Rewrite of NICK SLADE P.I.-05 23 04
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After print out of three thousand words I printed out the story or at least what I had so far and found that it was off a bit in sentence structure and wording or phrases.
So here it goes.
Any further notes on changes and footnotes will be made on this page till further notice.
Coming along slowly is this new age tale of the same old story about how LOW END N.Y.C. meets HIGH END SOCIETY CHASERS of the OBSCURE. Involved of course is this eternally searching soul, to distracted by his alter ego doing private investigations work in order to eat, as is his favorite claim, to spend the time he would like on his real passion of playing hard core punk blues on his sax.
While those that know him best say fear of not being good enough drives him into this off beat world of helping others before himself. Cause this, he’s sure of, he can do, and do it right.
“Hell it comes easy,” as he would tell you. He’s been a fighter all his life and despite the scars and hardships he has only gotten better at it, not to mention the edge of it all. Living on the edge with the dangers most people only see made up in some novel or movie, is addicting and he lives it real everyday. The way he sees it, He is part of the difference that people need to make up the balance against the outweighing odds of an unjust society not just accidentally unfair.
He is Nick Slade (saxophone blues shrieking lightly in the background for affect comes his title) Private Investigator.
This story bends and twists around the avant-garde world of a
” PLATFORM SHOE DREAMER HUNG UP ON A RISING ROCK STAR dealing with his STRIPPER CHASING NIGHTMARE”.
This is a story that will read well and maybe even some characters will be recognized by the locals or by people far away who are familiar with the life of the lower N.Y.C. area where musicians, painters, sculpture’s, writers and many of the other out of the ordinary people and artist types that live here, fight to live the way they see fit, in dyed hair, multiple pierced, faces tattooed, worshipers of the smut and its homeless haven of punk rock dreamers, where the people in suits and evening gowns are not uncomfortable here at nite and hell ,some of them even represent the norms cliché’ of belonging in them. It is a story of a person with a real heart and soul from this place called lower Manhattan. The people that he has touched from here, the people that party, work, live and die here. Whether in a bodily way or in their souls
NICK SLADE; Private Investigator------------------------------page 1------------
I have resided at this office for the last fifteen years. As a private investigator here on this east village/lower east side, forgotten by the world, block. I could sit here and reminisce about the cases that have gotten me shot, stabbed, beaten and jailed. Tell ya bout the grudges held against me by some of the biggest corporate, city and well, families `bosses in the tri-state area, and the confrontations I have gotten into with the biggest child minded cops given badges. I could tell ya of the overdosed 'eh' clients’ girlfriends I have brought back to life or rushed to St. Vincent’s. But first you should know of the only real fan I have, little Carmilita pigtails from down the block. Not afraid to openly call me her hero and not afraid to make me blush when she tells others how sensitive and brave I really am, and sometimes at the most awkward times. Like right in front of the cherryest of girlies and the tuffest of hoods, which is usually when she gets the ol heave ho, softly though. Saved her cat from an almost sure demise in a three story fire few years back, has not missed a day of hellos, milk and Oreo dunking sessions since, and whenever I am out of town I’ll come back and find a cookie pile inside my door under the shot out mail slot. She don’t know a loser when she sees one,
I’m sure that will keep her mom busy in later years.
It is a worn out broken down and beat up store front office as I said, rocks thrown thru the window probably by some disgruntled spouses of divorce cases I have photographed for. Bullet holes that try to intimidate to dumb a person to know when to recognize a good warning when he gets one. I have been thick skulled my whole life and at times I thought the stab wounds, bullet holes and fragments still in my body would deliver some sense, but no luck. Which is why I am without a steady love right now, the last one said she wont be a widow of a broken down P.I. to self righteous to work for the county District Attorney, big insurance companies or any of the C.E.O.’s of some of the most powerful wall street investment firms in the world that have employed my services in the past.
I tried to tell her their only motives for hiring a no namer like myself couldn’t be good and the offers were not meant to hold up to any thing without having something to hold over them. But she got frustrated with the truth of short live lies I wasn’t willing to buy on her behalf and well found someone with less a conscious-a record producer-to tolerate her. Man can I pick em. That I did to, both. He was also a client at one time. More power to her I say. One shouldn’t stand in the way of another persons movin on, up or in whatever you call that kind of ambition.
