Film Noir Persona back to tell about Leah and the Icelandic-Hawaiian mafia in New York
Film Noir Persona, welcome back to The Sewers. We welcome and congratulate you here and now.
Don’t congratulate me, there’s nothing to congratulate me for. And even if there was. When people congratulate you they never wish you well. They wish themselves to have what you have, they wish to take it from you. Folks never mean what they say, but I never stop tryna figure ’em out, like a nut.
We’re the same about it, in a way.
Yeah right, like you know what it’s like being betrayed and lied to left and right, every step of the way. There’s no one I can really trust anymore. Sometimes I ain’t sure I can even trust myself.
Right, are you having a bad day or something?
I’d say the day is having me badly. Yeah, it’s having me badly. Just couldn’t stand the silence anymore. Had to get out. Like a nut.
Why is the day having you badly?
It started the second I opened my goddamn eyes. The fucking ceiling was leaking again, Jerry was shrieking again, like some hysteric broad in a murder scene; the garbage truck outside blocked the goddamn street again, and the cold, the cold that bites you like a starved Texan hound. Waking up is masochism.
Sounds like a bad day –
You didn’t even hear half of it, sugar lips –
Please don’t call me that. Who’s Jerry?
Jerry’s my rat-roommate, my roomrat. Or ratmate. You get it. I reach for my phone – it’s off. That piece of high-tech cum just died during the night. Had no idea what time it was, so I open my window and shout to the garbage truck chumps: what time is it? They shouted fuck off as a replay, and some other unmentionable words.
It was about 8 am, my head was buzzing with eel juice from the previous night, my head was buzzing with the happenings of last night, buzzing like some drunk, lifeless Twitter addict with a worn out F5 button on his slimy keyboard –
Do you have a Twitter account?
Nah, it’s too short for me, too short for my observations.
I see. What else went wrong this morning?
The morning is just a carbon paper of the night. It palely, vaguely, traces the night, but its price tag is always spot on clear. Damn. Yeah I saw Leah again.
Oh the woman from the hack! She is the driver of the beige boiler isn’t she?
That’s what I thought when I first saw her. A blonde diamond with sharp edges. When I went to meet her she handed me a second note, it said “Ronnie Kay”. I looked her straight in the eyes and tore the note in half, “you have such a pretty mouth,” I said to her, “start using it and spill it”. She raised one beautiful eyebrow and turned to leave –
Please tell me you didn’t grab her again –
I didn’t. Coz I knew she had a lot to say. So she turned to leave and I lit a luckie, eyeing her, “I sure hope you have a good memory,” she spoke with her back to me, “coz I just gave you the name of the man you’re after.” She was playing a game, it was as obvious as a pistol in a john’s back pocket, and I wasn’t in the mood for games. “Oh yeah?” I said to her, “and how would a fine dame like you know what a man like me is after?” she turned to me and said we weren’t as different as I thought, her and I. I told her I think we’re very, very different –
Okay so who’s Ronnie Kay?
“I thought you never stopped looking for him,” she said, “looking for who, sweetcheeks?” I asked, she looked at me with a sudden sadness in her eyes, “but you did,” she said, “you stopped, you forgot.” Then it hit me, like the burn that wakes you up when you fall asleep with a luckie b’tween your fingers. She saw it right away, that dame got good eyes, “yeah that’s right,” she said, “I’m John’s sister.” Damn. I suddenly saw it.
John was my partner, back when I was a john myself. It was back in 2000 when we started working together, so damn blind, keeping New York streets safe, that’s what we thought we were doing back then. He wanted to be hero, it was written all over him like a flyer for a shit jazz group on a public toilet floor, and in 2003 he became one, when he took three shots in the chest. He was more than dead before the meat wagon came.
Were you there with him?
Yeah I was. He was my partner. It was quick enough for him not to get all weak and whiney about it. “Tell Bettie” were his last words. I told Bettie, his wife, that his last words were “tell Bettie I love her.” Dames need to hear that when their man goes. It wasn’t long after that I left the force.
Post trauma –
That’s daisy bullshit. I left coz they covered it all up. They sent us to a shootout with no backup, they knew what was going on there. The only way to leave there was in a Chicago overcoat and that was no secret. Then all the command and the highbinders just covered it up.
