Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chapter 6

The next morning, the phone jangled the nerves with the wake up call from the front desk. Once I realized who and where I was, I answered it. The clerk on the other end of the phone answered with a bright, cheery, youthful, female voice that it was 5am, and this was my wake up call, have a wonderful day, and something else incomprehensible, since by now I had said my "thank you" and returned the phone to it's resting place, while the clerk continued to babble.

I yawned. I stretched. I made the decision to get up and go, even though my get up and go had got up and went a long, long time ago. When did all these aches and pains begin, anyway? I massaged the left shoulder and neck muscles that always seemed to follow a hard night's sleep in a strange place, and determined another warm shower might help loosen things up and wake me up the rest of the way.

After the shower, I pulled my laptop out of my suitcase, and plugged it into the nearest wall jack. I flipped on the WiFi, and got my cell phone and my "blue tooth" camera set nearby to load pictures and video to the hard drive. Once everything was hooked up and transferring, I finished dressing and put my tired old shoes back on, heading to the hotel lobby for the continental breakfast of coffee and donuts. I was hoping to grab an apple filled or a fritter but found only the small Dolly Madison white sugar donuts. I guess everyone's cutting back, but this was a disappointment. Even so, I grabbed a cup, some Equal, poured a teaspoon full of creamer into the cup, and then poured some coffee in from the black carafe. I stirred in the sugar substitute and took a taste. Too strong and hot, but it had been sitting there for a while, it reminded me that my neck was really throbbing, and perhaps I should get to the chiro next week. I decided on three donuts and headed back to my room.

I found the transfers finished, so I checked my email and Facebook accounts. In this day and age of social media, I found it really easy to check up on my accounts plus a few other people's accounts, just to see what they were up to. Some folks only updated once a week, others, once a month. I generally blogged daily. I thought it was important, not just for my readers, but for my own sense of mental stability. It helped keep my emotions in check. I could write in there all the weird stuff from my day, dreams that sometimes kept me awake at night, and who might be bugging me in some manner. I'd have notes on the crafts that were my hobby, but never so much as a word about my investigative side business. Somebody might think I was a stalker! As I was pondering the benefits of the blogging, I unhitched the phone and camera, and stuffed the phone in my pocket and the camera to my ear. Then I blogged a little bit about the Chicago Mall. Anyone reading this would probably think I was just another little old lady with her knitting, visiting far away places. Ah, what they didn't know!

After blogging, I returned the laptop to the suitcase, gathered up my things and headed for the car. It was going to be a busy day. I wasn't about to miss things for the world. As I passed the hotel lobby clerk, I turned and got more coffee, hoping for a more current batch, and I was happy to discover that they had refilled the carafe with a deep, chocolate brown brew that was neither too hot nor too cold, and the taste was right on the mark. I smiled to myself. The gal at the counter waved goodbye to me, and I headed out into the pre-dawn. Pink and blue sunrise after yesterday's rainstorms, and cool and clean air in one of the country's largest cities, I unlocked the trunk and dropped in the suitcase, then opened the door, and sat down to wait for my mark and his lover to come out.

Turns out I didn't have to wake up so early. They didn't come out of the hotel until well after sign out time. They must have found someone to chatter with about the morning paper at the continental breakfast. Meanwhile, my taste buds are screaming for a Diet Pepsi. They got in the car and pulled out of the lot, heading further south toward China Town. I followed slowly at a safe distance as to not arouse suspicion. I turned on the Josh Turner CD that was still in the player from the previous afternoon. I remembered the day I'd seen him at the B-93 birthday bash, and he'd signed the jewel case insert for me. I handed him my PI card, smiled and said "Nice doing business with you!" Now there was a man I'd like to work for, in more ways than one...

My personal reverie was interrupted as they pulled off the expressway into China Town, and parked. I pulled in a few rows over, and watched them scurry off to China Town and quickly lost sight of them in the throng of people there. It was going to be a long day sitting in a hot car  in the hot sun, so I determined that I would catch up with them at some other point in the trip.

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