wait for a second and much shorter flight to a smaller local airport closer to our final destination Parris Island South Carolina. So of course we slam back a few more beers and buy some more booze. Everyone is doing their very best to smoke all their cigarettes and do any other illegal substances that they had on them before we get to the base.

Finally we boarded the last flight and everyone appeared to be mentally preparing themselves for what lies ahead. The flight takes less than 30 minutes and while we are descending into the airport, the pilot makes an announcement over the intercom. He is telling everyone that they have some special passengers on board. The pilot politely asks the other passengers if they would allow us future US Marines to exit first. We will be exiting thru a separate door in the rear of the aircraft. Even though we are all shitfaced drunk we’re thinking, “That’s right we’re Marines, make way you bunch of ordinary civilians.”

That attitude does not last long though. The plane lands and taxis to the gate. As we walk toward the rear of the plane to this little exit door that is now open. I can hear screaming and yelling, more barking than yelling. It wasn’t until I got to the exit door myself that I saw what the all the yelling and barking was all about.

Standing at the bottom of the steps, was quite possibly the biggest, meanest looking person I have ever seen in my entire life, (including in the movies). He was massive. And he was pissed off for some reason. He was screaming, “Get down here you bunch of low life @%$%, and you *)&%#$. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, which I am pretty sure were massive as well. As the “drunks”, (that’s us), made our way to the bottom of the stairs this massive dude was literally tossing people to one side of the room. I was able to run past him with the Mohawk hair guy into the bathroom to take a piss and snort the last of his cocaine.

All of the sudden the frigging bathroom door comes flying open. The door practically comes off its hinges. And here comes SGT Rock Massive still screaming and yelling as he comes right at us. He sees that we’re doing drugs and takes a swing at me about head high. I duck and he hits the metal partition between the urinals we are standing at. The freaking thing breaks off the wall. I’m laughing and pissing on myself as I run out of the tiny now “door-less” bathroom and into the madness that is the room filled with all my other drunk recruit buddies.

I get to one side of the room to join everyone else and it took a moment before I realized that there were just as many SGT Rock Massive pissed off dudes out here as there were of us drunks. There had to be a dozen of these crazy bug-eyed screaming giant drill instructors.

Everyone is scrambling to find a corner to run to or stand in, just get away from these psychos. The Smokey hat wearing screaming, barking bellowing, yelling, vein neck bulging Marines are running behind people. Screaming at them, ordering us to stand in these little yellow footprints painted on the floor.

They finally round everyone up and into the appropriate areas, it seems like things are starting to settle down a bit.  “But, as you can figure out by now, there is much more abuse to come, especially my way, because after all this is my story.”

I’m standing straight as I can like everyone else. On my left is this little room with a small window, like one of those windows they have in the police station interrogation rooms. (Not that I know of such rooms personally, or do I?) Through the small window, I can see SGT Rock Massive and this other huge guy in a hat. The two of them are waiving their hands, hats, and everything else all about like madmen.

They’re also holding this black plastic garbage bag.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something. Remember that briefcase luggage looking thing that the Gunny gave us with the records in it? Well while we were at the airport drinking all that beer. I used that briefcase thing as a cooler for some of the beer.  So naturally I used a garbage bag to hold the records. I was now guessing that all the records in that garbage bag got all shuffled and mixed up. The two giant mean screaming Sgt Massive come out of the little room and with one look. Everything and everyone stopped, no more screaming and yelling, just silence. I swear that second lasted an hour, but it didn’t. All of the sudden SGT Rock Massive starts screaming,

“WHO THE FUCK IS O’BRIEN, WHO THE FUCK IS O’BRIEN?”

Well, everyone looks at me and starts laughing, me included, but not for long. Before I knew it, I had one SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine standing in front of me screaming.  Another SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the right side of my face.  I had one other SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the left side of my face. And I had yet another SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the back of my neck, and YES there was actually one more SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine standing on top of a chair yelling at the top of my head, at the top of my head!

