October 14 Murdock

HE'S BACK FOR HIS WEEKLY VISIT, the asshole with the trench coat. It's a bright, warm day and he's still got the thing on. Seen way too many movements to ever take it off. Invites himself in as usual and doesn't look around, just sits right at the kitchen table as usual--for all the world looking at me impatiently like I've come to see him and I should make my business clear. It's always when Momma goes shopping that the knock comes a few minutes later, so it's obvious he's watching us too for nothing better to do. I've given up caring whether she figures out what it's about, but I swear if he comes close to her or Gwen then he'll find a crime . . . catch me in the very act.

"All Right, Mr. Hunter. You know a little bit of the law. Carol's been missing for over six weeks, and you were one of the last people intimately involved with her, and yet you tell me you know nothing. It just doesn't add up." I know some math and it's been six weeks since this dick's been harassing me, but three months since July, which is when she disappeared . . . but it won't do me any good to say so. As a matter of fact, there's nothing keeping me from saying it. But I keep it in anyway, because I'm well-trained enough to know it can't do me any good, and The Man here knows it can't do him any harm to shake down a black man when he's having a bad day. At least he can report it to her parents.

"Why aren't you working with me here, Mr. Hunter? Can't you see I'm trying to help clear you from suspicion . . . if you could ask around and let me know whatever you find out, it would be a lot easier." I've been unemployed long enough to smell someone desperate about losing his job, and I know he has no case. . . . How many times a day do I bite my lip just because I'm black?

Black man goes out with a white girl and pretty soon anything bad that happens to her--months later and even though she dumped him--has to do with that rip in the crisp, white fabric of things. A lynching is what it is. But I have other stuff to take care of for the time being. When The Man finally leaves with his wannabe-Bogey "seeyaround". I go too. Put the top down because it's a cool sunny day, climb in my Mustang and go up to Berkeley High to see what's new this season.

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