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Only A Cop Would Walk Down A Dark Street Whistling

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by Chris Grierson

 

There was this guy called Frank, although he liked to spell it with a c at the end; Franc, said it made him feel successful and stylish, like the French haute couturists of the 1980s whom he admired, well, Jean-Paul Gaultier anyway. Don't ask me about it, I only met him once. He told me anyone who can turn baked-bean tins into classy perfume dispensers was all right with him. It was as if Jean-Paul could do whatever the fuck he wants and call it stylish and that was that. Which struck a chord with Franc, and believe me it showed, not only in his spelling, and I wasn’t going to be the one to rock his boat with news of the euro.

I met Franc in a bar, or he met me. There was nothing special about this bar, it was just a bar, which is a narrative cop-out, but that's the way Franc described it, leaning back. Franc had always wanted to be a writer, that's all he talked to me about, anyway. Waving everyone at the door. And whether they knew it or not, he had them all picked: Three-Pot, Sweet Jane, Lady Friday and Dinks. It's all up here he told me, pointing to his head, his writing, Franc meant, adding that he just didn't have the time to write it all down. He told me one day he would hire some fifteen-dollar-an-hour secretary to do it for him. I didn't want to tell Franc he was missing the point, after all I wasn't there to get into an argument with Franc. I was waiting for someone when Franc spotted me and she was a good hour late already. And every time I meet this girl I just wished I'd broken into her flat earlier and turned all the clocks forward three hours. But I wasn't going to tell Franc that, I didn't want to disappoint him.

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