Sandra was wearing a red dress which to me spelt out “scandal”. She took a puff of the joint that she took off my desk and held it in while not breaking eye contact with me, she leaned back on the office chair and exhaled. The smoke blurred out part of the Jonny Heartz Private Investigator sign and to be honest gave it a cool effect that I might incorporate into a t shirt or business card some day. She looked to be in zen for a humble moment but than her facial expression changed to a more serious vibe and I knew it was now down to business.
“Are you ready for tonight?”
“I’m always ready”
“Good, he’s leaving for his meeting at 12, if you shoot over to the house now you could tail him to the meeting spot, i’m pretty sure it’s at the director of casino operations Bobby Mazzinellis yacht near the docks.”
She continued to smoke the joint and I wondered if now was the right time to ask her for some
“Anything else I should know?”
“Yeah, Tony is paranoid as it is, so don’t get too close”
“By the way how’d you get in here?”
“You still leave the spare key under the doormat, you’ve been doing that since I can remember.”
“Case closed on that one”
Sandra got up and got real close to my face, she handed me the joint which was three quarters smoked at this point and covered in her red lipstick
“Don’t let me down like you did before Jonny”
“Yeah just make sure that money is in my bank account by tomorrow sweety”
Sandra left and I wondered where Topher was. I walked downstairs into Ryan’s apartment/studio and there was Topher, Ryan and one of Ryan’s favorite male performers, the six foot five inches of man meat Ron Shaft (Ryan came up with that name). Ron Shaft looked happy to see me.
“Jonny Boy I love your friend Topher man, he’s a real cool customer, Ryan’s shooting a new movie tomorrow and we are gonna be the two leads.”
“Yeah it’s probably gonna be my greatest film of all time, it’s about a former spy (Ron Shaft) and a chemist (Topher) working together to stop a nuclear bomb from being set off at a maximum security prison trying to take out Manhattan. The working title is The Cock. ”
“Oh you’re doing a parody of The Rock with Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage?”
“I don’t know what that is”
” Ryan you really need to see a therapist”
“Whatever you’re just jealous that I can write an original script just like that”
” I need someone to come with me on a surveillance job tonight”
After I said that I noticed they were all drinking a purple beverage out of styrofoam cups, they all looked extra comfortable so I had to ask.
“What is that shit”
Topher who was looking at butt pics of himself on his phone turned and said
“It’s called lean, Ron brought it. best shit I’ve ever had.”
“Right, so you want to come with me to do this job”
“I can go for a ride along right now, I need these two to go over the script for tomorrow”
Topher started reading off the script
“We need to get off this cock”
I started walking upstairs.
I grabbed my spy camera and the 70-200 lens so I could shoot from a distance. Ryan filled up his styrofoam cup to the brim again.
It was raining hard outside, just the way l like it if it involves me staying inside and watching movies all day. As far as driving I hated driving in the rain after I flipped my SUV last year during a thunderstorm. I was driving to give Topher a ride home from the dealership and I was on The Ice Cracks this way Lane which is a windy, curvy road. A Red Range Rover was driving in my lane but from going the opposite direction. I swerved out of the way and swerved again and I went airborne, the car flipped three times as I put my hand in front of my face to protect my face, upon impact my hand bitch slapped the windshield as it shattered and I still have glass stuck in my left hand until this day. On the second flip I took out a yellow triangular sign that said “Curve Ahead”. I felt like I was playing Grand Theft Auto for a moment as I immediately got out of the overturned vehicle. I called the police and when they pulled up they drove right over where the other car swerved thus covering up the tracks and the evidence. The end result was that I had to pay $240 for the sign I took out, it was like I was paying a fine for surviving but the judge here is obviously a lazy crooked piece of shit so I didn’t want to push my luck.
