"So what's going on with ya? How's life?" I look up to face my friend Longia who is sitting across from me. I never asked but I assume he's of middle eastern/indian descent. Before I can answer he gets up to attend a customer .I go back to eating my chicken florentine. As co manager of the diner, my friend invited me to a free lunch. With my current financial situation I see no reason to refuse. I update him with my career life as he returns and he tells me about the current drama in his life. I listen as I hear the depressing story and silently remind myself that many people are in the same boat as me. We also reminisce on our days in the choir as he reminds me of all the times I helped him with his music homework. A more lighthearted moment of my darker memories of my high school. My bill came up to $13 that was paid for by him. I gave the server a $10 tip to pass the blessing.
The next few days are filled with training. One day i'm spending two hours lifting weights, doing pullups, chinups, squats and everything else to get a full body work out. The next day i'm on the boardwalk a few blocks from home running in 10 degree weather for 5 miles. The windy days are the worst because it shortens my breathing and my sweat quickly turns into ice on my hoodie. Worst of all the boardwalk is only a two way so I feel the gust for a good two miles clouding my vision. Eventually I learn to ignore it. At night I lock myself in the room and practice my kicks and punches. Then I pick my up twin sais and practice them as well. I don't drop them as often anymore and flipping is easier now. The chances of me using them are slim but I enjoy the focus and coordination it brings me. If I could I would love to throw these bad boys into a wall or something.
It's not just physical. I'm focusing more on my observation and concentration ability. Sometimes I walk slow to observe those around me. Anticipating which direction they'll walk in by facial expressions, decline or acceleration in walking speed. For example, a man walking my direction who is looking up with a confused facial expression is likely to make an abrupt 180. I remember how much I love getting into the mindset of another person. Sometimes it feels as if I can read a person's thoughts by subtle movements. Often involuntary reactions like a huge breath, eye roll, smirk or half smile tells me the truth behind the words or at least gives a hint. I know what to say that can either soothe a person, or push them over the edge. Understanding this makes me feel as if i'm manipulative at times. Because of that, I prefer to have a more upfront approach and encourage others to do the same to even the playing field. Sometimes I wonder if it's a futile attempt because as hard as I mentally will myself to focus on a straightforward approach, my subconscious is still analyzing and determining my moves.
I spend most of my free time on my bed, if i'm not disturbed by my family or friends I daydream about being a private investigator again. Taking a case from an unknown client who needs my help. I drift from driving and doing stakeouts, visiting courthouses for information and----- i'm interrupted by a musical chime which means someone messaged me by text. I sigh but pick up my phone and was surprised to see a text from my friend Ahmed since he normally messages me on this app called Line..... I see......So he decided to go to Egypt after all to visit his family instead of enjoying the weather in Hawaii. He gave me a number to call his parents if I don't hear from him before Valentines day. Gotta respect a guy who's willing to visit family in Cairo where there's a civil war going on. Knowing his mind was made up I made no effort to persuade him and agreed to do what he asked. We have different perspectives but we both agree there are never any guarantee's in life. Anything can happen. I imagine i'll know his fate in a couple of weeks. Better not waste time. I pick up the "complete idiot's guide to private investigating" and freshen up on my knowledge concerning surveillance, public records and pretexting. I wish I got back into this habit sooner. Admittedly I spent a lot of time sulking about my unemployment but i'm not sure if it was the fear of not getting another shot in this industry or the fact that the tension has risen in the household but I still feel as if i'm losing control of the situation but for whatever reason i'm not bothered by it. I'm not sure if it's because I believe everything will work out for the best or because I am not afraid of losing my home because I already lost it several times.
These thoughts play back in my head as I try to sleep. I wonder if I others did the same when pursuing this career. I read a novel "detectives don't wear seatbelts" by Cici Mcnair and saw how she successfully lived her dream as a private eye. We even had the same first boss.......bizarre but reading it fueled my desire to continue. I fantasized about how life would be if the licensing laws here were similar to Mississippi. Technically, i'd be legal to work as my own detective. I'd just have to market my clients. Do it craigslist style like on bored to death... Ok i'm thinking nonsense it's time to go bed......
Somewhere in my slumber I find myself in college as a new transfer. I can walk, I can breathe and I can think. Somehow I don't remember that I already graduated from John Jay and walk the halls. I see a great mix of people but I get a weird vibe from all of them. They all have the #yolo outlook and appear to be taking it seriously. I could feel the immaturity creeping all around me and was relieved to see it was time for a break. Outside I see a familiar face and ask him to hang out but he looks at me and walks away saying something that appears to be a warning of some sort. Baffled I walk past a long tri cylinder object with a table flipped on it's side. Before I could comprehend what that meant I heard gunshots. Multiple gunshots. I look up and see students on the roof shooting at the students on the ground with those students shooting back. To my left I notice a school yard where the girls were playing an innocent game of soccer that quickly turns into a gun fight. I stay behind cover and observed the faces of those who weren't killed. Pure joy. Seriously? These people were enjoying themselves?. I saw another high school friend who took cover next to me but I had no intention to chat and was out of there. I somehow find myself in a graveyard like setting. I see my high school friend most known for his EMT interests. We then spot someone who resembles a modern day grim reaper creep past us. For some reason he feels obligated to help despite my protests and ends up getting shot twice but managed to live. I catch the grim reaper and see hes' elderly man and I knock him unconscious (end dream)
My mom knocks on my door. It's 6:15 am so it's time to get up. My nephews bus arrives in 30 minutes so I turn on the news. Murder, accidents, weather forecast, scandal and additional murders are the main topics. Oh shit it's 6:33. I pull the covers off my nephew and he begins whining asking for more sleep. He eventually gives in and gets dressed as we watch "mike the knight". I hear the bus horn and bring him downstairs, noting that it's gonna be another arctic day. Another 30 min of rest would be great but I was already energized. I flip open my P.I mag and eventually reach the FBI's most wanted page. It would be great to take some of these people down. For instance, you have Noor Aziz Uddin wanted for scamming victims in excess of $50 million through many cyber crime methods. Carlos Enrique Perez-Merlara tricked people out of passwords, and other sensitive information using the old keylogger scam. I'm torn between disgust and intrigued . These guys are currently out of my league but maybe NYPD's most wanted would be easier for me. I have no qualms entertaining that thought as I check out the crime stoppers webpage. To my surprise, they have a huge list of wanted criminals with very tempting rewards for tips that help lead to arrest. That would be fun to pursue that for quick cash but I would think there's a line between helping and interfering with an official investigation. However I can't get the thought out of my head. I remember seeing news coverage concerning the baby hope case, and how crime stoppers state that many people who help with investigations don't claim the money they're owed for whatever the reason. Even the baby hope tipper didn't claim her money which was for a few grand. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. I have another day of training ahead of me and need to meet my bf in another hour so I dismiss it. However as the day goes on it gets more and more tempting. I'm not sure when i'll be employed again but it wouldn't hurt to make myself useful to the public would it?