Exits and Alibis. It’s a 6.

Began with “Veronica”. Followed up last week with “Just Got Complicated” and now….
Let’s go for a hat trick!

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It’s not easy finding a cab at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning but Lady Luck had my back.

I’d put in a couple of blocks between me and the Claridge (didn’t need a late night high roller fingering me as a suspect once the investigation into the stiff upstairs began) when I spotted the yellow of a Plymouth Deluxe, her front bumper shining through the fog like a lifeboat on the ocean. As the cabbie pulled away from the Boardwalk towards Atlantic Avenue, I relaxed and pulled a Luckie from my jacket pocket (the pocket where a stash of money should be), my mind playing 20 questions beginning with why was I set up to take the fall for the murder of some schmuck I’d never seen before.

You didn’t need to speak French to know the term “femme fatale” and the babe I got tangled up with last night definitely put the “fatale” in the “femme”. She wasn’t just after the cash, that was bonus, this was about the guy got snuffed but who was he?

It was no secret the rivalry between the East and West coast crime families had been heating up for a while, but why would an underboss like Sid Solemi be messing with a caporegime like Jimmy Muldoon?

40 39 Steps Film Noir ideas | film noir, film, noir

Just Got Complicated. It’s a 6.

I came to in a hotel room with the stench of a dead body stand in for smelling salts.

Three times the size of my walk-up in the “Heights”, sophistication and refinement written all over it, this was no rent by the hour room; I needed a cigarette and reached for the inside of my jacket only I wasn’t wearing my jacket, it lay neatly folded over the back of the loveseat facing a massive window high above the sidewalk with a view of the… the ocean? A little unsteady and a lot pissed off, I moved towards couch and cigarettes; as I passed the mahogany writing desk, it’s chair neatly pushed in, the hotel’s letterhead caught my eye: “Welcome to the Claridge, Where Everyone’s Treated like a Star“, Atlantic City, New Jersey – the Claridge was easy 20 miles from the Starfish Lounge.

I grabbed a cigarette ignoring the dead guy on the floor, knife deep in his chest, took a drag deeper than the Hudson River Canyon and re-ran the footage from last night at the Starfish. We both drank a lot, me whiskey, her, gin martinis; I remember it was around 2 a.m. because I’d looked at my watch figuring I better leave to make the drop to Jimmy’s; no sooner had I looked up she was leaning over me, softly whispering in my ear, cleavage teasing just as quietly, daring me to pull her closer – next thing I know we’re hailing a cab; after that it was lights out, bubba.  

Now I’m standing in a high dollar room at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City with a case of amnesia, a dead body, a missing woman and a missing envelope of cash… I needed to improvise a plan and fast.

Classic Film Noir in the Criterion Collection | cinema cities

 

After the smoke cleared…there was a 6 Sentence Story!

Hello and welcome to GirlieOnTheEdge. I missed last week and maybe the week before but today? I’ve managed to scrape up enough letters to whitewash them onto this virtual board and, amazingly enough, qualify to participate in Zoe’s bloghop, Six Sentence Stories. More specifically, I’ve enough letters to make up 6 sentences. Those are the rules. Write 6 sentences of any length, rhyming or not, prose, poetry, fiction or non, just so there’s 6 of them. And oh yeah, you have to incorporate the weekly word cue (or is that weekly cue word?). This week’s word is “smoke”.

Come on! Give it a try. Me? I find it ridiculously challenging. But it is fun and if you can forget yourself for a short time or however long it takes to write a six sentence story, you just might discover something new about yourself! The best part is making the rounds and reading the other stories. I promise you, you will be amazed and impressed and if you’re like me at times, even a little depressed, lol. But practice makes perfect so there’s no time to waste 🙂

Image result for film noir cigarette smoke

I woke up that morning without a clue of what it was, something was waiting for me like an unwitting getaway cab doomed to stall in cross town traffic.

I smiled at the thought, not about the getaway cab, but those 3 words, “cross town traffic“.

Thank you Jimi, so many of your lyrics are etched, diamond on glass, into my psyche, not even Sigmund Freud himself could figure me out, at least not today.

