Thursday, April 25, 2013

25. Morality

The girl talked about the insanity of war, and how, when you really got down to it, one side was no better than the other. Everybody was a murderer. Everybody was guilty. He smiled. She asked him why.

"You only believe in such moral absolutes because you've put yourself, at no cost to yourself, on the side you believe to be righteous. I was there. There was a difference. If you don't see it, you're either blind or your eyes are closed."

With that, he turned and walked away with a slight limp, a loaf of bread tucked under his arm and blocks under a beaming summer sun ahead of him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

24. The Perfect Crime

Every law-abiding citizen is just a criminal waiting for the perfect crime. Frankly, Jake had never seen a more perfect crime than that leggy blonde on the arm of one Mr. Jarvis Hollister, architect and married man about town. He watched the middle-aged Casanova in the side-view mirror as he and the secretary from the office next door took a guilty walk down the street from the cafe they'd met at to the apartment his wife didn't know he rented. At least that was Jake's theory.

Taking his notebook out of his vest pocket, he scratched down that line about "the perfect crime". It was a keeper. As he reached back into the back seat for his camera, he saw the smiling face of one of New York's finest staring back in the window. It was Eddie Meacham, a fat cop who was little more than a celebrated meter maid and poster boy for small-time police corruption.

"You're not going to park here, are you Jake? The price of a ticket is going to seriously cut into your profit margin on this job."

"Of course not, Eddie. Wouldn't think of it. I was just looking for you; wanted to buy a ticket to the policeman's ball."

Two blocks and a five-spot later (thank goodness Eddie was a pal), Jake was taking the steps up to the door of a brownstone, camera in hand, hoping to finish this job and collect his fee from Mrs. Hollister tonight. Rent was overdue, and he hadn't had a solid meal all week. Coffee and chicken soup can only take a fella so far in life.