Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Bite Me A Love Story Chapter 9 Free Essays

9. Tenderloin If you’re looking for a great taco in San Francisco, you go to the Mission district. If you want a plate of pasta, you go to North Beach. We will write a custom essay sample on Bite Me: A Love Story Chapter 9 or any similar topic only for you Order Now Need some dim sum, powdered shark vagina, or ginseng root? Chinatown is your man. Hankering for stupidly expensive shoes? Union Square. Want to enjoy a mojito with an attractive, young professional crowd, well you’ll want to head for the Marina or the SOMA. But if you’re looking for some crack, a one-legged whore, or a guy sleeping in a puddle of his own urine, you can’t beat the Tenderloin, which was where Rivera and Cavuto were investigating the report of a missing person. Well-persons. â€Å"The theater district seems somewhat deserted today,† said Cavuto as he pulled the unmarked Ford into a red zone in front of the Sacred Heart Mission. The Tenderloin was, in fact, also the theater district, which was convenient if you wanted to see a first-rate show in addition to drinking a bottle of Thunderbird and being stabbed repeatedly. â€Å"They’re all at their country homes in Sonoma, you think?† Rivera said, with a sense of doom rising inside him like nausea. Normally at this time of the morning, the Tenderloin sidewalks ran with grimy rivers of homeless guys looking for their first drink of the day or a place to sleep. Down here you did most of your sleeping during the day. Night was too dangerous. There should have been a line around the block at Sacred Heart, people waiting for the free breakfast, but the line barely reached out the door. As they walked into the Mission, Cavuto said, â€Å"You know, this might be the perfect time for you to get one of those one-legged whores. You know, with demand down, you could probably get a freebie, being a cop and all.† Rivera stopped, turned, and looked at his partner. A dozen raggedy men in the line looked, too, as Cavuto was blocking the light in the doorway like a great, rumpled eclipse. â€Å"I will bring the little Goth girl to your house and film it when she makes you cry.† Cavuto slumped. â€Å"Sorry. It’s all kind of getting to me. Teasing is the only way I know to take my mind off of it.† Rivera understood. For twenty-five years he’d been an honest cop. Had never taken a dime in bribes, never used unnecessary force, had never given special favors to powerful people, which is why he was still an inspector, but then the redhead happened, and her v-word condition, and the old one and his yacht full of money, and it wasn’t like they could tell anyone anyway. The two hundred thousand that he and Cavuto had taken wasn’t really a bribe, it was, well, it was compensation for mental duress. It was stressful carrying a secret that you could not only not tell, but that no one would believe if you did. â€Å"Hey, you know why there’s so many one-legged whores in the Tenderloin?† asked one guy who was wearing a down sleeping bag like a cape. Rivera and Cavuto turned toward the hope of comic relief like flowers to the sun. â€Å"Fuggin’ cannibals,† said the sleeping bag guy. Not funny at all. The cops trod on. â€Å"If you only knew,† said Rivera over his shoulder. â€Å"Hey, where is everybody?† asked a woman in a dirty orange parka. â€Å"You fuckers doing one of your round-ups?† â€Å"Not us,† said Cavuto. They moved past the cafeteria line and a sharp young Hispanic man in a priest’s collar caught their eyes over the heads of the diners and motioned for them to come around the steam tables to the back. Father Jaime. They’d met before. There were a lot of murders in the Tenderloin, and only a few sane people who knew the flow of the neighborhood. â€Å"This way,† said Father Jaime. He led them through a prep kitchen and dish room into a cold concrete hallway that led to their shower room. The father extended a set of keys that were tethered to his belt on a cable and opened a vented green door. â€Å"They started bringing it in a week ago, but this morning there must have been fifty people turning stuff in. They’re freaked.† Father Jaime flipped on a light and stood aside. Rivera and Cavuto entered a room painted sunny yellow and lined with battleship gray metal shelves. There was clothing piled on every horizontal surface, all covered, in varying degrees, with a greasy gray dust. Rivera picked up a quilted nylon jacket that was partially shredded and spattered with blood. â€Å"I know that jacket, Inspector. Guy who owns it is named Warren. Fought in Nam.† Rivera turned it in the air, trying not to cringe when he saw the pattern of the rips in the cloth. Father Jaime said, â€Å"I see these guys every day, and they’re always wearing the same thing. It’s not like they have a closet full of clothes to choose from. If that jacket is here, then Warren is running around in the cold, or something happened to him.† â€Å"And you haven’t seen him?† asked Cavuto. â€Å"No one has. And I could tell you stories for most of the rest of these clothes, too. And the fact that clothing is even being turned in means that there’s lot of it out there. Street people don’t have a lot, but they won’t take what they can’t carry. That means that this is just what people couldn’t carry. Everyone in that dining room is looking for a friend he’s lost.