Special thanks to Shannon for her help.
"Ah, thank you, Nero." I take a sip of the buttermilk and try
not to think of him. God, but it's hard. There are so many
reasons not to think of him. He's my best friend. I'm undercover.
He's a he.
<<<"You wanna go under cover."
"Well I admit, I'm not as familiar with the art of subterfuge as you are Ray. But it appears to be an inside job and I can't see any other way to gather sufficient evidence."
"Okay, so what would your cover be?"
"My cover. Well I thought I'd present myself as a chance passerby. Naturally I'd start by removing my hat and any identifying symbols from the uniform."
"Well, that would be good, because your hat just might give you away."
"Exactly, that's exactly what I felt. And then what I thought I'd do is I would stroll onto the lot and I would introduce myself to the employees and I would ask a few informal questions."
"Does anyone here know the whereabouts of a stolen lime-green Comet?"
"Anyone seen a stolen car?"
I nod again.
Benny: Any stolen cars around here?
"Oh! If you've seen a stolen car, please raise your hand."
"Okay, let's go."
"Well, did I say something wrong?"
"No. No. Not at all. Just follow me."
He's the most annoying man, and yet, I love him. I'd do anything
for him, even let him talk me into the strangest things. And he
makes it all seem worthwhile because he trusted me enough to stand in
front of a speeding car because he knew I was coming. Even though
I took the wrong car. Plus he saves my life, and it's all in a
day's work for him.
"Hey, Benny, how's the vacation going?"
"It's everything a Mountie could ask for, Ray. Lots of fresh air, plenty of exercise. How are things in Chicago?"
"Well, you know, Benny. Chicago's Chicago. Listen, I'm just calling to let you know that I may not be there at the train to pick you up."
"Well that's no hardship, Ray. I have legs. I can walk."
"I know you have legs, Benny. That's not the point. I'm just calling to let you know that you may be on your own for a while."
"Is something wrong?"
"No. Why would anything be wrong? I'm just calling to let you know that I'd like to be there to pick you up but if I can't be there, it's not because I didn't want to be. It's because something came up."
"You're sure everything's all right?"
"Look, Benny, I don't know if they have a similar thing up there in Canada, but down here in America we have this thing called friendship. And this is something that a friend would do. Like, for example, if one friend calls another friend and he's supposed to meet him at a certain time and a certain place and he can't be there, he usually calls him to let him know."
"So everything is all right then."
"Yeah, Benny. Everything is all right."
"Well, that's good to hear, Ray."
"It's good to hear your voice. . . Listen, uh, I want you to have a safe trip, and I will be in touch."
"All right, Ray."
"You understand that, uh, I will be in touch."
"As a friend?"
"Yeah, Benny. As a friend."
The whole reason I took this job was to get away from him before it
was too late. I vowed that he'd never find out how I feel about
him. Even if I had to leave. I figured that a few weeks away from him
and I'd get over it. Instead, I spend my free time thinking about
how much he means to me.
<<<"What are you saying, Ray? You solve puzzles all the time."
"Yeah, but not like this. This is like those problems in school.
You know, those logic problems where a train leaves
Dayton at 2 p.m. travelling 60 miles an hour and another train leaves Akron at 1 p.m. travelling at 40 miles an hour and at what time do they intersect. The only answer I could come up with was I don't care. "
"It's a fine answer. . . You're doing fine, Ray. "
"No, I'm not doing fine. You know, he's - he's wreaking havoc, he's blowing up bombs, he's lighting fires, and I'm not even this close to stopping him. "
"Ray, no one has been hurt."
"Not yet. . . You know, it's like I'm playing this weird game and I don't even know the rules."
"You're figuring them out."
"Yeah, but he's got me completely figured out. . . I'm not up to this, Benny.">>>>
Forget it. I'm going to bed. I've got work to do tomorrow
and I've got to stay in character. This is not an omen. Maybe
I'll dream of something else. Maybe. But I doubt it.
