Tony drove home after work, the sun in his eyes as he crested Union Street. He swung a left up Leavenworth, then onto the sidewalk in front of his apartment. He cherished and loved every moment he didn’t spend looking for parking. He got his mail, switched on the TV and caught up on the latest NBA Playoffs game. The Warriors actually made it this year, he couldn’t believe it. Cold pizza in hand with an Amstel Light- he was watching his weight- after the Houston game ended, he was ready to head to Tony & Nik’s.
As he tromped down the Green Street stairs, he looked out to the Bay Bridge, and the greenery around him on the steps. Damn, this is a good place to get mugged, he thought. Funny phenomenon – criminals rarely climb up the hills to do crimes- so the stairs were relatively safe, or so he’d found in the ten years or so he’d lived up here.
At Green and Columbus some spaghetti strap girls, already plastered at 8pm, and smelling really strongly of some new perfume careened into him. He put his hands up, “Woah ladies, not yet! Night is young!” Laughing they ran off – probably to The Stinking Rose, he guessed.
Mario wasn’t at Tony & Nik’s yet, but Alfons, the owner of North Beach Restaurant, came in and shared a shot of grappa with him. He usually just had vodka & tonics. Some office was having a party in the back. When he asked Rodrigo the bartender about it, he said it was some get together of the Opera society, and faked a big yawn.
Tony swiveled around to check out the women in the crowd. He was surprised in their choice of Tony & Nik’s as a place to get together. A tall, blond woman with tight curves snuck up next to him and asked what he was drinking. She had a kind of twinkle in her eye, and he wondered if she was angry or nervous. It was a buzzing kind of energy. Even after a few drinks, he could feel something about her. He didn’t remember what they talked about but she ran off to be with her hoity toity friends.
Mario finally came in after his shift at Firenze- he didn’t have to work an entire night there, just a few hours during other waiter breaks. Mario liked Fernet like all the waitstaff, it seemed, in SF liked. Tony could have one or two but thought of it more like medicine.
Jane, he found out her name the last time she bought drinks for her friends, came over near the end of the evening and bought him a drink. He liked this girl, she knew how to get what she wants.
“So I’ve been wondering – why did this group…”
“The Bravo Club. Opera for younger people.” She said and sipped her drink, eyes big and wide in front of him.
“Right, the Bravo Club. Why Tony & Nik’s?”
She laughed and slid under his arm again, her curves fit perfect right up against him. “They just hook it all up on this site- it got top yelps and other events were here, and it was all on socializr. So your MySpace, Twitter, and Friendster and stuff is all on one site.”
“I didn’t understand half of what you said.”
She laughed, then said she was tired and hungry and had to head home. As they walked outside in the cold- the fog had swept in and stayed tonight- he offered her a walk back to her house. Turned out they were neighbors. She was kind of loose and giggly when he kissed her, but then they stopped, as she started to slowly scream, a groan first getting higher as they realized what they were looking at.
A guy, in his 30s, lying in the gutter. It was like the homeless person in front of Trieste, but instead, there was no blanket this time, just a guy in a button down stripe shirt, a hand flung up on the sidewalk, blood and palm face up.
Next chapter: WFH –>
(This is chapter 5- to find out more about Killerizr murder mystery series, click here.)