It wasn’t long after the D.A. left when the hospital said I could go home. I called my secretary, Emma, to pick me up. Getting out of her car at my place, I noticed my classic 1955 Nash Rambler Country Club was missing. I always parked directly in front of the houseboat.
“Fuck!” “Where the fuck is my car?” “What d’ya need me to do?” asked Emma. “I gotta call the police and report it,” I said. “Do you need me to stick around?” she asked. “No, no, I’ll take care of it. I’ll see you at the office tomorrow.” “Are you sure? You should probably rest, don’t you think?” she asked. “Nah, I’m alright. I’ll see you tomorrow,” I replied. “Oh, OK, Sam, if you say so.” “Yeah, I’m OK. Oh, and thanks for the ride, baby, I appreciate it.” “Of course, Sam. See ya tomorrow. If you need anything, just call me, OK?” she said in a seductive tone.
She was wearing snug-fitting Capri pants and a frilly blouse that struggled to contain those luscious tits of hers. The thought flashed across my brain, whether or not to invite her in. Still, I was leery about my swollen skull, being able to handle any physical shenanigans. Besides, I was fucked up about my car. It was not the time for sex, although I would, I’m sure, later regret that decision.
As soon as I opened the door to the houseboat, my pugs were on me. I felt bad. Even though Emma had stopped by to feed them and check to see if they had water, I had not really spent much time with them. They were having a licking and sniffing frenzy, and I had to eventually push them off of me so I could make a call to the police about my car.
I was reaching for the phone when it began ringing. “Hello, yeah, it’s Grit.” “Oh, yeah, officer, I was just about to give you guys a call about the car.” “Ferguson!” “You old bastard, I thought I recognized that whiskey-drenched voice of yours.” “What? You don’t drink anymore! You’re going to A.A.! Shit, man, why that’s great, Fergie.”
Jake Ferguson was one of the most decorated cops on the force. He had been suspended more times than me for drinking. He was now relegated to the Traffic Division, which dealt with stolen vehicles. He told me he was retiring in a month. I almost offered to buy him a drink to celebrate his upcoming retirement but caught myself.
I thought about saying I’d like to attend an A.A. meeting with him sometime but hesitated just long enough to make me realize I was not ready to attend any A.A. meetings…not yet anyway. Then he told me my car was found over in the Bayview district. It’s where I had lived when I was a kid. I knew that place up, down, and sideways. It was always a tough place to live and grow up in, but it was twice as bad now.
He told me the car was found off Evans Street near the old Naval Shipyard, where my dad used to work. “It’s been shot full of holes,” Ferguson told me. What the fuck! “No sense in going tonight, Sam, it’s late, and you know how dangerous it is out there.” “Yeah, I guess you’re right. I’ll catch a ride out there tomorrow. I don’t think anyone gave a shit about a shot-up Nash Rambler,” I said. I thanked Fergie and went to take a shower.
I needed a stiff drink but realized I was completely out of booze. My pugs were already on the bed, snoring. I joined them to create a trio.
To be continued…