I plugged the fuse into my radio and popped in The Young and The Hopeless by Good Charlotte, I felt in a throwback mood due to all the nostalgia surrounding me. Ryan was clearly sunken into the passenger seat and I was wishing I was on his level because the anxiety was starting to get to me. As I started to drive I noticed the cell phone store across the street had a strike going on. I noticed one man holding a sign that said “Give hope to the middle class”, I couldn’t help but feel for them, the type of work they do is similar to mine and if I got paid just a little more money maybe I would have more passion for what I do, it’s ironic how the shittier work you do the less that you get paid. I thought about how I was starting the overnight shift tomorrow and how I dreaded getting home when the sun was just coming up.
When Ryan is fucked up he likes to talk about how he would love to get out of the porn industry and direct real movies but he never had the confidence to pursue it; he also goes on about he would like to settle down one day but dating is so hard when he tells a girl he’s a porn director and she’s immediately turned off. I guess it’s hard for damaged people to find love when they have to compare scars with another and see if they match up like Orion’s belt.
I was driving the speed limit because it was raining but also I have a lean mean drinking machine in Ryan sitting in the passenger seat so I did not want to get pulled over. I didn’t think about what I was actually going to have Ryan do and it made me wonder if I have a codependency issue where I just don’t like being alone. It was a Friday night so everyone was out blowing off the steam that had accumulated throughout the week. Every bar appeared to be packed, even the hole in wall bars. I thought about Mickey and wondered how he has been a bartender for over thirty years, pretending to the bar fly’s that he’s listening to their incoherent problems as he serves them whatever is cheapest on tap that night.
As we continued to drive we entered the higher income area of (undisclosed). Every house seemed to be triple the size of our apartment building with more acres than I could ever conjure up a way to utilize. This was the first time I was going to Tony and Sandra’s mansion. Sandra has reached out to me multiple times over the last two years and even invited me to her wedding. I attended and sat in the back row of the church and left shortly after the ceremony but not before I had my fill of food at cocktail hour; nonetheless I have declined every invitation to visit their mansion from thereafter.
My phone started to vibrate obnoxiously in my cup holder and interrupt my GPS, the caller ID read Samar 11:11 Manager #5, yeah I’ve had plenty of bosses and plenty of people who thought they were the boss since starting my venture at 11:11. I pick up to a woman yelling something in Hindi in the background, her yelling fades as I hear Samar breathing heavy and shutting a door as I no longer hear the woman.
“Jonny Boy you there?”
“Yeah, what’s up Samar?”
“Jonny tomorrow this shit ends, I told everyone on our staff to be here at nine in the morning sharp, we are going to get to the bottom this.”
“You mean the thing with finding poop every night around the store?”
“Yes the fucking thing with someone pooping in the store every night what’d you think I was calling to tell you we ran out of pink lemonade slushee?”
“I don’t know that’s why I was ask—-”
“You no need to ask nothing, be here at nine”
My phone was connected via cassette adapter and Ryan heard the whole conversation, he smiled in his inebriated state and took the phone from my hand”.
“Hey hey Samar it’s your favorite former employee”
Samar suddenly humbled his tone
“Oh is that Ryan, yeah that’s you, how’s everything going?”
“It’s going alr-”
Samar suddenly yelling again
“I don’t really give a damn how your doing, you know why? You filmed a sexy movie in my fucking store when you should’ve been unpacking the delivery and mopping the floors.”
Ryan was now wearing a big smile
“That store saw more action that night than you’ve had in the past ten years”
“Fuck you Ryan”
“And fuck you too Samar”
At the same time they said
“I’ll see you in hell”
Samar hung up and Ryan reclined the chair just a little more back with his hands cupping the back of his head, I wish I was as calm as he is right now.
It was 11:47 and we were five minutes away from the Anthony Deanzio Estate. I stopped at the traffic light right before entering the development which is also owned by Mr. Dean. Ryan pulled out a baggy which looked awfully familiar to me, it was the coke bag Topher picked up off that guy at the bar the other night.
