WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?! …….. PIET MONDRIAN, chapter 24
Needless to say, I didn't do the disco scene.
The three of us had returned to the Arti and I indulged in a couple---well, more than a couple---of Cognacs. I felt that I had merited the luxury no matter my financial constraints. As the adrenalin drained from my every cell and the muscles began to contract I allowed myself to be absorbed into an alcohol haze. Through the mist I could hear Hog telling Vic how he had saved the day. By tomorrow, I had no doubt, he would be telling people he had taken on all six of the aggressors and single-handedly. No matter. As long as De Vet got my return reply, everything was copacetic. We had been prepared to make mincemeat from two of the goons but had ended up facing six of them. I marveled at the results. Who woulda thinked it? I couldn't help chuckling to myself. The only downside had been that it became apparent to me that even with my bike riding I was badly out of shape. What worried me the most was my oxygen use. At the end, I was huffing and puffing to beat the band. If the fight had gone on much longer, I would have been the one worried about his goddamn balls. I appraised the situation further by taking out my tobacco and rolling a cigarette. That resulted in a coughing fit. Shit!
The next morning found me sore, but not in any pain. The hot water shower helped a lot. I thought about the day ahead. It was empty. There was nothing for me to do but wait. That was always hard. Trying killing time when you are waiting on something. The more important it is, or rather, the more uncertain the something you are expecting to happen is, the longer the wait as measured by the growing apprehension tends to be. Figure that one out if you can. What it all came down to was the I was pacing and twiddling my thumbs. I had become proficient during the last two weeks at twiddling my thumbs. I wondered if there was a world championship for thumb twiddling. Probably. Somewhere. In another universe...The ringing phone broke through my reverie. I went to my desk and picked up the receiver.
"Ah, Mr Cord, I assume you recognize the voice, so there is no need to introduce myself---"
"It would be a novelty if you did---"
"I beg your pardon, a novelty?"
"Never mind, not important ... what's up, doc?"
"'What's up doc?' I remember that from my cartoon watching days. It was Bugs Bunny that always said that. I liked him. I'm still eating carrots. Don't need glasses, so I learned something from him. But, I think, it is me that should be asking you, 'What's up doc?' Yes?"
"Why not? Go ahead ... Although, there is nothing new to report. There was a slight glitch that occurred, at our last meeting, with the man. I am now rearranging the meeting to take place anytime now---"
"Mr Cord, why does this all sound like a run-a-round?"
"Well, like I said, there was an unexpected interaction that cancelled the meeting before it happened. No one's fault. Just happened. You know, like things always happened in those old Hollywood movies? Nothing you can do about it, but work it out."
"I appreciate your nimble dexterity with the English language," and he paused, "but I would prefer a more definitive statement from you to the question: When do we see the ... stuff?"
"Any day now---"
"Mr Cord, perhaps we should talk one on one and not via the plastic and wires---"
"No, this is fine. This is good---"
"Perhaps, but I don't seem to be getting the message across ... You know, eye contact is very important---"
"Look, you have my attention if that's what you’re asking. I'm pushing all the buttons waiting for one or more to respond. I do hope to have something for you tomorrow. I would appreciate a show of a little patience."
"Okay ... A little patience, but only 24 hours worth. I will contact you tomorrow. Good day Mr Cord."
I put down the receiver. Hey, what could they do? Beat the truth out of me? Yeah, I guess they could try, but there wasn't much truth to beat out of me. I wasn't really holding anything back I just had little to give and what little I had to give was just downright embarrassing. I looked at the time, it was too early to call Mendocina, working girls slept late into the afternoon. Anyway, I had told her to call me if she had seen Bas. Then something else occurred to me, how did Mossad get my unlisted telephone number? Some things are just too easy.
Bas had called Gerard and they met, at a cafe, in his neighborhood. Bas explained what had happened. Gerard said that it sounded very scary. He said that he thought Bas had done the right thing by leaving. He said that maybe he shouldn't trust this Mendocino, but maybe he should talk to the other whore. Never hurt! So, after they parted, Bas rode his bike to the Wallen.
He was still undecided which girl he would talk to when he had arrived, but, as it turned out, he didn't have to make a decision. Mendocino's drape was closed. He looked across from her window and saw the other whore smiling at him and then she was waving him over. She had her door wide open and beckoned him inside energetically. Once inside, she asked if her friend Bert had called him. Bas told her that he had not. She seemed surprised by this. He said he wanted to talk to him and the sooner the better. She told him she would call the man and make an appointment. Where could they meet? Bas had thought for a long moment. He didn't want them knowing where he lived nor where he had his shop. He finally suggested her place. At first, she only frowned, then said it was only a small place, but then she smiled and said maybe she could work something out. It was then that he noticed she was rubbing his crotch and that he was getting hard. She had his clothes off in nothing flat. At the end, she let him stay. From time to time she had pulled the a small section of the drape aside to look out. At one point, she said it was time for him to go. When he walked out her door he looked over at Mendocino's door and saw that the drape was still closed. Maybe she wasn't there, but even if she was, it didn't matter. He unlocked his bike and rode to De Pijp.