Should I go to bed, or should I eat something? Both are pressing matters at the moment. I was up all night, but I didn’t really get a chance to eat anything. Duty called, you know? I wasn’t doing anything cool or sexy. I rarely do. Being a private investigator is not as romantic and glamorized as they make it seem. You know what I did last night? I sat in my car waiting for some guy to leave work to see if he was with his secretary. And when I say “with his secretary,” I mean that in the intimate sense. His wife figured he was cheating. That’s almost all I get. If you think your spouse is cheating, and 99 percent of the time it’s a wife worried about their spouse, you ring up Blondie Yuskevich.
That’s not the name I was born with, of course. Upon entering this world, I was named Jessica, but I quickly earned the nickname Blondie, because my hair is so radically blonde as to justify being called “Blondie.” It’s been a long time since anybody who wasn’t a substitute teacher called me Jessica. It’s Blondie, or it’s Miss Yuskevich. You know, in professional settings, or when a cop is hassling me. When you are a private investigator who also has made smoking marijuana a regular staple of her regimen, you tend to run afoul of the law more often than is comfortable. Not that it keeps me from doing my job. Or from smoking pot.
At this point, you are probably focused in on one specific thing I just mentioned there, and that’s the fact that my name is Jessica. Yeah, I’m a woman. A woman who works as a private investigator. No, you don’t see that very often. It’s some once-in-a-blue-moon type shit. I’ve met only one other woman in my line of work. She was in town from Riverside, following up on a missing teenager case. The girl turned out to be shacked up with some college guy she saw who happened to be next door. We ran into each other in the hall. I forget how our jobs came up. I think her name was Angela. She seemed nice.
When I tell people I’m a private investigator, and I don’t tell them often because I don’t think it’s a very interesting topic, their initial reaction seems to be one of alarm. Private investigating is, in their eyes, a dirty, dangerous business. It’s for low lives, and in particular for low life men. Men who can take a punch and use a gun and what have you. In truth, this stereotype doesn’t bother me, because it makes my job easier. Nobody expects me to be a private eye. They let their guard down around me. Some dude who I’m following sees me sitting in a car and fear is not his initial instinct. I’m just some blonde chick who dresses like a surfer. What harm could I do?
Also, yeah I dress like a surfer even though I don’t surf. They don’t get to own that look, you know? Anyway, the funny thing is that the drive to get women to be seen as equal to men, the notion that women can do anything a man can do, is actually something that’s gonna make my job tougher to do. Gloria Steinem really fucked shit up for me. I mean, she seems cool and all, but . . .
I feel like I’ve lost my train of thought. I believe I was making a point, but what that point was is now lost to me. As I spin the wheels of my mind, I watch a man throw a stick to his dog on the beach. At least, it looks like a stick, but I’m pretty far away. Did he bring the stick with him? I don’t feel like there are a lot of sticks on the beach.
Oh, that’s right, I was explaining why I didn’t sleep last night.