The Next Day Part 11

May 25th, 2012 by Wordsman

Escobar didn’t know what a jib was, but he liked the cut of Peter Hamlin’s.  He approved of the move of bringing the old woman a muffin, which he immediately recognized by sight and by smell as a Gingerberry Jazz (since the previous fall he had expanded his dining options at the Dough-Re-Mi.  He had even eaten a scone once or twice.)  He thought that the kid’s handling of her was firm but fair; like a champion jockey, he seemed to know when to push and when to pull back.  Most of all, though, he appreciated the fact that Peter’s presence was getting the woman to reveal the mystery of who she was and what she was doing there.

Escobar wasn’t really supposed to be there.  Mrs. Escobar was under the impression that he was out grocery shopping.  Plus, if he were to be recognized by either the woman or the kid, it could lead to a lot of awkward questions.  Fortunately, he had the perfect disguise: a police uniform.  Or rather, the lack of a police uniform.  In Escobar’s experience, when he was in plainclothes he could walk straight up to someone he saw every day while on duty, say “Hello,” and still not be recognized.  It was better than Clark Kent’s glasses.

But even if he had been in uniform, even if he had been on duty, even if his radio was telling him to get to the other side of town on the double or risk losing his badge, he still would have been down there.  Although he had given up on ever finding out the woman’s secret, he had never truly forgotten about her.  He had to know.  And now that he knew, he had to help.

After listening to their conversation, Escobar had an idea.  It was a wild, foolish idea.  It would never work in a thousand years.  It would irritate his wife, possibly cost him his job, and in all likelihood accomplish nothing.  But he was going to try it anyway.

Despite this mad plan, Escobar might have been comforted to learn that he was at worst the second-craziest person in Simon Park Station that morning.

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