The End Is From The Beginning

Dec 19, 2020 Diary entry: I’m going to end this blog where it began, at the beginning of it all, Panda Express, corner booth, day 15,293 of my Murder At The Panda Express investigation into murder, murder most foul, it was a cold and rainy night, darker than usual for this time of year, I called out for Saki, lots of Saki, just then, a tall dark haired oriental lady entered the restaurant, her umbrella dripping, her dress waved like a shipwrecked tramp steamer, this once immaculate pearl of the orient now looked more like the oyster, as I scribbled some obscure notes on a piece of paper, a tall beautiful dark haired oriental lady placed a tray on the table, she bent over and whispered softly in my ear “Foo Key Yoo Paulie”, “Foo Key Yoo”, Foo Key Yoo was the name of the one eared man with the jade ear that I had been tracking, lo, these many long days, weeks, months, and years, steam escaped from the kitchen as a tall pretty dark haired oriental waitress emerged from the cloud carrying a platter, the duck on the platter was dead, just like my murder investigation, I can’t complain though, during this long tedious investigation I have ridden the crests of the sea waves like a skipjack skiff, I have plowed the ocean bottom on my butt like a dredge, I once woke up in the backseat of my car bruised and beaten in the parking lot of an abandoned industrial park outside the city, I had my chopsticks broken twice in the alley behind Panda Express, I uncovered black market squid deals that were carried out by some particularly slimy individuals, I got caught up in dirty business with an oriental man who wore a cape and had a pencil thin mustache, a mouthful of pearls that dripped light, and a cane with a silver dragon head handle on it, I took his dirty money, and I took another beating over what I considered a simple misunderstanding, I called out for another tray of Saki’s, I had thinking to do, lots of thinking, and it would take lots of Saki, my long journey into this Murder At The Panda Express murder case, and the man I hunted, took me all the way to Shing Dong China, Shing Dong was a dirty harbor town deep within the festering bowels of a diseased world where dirty drunken men stumble down darkened alleyways and sing old sea shanties, that is where I met Mr. Kim, Mr. Kim ran the Bird’s Nest Diner, slash, opium den, the finest establishment in all Shing Dong, Mr. Kim was the most powerful and feared man in all Shing Dong Prefecture, Kim had once killed a man and everyone knew it, no one ever spoke of it in anything louder than a whisper, I worked for Kim, I took his dirty money, I ran his smuggling operation until Kim’s boat sunk two hundred miles off the coast of Santa Carmelita, would I never again see Santa Carmelita, would I never again hear it’s soft music in the night air, would I never again taste it’s sweet mezcal, would I never again taste the sour and acerbic tongues of the frustrated senoritas on the plaza, the time I spent working for Mr. Kim was an especially terrifying part of my life, and I was lucky to have survived it, anyway, I thanked the pretty dark haired waitress, downed the last of my Saki, and I left the hot steamy Panda Express in my rearview mirror as I drove back to the office, I had two days to get out of my office before the new tenant moved in, I went to the file cabinet and pulled out a bottle of scotch that had been filed under C for confusion, then I leaned back in the chair at my desk and poured a drink into a dirty coffee-stained Styrofoam cup, cold broken bones of jagged light stabbed the dark room as they protruded in through the bent rusty venetian blind, an angry neon sign outside the window buzzed and flashed an ominous warning that seemed to suggest my demise, I poured another drink and my mind floated back to when I was an eager young murder investigator who had just taken on his first case, all was well in the world in those days, clues seemed to just fall out of the air, leads were everywhere, I was a hot property, everyone wanted a handsome up and coming murder investigator who knew his business, but one long unending unsuccessful hunt for an elusive one eared man brought my career to an inglorious ending, I am now a broken down old has been who can’t even find his bottle of scotch unless it has been filed properly, there is a rap on the etched glass of the office door, it’s the building owner, and he is here to show the new tenant around, he is a young handsome strapping sort who says he is opening up a new murder investigation business, and his client list is huge, well, I better get going, I never found my elusive one eared man with the jade ear, but I sincerely do hope you all find whatever it is that you are searching for, goodbye…


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