Tuesday, May 24, 2005


This is what happens when you’re a detective hot on the case, but your little niece has just sent you a musical birthday card, so you’re waxing sentimental:

Thanks to your faithful reading of Poe and of pulp mystery novels, you know to challenge some of the basic assumptions that your hotshot counterparts at Scotland Yard might not, namely, you acknowledge that the crime could have been committed by a giant ape and/or with an icicle—the perfect weapon.

You’re also working off a couple of situation specific hunches:

1) Writers usually keep diaries, right? So this guy must have had one around here somewhere.

2) You’re relatively certain that nobody would save that many ticket stubs and keep them stacked so meticulously in chronological order in a pile under a smooth pebble on top of the dresser unless they were trying to lead someone to something. A trail of sorts.

Finally, you stand there among the shards of glass on the uneven floor reluctant to snap on your rubber gloves and turn on that awful light that makes bloodstains visible like at a disco because deep down you hate that crime scenes are all like jigsaw puzzles that can only partially be reassembled. Like the one of Neuschwanstein Castle that you and your grandmother worked on for years on the card table out on the sun porch. There was a big patch of one of the steep green roofs missing and the puzzle lay there incomplete for years, fading in the sun. Long after your grandmother’s death you’re helping clear out the house and you find the pieces behind a loveseat—warped from where the cats had peed on them. The broken glass at your feet is from the window, which was evidently smashed while the crime was being committed. The wind is channeled fiercely through the space between the two buildings, and it’s much colder than you thought it’d be today.

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