Friday, after work hours, I met his blonde at Bromide. She parked herself in the bar stool next to me. She ordered my kind of bourbon. Neat.

Her attire was rich. She smelled savory. She had a sweet smile. She slid the envelope into my space. Its shape and weight suggested currency. Then she dropped a photograph. A guy, just shy of thirty. A suit, with a rep tie. A banker’s haircut above horn rim glasses.

That’s ten-thousand U.S., she said, nodding with her eyes on the envelope. Ten-thousand more if you can find him within twenty-four hours.

Can you be back, with the money, in say… two hours, I asked? She answered in the affirmative with a sweeter smile, then gaited her fine carriage out of the bar.

It all felt a bit pre-West Coast cool and post Prague Spring, so I asked Amos, the barkeep, to analogue some Beach Boys, Holland. It will run the kids away, he noted, but did so anyway, and poured me another drink.

Two-hours to the second she re-enter the bar, sat and said, well? Money, I said, and she produced another envelope.

It’s a good news bad news kinda thing, I said. Your banker is in the morgue. A suicide. But he gave me this list of alpha-numerics to give to you. Here. Money transfer codes, I imagine. And that’s the good news. The bad news. He claims to have changed the codes before he gave up the ghost.

After she left, Amos was quick to remark that some kids in the room had requested that those Beach Boys be played again.

My faith in the world restored, I left Amos three of those fresh Benjamin’s, and went home to my wife for dinner and a rom-com.

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