“Whoosh, stirrrr, clunk, clunk,” fills the bedroom.
“What the hell,” Sal stirs from a starter sleep.
“Whoosh stirrrr, clunk, clunk,” the bed tremors.
Seven Bardo looks up from the bus stop on the west side of Washington Square. It’s 1:30 AM, and he watches a couple walking towards him on the opposite side of Columbus towards Fisherman’s Wharf. He’s been tailing them most of the evening, from Lo Pi to Geno and Carlo’s to Toni Nick’s.
3:00 A.M. A dense wet cloud grips the asphalt over an ancient marsh, the Marina. Mostly young professionals, fresh families, and a few original relics inhabit its Mediterranean row houses, white, yellow, blue, brown, and even an occasional pink or maroon stucco, four stories tall with ubiquitous sidewalks and protected back yards. This is a sticky dream for all those erector sets in the Midwest.
Frank enters the bar. The Marina Lounge is busy for a weeknight. All the stools at the bar are taken with drinkers standing deep to the opposite wall. He takes a position at the end of the opposite bar rail.
“What’s that smell?” a woman says standing at the end the bar.
“Genie, come-in.” Seven says after quick knocks at the door and a wink through the peephole. He motions toward the couch, “have a seat.” She’s a friend and client. Once upon a time, Seven chased a college boy, a stalker, away from her.
Charles (Chaz) enters his workshop Thursday morning early, 4:30 a.m. He can’t sleep and hopes whoever has been rummaging around in the lab for the last week will be there. He carries his son’s old aluminum bat and is determined to clank someone over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Abby, Josie’s downstairs neighbor in the Marina gets up early Friday, at 5:00 A.M. She has a meeting with an important client and still has to catch up on her work email after a 4-day weekend in Vegas. Abby and her girlfriends stayed at the Venetian, but only spent time in it to shower and change clothes.
She looks in the mirror; the dark caves at the window of her soul are shallower, and less powder will hide them. “At least that bitch cougar didn’t wake me again,” she says to her weary reflection.