They are so close to me that every now and then one of them would knock his own hat off when its brim would hit me. You would think they could yell without their hats, right? Apparently not, they need the hats to yell, I’m not kidding. I don’t ever remember seeing a drill instructor yell without his hat. Well because of this still infamous act, I became the most taunted recruit throughout my entire experience at boot camp. Everyone knew about O’Brien and the medical records fiasco. Every time there was a punishment handed out, our entire platoon had to scream, “Thank you private O’Brien.”

I survived boot camp and the rest of the shit that karma delivered to me. The moments and opportunities in my life that I thought had meaning and merit didn’t have either. The things in my life that I squandered and wasted would have been gladly received by someone else in this world.  I had so much given to me and I gave it all away.

Know what?

I wouldn’t change a single minute of that or any other day in my life up till this point.


clense heart

Cleanse my Heart

 

 

Just want to

Wash away

All the moments

Before today

Start fresh

With new reason

Stop giving

Into treason

If I could

Id reach in

Remove the pieces

Of past sin

Look at it

In tilted hand

Watch it spill

Like time clock sand

Never again

Will I be

Brought to tear

Brought to knee

All it takes

To live this part

Is cleanse my soul

Cleanse my Heart

-peace


There was this dream I had last night. One of many dreams last night in fact. In some of my dreams I’m a hero, saving the less heroic. I’m sure I would be a real hero in real life if I ever called upon.

I’ve nothing left to lose so I’d have nothing to fear.

Yet this one dream last night was about “her,” or maybe it was really about “me.” Maybe me and her, oh hell, the truth is the dream was about MY HEART. MY HEART; the very interior of MY HEART.

I found myself actually inside of my own heart. What a sensation it was to know that I am inside of myself. Not in the typical way. This was different, much different

I know it’s me on the outside I can hear my own voice and now, now it’s me on the inside.  Looking around while inside MY HEART I could see the layers upon layers of milky red walls, the miles and endless miles of blood vessels that wormed their way around me, pulsing and pushing the purest blood to every part of my body.

I was inside the very thing that keeps me/us alive. Was this really a dream? I can feel the vibrating red walls; I can hear the deafening beating and drumming of MY HEART. As I look in wonder around at this majestic new prison cell I am in, I wonder if I will ever be able to leave, if I will ever awaken and once again be outside of me. Will I want to?

I reach out to touch the delicious looking milky red walls of MY HEART and as I do it shakes and retreats away from me.  I don’t understand why is MY HEART pulling away from me? I reach again and once again MY HEART withdraws from my touch. What have I done, why does MY HEART not want MY touch? Suddenly I feel the sensation of falling. I’m falling! Not just me, everything IN HERE is dropping, falling downward, and spiraling out of control. I can’t hold onto anything because MY HEART continues to elude me as I struggle to grab something. Faster and faster MY HEART sinks, deeper it and I go, but to where? Part of me wants to wake up and have this dream become nightmare over with. But NO I want to stop this falling; I want to help MY HEART.

My ears are now bombarded with the sound of the red milky walls cracking and splitting open. The sound is horrible; it’s like a wailing or crying. The sound won’t stop, and as I fall faster towards I don’t know where, the crying is all around. I notice that there is now no beating in MY HEART only the cracking and now a gurgling sound, as if MY HEART was drowning. I feel the rain as it showers down upon me, only it’s not rain, its, its TEARS. MY HEART is crying and gurgling on its/MY tears. Falling, gurgling, and spiraling. I try to scream but no sound comes out of my mouth. I reach up to touch my mouth my lips but there is nothing there. No lips, no opening. I try to look at my hands, but I cannot see.

I cannot feel me anymore.

I am but a whisper inside my head, inside MY HEART, a mere notion of something once now gone.


We are inside and still the storm has its way with us- Not afraid are we having weathered storms before – Yet this one seems to be of a more personal nature – It seems as if this one has a path, a direction, a mission – it is in itself a vein to which we must accept just as we accept the now evaporating air we struggle to breath – To not be terrified and alarmed right now would be a mistake – The fact that this storm is inside and not of the exterior norm, is frightening – The very color of our blood has become  not blue or red but black – The designs of who we are or who we were have been molded and melted into something too vulgar to see or touch – This is the moment that all dread of and some dream about- When everything you knew or thought you knew to be true is now slowly and surely leaving with the storms windy current – Say goodbye to love, hope and life – say hello to disbelief, terror and pain – NOW run to escape – OR wait and overcome- your choice – I’ve made mine…

-peace


The Mark

 

 

The two men never saw each other before; yet they each knew the other one existed and that someday they would meet.