Hell, I have been approached, bribed, and strongly suggested to, for some time now and well, I even took an offer once but there wasn’t that much Rolaids on the open market for me to stay cause I got a hard enuff time sleeping at night as it is. No, the lives of the rich and powerful that need the services of a P.I. every day just knot my gut and the defense lawyers for punching some of the creeps out are expensive, not to forget the restitution I am still paying the last one just so I could get my license back so I could work with out a hassle.
That’s the ironic side I cant handle is paying creeps for damage to their kisser they deserve. That’s like being forced to remove a splinter from a con jobs small toe, who has been bilking old people out of their life savings, then having to disinfect the cheese toe crack myself and applying a band aid. No not the life for me, that diplomat stuff I am not even sure should exist. What is it they say or call it, Justice is a blind bitch p.m.s.ing, life has necessary evils, or the old National Security Sinful Slides. Whatever, its all the same department to me, the one I don’t belong in. In college I took music and fine arts/research and history. Not political science.
Although had I known then that campaign contributions were yours to spend on your wedding to your first cousin or could be used to divorce yourself from the only woman maybe to naive to see how well an actor/psychopath you were, the woman you used as a tool to make you appear sane enuff to idiot voters who could not be bothered to check a politicians background themselves.
Oh yea sorry, now there’s a weakness of mine, ranting about past ex-mayors and other whackos who make it into office, well any way had I known then what I know now about all the legal racketeering going on behind this countries civil walls, hell I might have stayed on hard drugs to ease the conscious and follow some of those past wimps who used to get beatings for being truly obnoxious fucks. Followed them into a life of warfare on the innocent suckers known as the public, and you know what’s so fucked up is there using this subtly as a secret law as there own private weapon. I mean no more speaking out against anything unless you are given a script and told were you can stand with it. Yea todays’ radicals are not chaining themselves to anything but drugs, money and the whoreing life. They’re fighting for the rights to do so to. All chasing lies and betting a quick demise before it affects them directly, the gov’t that is. Yea life as a cvilian in this town specially is like living as prey amongst fucked up gov’t hacks cause we got to lazy and wont fight anymore lest we end up shittin in some abandon property instead of on our cushy new gov’t loaned ginny mae’d toilet seats.
Not to mention stunguns and rubber bullets, eh fuck man do they hurt. So maybe ya could see why I am in this business and never get around to blown my lungs out thru the spitter of my sax.
Well I am back where I don’t belong, cause that’s what makes me lose all this beautiful charm. Hey it took years to develop it this far and I did it all with out the Dalai or Majha reshi.
Coming in to the office today only to find a bullet hole freshly pierced my new door window right above my freshly painted name and logo. Well, that’s Mondays for ya.
Opening my drawer for a drink and guess where the bullet stop’s, after also piercing right thru my sort of antique desk, right thru my last bottle of So-co and my12 year old scotch, oh well coffee must have been the answer to this mornings hang over of cheap champagne into the early morning, with which I think was a Hilda who had the bottles from a job she just quit at some place on the corner of Stanton and Orchid streets, we drank most of it out of the glass slipper they used to keep in the window.
So I Ordered some coffee with a double espresso shot from Angel’s Café’ speed down the street and reminded them to pick me up the fat Camel wides I like to use for that special nicotine, caffeine speedball in the morning to get my self going in the beginning of the week.
Last case was all wrapped up Saturday night but not before this trust fund loser tried to run me down with his Plymouth built hot rod, thought I was going to be hurting real bad till I remembered to shoot out that highly exposed left front tire, then step to the right, real slowly like, so as not to miss the awkward look on the brats face as he tried desperately to steer away from that fire hydrant guarded by those two pit bulls belonging to the neighbor hood gang that hang in the abandoned storefront social club cross the street.
Man, were those dogs angry at that guy for flattening their exclusive piss spot, and well if there was ever a reason to drive a hardtop hot rod, protection from the street elements over here was a promoting factor, but then again how many spoiled rats rape the maids daughter and run to Switzerland, expecting daddy to pay off the local P.I. who has been hired to find the rodent before daddy s lawyers get to the judge.
