On the flight to Chicago I hit a section of OT where I did a complete slash and edit, and dropped the word count from going up by 400 to under by 750. It would have been more but I decided to get wicked with it. This is after Jake's been beaten and arrested by a couple of Palm Springs cops. He's taken to a hospital to be checked out.
The next morning, a different doctor came in, checked my chart, checked my x-rays, poked and prodded my side, coughed like a guy who slammed through a pack a day, and finally said, "Cleared for release," without once looking me in the eye. The deputy on guard smirked.
"May I make a phone call?" I asked. Again, no response.
I was handed my jumpsuit and told to get dressed.
"I'm still due a phone call," I snapped. This time, at least I got a shrug.
I dropped the hospital gown and was just grabbing my briefs to pull on when the door slammed open and this Young Republican Female barged in -- sleek pinstripe dress-suit so sharp and clean, you could cut through paper with it; blond hair in a stylish bun; lips tighter than a hundred year-old nun's, made even tighter by the little gold cross around her neck; and if she ate more than a leaf of lettuce a day, I'd have been surprised. She was flanked by two massive uniforms of the Palm Springs variety.
“Mr. Blaine, will you come with us?” she said, a bit breathless.
“I got a choice?” I snarled, glancing between the two cops.
“Please,” she said. “My boss wants to see you in his office.”
"And you are...?"
"Elizabeth Ginty, Warren Philby's assistant."
Holy shit – THIS was the bitch Uncle Owen talked about? She's messing with me on top of the cops who busted him? Okay – total paranoia, here I come.
I croaked out a whisper of, “Ms. Ginty, I’m a citizen of Denmark. I ask to be granted access to representatives from my embassy or consulate.”
“Mr. Blaine, please," she retorted, "You're a US citizen with a criminal record who is in no position to demand anything more than the minimum required for any convicted felon.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa – she had access to my Texas criminal record? That crap was supposed to be expunged, as part of the settlement. Shit. That’s when I let a real snarl come into my voice. “Look at my personal effects, currently in the jail’s vault or whatever you call it. You’ll find my Danish passport. It has my picture in it and my signature. I became a citizen of Denmark fifteen months ago.”
She looked perfectly shocked as she asked, “You did? Why?”
I played up the pain angle with some grimaces and catches in my voice. “I have family there. And a -- a job.”
“That means you have dual citizenship. So the waters get pretty murky, here.”
I quietly choked out, “Lady, do you even know what waters we’re in?”
She gave off the barest of hesitations before she said, "Get dressed. We have to go."
Tone told me they'd pulled this same crap on him, once -- coming in while he was bare-assed, as if to put him on the defensive. Well, I didn't give a shit what the bitch saw, so I forgot the briefs and carefully forced myself into the jumpsuit, still playing up my achiness. “I need to pee, first.”
“You can do it when we get there. It's not far.”
The bitch. "Not far" wound up being five miles in Palm Springs lunch hour traffic. By the time we arrived at this blank low-slung office building, I was threatening to piss on the car's carpet, and her two bulldogs were quietly just daring me to try. I held it in.
Well, at least I now knew what Ms. Ginty looked like, and I could see why Uncle Owen had despised her. She hit me as one of those people who goes to church every Sunday and prays to god and thinks of herself as the purest of the pure even as she tears apart other people’s lives, all because those other people are the others. She probably had a husband who was her twin and maybe even two-point-five babies she’d been proud to bear in the face of the Femi-commies who wanted to abort all children and yap, yap, yap, like an excited Chihuahua.
Yeah, she had no idea what waters she was swimming in now.
Problem was, neither did I.