After I solved the mystery of which dogs was doing their bizness in the stairwells,
the housing security guy who looks like Bill Clinton says to me, We dont
know what we could of did without your help. Now the old people in the building
walk in safety down the stairways without slipping and sliding on dog stuff
and maybe falling down and putting out an eye or something.
I retorted that I was glad to of been of service and to call on me again anytime
he needed help with the housing complecks because after all I lived there and
am just hanging around anyway with nothing to do since the wife has left me
and I ain’t got no job.
The Bill Clinton guy just looked at me. Then he said, Well, thanks again, you
have made a lot of people happy, and maybe we will even print up your name in
the housing newsletter.
No, thanks, dont do that, I said, because maybe some dogs will come after me
if they find out I was the snitch.
O.K., says Bill Clinton. Soot yourself.
I could see that there was not nothing else to say so I shook hands one more
time and edged my way away from him.
* * *
It was easy enough to catch those dogs in the stairwell because all I had
to do was stake out the stairwells in the A.M. when dogs is usually most
to get busy. The H building was where I staked out first, and after a couple
of mornings of hanging around quiet and going from floor to floor, I caught
a dog going number two whilst the owner just stood there saying to hurry
said ah ha to them and the dog barked, but pretty soon I got both their names
and went off to the next building. I captured five dogs and five owners in
one day and then four more the next day. It was easy work, and I didnt
paid, so I thought maybe I could do this kind of work for money instead of
hanging around depressed and staring at the four walls and the windows.
So the next day I put some ads in the local papers where it dont cost nothing,
even in the Chinese and Spanish ones. The ad said I was a private dick that
could do any kind of work and that fees was negotiable, but not to answer
the ad if
they wasnt interested.
Well, that first night my phone did not ring once, so I was mad, but the
next A.M. I got a call it was some lady saying could she come over and talk
a preposition she had for me, so I said is this concerning private eye work
and she said duh. O.K., I says, but you better give me your address and let
over. She says no and we better meet at some nootril sight, so I said how
about Ginos pizza on Catherine St. and she said O.K. like she knew where
it was at
and I knew already that she was from the neighborhood because she didnt
ask no directions. Pretty good, huh?
So anyway we both agreed to meet in a hour and I said Id be wearing a Yankee
hat slanted just so, and she said she was wearing pants and a shirt and sandals
and she had her toes painted red so I said Ok that I will look down at her
feet to see who she was since lots of people walk around with pants and a
then we hung up on each other.
I went down to the drug store and bought myself a new notebook, one of those
little memo ones, and also a pen so I could write down names and clues and
stuff, and then I went over to Ginos and ordered a slice.
I had three slices before this lady finely walked in. She was kind of pretty
in her pants and shirt and toenails and she sat down and said hey are you
the detective and I said yeah, whats it to you, toots? She said dont get
Then she asked me did I know how to follow people. I said that is my specialty
and what did she think I was? She said she didnt know what I was but that
she hoped I could follow people because she would like me to follow a friend
a fellow named Ricky. I says who is this fellow Ricky, your boyfriend? and
she said no that he was her friends boyfriend. Her nostrils flamed up when
that, though, so I knew she was fibbing and I wrote it down in the little
book. She tried to see what I was writing but I pointed the book away from
she says, I want you to see what he does from morning until the night for
one week and then report it to me.
O.K, I said, but what if he dont do nothing?
Dont worry, she laughed, hell do something. Just be careful.
O.K, I says, and she smiled and I could see that she was kind of being flirty
with me. Then she give me this Rickys address and a picture of him and she
walked away saying she will contact me in one week.
It was a perfect start to my 1st case except that she forgot to say how much
she would pay me, so I wrote down in my book to make sure I asked her about
that the next time I talked to her.
* * *
In a way it felt kind of funny to be button in on someones bizness like
that, but I figured that if the guy didnt know he was being followed it
would be no
skin off of his nose and no one would be any the wiser. Anyway, as luck
would habit, his address was right in the same complecks as I lived in
I found out which apt. he lived in and if it faced my building, then maybe
rent a pair of binockulers and really do my duty.
Well, the next A.M. I sat on one of the benches in the courtyard and waited
until he come out of his building and it took two hours but he finely come
out at around 10 oclock, so I pretended like I was watching the birds
as he walked by me, but then I got up and strolled behind him, not too
wouldnt get suspishus, and not too far so I wouldnt lose him (around
10 feet). I followed him to this little Chinese bakery and he come out
and one of those little coconut rolls that I hate except for the cherry
in the middle. Then he walked real slow down Catherine Street and then
which are both streets all filled with new immigrants from China who like
to bump into you and spit willy nillyeven the ladies. Then he turned
Street for a block until he got to Henry Street. At the end of Henry he
turned down Catherine again and took the hole dam root all over again.
All the wile
he still carried his coffee and coconut roll without touching neither one.
Finely, after he made like his fourth circuit, he made a left down Catherine
of a right and headed back for Monroe Street and the complecks. I followed
him back to the courtyard, and he sat down on one of the benches for about
drinking his coffee and looking around at nothing. Meanwile I sat on the
next bench pretending he wasnt there, but I wrote down the hole incident
in my nb.
It was close to noon when he got up out of the bench and went out again.
This time he went to Ginos pizza, and I stood outside for a half hour
wile he ate
his pizza. Then he went back to the complecks again and into his building.
