A Pimp's Notes

A Pimp's Notes by Giorgio Faletti

Book: A Pimp's Notes by Giorgio Faletti Read Free Book Online
Authors: Giorgio Faletti
on the ground where it’s fallen, illuminating the base of a shrub. I walk over, pick it up, and swing the shaft of light around me.
    Tulip is flat on his back, as if nailed to a cross, a short distance away. His eyes are open, staring straight up. He seems to be looking at the hole that just opened up in the middle of his forehead. There are two other holes in his chest, from which a bloodstain is beginning to spread.
    It dawns on me what’s happened. I instinctively take a step backward and I switch off the flashlight. If whoever shot that son of a bitch decides that I’m just as much of a son of a bitch, I have no desire to help them shoot me by offering a light source. That is, if they intend to do any more shooting. I wait a little longer, and then I decide that it’s time to leave. I turn the flashlight back on, I pick up the shovel, and I retrace my route along the trail, doing my best not to lose my way. After a while, I see the beam reflected off the hood of the CX. I decide the best thing I can do is put a little distance between me and this fucked-up place. I get in the car, start the engine, do a three-point turn, and drive back to the main road. I meet no cars coming in the opposite direction along the way. Now that the the worst is over, an anxiety attack sweeps over me. My hands start trembling and no matter how hard I try, I can’t master the shaking. I don’t waste a lot of time trying to figure out what just happened. For now, I’m just happy to be alive. Thanks to someone I don’t know, the man who was about to kill me can be buried in my place in the hole I dug for him.
    But I won’t be doing the burying, that’s for sure.
    I drive back onto the road, take a left, and drive calmly back to Milan. I have to get rid of this car as quickly as I can. I wouldn’t want to run into a police car, the kind that’s never around when you need them, and have the cops stop me driving a car I could never explain away. A car that belongs to a man who’s going to be found, sooner or later, with three bullet holes in his body.
    I reach Piazza Frattini and dump the CX in a cross street of Via d’Alviano. It’s at a decent distance from the Ascot but still close enough that I can walk to the club without having to catch a taxi. It’s just incredible what good memories certain taxi drivers who work the night shift seem to have. Before I leave, I carefully wipe off all the parts that I’ve touched. The steering wheel, the gearshift, the door, the shovel, the trunk.
    Then I start walking.
    My sense of agitation has subsided, but the danger that I just narrowly escaped has sapped all my energy. I suddenly feel exhausted. As if for my entire life up till now I had done hard physical labor without ever being able to rest. I keep walking at the pace that I’m able to keep up, mulling over the events that have brought me here, walking alone through the streets of Milan dressed in dirt-caked clothing. I keep asking myself questions and I can’t come up with a satisfactory answer to any of them. I don’t keep count of the steps, or the time. Only the exhaustion. And I’ve even lost track of that when I turn the corner of Via Tempesta and find myself outside the Ascot Club. It’s locked up tight and all the lights are out, but to my eyes it’s as spectacularly glorious as all of Las Vegas.
    I head for the Mini. Standing next to the car is a woman, her back turned toward me. She’s smoking a cigarette and looks familiar. I stop to look at her, thinking that it’s too late even for a poor and obstinate streetwalker. Just then, she turns around and I recognize her.
    It’s Carla.
    My surprise manages to overcome the exhaustion that’s twisting my shoulders, legs, and stomach.
    I walk over to her. She sees me, throws the cigarette butt to the ground, and launches the last puff of smoke out into the night. She comes toward me. Her face is as beautiful as I remembered it. She’s wearing a short jacket over a light

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