October 22 Murdock

I TAKE MY GREEN SUIT OUT OF RETIREMENT when I realize it's been since the beginning of summer that I last wore it, and I'm not going to let idiot allegations or ghost relations get in the way of my trying to have a little fun again.

Maybe Carol showed up because I haven't heard from that jackass in a trench coat in over a week, and just when he was sharpening his pencil to try to stab my ass with some fool's idea of a case. Regie says if I don't want Gwen and Momma to be bothered any more he can get me one of those little nickel-plated specials some of the Panther boys have been carrying around. If I get up the guts to see her again I'm going to go in and ask that man (where he slickly pressed his card is still clutched like a sore spot in my hand) what he knows. I have a right. I was once her man. But it won't be too soon: there's still a little forgetting to do, and the best way is by learning something new.

The city's pretty, but I like what's happening in Berkeley. There's a girl named Patty who's fine as sunshine and I think she'll go out with me next week if I ask her: she complimented my Mustang and she liked the line.

The Bay Bridge is umbrella'd by a milky haze some six hundred feet above. But that doesn't make a difference on the lower deck. San Francisco shrugs away behind your shoulder with a definite grievance in mind, but it'll forget by the time you get back. Oakland's always a little hairy on my eye. So's Livermore, 'cause I once knew a girl there. She left too soon. Others not soon enough.

The crest of 580 gives way to a sinister snake slithering away into the invisible distance. And I'm out on the highway, the humped hills and windmills sweeping my mind clean.

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