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August 14 2012 18:20:40.
Today Monday 20 May 2013 13:38:39
It wasn't far from
Massachusetts Avenue, which more or less bisects the city from northwest to
southeast, and all the embassies, missions and consulates are in the area,
mainly in the northwest section.
As I filtered forward I saw the problem. The junction ahead was sealed
off by D.C. police bikers, and we were being rerouted to the right. As I
made the turn, a fleet of black Lincolns with darkened windows screamed
through the crossroads. At the rear of the convoy was a bunch of four
wheel-drive Chevy escorts and two ambulances, just in case the principal cut
his finger. It looked as if either Netanyahu or Arafat was already in town.
The grid system in D.C. works with the lettered streets running east
west and the numbers north-south. I found the junction I wanted easily
enough, but there was no way I could stop. The one-way circuit on M street
had a mind of its own, and Metal Mickey was right, parking was a gang-fuck.
The street was lined with cars that had a firm grip on their meters and
weren't letting go for anyone; another three laps of the block and I finally
found a Nissan pulling away from a space on M, just past the junction I
I locked up, fed the meter and walked. Bread and Chocolate turned out
to be a small coffee shop on the street level of an office and apartment
building, just fifteen meters farther down on the left side of 23rd.
There was another coffee shop opposite, attached to a grocery store, but
this was the better of the two. The interior looked so clean I felt I should
have scrubbed up before going in. Long glass display cases were filled with
Danishes and a million different muffins and sandwiches, and on the wall
behind them was a coffee selection menu that went on forever. Everything
looked so perfect I wondered if people were allowed to buy anything and mess
up the displays.
The tables were white marble, small and round, just big enough to seat
three. I sat facing the glass shop front and ordered a mocha a small one
after the mother lode at the airport. The place was about a quarter full,
mostly with smartly dressed office workers talking shop. I nursed my
caffeine for the ten minutes that remained before our RV Right on time, in
he walked, and a beach ball he certainly was. He had skin that was so clear
it was virtually see-through, and black hair that was slightly thinning on
top, which he'd gelled and combed back to make it look thicker. On his
cheerful, chubby face he had fashionably round, black-rimmed glasses, behind
which a pair of clear blue eyes were looking twice their natural size
because of the thickness of the lenses. He was wearing a shiny, gray,
single-breasted suit, bright blue shirt and red tie, all set off nicely by a
little burn-fluff goatee beard. He must have been about forty pounds
overweight, but was tall with it, over six feet. His jacket had all three
buttons done up and was straining to contain the load. He spotted me just as
easily and came over, hand outstretched.
"Well, hellooo. You must be Nick."
I shook his hand, noticing his soft skin and immaculate, almost
feminine, fingernails. We sat down and the waiter came over immediately
maybe Metal Mickey was a regular. Pointing at my coffee, he looked up and
"I'll have one of those, please." The aroma of the mocha was no match
for his aftershave.
The moment the waiter was out of earshot, he leaned forward,
unnaturally close to me.
"Well then, all I've been told is to help you while Sarah's away." I
was about to reply, but he was off again.
"I must say, I'm quite excited about it. I've never been involved with
someone else's PV review before. Just my own, of course. Anyway, so here I
am, all yours!" He finished in a grand gesture, with his hands in the air in
Grabbing my chance, I said, "Thanks, that certainly makes things a lot
easier. Tell me, when was the last time you saw her? I'm not too sure how
long she's been away."
"Oh, about three weeks ago. But what's new? She's here, there and
everywhere, isn't she?"
The coffee came and Metal Mickey's head turned as he said thanks to the
waiter. The light caught it just right and I could see the scarring where
the plate had been inserted an area about three inches by two of slightly
raised skin. I just hoped that no one on a nearby table answered their
cellular phone, because he'd probably leap up and start doing the conga.