† Rivera put down the jacket and picked up a pair of work pants, not shredded, but covered in the dust and spattered with blood. â€Å"You said that you can link these clothes to people you know?† â€Å"Yes, that’s what I told the uniformed cop first thing this morning. I know these people, Alphonse, and they’re gone.† Rivera smiled to himself at the priest using his first name. Father Jaime was twenty years Rivera’s junior, but he still spoke to him like he was a kid sometimes. Being called â€Å"Father† all the time goes to their head. â€Å"Other than being homeless, did these people have anything in common? What I mean is, were they sick?† â€Å"Sick? Everyone on the street has something.† â€Å"I mean terminal. That you know of, were they very sick? Cancer? The virus?† When the old vampire had been taking victims, it turned out that nearly every one of them had been terminally ill and would have died soon anyway. â€Å"No. There’s no connection other than they were all on the street and they’re all gone.† Cavuto grimaced and turned away. He started riffling through the clothing, tossing it around as if looking for a lost sock. â€Å"Look, Father, can you make us a list of the people these clothes belong to. And add anything you can remember about them. Then I can start looking for them in the hospitals and jail.† â€Å"I only know street names.† â€Å"That’s okay. Do your best. Anything you can remember.† Rivera handed him a card. â€Å"Call me directly if anything else comes up, would you? Unless there’s something in progress, calling the uniforms will just put unnecessary steps in the investigation.† â€Å"Sure, sure,† said Father Jaime, pocketing the card. â€Å"What do you think is going on?† Rivera looked at his partner, who didn’t look up from a dusty pair of shoes he was examining. â€Å"I’m sure there’s some explanation. I don’t know of any citywide relocation of the homeless, but it’s happened before. They don’t always tell us.† Father Jaime looked at Rivera with those priest’s eyes, those guilt-shooting eyes that Rivera always imagined were on the other side of the confessional. â€Å"Inspector, we serve four to five hundred breakfasts a day here.† â€Å"I know, Father. You do great work.† â€Å"We served a hundred and ten today. That’s it. Those in line now will be it for today.† â€Å"We’ll do our best, Father.† They moved back through the dining room without looking anyone in the eye. Back in the car, Cavuto said, â€Å"Those clothes were shredded by claws.† â€Å"I know.† â€Å"They’re not just hunting the sick.† â€Å"No,† Rivera said. â€Å"They’re taking anyone on the street. I’m guessing anyone who gets caught out alone.† â€Å"Some of those people in the cafeteria saw something. I could tell. We should come back and talk to some of them when the priest and his volunteers aren’t around.† â€Å"No need, really, is there?† Rivera was scratching out numbers on his notepad. â€Å"They’ll talk to the paper,† Cavuto said, pulling in behind a cable car on Powell Street, then sighing and resolving himself to move at nineteenth-century speed for a few blocks as they made their way up Nob Hill. â€Å"Well, first it will be covered as amusing stuff that crazy street people say, then someone is going to notice the bloody clothes and it’s all going to come out.† Rivera added another figure, then scribbled something with a flourish. â€Å"It doesn’t have to come back to us,† Cavuto said hopefully. â€Å"I mean, it’s not really our fault.† â€Å"Doesn’t matter if we get blamed,† said Rivera. â€Å"It’s our responsibility.† â€Å"So what are you saying?† â€Å"I’m saying that we’re going to be defending the City against a horde of vampire cats.† â€Å"Now that you said it, it’s real.† Cavuto was whining a little. I’m going to call that Wong kid and see if he has my UV jacket done.† â€Å"Just like that?† â€Å"Yeah,† Rivera said. â€Å"If you go by Father Jaime’s example, they’ve eaten about three-quarters of the Tenderloin’s homeless in, let’s call it a week. If you figure maybe three thousand street people in the City, you’re talking about twenty-two hundred dead already. Someone’s going to notice.† â€Å"That’s what you were calculating?† â€Å"No, I was trying to figure out if we had enough money to open the bookstore.† That had been the plan. Early retirement, then sell rare books out of a quaint little shop on Russian Hill. Learn to golf. â€Å"We don’t,† Rivera said. He started to dial Foo Dog when his phone chirped, a sound it hadn’t made before. â€Å"The fuck was that?† asked Cavuto. â€Å"Text message,† said Rivera. â€Å"You know how to text?† â€Å"No. We’re going to Chinatown.† â€Å"A little early for eggrolls, isn’t it?† â€Å"The message is from Troy Lee.† â€Å"The Chinese kid from the Safeway crew? I don’t want to deal with those guys.† â€Å"It’s one word.† â€Å"Don’t tell me.† â€Å"CATS.† â€Å"Did I not ask you not to tell me?† â€Å"The basketball court off Washington,† Rivera said. â€Å"Have that Wong kid make me one of those sunlight jackets. Fifty long.† â€Å"You get that many lights on you they’ll have you flying over stadiums playing Goodyear ads on your sides.† How to cite Bite Me: A Love Story Chapter 9, Essay examples

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