“Yeah man so Topher gave me this in exchange for a months rent, I don’t normally do this shit but hey you only live once I guess, plus I thought it would help us stay alert for this stakeout.”
Ryan dug some out with his key and held it up to my nose, I was hesitant because I also don’t normally partake in cocaine but I was in a shit mood and it was right in front my my face. I snorted and felt a rush from my nostril to my brain, all of a sudden I was excited to stake this fiance stealing, cheating, privileged piece of crap Tony.
“Okay let’s fucking do this”
Ryan snorted some off his key too and turned the volume up on my radio. Lifestyles of The Rich and the Famous came on and we sung along as I opened the sunroof until it got stuck at the halfway point.
We were at the end of the block as I pulled the car over and evaluated where the best place to park would be. My beat up Lexus stuck out like a sore thumb in this neighborhood so I couldn’t get too close to Tony. Ryan pulled a notebook out of his back pocket. The cover read Ryan’s movie ideas. He rapidly started to sketch out a camera than a man sitting in his car with the camera than he drew a house with a girl half naked with boobs that were very disproportionate to the rest of her body, than as one last added detail he drew a fedora on the man. In big bold letters on the top of the page he wrote The Big Peep.
“Yes yes that’s good, that’s real good.”
Ryan snorted another line off his keys
“See the girl owes gambling debts to the mob and her father hires her a private eye to investigate and solve the problem, it’s genius”
“Oh so like the Big Sleep”
“No, I have no idea what tha—”
“I know, you have no idea what that is, you’ve never seen it let’s just drop it”
“Here comes another idea”
Ryan turned the page and started sketching out another “movie idea”
It was 11:59 so I slowly drove towards the Deanzio Estate. I noticed that the house across from the Deanzio Estate had a lot of cars in it’s U shaped perfectly paved in silver brick driveway. The lights were off so I turned mine off and pulled into the driveway. We were kinda far away so I took out my camera and quickly attached the 70-200 mm lens and turned it on. I adjusted the focus and the first thing I saw was one of the statues that are one both sides of the front gates. I got startled as I zoomed out a little to see the statue was of a black vulture with a human heart in it’s mouth, it’s eyes were bugged out like it had rabies or something.
The house was very large and from my limited knowledge on houses it appeared to me to be a Victorian, the reason I say was because there was a castle like room in the center of the building. It looked like Rapunzel could’ve been held captive up there. The only room with its light on was one of the bathrooms. I saw Tony looking all smug into his mirror, wearing a black with white pinstripe suit. I read his lips say “you’re the man”, he put a little gel in his hair and did the finger bang motion to his reflection. He went to exit the room and looked back at the mirror one last time and said “no, no you’re the man.”I fantasized about somehow being behind the mirror and punching my hand threw and grabbing Tony by his eye sockets as I pulled him into the fiery depths of hell.
There was a black stretch limo waiting outside for him. The bathroom light turned off and within a minute Tony was leaving his house, he was carrying a rather large suitcase in his hand. The limo driver (who looked like Jason Statham) took his bag and put it in the trunk he than opened the door for Tony who was waiting there impatiently. Tony got in and the limo driver quickly ran to the drivers seat and they started on their way.
Ryan started laughing
“You gotta feel bad for the guy, he’s literally been catered to since he was born”
“Ignorance is bliss I guess”
“He probably doesn’t even bathe himself”
“Ryan can you drive”
“I thought you’d never ask.”
I waited for the limo to get a little further down the road and than told Ryan to start tailing. He put his foot on the gas and the car skidded out of the driveway making a lot of noise, Ryan clearly had a case of the lead foot and I forgot that he mixed lean with cocaine, but I needed him to drive so I could use the camera. As we approached I zoomed in on the license plate which read STUD777, I noticed the windows were tinted but I could see a silhouette of two men in the back seat. Ryan was actually doing pretty good with tailing the limo besides the fact that he kept trying to blast music while you could only hear crickets outside which could blow our cover.
