I could barely see the Home Depot parking lot through the soupy mist as I watched Skinny make his way off to becoming a boss. I had told him to take his time, that he should engage as many of the guys as it took to find four of them he felt he could trust to work with. His head was high, his shoulders back. I was pleased at my choice.
Ned had fallen into the rhythm of things and was willing to oversee the remainder of the demolition of his old dreams and the construction of a new one. It was what he needed to halt his descent into bitterness. The sense of purpose would serve to make him ambitious and young again.
I headed toward Market Street. I had to put my attention back on the Vulture. It was important to pull him out of the dirty water before he got himself in too dark and deep. Guys like Two Fingers Kim didn’t let go easily. I needed to find a way to get leverage on Kim or I’d have to orchestrate getting him arrested with the goods.
It was a busy Saturday on Market Street even at 9:00 in the morning. The fog was not a deterrent for the tourists, it was part of the ambiance of San Francisco. I figured I’d catch up with Two fingers if I just parked myself somewhere inconspicuous and waited. I chose the bus stop near Fourth, it was busy enough for camouflage and I could keep an eye on both sides of the street.
I wasn’t disappointed, only twenty minutes had passed when Kim and the Vulture ambled by me without even a glance. The kid looked out of it, he was either hung over or he had already indulged for his Saturday deliveries. For the moment, the two of them were empty handed, so I figured they were headed up to the apartment building in the Tenderloin to fetch the dope. I still didn’t have a plan, but I was hopeful of catching a flash of brilliance on my way to grabbing a doughnut and coffee at the Tin Man’s.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®