what did you do after you pulled into the station?
one of the tips I had gotten was for a hotel with a great weekly rate
that was practically within walking distance to the airport. Sure,
they're nightly rate sucked but if you were going to stay longer than
something like four nights, you'd get off cheaper just paying for the
week and checking out early.
sure enough, the tip was dead on. It wasn't a chain hotel or
anything, in fact, best I could tell it was run by an elderly couple
that probably just made it to America, but it was clean, it was in a
decent part of town and it even had a few restaurants around it and
places to shop. It wasn't a Hilton, but it would work you know?
only downside to it was that the hotel fee was more than the cash I
had on hand, I guess I'd bought too many Cds in Nashville. I ended up
having to put it on my credit card, which I knew was a huge risk, but
I figured that since I was on the other side of the continent, by the
time I'd been tracked down, I'd be long gone. After all, what was my
wife going to do, drive to California and get me?
what did you do in L.A?
a lot really. I think I got there late Sunday and my "appointment"
wasn't until Wednesday. I pretty much just spent my time either
eating, watching TV or sleeping. Well, I also did a fair amount of
planning about how I was going to spend the money, you know, start my
tell you, for a while there I had it all mapped out. I was going to
get a new identity, move to LA,, Miami or some other coastal town, buy
a nice house and start up a new life doing whatever I wanted. I mean,
I might take breaks to make runs like the one I was on, but that
would only be once in a while and to pay the bills. I just wanted a
good, easy, happy life away from the people I knew, the work I hated
and the world, I… I guess the world I felt trapped in.
anyway, to answer your question, I spent most of my time killing
that is, save your little run-in.
going to tell me about it or do I have to tell it for you?
you'd get it wrong and I want you to hear how it really happened.
Go ahead then.
at about 3 o'clock Friday, afternoon for the record, there was a
knock at my door. Thinking it was housekeeping, I answered it without
even looking through the peephole and found myself toe-to-toe with a
huge guy, something like 6'6 weighting 250 lbs., wearing khaki pants
and a bright red polo shirt. He took a look at this notepad he had in
his hand, one of those little "black books" you know, and asked
me "Are you Jake Simpson?"
of knocked back, all I said was "Huh?"
Simpson, you him?"
this point, I knew something was wrong. This guy was giving me chills
he was so cold and he had that kind of energy, you know, like a
killer almost. However, the best I could do was continue to act
surprised, "Who the Hell are you talking about?"
Simpson. You don't know anything about him?"
I don't know any Jakes, much less a Simpson," I said trying to keep
sure look a lot like this picture I got of him," he said holding up
a copy of my wedding picture.
I saw the picture, I panicked because that was when it all added up.
My wife had tracked me here and had probably sent the police after
me. I had a million dollars worth of cocaine and my wife was going to
get me arrested for something stupid like abandonment. "I look like
every white-collar American on the planet, listen, I'm here on
interrupted me, "But his credit card was used to reserve…"
don't know anything about a credit card, I paid with cash," I
the hotel manager said…"
he got it wrong alright? Now get out of here before I call the
was my great desperate bluff. You see, I still thought he was the
police and I was honestly expecting him to just reach back, flash his
badge and take me away. Still though, it was the only thing I could
say to get him to back off and I was very surprised when it actually
worked. He heard the word "police" and just shut up.
he made me real nervous. You see, he didn't say anything for a long,
long while. If he had just said something, anything, it would have
been better than staring up at his flaring nostrils for about five
minutes. Instead though, he just reached into his shirt pocket,
pulled out a card and handed it to me. I took a look at it and though
I can't remember the name or anything like that, I'll never forget
seeing the words "Private Investigator" written across the top of
it in big, bold letters.
you see anyone named Mr. Simpson," he said, "Have him give me a
call, his wife wants to speak to him about some urgent matters."
just took the card and nodded. He slowly turned around and walked
away. Heading straight out into the parking lot. Me, I just shut the
door behind him and watched him from the window. He walked out to the
far side of the lot, got into his car, a blue sedan of some kind, and
moved it to a space directly across from my room where he parked and
waited. It was so flagrant! He wasn't even trying to hide what he was
doing. He just sat there in plain view, in broad daylight, letting me
know he was there.