Little girl is barely fifteen and now is looking at being a mom; well at least the kid will have college fund and a nametag.
So you might understand, how I have been looking forward to having this day be a feet up on the desk uneventful one, maybe even a new bottle from the wine and spirits over on Astor if I could convince the owner, one sweet heart of a guy that my accounts being brought up to date since my last two clients had been paying ones.
A knock on the glass of my only whole window pane turned out not to be my coffee and stoges delivery, but peeking out my newly installed peep hole courtesy of some bullet trying to find its way into my ass no doubt, revealed a pair of high thick expensive platform shoes attached to a pair of legs just the way I like them, smooth, above the knee black stocking covered and toped off with a mini camouflaged skirt, stitch job, courtesy of a Nolita or a Soho trendy mega buck clothing gallery for the rich boys and girls of downtown going thru their rebel phase.
Well the door opened right into my peeping eye as the top half of the girl that was attached to all that great lower equipment bent in thru the slightly opened door way to shrill out a
In a voice much like that of the high-pitched mermaid I often dream of in my sleep calling me toward her lair by the rocks of a rough and tumble ocean, I want desperately to navigate my way out of, for the much needed place of safety, warmth and rest of dry stable land
“Yea, what can I do for ya, girlie? I spoke back.
“I am looking for Mr. Slade, Mr. Nick Sla-”.
‘Yea, that’s me’, I butted in before she could finish
“What can I do for ya”? Just then my delivery came in and now I felt a certain feeling of calm come over me.
“I will right wit ya babe, have a seat”
“Senior~ Slade, my boss says no more credit till you pay the bill”.
“Mmmm, well you tell him I be right over there to square things in a bit, just as soon as I take care of my client here,”
“I am sorry, if you want I pay out of my own pocket senior,
After all, you did help get my sisters kid out of that Mexican smugglers camp last year.
She would have been a slave today, if not for you.
“No, that’s ok, Manuel.”
Here let me, the girl jumped up to offer, pulling out a knot of dead Benjamin’s and handing one to the boy,
“Keep it,” she said impatiently to the kid as he and I just looked in a surprising manner down at ol’ Franklins face staring up at us
“But senior”, its only eleven dollars!
“Just go kid we can work it out later “ I said
I took the bag of stuff to my desk and sat down lining up my ritual morning smoke and shot wake up call, as she sat there staring at the floor in front of her seat, in a trance like.
With my cigarette lit and a sufficient gulp already down my throat, I figured it was time to start this days puzzle or guessing games going, I mean hey dizzy or not she did just pay off a week of coffee and cigarette bill.
I figured she deserved some time, besides this could be a future paying socialite.
Alright, babe what’s got ya so freaked out? Its my boyfriend, he disappeared, went on a gig in midtown, roadies came back, equipment came back but not Shecky and its been four days now.
Did you go to the police yet?
Yes, but once they heard rock and roll, drug questions started fling around and other girlfriend accusations were being suggested and then two days later no progress
I mean they didn’t even go to question anyone at the bar where the concert was.
Well I told her my going rate plus expenses and warned her that there would be no guarantee
I then took all pertinent info, and told her I would call in a couple of days.
The place where Shecky and the Unhip, the name of the band, were scheduled to play on the night of his disappearance
was a dive bar in the old, and forgotten end of Brooklyn where
the docks used to be busy taking in cargo ships goods and dock workers owned the domain, matter of fact was that what made this place so hip a bar at night was the point of venue.
A bar at the end of an old rusty, creaky, and creepy as well, pier
named Hells End.
The bar was at the end of an old creaky, rusty nail protruding dock. Thick as soup fog hung low covering the neon signs short circuiting name, but a red haze of color illuminated the fog around it, causing a bad dream about to happen effect.
Well, I walked down to the bars front door and pushed it slowly open, and the door opening in sounded like a dying cat.
All eyes at the bar turned to me and the only table being used, by four dock workers had a intense look of the end of hand of "one eyed jack”, I figured they wouldn’t be used to strangers dropping in, so I packed my .45,full clip and safety off.
They all resumed in their leisure and the bartender looked away, as to ignore me.
