Mikey pulled on his jacket and headed to the stairs to get his car from the parking garage. He had Beth’s list in his hand- the list of the final few suspects that converged with his own list, determined by real detective work.
It took him 30 minutes to get to Cole Valley and park, from North Beach. He walked up to Eric’s flat and buzzed. He wasn’t sure if the guy was in, but he knew he didn’t have a job- self-employed- so he might be. If not he’d go to Cole Hardware and check in on some local cafes. Luckily Eric came to the door and saved Mikey the walk.
“Detective McCann, I’d like to ask you some questions.”
Eric tucked is hair behind his ears and looked around the apartmnet. “Uh, OK, come on in. I was just uh, getting ready for the day, you know.” He had on pajama bottoms and a t-shirt that with a big W.
Mikey walked in and asked if he could sit at a nearby chair. He quickly scanned the room- black leather sofa, big LCD HD tv, coffee table piled with magazines, mail, and newspapers. Universal remote that could have fired a missile. Mikey brought out a notepad and flipped it to a blank page.
“So, uh, what is this about?” Eric squatted near the coffee table and gripped a large blue mug of coffee. “Oh, do you want some? I’m on like cup 10 now.”
“That’s alright. Had some at the station.” He wanted to ask what exactly the remote did. “So, let’s see can you tell me where you were the night of June 12th?”
Eric’s eyebrows went up and he stood up, put his coffee down and grabbed an iPod from a nearby surface. “Let’s see, let me scroll back. Right. Wait, let me check another site. OK, so there were a few things going on that day, but I think I ended up, yes, I went to that Opera thing.”
“Uh, I think around 9 to midnight. If you want some proof, I was playing Doom with some guys I play with in Norway. I log in and out of that, so it would show that i was here, at that time.”
Mikey wrote on his notepad: “online game- midnight. Norway guys can confirm?”
After Mikey got the names and emails of the Norway Guys, he asked a few questions about Eric’s schedule then, ” Do you use any of these social programs to organize your uh, dates and stuff?”
Eric tilted his head and regarded Mikey. “You mean, what, MySpace and that? I use MySpace, some dating sites- because I jsut want to check them out, I don’t really need to use them you know- and let’s see,” He referred once again to his palm thingie. “Upcoming, FaceBook, eVite, and Socializr.”
“Did you know about that Opera thing from Socializr?”
“I can’t remember. Not sure where I heard about it from. But here, it’s on Upcoming.”
Mikey sat in his hot car enjoying the heat prickling through his suit. He missed the beat. The rules were clear. Detective work just seemed so open-ended. It was up to him where to go, what to do. Which was fun if you were one of those kind of people that didn’t look at a job as a 9-5 meal ticket. He sighed and got out. He had parked up at the top of Montgomery and walked down the steps to Beth’s door. She was in.
She made him some tea and they sat at the table. “Well, the thing is that sure it’s on Upcoming, because Socializr is an aggregator- that means it pulls in content from other sites and displays it there.”
He left and reparked in the garage, then walked over to Trieste. Mario was working.
Mario served him his regular double cappuccino and sat at the center table near the jukebox. An old Caruso tune floated through the cafe. “Do you ever use the internet to , you know, find dates?” Mikey asked.
“Nah. But Tony does.”
Tony walked over and sat down with them. “No I don’t! Jane does. I told you.” Mikey winced. He had procrastinated interviewing her. Pretty women freaked him out.
Mikey sat in the conference room of the Gianini Bank of America building. He fiddled with his notes and pencil, scratching down some questions he’d ask Jane if she ever found five minutes of her job to…
She peaked her head in the door. “Here you are. That receptionist keeps confusing the conference room numbers.” She sat down and smoothed her skirt, and fixed him with wide, blue eyes. He gulped.
“Detective McCann, pleased to make your acquaintance.” He poked out his hand and shook, and realized too late it was quite sweaty.
“I,” his voice cracked and he tried to regain some control, “Uh, wanted to know what you were doing on June 12th.”
“I was at that thing- the Opera mixer, and I discovered the body.”
“Oh right. We have the statement. Right. Meant to ask you, do you ever date online? Or use sites to find parties, etc.”
She sighed and leaned back. “Yeah, my friends use MySpace and Upcoming to like, find out what friends are doing. Sometimes twitter. I had an ex that got me hooked on it. It’s really easy. The Yelp community was fun for a while too- like finding out where people had gone the next day, and we were all in the next restaurant. But I stopped using it lately, it just seems kind of pathetic.”
Mikey wrote down some notes: “Myspace,” He didn’t know what the other one was, but he didn’t stop writing. ” Ex-boyfriend. Yelp. ” He looked up at her. “Have you ever used something called Socializr?”
“Can you tell me when, and for what purpose?”
“I um, let’s see I think that’s how I knew about the Opera thing- I was meeting some friends there, someone was in the club and thought it’d be a new kind of like, group to meet guys in, like fresh meat and all.” She blushed, and it gave him some confidence.
“So do you usually meet guys through Socializr?”
“Not really, it’s an aggregator, like it pulls in the events that your friends ahve said they’re going to- subscribed to, like- and then you can see what everyone’s doing without someone explicitly telling you what they’re doing. It’s really good for stalking.”
She said it so easily. He was worried and got nervous again. “Are you currently, uh, stalking anyone?”
She looked at him through her eyelashes. “Uh, no, because I’m dating someone.”
Mikey gulped. He had hoped he’d had a chance, whatever small. “Tony, right?”
“Yeah. Tony. Is that a problem?” She was still looking at him in that flirty way.
Nobody warned him in cadet school about how women were once they found out you were a cop. He had thought that his dating life would get better- but what really happened is that these ladies got so weird and sex-driven when he wore his uniform. None of this romantic interest that he’d thought would be all around him. Instead it was uniform, uniform, uniform. Sosa kept telling him to date other women in uniform- nurses or paramedics- and they wouldn’t have this weird fetish hang-up. For once he’d like to be dancing with some cute Latina at 1015 and not have her run for the exit when he told her he was a cop. And for once he’d like some nice lady not to fucking freak out hormonally when he showed up for an investigation.
“Not a problem, and thank you for your time Jane.” He stood up and grabbed his nearly empty biker bag and headed out the door. He got his car from the front passenger loading zone and drove back to Vallejo.