What’s the old saying, the one about “when the smoke clears”, when you get to see just how close a game of dodge ball you’d been playing?

I took another drag of my cigarette, lovingly held by a tight lipped grin, and stepped confidently off of the curb.

Never saw the bus coming….

Anniversary of Stepping into the Unknown …

“Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 5:59 am….Couldn’t get up when the alarm went off at 4:15… One year ago today, I was nervous and anxious about leaving for Virginia. Tomorrow will be one year ago that I left…For a new life. To make a new life for **** and Zoey. Only Zoey didn’t make it. I never saw Zoey again. I almost did at Thanksgiving. The fucking Thanksgiving from hell. A testament to how a person can be blinded by the type of life they are living…What are the blinders in life? Can we see them when we need to? Is it only in retrospect that we are able to learn? Lifestyle and options. When there are no resources, there are no options. Without options there are no choices. Without choices….we succomb to “blindness”. The particular type of shortsightedness that prevents us from seeing the paths that are there, have been there but for our own “blindness”, our own self limitation.”

October 22, 2013. One year ago today, one year ago this morning, I left my little family in Florida and drove myself 800 miles into a new TimeLine. I left because I had to. I left because my will created an opening. And because the Cat heard me and showed me the way. I did. What I had to do.

It was the thing that would “save” us. It was an opportunity to escape a certain train wreck, the magnitude of which would leave no survivors. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  I was one half of an intelligent, hardworking, professional and talented couple. In spite of that, life had gotten out of hand. Sometimes there’s no stopping the avalanche.

I will not forget that morning. I’d gone to bed around midnight. Setting the alarm for 3:30 am, I’d only gotten a few restless hours of sleep. I will not forget Zoey and how she didn’t quite know why we were up at that ridiculous hour when all good dogs and people should still be sleeping. I will not forget her 3 hours later, lying in her spot in the foyer by the front door once again, asleep. For her, the excitement of getting up in the middle of the night was over. I will not forget bending down and stroking her head and telling her goodbye. To be good and that what I was doing was for her. And that one day soon the 3 of us would be a family again. I will not forget walking over the threshold of the home we’d known for the last 10.5 years and wondering: what will she be thinking when I didn’t return? How long will she wait for me? Will she think I abandoned her?

As a clark, I’m susceptible to the occasional emotional ambush. As a people, we are normally in total control. Except when we’re not. As this Anniversary crept closer and closer, I found myself catching a glimpse of  something – movement – just beyond the border of the “woods”. I was in danger of being overwhelmed with sadness. With a sense of failure. And a tremendous sense of loss. You see, the “saving” came with a large price tag. The cost? Zoey. Her life was the ultimate price paid. She never made it to the “new world”. I didn’t know that morning, October 22, 2013, would be the last day I would ever see my baby. Touch her. Talk to her. She who gave me the strength.

How do you reconcile the acknowledgement of, the celebration of, the incredible feat of jumping TimeLines while simultaneously mourning the loss that accompanied that feat? Why do I feel utter failure? Why do I give all that was lost, power of/over all that was gained? Power of/over all that still potentially can be gained? How do I unsee the sadness? How do I accept the loss of the life that was when the life that is is not what it should or could be?

Once upon a time, I became a positive person. Once upon a time I evolved into a person who believed in the ability to achieve the seemingly impossible. So how is it that today, I cannot find a way to celebrate my achievement? Why is it that today, I struggle with coming to terms that my dog is dead, Man is still 800 miles away, the life I lived from 2003 -2013 is a distant memory and that life is not as I would have it?

I remind myself to look 3 feet to my left. I remind myself to use death as an advisor. I remind myself that it is my responsibility for how I live life moving forward. I’m not living the life once dreamed. In fact, no dreams have been realized. That is my cross to bear. But it boils down to choice. Always, there is choice.

On this, another day of opportunity, I would tell my younger self: look! see what you are capable of accomplishing. Do not hesitate. Do not wait. Identify that which is most important. Fight for what you deserve. Look to your own self and live the life you want. One day, it will be too late.