I keep seeing his face after I shot him. When he was saying he
should have been with her. Or I see Frankie shooting Irene
or my mother's face when Pop died. The worst ones show me things
that haven't happened. Victoria comes back again or something happens
to Ma or . . . . there's always something. I'd like to sleep on
his pillow sometime. I bet I wouldn't have nightmares then.
How do you numb your skin, after the warmest touch
How do you slow your blood, after the body rush
How do you free your soul, after you found a friend
<<<"I knew that if I kept at it, eventually I'd draw her fire and you'd get your shot and I knew you'd trust me."
"But I didn't."
"Yes you did."
"No, I didn't."
"Yes. You did."
"No. I didn't."
"Well, of course you did. Maybe you just weren't fully aware of it."
"I was very aware of my feelings toward you, Fraser."
"Well, if you didn't know what I was planning, then why'd you play along?"
"I wasn't playing along. I was begging for my life!"
"Oh. Oh. Well. Uh, my mistake."
"Mistake? You coulda gotten me killed."
"Well no, I'd never allow that. You're my friend. You're my best friend, I'd have to say."
"I am? Hey! Exactly how many best friends have you had?">>>>
I just can't seem to get comfortable. This isn't my bed, this isn't my house, this isn't my life. Why can't I get over him? I can't tell him. He doesn't feel that way. I can't get burned and I can't hurt him. If I really love him, I'll keep quiet. I do, so I will. I have to.
<<<"What's tonight Benny?"
"Ah, actually it's Saturday morning. Oh. Ray, I'm sorry..."
"Don't worry about it, it wasn't nothing special."
"No, I'm sorry I forgot... I got caught in some things... I got your money..."
"Like this makes a difference."
"I meant to be there, Ray."
"So is she in there?"
"Yeah...I'm sorry, do you... you want to meet her..."
"Don't do me any favors.. I wouldn't want to embarrass you...anyway."
"She's got a gun!"
"I should be with her."
"What did he say?"
"He said get me to a hospital."
". . . daylights' dauphin dapple and underneath him steady. . . "
"I can't understand you.">>>>
My heart is racing. Of all the shit to happen. Like I'm not already nervous about this morning? After a while you'll forget all of this; that was the idea. I know exactly where I stand. Over here, by myself, slowly going insane. I have a headache, my head's about to cave in. Where's the aspirin?
Oh you probably won't remember me,
It's probably ancient history
I'm one of the chosen few who went ahead and fell for you
I'm out of bold, I'm out of touch,
I fell too fast, I feel too much
I thought that you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive
<<<"Benny, take this."
"No, I can't Ray."
"Look, two will get you seven that Gerrard's not even there. But if we find him, and he should put up a fight and try to escape?"
"Then we'll pursue him."
"Yeah, but maybe I can't keep up. Maybe my ankle's going to give way."
"Ray, are you saying you need to see a doctor?"
I sighed. "Look, this man killed your father. If he should shoot at you or if he should come toward you in a threatening manner?"
"Then I'll disarm him."
"Okay, say you needed to defend yourself. To discharge a weapon and accidentally kill Gerrard. I'm just saying I would let people know that it was self defense. You don't have to worry that I would let them know that it was anything but self-defense."
"I understand Ray. And I appreciate that. But I simply want to see Gerrard returned to prison. That's all.">>>
Well at least I can still dress nicely. Of course, I still wish Fraser was here to ruin one of my suits. I think I'd pay to walk through garbage with him right now. I never thought I'd feel like this again. I never had a best friend, now I have Benny, and it's so much stronger than that. He's a part of me, the best part, the part I can't live without. So tell me, Benny. Tell me how you do it. Make this make sense.
Walk through the hotel . . . into the elavator. Don't look around, you're Armando Langoustini. Twenty-fourth floor . . . room 2409. Let's get this bastard and put him away.
"This it boss?"
"Yeah. Come on." We went in and had just began when someone knocked.
"You expecting someone?" I asked Muldoon.
"Of course not."
I went to the door. There's no way the Feds would bust in now. I don't have anything on him yet. Housekeeping? What could they want?
"Ray? Oh dear."