I, of course, worried after I fell in love that I would lose my edge. Edge is everything in my business. Love blunts every edge; I don’t care who you are. It’s cruel if I don’t stay sharp, razor sharp. If I take a swipe at someone and my edge has been blunted, well let’s face it they suffer. If I’m not hampered by the preoccupations of love, that swipe is painless, goes without a hitch, you’re dead before your mind can reach even the idea of pain.
Yes, I’m a professional.
I was in love once before, years ago when I was young. I mean, you know love. I can’t help what I am, I can’t. She didn’t understand and she moved to Milwaukee. I was devastated. I think that disappointment was what gave me my edge. I wanted to hate her, I really did but I couldn’t. Years later I had a job in that area and I looked her up. She was still fine and she seemed happy. I said hello and she seemed edgy, a little scared but okay. Next thing I know she’s in Green Bay, then she’s in St Paul and divorced. I called her a year later, you know just to check on her, make sure she was okay. She was in Seattle. I point blank asked her if she wanted me to look up her ex-husband and she said no. She was emphatic about it, so I didn’t and I won’t. She’s in Tokyo now, seems to be doing alright.
I met my new lease on life during an emergency room visit in Chicago. One of those big hospitals. I had run into a little bit of a problem in New Albany, thought I was okay but started running a fever while vacationing in Chicago. I love that city; Chicago. Anyway, I met Alice there.
Alice is tough as nails and hates her name so I call her Honey and Babe and things like that. She’s an ER nurse and man, some of the stories she tells makes my skin crawl. I mean she’s seen shotgun wounds, and people beaten to a pulp. Then there are the car accidents and the scum of the earth who hurt their kids. I was in tears one night; I don’t know how she stays sane.
She’s beautiful too. Clean. Her hair is always glossy and she doesn’t fan out on the makeup; a little liner, when I’m in town she puts on a little mascara, a little lip gloss. I can still see a few freckles across her nose. So sweet, so dedicated.
I, of course, tell her I have no family. I’m not an idiot, I keep her well protected. I am human; some may doubt that but I am very human. She loves to read old novels and I’m starting to understand why. I like The Portrait of Dorian Gray and The Invisible Man – man can you imagine how I can relate?