 

THEN WHAT?

 

Just as expected Agent Dexter had gotten the phone call in the middle of the day, the caller said for him to retrieve an envelope from the usual spot, it would contain the information about the assignment aka The Mark.

 

Agent Dexter put on his favorite black baseball cap and went down to the post office store down the street from the hotel where he rented his room by the week. The postal clerk working the counter with the yellow golf shirt never looked up at him; he was talking on his cell phone, probably to his girlfriend or one of his golf buddies, Agent Dexter thought to himself as he walked past him over to the mailboxes.

 

The envelope was a little bigger than normal; he opened it up as he walked out of the store. As he was shuffling thru the contents a small cassette tape fell to the street. He looked around to see if anyone on the street had noticed, “Good, no one saw anything,” he thought. He looked at the tape and put it, along with the papers back into the envelope. He then tucked it securely under his arm and walked back to his room.

 

The lobby of his hotel was empty as usual, that was one of the reasons why he liked this place, no one here cared about anyone else He could come and go without attracting any attention.

 

He walked past the elevator towards the door for the stairwell; he would never take the elevator, elevators were a trap if he ever saw one.

 

Two steps at a time that’s how he liked to do it, it kept him hard and quick and in shape, quite often his line of work demanded that he be athletic and have stamina. He reached the door to his hotel room and took a moment to check and make sure the little piece of string he had wedged into the door hinge was still there, if it wasn’t then that meant his door had been opened while he was away. You always, always had to be careful in his line of work.

 

Good it was still there, he slipped his key into the door opened it quickly and stepped inside his neatly kept room. He always kept things neat, easy to pick up and go quickly if the need arose. You never know when you might have to leave town in a moment’s notice to do an assignment. He dumped out the contents of the envelope; spread out the papers, photos, the cash and the cassette tape onto his bed. Looking at the cash he smiled and reached down under his bed and pulled out his duffel bag, he put the cash in the inside pocket and zipped it closed. He sat back and looked at the photos of his target; The Mark was young and pretty, very pretty.

 

 

Meanwhile…

 

 

Agent Jones was talking on the phone when that rude dude with the black baseball hat walked past him again without as much as a nod hello. The rude dude went to his mailbox, got an envelope and walked outside the post office. Then the “IDIOT” dropped something on the street right outside his store. He was watching this all take place while listening to the caller on his phone telling him about his latest mark.

 

Agent Jones had been in this business a long time and he knew that there was competition out there. He never actually met the competition but he knew that day would soon come. The caller told him to go and get the envelope with the new mission information in it.

 

Agent Jones took the “out for lunch” sign from under the counter and placed it on the door. He went to get his envelope and then he hurried to the back office, closed and locked the door. He sat at his desk and turned the little lamp on and opened his envelope. The envelope had the usual photos of the mark, this one was young and pretty too. The upfront money that he always insisted and a cassette tape. The note inside instructed him to play the tape at the usual time during the mission. He reached under his desk and took out his duffel bag, placed the information in it and left the store, as he closed the door behind him he turned the sign around so it read “closed for the day.”

 

Agent Jones walked to his parked car and got in, he turned the key, and gunned the engine a little, that sounds nice, it is important to have a good fast automobile in this line of work. He had handpicked this car partly because of the power and handling, but he also really liked that is was painted completely black.

 

He must have been thinking of the mission and his driving when he pulled out of the garage. He was almost side swiped by some asshole in a red two seat convertible. He double checked to make sure all other idiots were gone and turned out of the parking garage and into the street where he became just another driver to everyone else.

 

 

Meanwhile…

 

 

Agent Dexter had memorized the photos of the mark, he remembered every line on her face, how she looked when she smiled and even her hair style, all this had become engrained in his memory. He took the photos and burned them in the trash can back in his hotel room. Always always get rid of anything that might incriminate him, he was a smart thinker.

