On this morning, I am drinking cold coffee, listening to the pigeons coo and make love on my window sill. Down Geary Street, a man is ranting passionately, but I cannot make out what he is saying. A car growls in my ear, and there is the odd whistle or siren. Soon it will be Noon, and an insistent recorded voice, over-miked and over amplified, will shout: "THIS is a Test! This is A TEST!" I've been listening to him for several years, but I don't understand what I'm supposed to know or do.
Macresarf1 lives in the belly of San Francisco. He calls his digs "The Miles and Irma Archer Memorial Information Center."
If you've read Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, you know that Private Investigator Sam Spade, a quintessential anti-hero of the last century, was having an affair with Irma Archer, his partner's wife. The plot of this seminal detective novel thickens when the partner, Miles Archer, is murdered above what is now the Stockton Tunnel . . . with his own gun.
John Huston's film adaptation of the novel, also considered by some seminal in the matter of Movie Film Noir, dramatizes the immediate aftermath. Sam (Humphrey Bogart) has just viewed Miles' body lying at the bottom of a hill on Stockton Street. He is on the phone to Effie, his secretary, and he says something like this:
"Effie, Miles has been shot. . . Yeah. Get down to Irma's. Yeah. . . Yeah. You know where it is. Corner of Leavenworth and Geary."
So that's about where Macresarf1 lives: "The Miles and Irma Archer Memorial Information Center."
And this chilly San Francisco morning, he is drinking cold coffee.
He will soon call an agency about a matter of "stolen identity."
All is quiet but for distant life and death.
Causes Alex Fraser Supports