« on: May 29, 2014, 11:53:24 pm »
Dominic Carrasquillo, with his slicked back hair stained deep enough brown under all the product to be black, with his solid frame and decidedly Italian and Spanish genes, did not look like a financial crimes investigator. He didn’t even look like a cop. He didn’t necessarily look like a criminal, but if Dom told a person he was a busboy at a fine eatery on Federal Hill that did errands for his employers from time to time, said person might not be surprised. Some part of the investigator in Mike, what little of it there truly was, instinctively expected of Dom a difficult interaction. The man simply put forth that vibe.
“Your man’s seen better days,” Dom said. Even this had a way of sounding like a challenge, coming from this man.
Mike didn’t say anything. His hands rested on his hips with his shoulders bunched up, leaning forward a bit. His eyes were squinted. He didn’t respond to Dom but looked around Prospect Park as if expecting Sid to pop out from behind one of the bushes.
“Was he hurt,” he asked finally.
“Nah,” Dom said, “he wasn’t hurt or nothing.”
“So then seen better days how? Was it his clothes? Were his clothes ruffled up? Did he look like he’d slept at all in the last couple of weeks? Come on, Dom, help me out here.”
“I don’t know what you want me to tell you, Mike. Sid looked like Sid. Cheeks all red and pocked, tiny little suspicious eyes, kinda bald - Sid. Just Sid that ain’t all there.”
Mike sighed, nodded. “Alright, so he was preaching.”
“Yeah that’s what I’d say.”
“Preaching how, then? Crazy man on the street corner preaching? Hellfire and brimstone pastor preaching?”
“Nah, not like that,” Dom paused. His hands rested in the pockets of his jeans and he brought one up to scratch the back of his head. “You ever watch TV late at night maybe ten, fifteen years ago, early 2000’s.”
“There used to be this guy, pitching his book, wild gray and brown hair standing up, big eyebrows, scrawny dude in a green suit with question marks like he was dressed up as The Riddler or something. He had some tried and true method in this book of his for making money and he was real over the top about getting it out there,” Dom made eye contact with Mike and tilted his head back a bit, “you ever see that guy?”
Mike had. He always had these big thick glasses on him and had a girl or two close by in every shot of the commercial. “Yeah I remember that guy.”
“That’s how Sid was preaching. He was a used car salesman, high on the pitch. What was he talking about anyway? You’re acting like you know already.”
“Trust me, Dom, you don’t want to know,” Mike turned to the park exit and pointed at the street sloping downhill with his chin. “So he just walked off that way, calm as could be? Would be, what, two hours ago now?”
“Yeah. That’s all I saw of him. Look, you need any help, or - ?”
“That’s alright, Dom,” Mike grinned at him, “wouldn’t think of putting you through it. You remember how much a pain in the ass Sid could be.” He held out his hand. “Thanks.”
Dom took it and crushed it like a scrap of paper. He smiled back and even the smile was a fight. “Don’t mention it.”