eddie quickly changed and thrown some clothes, the .357, and a few more rounds in a ratty suitcase then ran downstairs. out on the street he spotted the shinny new cadillac sts. in the distance he heard the sirens. lapd was on the way. he looked inside the car and saw the keys. it was unlocked. why not? who would be stupid enough to mess with a mobster’s ride? only a desperate eddie catalina. he got in threw the bag on the passenger side floor then sped away. as the sirens and the lapd drew closer.
eddie had stolen the car and then somehow sold it twenty minutes later. sold it for a nice piece of cash to a crack dealer eddie knew. a crack dealer with an old steamer trunk full of stolen and cold license plates from every state in the union. a crack dealer with visions of his own grandeur. thirty minutes later the car was in a warehouse getting chopped up into parts. parts worth four times what he paid eddie catalina including a set of oregon plates.
for eddie’s part he made his way to a used car lot where he’d paid cash for a seven year old mustang that needed body work. the car looked like crap but it did run well. very well. the car dealer threw in a full tank of gas because eddie had paid cash. what the hell, he could fix the books and pocket several hundred dollars for himself on the deal.
after pulling out of the car lot eddie made his way to a quiet alley and removed the red used car sticker from the rear window of the mustang. eddie also removed the california plates and added his newly acquired oregon plates. even though the plates were expired by several months eddie figured the cops wouldn’t care. after all, he saw plenty of expired california plates every day. the cops had more important stuff to do. expired plates would be an added after thought for some other offense. expired oregon plates? not a problem.
eddie hit the freeway with a new sense of urgency. jesus. he’d just killed two mob guys. then stole their car. thankfully, for a time the cops, and more importantly the mob, would be looking for the cadillac. the mob would find out soon enough what happened. the cops a bit longer. eddie had maybe five or six hours. maybe more. at least he was now sober.
transitioning from the 10 west to the 405 north he was soon on interstate 5 and heading north at a speed where most of the chp’s on the road would leave him alone. once over the grapevine and into the central valley he could open it up a little more.
which he did and he was now in elko, nevada and the stockmen hotel. pacing, smoking, and thinking. the only trouble was the thinking seemed to be getting stuck at the what next part. his next move just wasn’t making itself very clear. at least he felt somewhat safe in his room with a view.
it was saturday and the hotel was busy. busy with a native american indian wedding or something. for some reason eddie figured them for paiutes. he didn’t have any reason other than a hunch. it didn’t matter much other than the fact with all of the paiutes around a few greasy italians in suits or $120 charlie sheen shirts would stand out even more.
all that being said, eddie was getting antsy. he still had a good amount of cash but no plan. no plan other than hitting another basque joint for another lamb dinner with all the traditional sides that night. a few traditional picon punches as well. maybe the TV would help soothe his nerves. he turned it on.
a fall saturday afternoon. television was all about college football. with more games to come later in the evening. what was he thinking? strangely the college games did help soothe his nerves. though they did nothing to help him come up with a plan.
he sat a chair in the middle of the room where he could stand up and check out the front and side views of the hotel while he watched the games. he called room service and ordered some ice and a bottle of vodka. he might as well be comfortable. sure why not?, eddie thought. after he’d lost those mob boys in stockton he could have gone anywhere. eddie hoped they felt the same way.
this originally appeared in july 2014.