It was spring of 2009 and there were three of us: George (sometimes Danny), Fred (occasionally Rusty), and Lee (usually Linus). We were inseparable, rarely referred to each other by given name, and were enamored with elaborate heists and witty banter. It was soon after this that the trio broke up; college, moving, relationships, and the natural growing up that happens after high school drifted us apart. Nicknames are now rarely heard (although I automatically use them when mentioning the past) and the dreams of heisting for good remain faded dreams.
I was looking at my google docs and found a remnant of those exciting days. It was a collaborative effort, mostly Fred and George with input here and there from Lee. We had fun back then and finding it made me smile.
Three cells lined the back of the small, Arizona border-town prison; the first contained three drunks, cursing and fighting in a slurred conglomeration of spanish and english. The last held a wiry man in stained clothing huddled in the corner, wide-eyed, rocking and repeating “big, bad bat in black!” In the middle cell were two young men in well tailored suites, sitting on the combined bench/bed. Side-by-side, they appeared nonplussed by their current predicament or neighbors. The one on the right (the drunks side) was lazily observing the ceiling, his sea-gray eyes following the meandering cracks in the faded white paint. His companion was counting the cement blocks on the wall, his ginger, mop-topped head bobbing in rhythm with his soundless count. Both were apparently mind-numbingly bored.
“There are 234 cement blocks.”
“I thought so.”
Returning to silence, the first stood up and began to pace. Pacing may not be the right word; he would stride to one side of the cell, halt just before the wall, look at it surprisedly, turn heel and repeat with the second wall. This action allowed for a better examination of this personage; sandy brown hair, neatly clipped but not too short adorned his head which hung above a narrow set of shoulders. He was shorter then his companion, but not by much; just enough to give you the impression that he could fit into smaller places then he should. As he paced, lunging from wall to wall, he began to take running strides. Then, coming at the right wall, rather then turning, he simply walked up it! Pushing off the wall, he flipped, landed in the middle of the room and promptly sat down on the floor.
His companion began to clap.
“I give that a 8.5.”
He looked at his clapping partner dejectedly
“When are we….”
“Once he gets…”
“I know but….”
“Yah, we’ll see”
“Fine but next time…”
At this, the red-head gave him a pointed looks as an officer came in the cell block. Following him was a short, blond man in a dark gray suit and glasses. His wrestlers build and close cropped hair seemed out of place in the suit and glasses but he gave no sign of belonging anywhere else. The officer handed him some paperwork that he skimmed and then signed.
“Are you sure the FBI wants these guys?” the officer asked, “All they did was steal a car.”
“Smith and Johnson: Wanted in connection with some very professional robberies that took place a week ago.” the blond man stated, looking over his glasses at the officer, “I’ll be taking them to FBI headquarters in LA.”
“These kids?! Professional thieves?” the officer looked unconvinced at the two men in the cell who, at the entrance of the agent and himself, were sitting back on the bench trying to look like they weren’t listening.
“Con-men too, of the highest caliber” replied the agent.
He handed the papers back to the officer and retrieved his briefcase from the ground.
“I’ll be taking them into custody now. I you could let them out…”
“Sure. do you want them cuffed, Agent Jordan?”
“That shouldn’t be necessary” Agent Jordan replied. Looking at the two convicts, “You would try to run from the FBI would you?”
Two faces of complete innocence looked wide-eyed back at him.
The officer opened the cell and the inmates stood and walked out. Nodding to the officer as they stepped out of the cell, the red-head turned to the officer,
“Officer Tracy, Mr. Johnson and I would like to thank you for your incomparable hospitality. We would, however, like to suggest that a mint on the pillow would be a nice touch in the future.”
With that, Agent Jordan, followed by Johnson and Smith, walked out of the station, leaving Officer Tracy thoroughly confused.
“You were suppose to come yesterday, Corrick.” Smith stated as he stepped into the drivers side of the rental car. “What took you so long?”
“Yah,” concurred Johnson as he walked to the passengers side, “And why did you use ‘Smith and Johnson’? I thought we agreed on ‘Bond and Jamison’.”
“Will you two quit it.” Corrick exclaimed pulling his tie of as he slid into the back seat, “I got you out didn’t I? And the whole ‘Bond/Jamison’ was two obvious. It practically yelled ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’”
“But you didn’t” Johnson quipped, earning him a tie in the face.
Smith intervened “Guys, guys! Cor, you did a great job, thank you.”
“You’re welcome” Corrick said
Smith guided the car through town as Johnson looked over a map.
“Turn up here to get the the interstate”
Corrick looked up from a file he was reading, “So how’d it go?”
Smith and Johnson looked at each other, “it was fun” they said in unison.