2 Apr 1959
Federal Bureau of Investigations
New York City, New York
Green eyes, Harvey. She has green eyes.
That was what my co-worker had told me. I didn’t get it until now.
A quarter past five in the evening, and already my air conditioner decided to die on me. Great, just great. Working at my desk in this hell of a heat sure made it hard as hell. The bigwigs who gave me this joint didn’t even bother hiring grease monkeys to fix the broken temperature knob! How cheap of them.
I scanned my surroundings with the eye of an art critic. I had high ceilings above me. Wooden panels before me. Tall glass windows to the left of me. Warm lighting all around me..
With all the funding that J. Edgar Hoover apparently reeled in for the FBI, he could at least make these pigeon-holes look a little more colorful. Mine had nothing but fifty-something shades of black and blue furniture. They blended in too well with the dreary tan and brown of the wooden-paneled walls. The only good splash of color came from the Modernist art paintings that littered all the walls. All this pretentiousness made my workroom look more like a Guggenheim exhibit than an FBI field office.
This stuffy heat made my hair feel like greasy brown ink. I smoothed it back to its left-sided part as best as I This stuffy heat also made my hair feel like greasy brown ink. I smoothed it back to its left-sided part as best as I could. I took off my tan suit jacket. I hung it over my brand new, swanky Eames Aluminum Group Executive Chair. Now how the hell did I remember this word vomit of a brand name? Hah, thank those pretentious hipsters for it! I eased further into my chair, loosened my brown shirt tie, rolled up my shirt-sleeves, rolled my chair closer to my desk, and got down to business.
I stared at my desk calendar. I couldn’t believe that April had arrived.
I turned 30 last December with no end in sight to my bachelorhood. I didn’t think I looked bad for someone who’d always been ‘volun-told’ to do physical training. Hell, I got the looks the broads drooled for, too. Or, at least I liked to think so. Those chicks always mentioned that I looked like “a hazel-eyed Gregory Peck in his prime”. Well, they at least said something along those lines.
My looks only went so far in erasing my poor track record of going steady. Working almost 50 hours a week as a G-man gave me no time to settle down. It’d been hard to go steady with any birds outside the field. Yet for some reason, I always landed in trouble with a gun moll or two. The last gun moll I got involved with left a sour taste in my mouth.
In fact, she left a taste so sour, I wanted nothing to do with love after meeting her. I didn’t need another flashback to her death. I didn’t need another reminder about her whole Trafficante Crime Family drama. I didn’t need to see the names, ‘Ileana da Silva’ and ‘Santo Trafficante Jr.’ together with the words, ‘mistress’ and ‘murdered’ in the headlines.
It’d also been hard to go steady with women in the field, not that there were many women in the FBI to begin with. J. Edgar had a problem with them working as special agents. He deemed them too unsuitable. He thought that they made better secretaries.
Not too long ago, I got a nice, fat bump in my paycheck. Nice enough to move up the GS pay grade for once. Nice enough to get a nicer work area. Nice enough for me to get the hell outta Brooklyn, too. Nice enough for me to get a nice pad in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Maybe that’d help me get some nice girls to go steady with. Now if only I had a warmer welcome into this new office setup. Warm indeed, ha!
I’d been working at the New York City branch for two years. I’d been a Special Agent for four. I’d been there in wretched hives for mob shakedowns. I’d done that while trapping Soviet spies on domestic soil. My team and I'd done a good job of shaking down KGB moles from the ‘Hollow Nickel Case’. We’d done it better than that hack rival of hours, the CIA. We’d done it so well, we’d made headlines in ‘57 with Rudolf Abel's capture! We’d even done well enough for the public to trust FBI ‘G-men’ over CIA ‘Company’ men.
I stared at the stack of paper on my desk. I gawked at the stale beer next to it. The former looked like it begged to be read. The latter looked like it wanted to be left alone. I gave in to the former. I checked the first few pages.
The top of page 10 had some wallet-sized picture paper-clipped to it. The black-and-white pic showed nothing but a mugshot of some scraggy wise-guy. His face also screamed, ‘wise-ass’. Hah.
Tony Bender, the file read.
This chump became my lead for the Genovese Crime Family case I’d been working on. I’d be going after him in a few weeks or so. Hopefully, he’d be enough of a schmuck to spill the beans on the Genovese boss.. I needed to meet my main contact first and get a debriefing.
My boss provided me the dossier of a person who’d be useful in the Bender case. The dossier laid somewhere in the bottom of the paper pile. I searched for it and pulled it out.
The dossier had a lady pictured on the top left side. She had a more colorful headshot than that Bender chump. She looked swell for someone in plain threads. She kinda looked like Veronica Lake, what with that deeply parted look she had going on. Hair all neatly parted to her left, although she had ‘Midnight Black’ locks instead of ‘Veronica Blonde’. It tumbled past her shoulders. I couldn’t see the rest of her rack since the wallet-sized headshot only showed so much. But for a dame like her, I bet she had a nice set! Hell, she had the whole package: juicy red lips, a beauty mark, nice green eyes—
Green eyes? Wait a sec...
Those green eyes. Those brilliant, Peridot-green eyes. Something about those eyes showed a sentiment I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Something about those lips got me thinking of another time, another place. Something about this woman's face screamed a dark and troubled past. Just something about her seemed so familiar to me.
I recalled hard in my chair some hazy memories about a green-eyed woman being the one to open my heart to love again. Could the woman in the dossier be her? I could’ve sworn I met this dame some time ago. Had I really met her before?
I scanned her file to find out::
I glowered. I almost threw the paper down until I spotted a tiny, handwritten sentence on the bottom of the page. I strained my eyes to read it:
Turn to page 18 of this document to find out more.
I did just that.
Page 18 had nothing but a business card paper-clipped to the top and more handwriting at the bottom. It appeared bigger and more readable this time. The writing read:
That smokin’ hot babe on the dossier? She’s your person of interest. Meet her at the above-stated address tomorrow night, after hours. – Johnny P.
I grimaced. I clenched my fists. I wanted to punch Johnny in the face for not being straight! I might just do that the next time I see him. I tore the card off. I read it:
The Dirty Martini Bar & Nightclub
Come join us for Monday night Jazz, Tuesday night comedy, Wednesday Rock n’ Roll, Thursday night magic, Friday night strip-tease, and Saturday night cabaret fun!
We’re located in the heart of Greenwich Village nightlife!
160 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012
I put the card in my trouser pocket. I frowned. I needed to walk my dog tomorrow evening before I set out to meet this mysterious yet familiar woman.
I snatched the stale beer on my desk. I downed the rest of it. I got up, took my suit-coat from the back of my chair, and fixed myself. I grabbed my briefcase under the desk and packed it with my papers. I went to the coat rack next to the entrance. I seized my trench coat and fedora from it. I put them on, then took one last scan around the room before heading out.