Deck had just leaned back in his malfunctioning rocker and tilted the last golden drops of the JTS Brown from the glass. A glass he took from the motel the night before. What was that girl's name? It sounded like Mona, or was that just 'cause of the noises he had her making around 2 AM? Ah, who cares, he thought. Just another brick in the wall, or a notch on the bedpost, or whatever.

There'd been so many Mona's and Jessica's and Deborah's that he couldn't even remember the smell of one broad from another.

The sign on the door said, "C. Deckard Coffield - Private Dick." He liked to be known as "Deck," but there was always some smartass that wanted to fish out his first given name ("Carrie") and start up with the girl shit. He'd about had it up to his prostate gland with that crap, but it always came out at the worst time. He'd thought about changing the "C" to something else, but his mom was still alive and he figured he'd wait 'til she took the dirt nap to mess with it.

The sun was filtering in at a low angle through the venetian blinds, and he was about to light up another unfiltered Lucky Strike, when he saw the shadow of some feet under his office door. He stayed real still, worried that it might be Mona (or whatever her name was) come looking for her VISA card. But when he heard a man's knock at the door, he said, "C'mon in; it's open."

A thin Oriental guy walked in, peering around as if he was afraid a Cobra was going to bite him. He looked young, but then again Deck could never tell age with Orientals. With WASPs you could usually tell by the hands, Deck mused, but not with the yellow peril.

Deck said, "C'mon, c'mon, man. The chair's right here. Sit your ass down and tell me what's up it?"

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