...Bar toe low mayo. Bairn ergo, Beer to Lucy....
Bump--. A vibration, barely palpable, interrupts Tim's word flow. A sound follows. A voice, thinks Deuce, just perceptible. Tim doesn't need to look at the clock to know it's quarter past 9 p.m. 2D's boyfriend, he thinks.
2D is Karen Mieke, her last name pronounced with two syllables: "Like Mikey," she said when Tim first met her nearly two years before. Tim has seen the boyfriend three times in three weeks, each time arm-in-arm with 2D, entering or leaving the building. Tim grabs his coat.
As Tim expected, 2D's boyfriend walks past Tim's apartment door, down the stairs, and out the front door. Tim pictures his route to the bar.
Of course he's going to a bar, thinks Tim. One near his apartment downtown. Tim knows none of this for a fact. Yet it's so, in some sense. The 1 California, thinks Tim as he puts on his jacket. Next bus heading east comes in three minutes. 2D's boyfriend will get off at Polk St.
Tim grabs his hat and exits the apartment. I can walk to Polk in 10 minutes, he thinks. Down the front steps, and on flows the syllabary.
Anna Dounday, drove a blue Chevrolet, bide awee, by duh bay, bored a burlin', forty churlin: Monte, Merlin, Gretchen, Berwyn, Bentley, Turpin, Chursty, Bergen, a grin and a grain and aground about midnight it crawed in my japing mawdylane, off sight, ere long of teeth.
Dursty, urya? Perch ur bircher durn uppern da broondleburst let first ye curst ye worsty. Retcha rodham dolor, baudleroidachromalography....
As he walks east on Bush, Tim calculates 2D boyfriend's bar time: drink one, 30 seconds; drink two, 12 minutes; drink three, 30 minutes.
Ten minutes after he leaves his apartment, Tim stands at a bus stop on Polk. Three bars are within sight. 2D boyfriend's in one of them. Tim has a half-hour to wait for 2D boyfriend to finish his third drink. No bus is due before then. A patrol car passes. Tim ignores it.
Twenty-seven minutes later, 2D boyfriend walks out of the bar furthest from the bus stop where Tim is standing. He heads straight for Tim. Tim shrinks into himself in the shadow of the open bus shelter. 2D boyfriend walks by him, passing within two feet, and barely notices him.
Twenty seconds after 2D boyfriend passes him, Tim turns around and follows him south down Polk. He turns east on O'Farrell. Tim slows down. He's walking fast for a guy with three drinks in him, thinks Tim. Cautiously rounding the corner, he sees on the ground a cashless wallet.
Tim doesn't have to look inside the wallet to know its cash has been removed. He turns around and walks west on O'Farrell toward Van Ness. Something troubles Tim about 2D boyfriend. As he crosses Van Ness, he thinks, not because he's a thief. Thieves are plain lazy, not evil.
Not necessarily evil, Tim adds. He wouldn't normally care about a tenant's personal life. But 2D, she's.... What? Special? No, in danger. Tim senses 2D's peril more than he knows it. That troubles Tim too. He feels the urge to act with an incomplete information set. That's odd.
Tim pauses when he reaches Post and Gough. It's too late to surveil tonight, but it's too early to go home. He looks north up Gough Street.
Tim recalls a name on Detective Blisflix's list: Jonah Cary Siebert, a thief with an evil streak a mile wide. Kidnapper, torturer, arsonist. Jonah Siebert's last known address was an apartment on Lombard and Octavia. Tim could be there in 10 minutes, well before the bars close.
Tim walks on the east side of Gough, where drivers are less likely to spot him. Karen Mieke of apartment 2D and her boyfriend are forgotten.
Forgotten temporarily -- at least until the word stream dries up. As he walks up the hill between Sacramento and Clay, Tim opens the tap.
Nancy Nepenthe drove to San Clemente to hear what the men said the day they welt away alorn and flued like a pile of stewed tomatoes on rye. Minisakes allude to replonition of dissoltry sort a time or two by sea by so by la tea docents you went away you say to fail allay so fur. Lee Hurley wound out early skepped and swirly sorely you can't be Serrions sorn by the snide of the toad on a wait for the Belgian panic....
Part 9: Smith
Part 1: Tim
Part 2: Three's a Problem
Part 3: Ninth Avenue
Part 4: Peru Avenue
Part 5: Toast
Part 6: Mrs. Pellegrini
Part 7: Charlie
Part 8: 2D
Part 9: Smith
Part 10: Cece
Part 11: Quarter Moon
Part 12: Interview
Part 13: Mieke
Part 14: 2D Ex
Part 15: Logs
Part 16: Steiner
Part 17: Number Five
Part 18: Cold
Part 19: Intern
Part 20: Coffee
Part 21: Sloth
Part 22: Tennessee Street
Part 23: Error-correcting Code
Part 24: Villa Lobos
Part 25: Entrance
Part 26: Cloak
Part 27: Meeting
Part 28: Fog
Part 29: Bootle
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