Nine days turned to ninety. As I sit in this popular American bar/restaurant, just fifty miles north of New York City, I begin to take inventory of the last couple of months. The cute barmaid hands me another 7&7. I wonder how I got here; is it love? Can love do this to a man, make him give up a lucrative career to follow a dream? I know if I continue this path, my career is over. I hope I can live, literally and figuratively, with that.
Three months ago I was working Stacy for information connecting CERN, Rosicrucianism, and John of Arc. Being merely an otherwise out of work actress, Stacy took the John of Arc gig to alleviate starvation. Her assignment was to pass out the pamphlets and call out her soliloquies several times a day. When pressed about the pamphlets, Stacy confided that the pamphlets from the top of the stack were for those that gave the ” Harry Connick Jr.” signal, you know, ‘A Wink and a Smile’. The rest of the public received a pamphlet from the bottom of the stack.
While pumping Stacy for information, I began to realise just how much she reminds me of my long lost love; Mandy. Stacy and Mandy share, shared? a real zest for life and adventure. It was Mandy, after all, that insisted we take that deep sea fishing expedition that ultimately lead to her disappearance/demise. Stacy has no interest in fish but does have big plans to make it big in America’s Hollywood. The John of Arc gig will net enough cash for a plane ticket, in another fourteen months.
A call to the home office to let Jae know Stacy is a dead end. “Hello Majes” it is Laura. What the heck is going on in Kathmandu these days, I wonder to myself. “Are you back in the game?”, I query Laura, her response, somewhat hushed, “no… it’s complicated, ask me another time”. I hear Laura call across the noisy office to have Jae pick up the phone. Jae gives me carte blanche to handle Stacy in any manner I see fit. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure that didn’t include the option of running away with her to the United States.
It wasn’t hard to convince Stacy that I have Hollywood contacts, nor was it hard to convince her to leave Rouen behind and come away with me. Ten has contacts in the film industry; though I not sure what type of films they are. The multifarious route we have chosen is designed to obfuscate any potential tails. This is what brings me here, a town called Southeast in New York, waiting for Stacy at a bar a half mile from the rail station.
A cowboy at the end of the bar eyes me suspiciously, I avoid his gaze. Looking like an extra from ‘Midnight Cowboy’, replete with the two tone embroidered, snap chest pocketed western shirt and a ten gallon hat. Nursing a Belgian Ale, Arizona methodically scans the room; he’s looking for something, or someone. Arizona is clearly out of place in this northern North American tavern. I make a mental note to be on the lookout for him when we board the train to a safe house in Harlem, New York City.
Stacy strolls in the front door, back from her shopping for girl products at a nearby pharmacy. I start to get up, Stacy, spotting me, motions for me to sit. She saunters over and gives me a peck on the cheek. “I’ll be right back” she says, and heads to the ladies restroom. Turning back to my nearly empty glass, I notice Arizona is not in his seat. After a panicked look around the bar, I watch Arizona stride toward the tavern’s restrooms. This doesn’t look good. I decide to have a look, just in case. As I arrive at the restroom area, there is a scream from within the ladies restroom followed by the sound of breaking glass. Forcing open the locked door, my worst fears are confirmed. Stacy dead on the floor, a growing pool of blood beneath her, and a water closet handle protruding from her chest. A window at the far end of the lavatory is broken, and there is, of course, no sign of the assailant.
Well, that settles that.