he made his way from the lot to the front door. once inside a smiling japanese lady asked how many were in his party. before he could answer the man he was meeting found him and told the hostess everything was fine. they had a table.
the sushi house was busy and noisy. their table was a two top at the back of the restaurant. from there they could sit with comfort knowing no one could come up from behind and they could keep an eye the front door. the perfect table.
you must know the owner to score this one on a busy night.
better. his wife.
a waitress approached and they both ordered a large asahi along with several hand rolls and sashimi. enough food for the two of them. while they waited they spoke of old times for a few minutes then got down to business.
we need to stop meeting like this.
i know. if we only could. but like the song, it’s too late to stop now.
i suppose. at least it’s a bit warmer out here.
just wait till later and tomorrow morning after the fog rolls in.
ah, evening fog?
yeah, it’s been hanging around for over a week. i’m ready to head east into the arizona desert for some real warmth and dry air.
interesting. i may not need you or your services after all.
oh? damn, i was looking forward to the money not to mention the thrill of it all.
the waitress brought their two beers along with the sashimi plates. yellow tail, salmon, and mackerel. they poured their beer into chilled glasses and toasted each other before they drank.
i love japanese beer with sushi.
me too though there is something to be said for a good bottle of california riesling and sushi.
you should have said something.
nah, this is fine.
anyway, don’t sweat the money part. i’ll still use you. but with the fog you won’t have to work so hard or create a diversion. maybe.
ok. i like the sound of that. easy money for a change.
i’m thinking so. you’ll just provide some back-up if it’s even necessary. what time has the fog been rolling in? and how thick?
it wouldn’t surprise me if it isn’t already here and getting thick. by around 8 visibility has been down to a hundred feet or so.
perfect. you still have some fishing gear or am i gonna need to buy you some?
of course i have some. but if you want…
forget about it. santa claus i’m not.
with that the waitress arrived with their hand rolls. while she was removing the empty sashimi plates she asked if they needed more beer. they did.
sure, i was just trying, hermano. a fishing gear diversionary tactic, eh?
maybe. maybe not. it just depends. lucky for you there’s the fog or you would be out on the water riding a jet ski or something while creating your diversion. with the fog i may not even need you other than for covering my six duty.
i hate california it’s cold and it’s damp. but an easy job is an easy job. the water is too damn cold for these old bones.
that’s what i thought you’d say, my friend. this just might be one of the easier jobs we’ve both ever had.
so alright. when are you going to tell me more about this easy job?
after you tell me you can score me a nice throw away piece. nothing fancy, please.
not a problem. i have just the right piece. an old long forgotten .357 not the quietest revolver on the block but it works perfectly.
too loud. we’re talking close in stuff here. i may not even need it.
.22 auto with shorts?
perfect. just one mag. no, make it two. there might be trouble on the egress.
you want me armed?
yes, you carry that old well oiled .357 if we need it the noise may scare off the uninvited.
done. so what’s the deal?
the waitress brought the next round of beers and left. by then the two old friends were talking quietly. the ground work had been laid. the only thing left was the fine tuning. though over the years, having worked together many times before the final details didn’t take very long.
it’s been a long day for me. i’m going to find my hotel and take it easy. here’s some cash for the tab. give me five minutes then you split. i’ll see you tomorrow.
they shook hands and he left the sushi restaurant. outside the air was thick with the salty fog. the man looked at his watch. 9:00. perfect timing. hopefully, the timing would be just as perfect tomorrow.