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    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    The Detective [Part IV]

    PART IV - The Street

    The street was hard an unrelenting. Even the few blocks from the car park to the lab made his feet hurt. If he wasn’t walking he was driving and if he wasn’t driving he was sitting. Most days he wished he could teleport. Maybe in the future they’d figure out away to let cops teleport. That would be the shit.

    A block from the lab, The Detective watched as an all too familiar scene played out in front of him on the sidewalk. A homeless guy in a wheelchair sat outside a bank hitting up the customers. It was a smart play, make them feel guilty just after they’ve gotten money or deposited some. Sure, some people were inside the bank arguing to keep their house, but they had some change too.

    The Detective wasn’t interested in the panhandler. He’d seen plenty. What he enjoyed was watching the mark. He didn’t care about the ones that gave money and cared even less about the ones that just walked by. He looked for the guilty. Studying the body language of the guilty was something he enjoyed more than almost anything but beer, cigarettes and talking to Kris.

    Just before he made it to the wheelchair he got what he was looking for. A young guy in his mid to late twenties walked out of the bank and right into the line of fire of the homeless man. Almost before the homeless man said a word, the kid’s hands were in the air and he was shaking his head saying that he was sorry he didn’t have anything, making too big a show, then walking on.

    The Detective was about ten paces behind the guy and watched closely as the real nervous dance of guilt began. As the kid got about twenty paces beyond the homeless man his right hand instinctually went for his pants pocket. Schrödinger’s pocket The Detective liked to call it, because just after saying he didn’t have anything the kid realized that the statement may not be true. So, to keep the wiley homeless guy from seeing anything he waited until he’d walked far enough away to have a possible real reason to check his pocket. Until his hand hit coin, there was an equal possibility he hadn’t lied. If he discovered he hadn’t lied, he’d start to bounce, maybe pick-up the pace and look around enjoying the walk,

    He’d lied, The Detective could tell. The hand went into the packet, then stopped as it hit coins. Then it felt around and made sure the amount was what he now remembered to have on him. All the excuses for why there might be less money now. The homeless man could have magic powers and teleported the money from his pocket, or maybe he’d hypnotized the young man just long enough to reach into his pocket and take his change. Homeless people can make money disappear. Of course they can.

    Then came the guilt. As his hand had hit the coins his shoulders had dropped slightly, then they had relaxed as he realized he still had all his money. Then in the final stage of a process that took less than thirty seconds, the kid sighed and pulled his hand out of his pocket and let his shoulders fall the extra 1/4 of a inch that signaled defeat and therefore guilt.

    The Detective smiled. People were so beautifully susceptible to guilt. What was wrong with just not wanting to give someone else your money? Absolutely nothing. As he walked on toward the Lab, he smile to himself, his right hand was in his pocket cradling the jar with the tooth in it.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

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