I woke up draped over Lorraine’s couch. I was beginning to get cold
Lorraine is Dr. Lorraine Lundgren, who I have been living with off and on for the past few months. She is also a leading Sex Therapist in the Milwaukee area and sometimes I think she is using me as one of her clinical patients, which I don’t mind.
Last night she told me that my own amorality and self-interest are the cause of most of my troubles.
God knows I’ve always had some sort of affinity for gamey babes, but she is beginning to be a little rough even for me.
But that isn’t the reason I woke up with a hangover. Last night the Braves dropped the third game to the L.A. Dodgers in the National League playoffs blowing their chance of meeting the Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series. It would have been their third appearance in a row. My head was throbbing a bit from the pint of brandy I drank while cursing them as they went up in flames out on the west coast
I started the coffee and went to check if the paper had been delivered when the phone started to ring. I looked at it for a few seconds and grabbed the sides of my head, as the phone continued to ring.
Aw hell, I might as well get it.
“Who is this?”
“Who in the hell do you think it is? You called me, remember?”
“No I didn’t, I called the good doctor.”
It was Homicide Detective Harry Marshall, my friend since the third grade when he hauled off and hit me in the stomach while standing in the lunch line at Auer Avenue Elementary School. I sized him up at the time and decided it would be best if I befriended the big goof as he was at least twice my size. Now he’s three times my size and growing.
“Sure you did. What do you want?”
“Are you busy?” he asked.
“No, I’m not busy. I was just sitting here wondering what you do with little leftover pieces of soap.”
“Do you want me to tell you?” Harry asked.
“No, I have an idea what you’d tell me.”
“If you want a change of scenery, come down to the morgue I got someone you might want to meet.”
“If I want a change of scenery, I’ll go stand in my closet.”
“Your choice, wise guy.” He hung up.
Lorraine lives about thirty miles west of Milwaukee in the city of Brookfield, so it took me about an hour get to the morgue. I saw Detective Marshall and his new partner, Paulie Menjou, hanging around the coffee machine.
Harry saw me walking in and threw his cup in the metal waste basket and motioned over his shoulder with his thumb telling Paulie to get lost. Paulie threw his half finished cup in the basket and left.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Come on, I’ll show you.” Harry replied walking into the not so sterile looking “examining” room.
There was a stiff laid out and covered with a white sheet and he already had been tagged.
“Who is it?”
“Happy Beltzer, ever hear of him?”
“Yeah, sure, he’s in the clothing business. A real rag man.”
“He’s not anymore. It looks like they used the rope trick on him. They twisted the rope around his neck and then two men pulled it tight from the sides.”
“I don’t suppose you know who did it.”
“Where’d you find him?”
“At the Pfister; the sixth floor, room 6233. The son of a bitch pissed on the carpet.”
“You know it’s rumored that the Pfister is haunted maybe he walked in on a couple of ghosts in flagrante delicto.”
“Could be, or maybe he could have walked in on you and that hot doctor you’ve been plugging,”,
“I couldn’t afford to stay in the lobby let alone a room there.”
He handed me a business card. “Yeah, well, we found this in his pants pocket, Do you know where he might have got it?”
I looked up at Harry. It was my business card.