It’s a bitch being old and it’s a bitch being shot. Being both I wasn’t in the best of moods. I suppose I should be grateful I was alive and the people who were trying to kill me were arrested and I didn’t matter to them anymore. It was doubtful they’d ever face charges for all the murders they committed. One thing was for sure, someone would go to jail for the killing of the FBI agent.
I made another bourbon and tried to look at the positive things. It was a sunny warm evening in Florida. Most of my bills were paid thanks to an overly generous client. Thanks to a lifelong friend I had a place to live and two growing puppies to keep me company. I remember him saying you don’t have much of a life, the dogs will be good for you. Sad to say it was true, they gave me a reason to get up in the morning and required my attention for a good part of each day.
I heard it first and then looked up to see Kate screaming in on her Ducati motorcycle. She took off her helmet and shook her blonde hair, the same color blonde hair as her dead mother. The mother I was supposed to protect. One more fuck-up to add to my long list of fuck-ups.
She marched onto my deck and turned off my CD player. No hello, how are you today? She popped the CD out.
“Give me a break, you have got to stop listening to this depressing stuff. Merle Haggard’s ‘Swinging Door.’ I never heard of him. Why do you listen to this depressing stuff?”
I didn’t tell her I’d just popped out Johnny Cash’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” I said, “I listen to it so I can appreciate having you in my life.”
“How is your shoulder? You’re not taking the pain pills with all that bourbon you are drinking?”
“No, I’ve been off the oxycodone for weeks. The bourbon works better if the dose is high enough.”
My two pups, Doberman pinschers named Apollo and Zeus, were wagging their tails and jumping on Kate. They were only a few months old and their energy level was high. I didn’t try to control them. Kate could handle them, and she loved their enthusiasm. Especially in contrast to mine.
“Can I get you a drink?”
“No, I’ll grab a beer. I’m faster than you.”
“I didn’t know you were that desperate for a drink.”
She stuck her tongue out at me and went below.
I live on a boat that would never again float. It was permanently parked in the storage yard of a marine repair business. I moved in when my landlord wouldn’t renew my lease. I can’t blame him. My Jeep had been blown up, the apartment ransacked, and people were trying to kill me. My lifelong friend T, who gave me the puppies, fixed up this boat for me to live on, and I guess the pups and I are his night watchmen.The boat is a:
T took it as payment from some poor guy who couldn’t pay for work on his other boat. He figured it was easier to make it a home for me than repair the hull damage. Now permanently beached, it had water, sewer, and electric just like a real house, plus T had the interior remodeled.
Kate came up with her beer. “Well, your place looks lived in.”
Which was her way of saying it was a mess. Everything was harder with one arm so I tended to leave everything out where I could easily reach it. As she sat, I noticed the bulge from her pistol. I thought that being covered with FBI Special Agent Nowak’s and my blood might dampen her newly found enthusiasm for guns. But coming to Florida from New York City, she had quickly gone native. I’m sure I was partly to blame for that.
She had fixated on the Walther PPK from the story I told her about Adolf Hitler committing suicide with his PPK in the Führerbunker in Berlin and South Korean dictator Park Chunghee being shot and killed by Kim Jaegyu, using the Walther PPK. She knew about James Bond using the PPK. I filled her in on the story of Bond giving up his .25 Beretta 418 for a PPK when firearms expert Geoffrey Boothroyd told Ian Fleming the Beretta 418 was a lady’s purse gun. Plus, Elvis Presley owned a silver-finish PPK, inscribed “TCB” for “taking care of business.”