Where was that?
I can’t say.
Why not? What do you owe them? If they’re corrupted you should expose them.
I don’t wanna talk about it no more. I have enough of this buzzing in my head since Leah came into my life. That night she ran out with tears in her eyes. I went berserk looking for her. I had to tell her I never forgot John, and never will. Yeah everyone in the force knew the shooter was from the Sleek Cats branch of the Icelandic-Hawaiian mafia down east.
The Icelandic-Hawaiian mafia?
That’s right toots. A nasty pack of rabid dogs, and the Cats are the worst of them. Everyone knew. And I never forgot, not for a second. I wanted to find that bastard one eyed cat who shot him. But that’s some delicate work. That’s what I told her when I finally found her, in that dark bar, after three sleepless nights, that’s what I told her as she silently stirred her Kool Aid with Gin, I never forgot her brother but it’s a delicate job, and I didn’t wanna end up a corpse sniffing around them too loud. She didn’t wanna hear it at first. Said I’m making excuses, like all men, said we all have short memories and she’s got an entire life story to prove it. “You’re all scum,” she said to me, and I said “hey, tell me something I don’t know, Blondie.” And she did. She told me a lot I don’t know. She told me about Ronnie Kay.
He’s the guy who shot John?
That’s right baby. The dame was not only a pleasure to the eye but had some stuffing in that pretty little head of hers –
Oh come on!
What? I’m saying she was smart, damn smart. She sniffed around the Sleek Cats like it was her own turf, like some royal lioness in the Sahara Desert –
You’re so horrible –
That’s what they love about me, sweetcheeks. She did some international spying as well, she knew what’s what. There was no fooling her. We had some Noir Whiskey and bitter bourbon, she had a cherry with it. It was goddamn late and none of us was good to drive, not to mention walking to the car. The bar was getting empty but we didn’t notice, we were deep in conversation, as deep as a ring on an old lady’s finger buried six feet under. I said to her, “looks like we’re gonna see the sunrise on this concrete jungle together, Blondie,” and she said, “there’s nothing I want more, you handsome motherfucker.”
She speaks her mind, Leah, she sure does. What a diamond.
So what happens next?
Hey, hey, a gentleman never tells.
You ain’t no gentleman!
That might be true toots, but when it comes to ladies –
So she’s a lady now? Thought she was a dame. Are you in love with her?
Hey slow down there. Leah and I, we’re on a mission now, together.
To get Ronnie Kay?
Is that a reference to Ronnie Kray?
Yeah maybe, kiddo.
Do you find the memory of her dead brother to somewhat burden your relationship, or do you suppose it’s currently what keeps it all together? Either way, it’s kind of a safe bet that once you get Ronnie Kay it’ll all just collapse.
Oh, coz you’re a shrink now? Spare me this voodoo.
But wait, if everything’s great with your lady, why is today having you so badly? And the thing about the carbon paper of the night and all?
Damn. That’s coz I got myself behind the eight-ball yesterday. And then had quite a few drinks to reposition myself. They didn’t work. But it’s sure as hell ain’t nothing I’m gonna discuss with you.
It’s men business. Trust me, there are some things you don’t wanna know.
Oh cut me some slack.
Maybe next time, sweetcheeks.
Alright, and what about the beige boiler?
What about it?
Did you find out who’s driving it?!
No, I got used to it. If there’s one thing I know for sure in this city, it’s that the beige boiler will always be there. Just like Jerry, it’s always there.
You’re an eerie man.
Sure am, sugar, and it’s starting to grow on you, just like fungus grows on a week old half eaten pizza slice on the floor next to your bed. It’s all a matter of time.
Right. So what are we to expect next time you visit The Sewers?
I’m gonna find that Sleek Cat that goes by the name of Ronnie Kay and introduce him to Michelle.
She’s my Smith and Wesson 19.
My gun, goddamnit.
So you’re stating that you’re going to commit a crime?
I ain’t stating anything. I’m just saying I’m gonna show him how shiny my Michelle is.
I hope you don’t get in too much trouble –
Hey there, don’t you worry now, I’ll be back in no time.
Alright. I wish you the best of luck. Be safe.
Right back attcha.