It was through thinking deeply that he lived life most intensely.
Capt. Huerta made his way to the third room on the left, with them. Though well lit, the room was filled in with unimpressive chairs, average frames for customary pictures, “those very same windows,” average desks, average chairs, his own office’s white walls, despite the tone of the texts he received; “ur gonna be meeting with a big fish. Suit the f up” was what he got at 1am. Typical.
Folger’s. He dumped a load of sugar into his morning’s depth without any remorse. He had almost gulped down half of his paper cup of still hot coffee when their explanation began.
He did not suit up, at all. Fuck that. He did better than that: he wore a varsity jacket and a hat that told them what this is all about: sharpshooter. It was a hat that Capt. Huerta was given when he won his first competition for the force, that just happened to also be the cleanest hat he owned.
There sat and stood the two men who would send him on yet another adventure, down the freeway of human sentiment that he had begun to drive up and down at 13. He had not lost his father through death at 13, but he had to suddenly reconstruct the idea and memory of his father when he realized that his mother felt sad enough to sit without speaking about life. To him, it was a question of gender, but it quickly became a question of responsibility once an almost developed understanding of human society began to kick in.
He knew one of the men, and had heard of the other, everyone had. The one he knew was smiling and the other was serious. It must be bad he thought to himself. Good thing he took his shades off walking into the building, and had not left them on in the name of getting a laugh out of someone. No, this was going to buy him a fridge, and a new camera.
A brand new, professional, camera like the one he saw at the mall. He sat without saying a damn word, as he usually does when he feels that there is going to be money involved.
Yep, this was going to cost. He decided instantly that he’ll take what they would offer. Age had taught him to not yet negotiate.
The drive to Los Angeles was long, but he got to his destination before dark. He had been offered a room to stay in in Koreatown, but he was planning to just drive back home after the deed was done. It felt better to un-holster on one’s own couch, next to pictures of family.
His first stop was Hollywood. He had to meet Ted, a lawyer, who would hand him the envelope that he was in fact two: one for himself, and one for the old man. Both were in cash, he was promised.
“Ted is pretty cool,” he thought to himself while driving toward Buffalo Billiards. He didn’t believe a word of what he was thinking as he drove towards Buffalo Billiards. Capt. Huerta, he thought to himself, and laughed.
The thing was that a Chicano (“not that we have any problems with Chicano, but,”) a viejito Chicano (fucking old man, ha-ha) at that, had cut into the market that a certain company dominated, a company that specialized in being an app wherein one can find a “taxi” at a much lower price than a taxi, O because you were riding in someone’s personal car, with an app in the form of a Mayan hummingbird that, get this, was not registered to any company. In one of the busiest cities in the world for taxi service, he was now minting gold.
How did the old man pull it off? The city of LA would not touch the old man, when asked: he did not exist. He had died in a fire on April 11, 1901, and then also on November 4, 1936, at sea. The city’s computers had messed up so bad with this man in the past that they now let him do what he wanted. The old man promised not to kill, steal, or be found in jail once.
He walked into Buffalo Billiards a bit buzzed from a bottle of Jim Beam he kept in his trunk. John Lennon was on and then Juan Gabriel. It would a quiet night, moving toward a climax: a drink, some food, and waiting for Robert Fernandez, the place’s owner.
“Are you going to kill me?”
“Why would I do that?”
“You all killed Salvador Allende, as my wife puts it…”
“That was 1973.”
“Your father named you Marcos, cabron!”
Capt. Marcos Huerta had by then turned his attention to the garage door. Kids were playing music, some sort of Hip Hop mixed with guitar.
Twisted little leaders
We were just their children
Now running a city
That we’ve made into our own
I’m noone without you
I’m noone without you
I’m noone without youuuuu
Robert Fernandez grinned.
“Keep the money. All of it.” Robert walked away, smoking his cigarette.
Capt. Huerta nodded. He could feel himself quiet down and it felt fine. He drove back in the morning instead, after sleeping in his car.
“Robert Fernandez doesn’t exist Senator.” He threw his cut on the table. He turned around and left the room.
“Good job, Capt. Huerta. Robert Fernandez was found dead last night.”
Reading the text, he remembered the old man’s grin.