I casually walked over to the end of the bar closest to the door
And put a Jackson on the bar top, pulled out my cowboy reds put one in my mouth and lit up.
The big ugly longhaired bartender slow stepped his way over glass and rag in hand.
“Whatta it be,”
he said putting the glass down in front of me.
Long neck, Brooklyn lager, I said.
He reached under the bar and had it without even looking away from me uncapped and in his hand.
Putting it down In front of me with an ashtray he picked up the money and walked to the register, rang up and came back just laying down on the bar my change
I thought I would just lay low for a few beers then pose a question, picture and a Jackson.
After a few beers it was time to go, it was getting later, into early morning.
I called the ugly over and ordered one for the road and asked if he would help me locate a missing person I had been searching for, and he just shrugged.
So I pulled out the headshot and a Ben Franklin and asked if he might have been working that night of the Shecky show.
He went to palm the bill, I just laid it down on the bar top with a heavy finger on it. He then leaned over and looked at the photo
and said in a low growly voice “Yea, that’s the guy that played
the guitar on stage Saturday night had a girlfriend with him backstage before the show. She then sat at the front table where two guys sat with her during the show, against her wishes so it seemed.”
The bartender seemed very cooperative and helpful even pointing out how he alerted the bouncer Pete who went over to check on the situation, she claimed reluctantly however they were not a problem and they were just leaving.
I said, “That’s all ya got for one hundred bucks”
His response was a shrug; I surrendered the hun thinking hey the rich girl would have wanted that kinda info anyway.
“But here’s my card you will call me if anything or body pops up”
“Sure man,” he said.
I left the bar disappointed that this was not gonna be a quick bill paid to the forever unforgiving landlady who after all was ninety two and had all the charm of a junkyard dog in the hot summer sweaty night.
Then as I approached my car out by the fence off the dock a voice called out.
“Pssst, pssst, hey bud”.
“Yea you man, you want the dope on that rocker gone suddenly missing I can help ya”.
Well, Now I thought quickly if I wanted to turn around or just pull off and go back to my waitin brass horn and bottle of scotch
But the thought of intrigue and swift sumnation and bonus cash crossed my mind.
“Fuck it,” “Whats it gonna cost me bud,” I said.
“Just a bottle and a pack o smokies smart ass” the voice said back to me as he cackled a cough out at the same time.
“Well we’ll just see if it’s worth all that tiger”, I said.
Then I turned, expecting to see a face run thru by alcohol and the hard life of the streets old mans body, but not the case here. I could feel my right eyebrow rise in disbelief. He was not very tall but diesel, you know well built late twenties guy with a pugs mug. His clothing not so tattered, torn and smelly as one would think.
Oh yea, there was a shadow of a few, maybe even a week on his face and some grime had attached itself to his clothing but these were no dollar store threads.
No, they were the remnants of an Armani and a starched shirt collar that just wasn’t gonna quit, tailor made my guess would be. There was this Tribal tattoo around one of his eyes. Hey ya know there is this Prizefighter or well ex-champ that had been on the rough path of the- my way only-speaking of demons.
Had an ex-con as a promoter and a lot of allegations flying around, of money rerouted bad expenses, then the usual epic of a gold digger wife and her mom on his ass, a few street brawls while your famous and all that shit, and BOOM, everybody labels ya a target for pay outs thru your bad as image that got you so well off to begin with. Oh that’s right had a habit of chewing on an ear or two but so what they were both on the same fighter and his pet tiger kept at his mansion he used to wrestle with probably taught em that for when ya in a clinch. Hell I have even had to chomp on a cheek or arm in my time. Could it be that guy? Nnnnaaaaa. I mean is the possibility for someone if they don’t try hard enuff to give back and love genuine.
I only hoped so cause yhat kind of bottom could possibly help a guy.
I mean it was evident this guy has been only hoboing for only a few days or maybe went out for a pack of smokes and ended up lost in a bottle. Something I relate with in a way. But something wasn’t clicking right, by my sights, and I thought of asking but I also thought it might not be none of my business.
Every guy has his demons to deal with and with comes a whole lot of your time if you but in. Right now my clock was ticking away on some skinny punk rockers ass