This little tete-a-tete with his old pal, Frank, had made Deck sit and think about his whole situation. The first thing he came up with was, "Man, I gotta piss real bad!" After shaking hands with the unemployed, he staggered back to his seat at the bar, still a bit flatfaced after the encounter. He drained his glass through the side of his mouth that was still working and said to himself, "I'm gonna go find out just what the hell that little book is all about. I'm sick of this nickel and dime bullshit. This'll probably either make me or kill me, but I've got to make a change."

Singing "New York, New York" at the top of his lungs (the Babs version, not Sinatra's) he threw a twenty from Frank's wallet on the bar to cover his $19.50 bill and high stepped to the door.

When he got back to his office building, he parked two blocks away and walked in the shadows to survey the situation. There didn't seem to be anyone around, but he'd be damned if he was walking in there. This thing had gotten bigger than Jerrold Nadler's waistline, and caution was the word du jour.

Deck noticed that there was a cleaning lady pulling some keys out to get into the office building right next to his. He sauntered over to her, coughing as he got near, so as not to disturb her. "Evening, ma'am. Are you the lady who so kindly cleans our offices each night while we're at home with the wife and kids?"

Shaniqua (as her badge said) looked him up and down, from fedora brim to Miami Floaters, and said, "Wat da fuck you talkin’ bout, you craker motherfucker. Yo, whitbread, you needs to be gettin' on up outta my goddamn face 'fore I get all fuckin’ wild an put a cap in yo mofuckin’ ass. Don't front! I am not kiddin', homie G!"

This sort of language made Deck feel romantic. He took off his hat, held it in front of his crotch, and softly said, "Shaniqua, guess what I have for you here?"

She looked down, and Deck slowly pulled the hat forward. Her eyes got big. She said, "Straight up, if you got one on you bigger dan what I done just got from T-Slurpy, we gonna have to talk about dat inside."

After he got into the building and thoroughly disappointed Shaniqua, both with the girth and length as well as time of performance, he made his way up the stairs to the roof. He could hear Shaniqua's plantiff wails behind him. It sounded something like, "You pencil-dicked motherfucker!"

He climbed out onto the roof into the cloudy, cool night air. He stood there looking over at the roof of his office building. Without thinking too much about it (except cleaning off his bruised member with his handkerchief and flinging that aside), he began to run. As he reached the ledge and took that last fierce leap, his only thought was, "Goddamnit, that bitch took Frank's wallet while I was porking her!"

His face hit the side of the building first. Instinctively, he threw up his hand, as if (in an earlier life) to say, "Can I please go to the bathroom, Mrs. Finch?" Luckily, his hand caught a steel rod that was sticking up from the ledge. After regaining as much consciousness as a man who has already been through 4 pints of bad whisky in 8 hours possibly can, he pulled himself to the roof.

It was no trouble from there to retrieve the book. He took it back to the roof and opened it under the light by the roof door. It was pretty much as he'd remembered it, the stories of Kim Li's imiginary dalliances with the stars, but as he got toward the end, he felt something in the binding. He used one of his broken fingernails to slit the back cover open. Out fell a CD.

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