May 19, 2008

7 Truth, Lies, and not enough Money

Between Uptown Manhattan and Downtown Harlem are many worlds. Sometimes the people from one find their paths cross with those of the other. The movie is tells the violent tale of a tragic love affair that was always doomed to failure from the opening reel.


The heavy rain in Times Square had done little to stem the flow of human beings shuffling around from street to street, heads turning every which way but loose to absorb the American icon.

Tourists, he thought. They might as well wear T-shirts with "I'm not a local" on the front and back just to make it more obvious. In contrast to the masses, Russell had his eyes firmly turned toward his objective; Starbucks. The only antidote to teeming rain is steaming coffee.

Once inside, the aroma of coffee and wet people was thick enough to be almost tangible. It took him almost 10 minutes to get to the counter.

"Tall double skim latte please."

Latte. Drink of the Wuss. Despite heavy pressure from his friends to turn to espresso, "a real man's drink," he'd stuck to his choice and joined the ranks of the weak.

He took the coffee, slipped it into a java jacket and found a seat just by the window. Just a few yard away he could make out a clutch of soaked teenagers outside the MTV studios, presumably hoping to catch a glimpse of some 'flavor-of-the-day' performer who, in a couple of years time, would be selling miracle products at 3.30 in the morning on cable TV. Taking a sip of his coffee, he took out his PDA to check his e-mail.

The case was going slow. Too slow. His client had expected some evidence by now of his wife's infidelity, but Russ had been unable to find anything of substance. Despite three weeks of direct observation work, nothing had happened. In fact, she was so limited in her social interactions with either sex he was beginning to wonder who was the one with the problem. Maybe he should switch to the 'Paranoid Husband' hypothesis, call it quits and take on a new client.

Unfortunately, not only was the case slow, but his business in general was going at the same pace. Three e-mails for Viagra, two for sex sites, and eight "hot investment tips you can't afford to miss,'"but no real prospects. He took another sip and wondered how many more lattes he could buy before he was reduced to the 50 cent fast-food "special blend." If he didn't come up with a hint of scandal in the next three days, he was back in the hole. Again.

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