It was a great day in SanFrancisco. It was sunny and warm for a change with only a slight breeze coming off the ocean. I decided to head down to the bay and snoop around to see if I could find some well washed beach glass. I like to make mosaic animals out of the old glass. Old stuff was getting harder to come by, but I had been having some luck when the tide was out.
I was currently working on a giraffe and needed to find some leg and hoof pieces. I had already completed the piece with paper and it was ready for the transition to glass. I thought it might be a nice center piece for our new reception area once Ned and I got rolling on the reconstruction project.
When I got down to the Embarcadero I decided to detour into the Walgreens across the street from the Hyatt. Someone was following me. I had felt his presence shortly after leaving the Tin Man’s. I didn’t know if Skinny had put a tail on me or what. Kid’s can be pretty sharp when it comes down to trust issues.
When I turned around I glanced about for anyone that had stopped moving. People that are tailing you tend to go into motionlessness if their target goes still or looks around. It is some kind of natural reaction under the circumstances and is almost like a poker tell. They don’t know they are giving themselves away because they are trying too hard to hide themselves behind their tell. That’s precisely why it is a tell.
I saw three people that fit the description. I immediately ruled out one of them because he was panhandling and dressed in street clothes that had seen better days. One of the other guys was talking on a cell phone and looking in my direction. He was dressed in a blue sports coat and expensive slacks. The last guy was kind of beefy with several tattoos visible on the backs of his arms and neck. He was pretending to look in the window of the Starbucks next-door . I recognized him, he was Two-Fingers Kim, our local drug trafficker. My tail.
Kim had been in jail enough times to own a time share. Though I had never met him up close and personal, I knew of him and his destructive wake. From what I heard, he was one tough Korean. His last arrest had taken a whole precinct of cops to take him down and haul him in.
I really couldn’t think of any possible reason why he would be following me. I turned and went into Walgreens. I walked to the back of the store and went through the door marked for employees only. The delivery area doors were closed and the docking area empty. I found the exit door out into the back alley and scurried back around toward Market Street.
When I came to the corner by the cable cars, I could see him still standing there by Starbucks. He was shifting from foot to foot getting antsy. I watched as he waited another few minutes and then went inside Walgreens to find me.
I decided to abandon my project and turn the tide on Two Fingers.
He came out of Walgreens about five minutes later. I have no idea what he thought or even if he thought at all. I gave him a half block head start up Market and followed discreetly.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®