 

He picked up his duffel bag and opened his room door; before he closed it he placed the string in the door hinge like he does every time he leaves his room. He took the stairs to the lobby two at a time and sprinted out thru the lobby like a ghost, he wouldn’t be back till much later and it was best not to attract any attention as to what time he was leaving the hotel.

 

Agent Dexter had a small red convertible car parked at the end of the street, he got in turned the key and smiled as the engine purred to life, and he shifted into gear and pulled out into traffic. He was tuning in the car stereo when he suddenly had to swerve hard to the left to avoid the idiot in the black car coming out of some underground parking lot, IDIOT!

 

Agent Jones got out the envelope and looked at the directions to where the mark lived. The address was a suburban home in a quiet section of town, perfect, these were always the easiest assignments, and best yet was that these Marks never saw him coming.

 

Agent Dexter drove out of the city towards the suburbs, he had written the address on his hand when he had burned the directions along with the photos in his hotel room, very smart of him, and he was pleased with himself today.

 

Agent Jones read his directions which said to take a left off the highway and a right onto Main Street, go ½ mile and turn left on Peachtree lane then right on Cobble Place to number 37 Cobble Place. That would be where the mark lived, easy enough, right?

 

Agent Dexter was going a little too fast down Main Street and he almost sped past a police car, he started sweating a lot and he wiped his hand on his forehead to catch the sweat, luckily the cop in the car was reading a newspaper and he was able to speed by unnoticed.

 

He made a right turn on Peachtree Lane and started looking for Cobble Place, he turned his hand over to look at the house number, OH NO, his hand, the sweat, he must have wiped it on his forehead by accident. I’ll pull over, no, no there’s no time, I don’t have time. He started to panic and reached for his duffel bag when his eyes caught his reflection in the rearview mirror. Holy crap, there it was, the house number was still on his forehead, it must have smudged on there when he sped past the cop and he wiped his brow.

 

Meanwhile…

 

Agent Jones was pulling down Cobble Place reading the house numbers, 29, 32, 33.

 

Agent Dexter was coming down Cobble Place at the exact same moment. He was looking at his head in the mirror for the house number, 35, no 39, aawwww, 37, 37 that’s it number 37.

He almost crashed right into the black car coming the other way, IDIOT he’s not even looking.

 

Agent Jones saw number 37 and drove past a few more houses so he could park discreetly and walk to the mark’s address without attracting attention.

 

Agent Dexter pulled right up in front of house number 37 and parked his car; he took a moment to wipe the black marker with the house number from his forehead. He got out of his car with the tape and a radio to play the tape in; he put on his wig and glasses on and stood for a moment to look around and make sure he wasn’t being watched.

 

Agent Jones was standing next to his car looking into the mirror and adjusting his hat with the wig in it and he was putting some makeup on his face as quick as he could.

 

 

The two men never saw each other.

 

 

 

The birthday party was in full swing when the doorbell rang, Sally and her sister both heard the doorbell at the same time, and they ran as fast as they could to the door. Sally the birthday girl got there first, she was in her favorite dress, and she really did look pretty. She opened the door and looked at the man in the doorway with the makeup and the radio in his hand; she stepped back a little when she saw the stranger reach into his duffel bag. She watched as he slowly pulled out the cassette tape and inserted it into the little boom box. There was a moment between them when their eyes met, Agent Dexter lived for this moment, the marks never knew what was coming, and it was exhilarating to him.

 

He put the tape in and pressed the play button.

 

Meanwhile…

 

Agent Jones could see someone in the doorway looking at the mark, he tried to get their attention but it was too late, he could see the agent from the other company leaning over to play the tape. He was too late.

 

 

Agent Dexter pressed play and the music started.

 

“Happy Happy Birthday, Happy Happy Day, I hope its a great one in each and every way.

 

Agent Dexter started dancing in the doorway for the little girl.

 

The Mark squealed in delight and said,” Mommy mommy look it’s a clown, oh mommy I love clowns,” thank you so much. This is the best birthday ever.

 

 

Agent Dexter smiled back at the little girl, he loved this job, he really did.