She is lithe, but don't let those long legs fool you pal. I've seen them wrap around bigger than you and not let go. I was on the hunt for a phoenix, indestructible, rising from the ashes before the flames died out. Eight identities in three states, and she was starting to make Houdini look like an amateur. The last name I had to go on was Owens. Dorothy Owens and she's a blonde now.
I pulled the convertible to a stop just outside the seedy motel on the north side of town and waited. The day is halfway done and the sweltering sun beats down on my sunroof, as the fat manager does a lazy afternoon stroll along the dilapidated banister of the second floor. He's melting in the heat, and he slides a dirty handkerchief across his sweaty brow like a towel through caked mud. There was no sign of a maid or a pool
I'm pretty sure it's her, by the way, he circles unit 24. There are only 24 rooms in this joint, but that one has to be hers. She's too good for a place like this, but no one will ever bother inquire what her name is. I loosen my tie and unbutton my top button. He's gone to that door five times already. This time he's carrying a bucket of ice. . The door slides open just a hair, and from my window I catch a glimpse of her silhouette at the front door. Still not enough to be certain. I think about flashing a badge, but this geezer will probably just tell me what I need to know.
I wait for the door of her room to close, before I straighten my tie, and exit my vehicle. For some reason, I'm counting steps. It's exactly 38 steps from the street to the office. It's cool there. That's got to be her room. There's a slow-moving fan circling above me, with the air conditioner on full blast. The plant in the corner is fake, just like everything else in this office. There's a table in the center of the room, with a couple of discarded cigarette butts. They've long since burned to the nicotine powers that be.
I'm admiring the pamphlets on the bookshelf when the manager returns smelling like a puppy that's been outside far too long. Her perfume lingered in the office hooked my nose and pointed in that direction.
"What will it do you pal?" He asks, already taking liberties. "I charge 2 dollars a day, and I run a clean establishment. It's not much to look at but it will do. If you play your cards right, I might be able to hook you up with a discount." He softens it with a wink.
I don't know whether to take him up on his offer or inquire, but it's too hot outside to continue being well done in my car, so I entertain him for a minute.
"I might have to take you up on that. You got any special guests?. " I ask helping myself to his guest register. It's loosely scribbled in, but I recognize her handwriting. He shrugged clearly uncooperative. This time she was Vicky Adams.
"Nobody special. What's it to you?"
"Just a guy looking for something quiet," I say handing him three dollars. He passes me a room key and I stuff it in my pocket. I'd put it on the expense account I didn't have and hope to see it back one day. The number 18 is on the lanyard. It will be good to get out of the frying pan for a couple of hours. My mind is still on #24. I've an itch I've been meaning to scratch. She starts at the base of my skull and creeps around in my head until I feel like splitting my skull open just to find out what makes her tick.
Is it all in a dame's work or does she just have really terrible luck? I walk back to my car, do a once-around, and then pretend I know where I am going. The distance from my room to hers forms an L. Lucky or looser? I wasn't going to find out just then. I enter my room and search for the inhabitants. The little bed bugs that want to crawl up and whisper sweet nothings in my ear at night. Fortunately, I didn't find any. I turn the air on full blast. It's a small room with a queen-sized matress and running water in the bathroom.
Now, I just had to wait for her to make her move. She'd be out tonight. I just have to wait for nightfall when all beautiful nightmares roamed free.