After a while I went up to where his apt. was to see which side of the
apt. was at, and as luck would habit his windows faced mine across the
courtyard, so I went out to buy some binoculars.
That night I shut off my lights and went spying across the courtyard for
his windows, and when I finely found them, I spotted him sitting on his
t.v. There was not nobody with him, just him sitting there, so I wrote
that down too. So far so good.
The next day he did the same dam thing in the A.M., just walking in circles
around the neighborhood four or five times and then sitting around looking
at the birds
and getting pizza and then going upstairs. And at night I caught him sitting
on the couch watching t.v. until like 2 A.M. and then all the lights went
Three more days of the same thing, and at last I had enough, so when he
was sitting in the courtyard I sat on the same bench with him this time,
when I did he
looked over at me and I said, How ya doin? He just looked at me and sipped
at his coffee, so I wrote down in my notebook, Snob, Then
I said, I see you around a lot. You live around here? He says to me, I
must live here since
Im sitting in the dam courtyard. I says to him, I dont know, maybe you
snook into the courtyard but live way down near the Valedicks. He looks
at me funny
and says what language did I speak in. I says English and he just looked
away. I wrote down in my book, Jerk. Then I says to him, You
ever been to that Ginos pizza place? Its got a lot better since they
reopened it. He
says, No, I never go there. So I wrote down, Liar, in my book.
He says to me, Why dont you get a bigger notebook if you are going to
every word I say? I said what do you mean, and he says, Whats the big
idea of following me around all the time? Every day you follow me all over
What for? I told him he was crazy and I was not following him at all, but
he said he would punch my jaw if he catched me following him again. I said
OK to him and then he walked back into his building and I just sat there
for a while staring into empty space. I wrote in my notebook, "Hes
onto me," and
then quit for the day.
The next day I wore sunglasses and a hat and a different kind of a shirt
and this time I kept a little farther back as I followed him, but I may
as well have
just stood home because he just did the same thing again which was nothing.
At night, nothing happened as I looked in on him with the binockulers.
he was not watching no t.v. and was just sitting at his kitchen table reading
some book, but I thought big deal. At about midnight he picked at his ear
a little and then closed the book and all the lights went off. I wrote
everything down again.
* * *
It was almost two weeks and that lady didnt call yet, and the guy was
still doing nothing every day so that I begun to write "Ditto" in my nb
each day. Every day was the same, and every day I was going to stop following
because I have got better things to do and after all the lady said she would
call back in one wk. and the time was up so to speak but on the other hand
I kept wanting to see if the guy did anything different and kept thinking what
if I stopped following him and he finely did something, so that kept me following
him for like two more weeks but it was getting ridiculous so I said to myself
I have to stop and so I did. My notebook was all filled up anyway and I didnt
want to buy a new one, so that was that.
Well, the next day after I stopped following the guy I heard from a couple
of the security guys that there was a murder of some guy in building J.
What guy? They said they didnt know him but that the police was there
in the A.M. and they found out he was suffokated by a loaf of Wonder bread
Was it soocide? I remarked to them questioningly.
Well, says one of them with a mustache, there was a note to make it look
like it was sooicide, and the note said something like, "I have kilt myself with
the bread because there is not nothing to do," but the police said no
it couldnt be no sooicide because how could a guy suffokate himself, esp.
Well, it depends on the size of the loaf, says another security guy, this
time without a mustache.
I said, Wow, but why didnt the murderer use a pillow to suffokate him
instead of bread?
Maybe the killer was a baker and not a regular murderer and he was more
handier with bread, says the guy with the mustache.
No, that wasnt the reason, stupid, the without-the-mustache guard said,
because the cops said he didnt sleep on no pillow, just a mattress on
the ground. So
I guess the killer needed something handy and found the bread off in the
Thats why I never buy a hole loaf, says the mustache guard. I just live
from slice to slice.
That reminds me, says the unbushy one, I am hungry and it is near lunch
Hold onto your horses, says the guy with the stash, we got a hole half
hour yet before lunch. Some guy gets all killed and stuff, and you want
Thats right. Anyway, I didnt know the guy so it is no skin off of my
Anyway, if you kill a guy by suffokating him, you got to be pretty dumb
to write a soocide note to make it look like he kilt himself like that,
What are you looking at me for, I didnt do it, says the shaved face.
What are you all parannoyed about, says the stash.
I finely broke in and said, Hey, what floor did the guy live on?
The one with the mustache looks at me and says what was it to me and was
I a detective or something.
No, I says. I am just some guy.
Wait, guys, I know him, says another guard who was in the guard house but
came out with us. Thats the guy who found out about those dogs going in
We should put him on this case.
We was all laughing together but then I thought I saw a couple of dogs
looking over at me and I said, Not so loud, and beat it out of there.
* * *
The next A.M. I decided to check up on that Ricky guy and see if he was
alive or dead, but he didnt come out of his building and I didnt
never see him
in the courtyard and at night I saw a empty apt.
And now its been five weeks and I never heard from that lady again and
I still never saw that guy neither, so I figure he was the dead one and
it all by one day, but I dont say nothing to anyone, and I have even throwed
away that nb and tooken the adds out of the papers, even though no one
else called me for no jobs but its better safe than sorry. I even throwed
and lock up my doors extra at night.
Lately I cant sleep either and just look out the window, thinking about
stuff, mostly about that dead guy, and Im thinking of how you can be a
guy that just
minds his own bizness and does nothing at all, and still gets himself all
killed. It is not safe in this world at all, even if your life is just