We got on the highway and I noticed a car pulled over by a cop, he had all four car doors open including the trunk and the hood. A young kid was sitting in the back of the police cruiser and the expression on his face was something like “I fucked up”
We got off the highway and turned down a cross street that led us to the docks. The limousine drove down the docking area and I told Ryan to park the car at the corner house before entering the docking area.
“Alright Ryan you stay here and take this walkie talkie, I’m going to find a good vantage point.”
“You want one more bump before you go”
Once again holding his keys up to my nose. I quickly snorted it and started running towards the docks.
I felt like I had unlimited energy, I sprinted until I saw Bobby Mazzinelli’s yacht. There were around twenty to thirty limousines parked outside. I saw a tree that would be the perfect vantage point, it was tall, climbable and just enough distance across from the yacht, however I needed to climb it quick because I would be exposed until I got near the top where the leave covered branches could conceal me. All the limousines started to leave single file.
” I wonder if this is a big old yacht slumber party.”
I reached the tree in record time and quickly climbed it. I managed to find a sturdy branch near the top that I could sit on. I turned my camera on and managed to see Tony walking up the walkway to enter the yacht only now he was wearing a black plague mask other people were congregating on the ships deck all wearing different variations of the plague mask. Them including Tony were dressed up in those corny suits like you’d find the mob wearing in a Batman cartoon. Bobby Mazzinelli walked out to address his guests, he was also wearing a plague mask but he’s like the shortest guy in the world so it was easy to tell it was him. I heard him yell from where I was in his thick Italian accent
“C’mon eh, let’s get this show on the road, been waiting all night for this.”
All the guests started walking into the yacht. I saw Tony call for Bobby’s attention and handed him the briefcase. There was one sliding glass door that I could see inside the yacht. Inside it was dark and all their masks were glowing different colors. It was like like the worlds richest rave going on. I heard what sounded like classical music playing which kind of threw off the rave vibe. I saw Bobby Mazzinelli step outside with the briefcase. He checked his corners and slowly opened it up. A bright green glow reflected off his face and lit up his sadistic looking smile. It occured to me that the spiders that were sold to Michelle and her friends glowed that same exact green. Bobby closed the suitcase and went through the sliding glass door, I could see two masks bobbing their heads back and forth and I turned my ISO up until I could make out that it was two girls hooking up with their masks slightly up one of the girls had this unique purple lipstick. Bobby said something to the girls and they walked away, he gazed outside one last time and than closed this long black curtain ensuring that I could no longer see inside. I felt like I could rip this tree out of its roots right now and throw it like a dart at the yacht hopefully causing it to sink but than I would feel bad for the tree. I started to climb down from the tree and stepped on a weak branch which snapped I fell through the center where my ass collided with the hardest part of the tree and my legs were hanging upright, I knew my ass would be killing me in the morning but I didn’t feel anything right now. I got up and sprinted back to the car. I saw Ryan sitting on the hood still rapidly writing into his notebook.He looked up.
“Hey did you get anything”
I was out of breath
“Yeah huh huh, there’s some shady shit going on in this town.”
“What else is new?”
” Come on, let’s go i’ll tell you about it in the car.”
I climbed into the drivers seat and popped a U’ey. In the rearview I noticed a car start and pop a U’ey and start driving a little bit behind us. We got to the end of the block before the highway and blue and red lights started obnoxiously flashing. Ryan immediately put all the coke that was left and scooped it up with his key.
“Dude that’s a lot of coke.”
“Im not getting arrested for possesion.”
He snorted it and put the empty baggy in his mouth and washed it down with an old water bottle I had laying on the floor for weeks.
“Holy shit I feel unstoppable.”
“Just try to shut up and let me do the talking.”
A flashlight approached my door and I rolled down my window.
“Well, well, well it’s Jonny Heartz, aren’t you on the wrong side of town?”
To Be Continued