Isn't Another Thin Man
However Could One Hide From A Marquee's Stigma?

     Old New York wouldn't believe words aren't written out anymore? Old would be like new doubling down on the current encapsulation trends. Except there's no other reason for this attempt than the name, Malcolm Charles. No. No one can coherently, rationally, expect to be a distant cousin of a fictional character. But when lost to fantasies, designing a life inherited from filmdom's most dedicated pair, Nick and Nora Charles, of The Thin Man fame, there's a veritable inebriated breeze, through your veins, carrying the customs of the time of old New York hotel life, where grifting was just but one of the very few games to get involved in around town. More ways to make money's how crime's gone down. All other assertions are just hocus pocus. 
     Too bad it's not just the machines we have to figure out how to get paid right. Amazing. 1952. Kurt Vonnegut nailed the nail on the head in Player Piano. And probably knew digital was the future, but society programmed on, and by, taped loops was of more symbolic importance to that era's frames of mind. All the while extraordinarily describing our frame of time, too.   
     Right. So. Under the spell of this captivating illusion of being spawned from a detection legacy, I ventured past not getting involved. Following a crime and, believe it or not, it was while taking a couple moments to cross the street and see, if I could, through a small park to what would have been the back entrance from 34th Street to Nero Wolfe's 35th Street brownstone backdoor. Unfortunate television imprinting finally, partially replaced, by picking up one of the Rex Stout novels, and I'd read the mentioning of a back way out and wanted to know what might be left of the fictional description. 
     I thought the small park was locked. But when my elbow, in leaving, grazed the gate, it, opened with a soft squeak, inviting me in. So I went. There's just a small children's plastic climbing structure and odds and ends, and plants, behind an entrance, to the Lincoln Tunnel, restraining wall. Now, obviously, Manhattan's westside's skyrocketed(ing). But when Nero Wolfe was fictionally planted, it was the era of cultivated ocean lining's last major hurrah. Now just time on your hands and fear of flying are that industry's major draws. And yes, the rock bands. And maybe Frank Sinatra's hologram's time's come. Wait till they're exactly like us. Won't that be fun? 
     So weirdly I was drawn into the Archie Goodwin sidekick role. Nero Wolfe's legman because Mr. Wolfe never left the "house." The Goodwin character that was perhaps drawn to emphasize the era's placement of women as skirts and the main pursuit. While the real writer made sure a future where their potentials weren't chained to a diminished throne anymore could come to pass. 
     At first I thought it was kids by the restraining wall in the back left corner. But it was one person wearing enough for two. 
      Anyway. Eventually my focus clears and it's one, female or male. Who's turned to make sure no one's looking as their hand instinctively brought something up from the bag that had appeared to be the other person or people. But despite seeing me, and being startled, the hand revealed the knife blade stuck to the gun. And wanting to either scream or run, I did neither, cowering before the grin slicing ear to ear across the suspect's face. 
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     It was the crooked finger, taunting me closer, that tore at whatever, was left that, could be interpreted as shielding me against getting involved. 

     To be continued

Knowing Things Shouldn't Be Dangerous

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