Within the city that you won’t find on a ‘Best Places to Live’ list exists the ‘Double Down Saloon’. In an alley behind this bar, three very large gentlemen are giving a beating to someone in a fetal position.
The man in this unfortunate situation is Champ. A nickname which derives from his birth name. Which is something the self-proclaimed private detective refuses to share. This is the story of Champ who may possibly be a better punching bag than he is a man.
I do enjoy spending my early afternoon on the floor clutching my knees. All the while my esteemed drinking chaps continue to pummel me for something I can’t remember doing. Oh right, I think I called the big one’s mother a four letter word.
In this position it’s hard to tell which one is which. They all seem big and dumb. Their feet and hands seem to find all the meaty parts of my body despite trying to protect myself. I can’t help but reflect on how this is a direct result of my winning personality.
As I start to think a change is in order I then remember I’m content with myself. Maybe not at this moment, but usually. Pity is a thing you should not waste on me. I guess there’s a few things that needs to be said about myself. I can’t be bothered to remember everything at this moment.
The first and probably most important fact about me is I have congenital analgesia. It’s a rare medical condition which prevents my body from feeling pain or temperature. This can come in handy in situations like this. Unfortunately, it made a thing like growing up difficult.
During the melee that took place on my body I heard a loud crash, I thought they finally broke something. When it triggered the halting of my compadre’s activity I was confused. When I try to get up with the intention of dusting myself off and to pick up my teeth I realize my assailants had run off.
I walked over to the noise’s point of origin. A car is parked by the curb at the end of the alley. Crushed on top of what used to be a flat roof, was a body. There lay who-the-hell-knows-who. It’s just a mangled corpse covered in blood. Staring back at me.
I called the faceless men, those are cops. Don’t like calling them. It’s like having to get a needle in the eye for me. I realize that analogy falls short coming from me so I assume that’s what the equivalent would be.
I stand in front of the car, face bloodied, a black eye, a fat lip, and other bruises starting to form. Just staring at the body. Sounds of sirens getting louder behind him. I contemplate.
The bloody body lying a few feet away from me is a young Hispanic male in his early twenties. With his eyes still open he has a blank expression on his face, it’s kind of creepy. It might mean he was calm as he fell the 12 stories. Or he could have been on a huge high. So says the fresh heroin track mark on his right arm.
The faceless men and ambulance sirens stop in front of the crushed car as I stand on other side. They brought along a special guest to the party: a TV news van.
Tonight a WCNT news exclusive!
A young man falls to his death from a 12 story warehouse roof hitting a car. Our very own Alison Soren is on the scene… Alison?
“Thank you Kurt… I am downtown at the grisly scene of what some sources describe as a suicide. We have an eyewitness with us now. Sir, can you tell us what you saw?”
“Yeah, I was getting the crap beaten out of me until I heard that poor kid’s body smash down on the top of the car. I don’t think it was a suicide by the way.”
“What makes you say that sir?”
“How the fuck should I know? Oh wait, I’m a Marlowe. Or a private detective. If you know this poor schmuck, my name’s Champ. My office is downtown 745 Kirby street, that’s 74-”
The second thing that needs to be known about me is I get thirsty very often. I long for the sensation of the cool smooth liquid know as alcohol to go down my gullet. After all the excitement I go back in the bar to spend the rest of my money. Those new chums I made before are gone so as long as I keep my mouth shut, I’ll be OK.
Which might be difficult for me to do depending on the situation. Because piece of information number three, I have no filter. What this means is I get my ass handed to me quite often due to my mouth. I could try to change this if I wanted to, but then I’d have to care.
I sit at the bar with ice on my face wounds as I drink. This is just an emotion I go through. After spending my whole life with this ‘affliction’ I don’t consider myself a victim. Especially most of what I get into is my fault.
The ice helps with the swelling. I still need to be able to see through both eyes. It’s becoming harder to breathe. The hutch helps me ignore that problem. This is my motivation for the things I do that don’t seem to matter. In the end, I’m just pretending to feel.
This self-analyzing isn’t the issue at the moment. My mind races with reasons why that kid fell off that roof. This is the inquisitive part of my personality.
Which brings me to the fourth piece of information on the subject of me. Despite my apathy towards most things when I pose myself a question I must answer it. I analyze, question, and research until I find the solution to my equation or problem.
My curiosity and the need to solve is my OCD. It can be quite obnoxious but comes in handy in my ‘day job’.
I sometimes pay the bills as a Marlowe, or a Private Detective which is also number five on the list. When I say ‘sometimes’ I mean whenever I feel like it. When I say ‘bills’ I mean what the hell are those? As for ‘jobs’ I once did one for candy. I searched for someone’s keys. It was a lollipop, it was delicious.
That news crew didn’t appreciate the fact that I used naughty language or how I plugged my booming business. So I was cut off short. Overheard the faceless men on the scene mention how this was just an overdose. Didn’t seem like any more attention was going to be paid to this case. Makes me wonder.
This leads me to number six on our get to know your local drunk asshole. I tend to talk strangely. Mostly talking about my slang. So keep up. Take the word hutch for an example. That’s my word for the almighty sweet nectar of alcohol.
It may be pretty similar to hootch, but that is just a pedestrian word for something so much more complicated.
OK, this is a bullshit explanation for why my word is better. Then how about it just is?
That’s it, the inside scoop on yours truly. Anything else is a need to basis and you don’t need to know. Ugh, this whole experience has become cliché and makes me feel dirty.
It’s time to take my leave and head to my office to get some sleep before the blackouts come. I down the rest of my drink, say goodbye to no one, and walk out into the sun. You can imagine my surprise that all I walked out into was darkness.
My office is at 745 Kirby Street in the downtown neighborhood of Graveside. At one time this was an up and coming area with movie theaters and coffee shops.
Now what remains was once described by the current esteemed Mayor Loeb as ‘worse than bombed out downtown Bagdad.’ What’s the opposite of gentrification? That’s right, abandonment.
On the second floor of the dilapidated building is my office. ‘Champ – Private Dic’ is on the front door. I didn’t have enough money for all three words. So the painter took his frustration out by expressing how he felt about me through his art.
Spray painted below in red is the word ‘Deadbeat’. Another love note from a fan. As I open the door I almost trip over the small mountain of bills that lay on the floor. This is including the letters still stuck in the mail slot.
My right eye is closed shut. I’ve sobered up on the way here. Instead of heading to the blackouts, must sleep. Never even checked myself for anything that could be broken.
My couch smells less like a garbage dump compared to most of my office. This spot will do well as a makeshift bed. I don’t normally go to sleep without one foot in the blackouts. I have to take my chances. Until tomorrow and then doing more of what I truly do best, drink.