have been scary.
was. I knew I was in trouble right then. My first thought was to
ditch the suitcase somewhere. However, if I did that then Stan would
have me killed. Then I thought about running to the police but life
in prison didn't sound too appealing either. I felt trapped. I was
literally on the verge of just breaking down and crying. I mean, how
helpless can you feel?
did you do?
only thing I could do. I got on the phone and I got the number for
the Red Wolf Bar in Charlotte from information. There, I got the bartender and I asked
to speak to Stan. Let me tell you though, Stan wasn't too happy to
hear from me. I started out telling him that I made it to Los Angeles
ok and that everything was fine, but he kept insisting "What's
wrong? Why are you calling me?"
I broke down and said, "Listen, I'm being watched."
The police?" he barked back.
no cops." I said. I could hear him breathe a sigh of a relief. When
he calmed down enough I continued, "I think my wife has sent a
private eye to bring me back to Atlanta."
wife?" he asked.
I kind of, you know, left my wife."
did I, but she didn't sick no private dick on me."
but, you see, I didn't tell her," I said as calmly as I could.
heard him turn his head away from the receiver on the phone and
scream "Fuck!" as loud as he could. Then he put it back up to his
ear and said, "You should have told me about this shit!"
didn't think it would be a problem…"
don't think!" he shouted back at me, "You just do. I do all of
the thinking for you. You got that?"
never felt so small in my life, "Yes sir," I said in a pathetic,
Now do you know who this guy is?"
he gave me his card."
give me all of the information on it. Everything, even the fax number,
and I'll handle it."
you did it I assume?
I did. I gave him every single line, even the fax number like he
asked. I didn't know what he was going to do with it; I honestly
figured he'd just pay him off or something. You know, private eyes
are for hire anyway, they work for the highest bidder, you give them
a little more cash, and they go away. Made sense to me you know?
that's not what happened is it?
it's not. I finally got the courage three hours later to peek through
the curtain and, when I did, I saw that the car was gone. It was a
huge relief. Just envisioned that private investigator getting a call
on his cell phone offering him twice the money if he dropped the case
and him speeding off into the night. Seemed logical enough to me you
never even considered that, well, this would happen.
what exactly is "this"?
next morning, I was woken up early by blue lights outside my window
in the parking lot. I looked out the window and saw a whole bunch of
cops around the hotel dumpster, they were pulling out a body and,
from where I was, I couldn't see the face or anything, there wasn't
much mistaking that bright red polo shirt.
it was him?
it was him. I heard about it on the morning news a few hours later
and I was just waiting, just waiting for the cops to come knocking on
my door. I mean, how suspicious can you get? Finding the body of a
private eye in the dumpster of the hotel of the guy he was tracking.
That's beyond suspicious.
worst part was that I couldn't leave, I had nowhere to go and all I
could do was sit there and bite my nails, waiting for the knock that
I knew would come. Again, I was trapped.
didn't you just go to the police and turn yourself in?
that point, I felt like I'd killed him, like it was my fault you
know? Sure, I didn't know what Stan was going to do, but any idiot
could have figured it out. I mean how stupid am I really? If that
wasn't as plain as fucking day, I don't know what is.
I wasn't about to turn myself in but I wasn't about to run. I figured
that if the police wanted me for questioning, it'd be best to let
them come to me. After all, I didn't see anything, I didn't hear
anything, and maybe I could just go about my business and play
oblivious just a little longer.
though, must have been tense.
just it. Even though it was tense as Hell, this time I was too angry.
I honestly wanted to strangle Stan. I'd called him for help and what
did his guys do but make things worse. I mean, they dumped the God
dammed body in the hotel dumpster, not that I wanted him dead in the
first place. For a few thousand dollars, this guy probably could have
been on his merry fucking way and they instead decide to kill him and
leave his corpse maybe fifty yards from where I was standing. It was
like they were trying to get me arrested.
I could have killed him right then, I really could have?
knock never came. I just sat there and watched the news unfold. By
something like eleven o'clock they were calling it a "drug-related
killing", whatever that means, and said they had pictures of
suspects, two black guys that looked nothing like me.
were off the hook.
as off the hook as a guy carrying a million dollars worth of cocaine