I was there for about an hour waiting for Misty Walk. We hadn’t met but I was a fan of her work, so I knew what she looked like sitting in a giant cocktail glass without any clothes on.
The alley was dark and quiet. The way I like my coffee.
Strangers passed me every five minutes or so. I knew they were strangers because none of them said hello or asked how my day had been. Or maybe they were disinterested family members. I didn’t check to be honest.
One guy looked me up and down like I was a piece of meat. Probably a steak. But not a nice cut, more like one that looks good until you get it home and then it sticks to the frying pan and when you serve it to your wife she wonders why she married you in the first place.
‘You the detective?’ he asked.
I nodded, even though I was pretty sure there were others.
‘Misty gave me this to give to you.’ He handed me an envelope.
‘And what am I supposed to do with this?’ I asked him.
‘It’s for posting things,’ he explained, ‘Letters, cards. Anything really.’ He walked away while I examined the envelope.
Suddenly he spun ’round. My entire body tensed, ready for anything.
‘Oh – you’ll need to put a stamp on it. You get them in shops.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ I called after him.
‘My mother’s name was William,’ he said.
I smiled. That was my mother’s name too.
I turned the envelope over and studied it. Pink. Perfumed. It had Misty’s name written all over it. Which was a shame as it meant I couldn’t reuse it.
I found a bin and threw the envelope in it. And when I turned, there she was. I recognised her immediately.
‘Misty,’ I said.
She nodded, smiled and climbed out of the cocktail glass. ‘Let me just put some clothes on. And please – call me William.’