In the 70's in J town a start-up detective agency with a black and an asian
"So, what do you think of those Dodgers", I asked.
"You know I hate sports, man. Why you always asking me 'bout sports?"
"OK. Just asking"
"Like I'm the sports authority just because..."
"Hey, I said OK"
"So what's eating you?"
"Why something have to be eating me? Lay off, OK"
Anthony carries no weapon. If you saw a 200 plus guy coming at you, you won't be thinking, "Is he or is he not carrying a weapon?" Anthony is bulky but he's big enough to not have to pack. I carry a 38. It's in a shoulder holster that weighs me down at times but I need it. I killed some men. Anthony never has. But he does get into a mood sometimes which I can't bring him out of.
"Hey, OK. You want some lunch? How about it?" I said.
I don't try to imagine the things bugging him. It's a worthless pursuit, generally. Once I saw a kid get it. It's a awful thing. Stays with you. Maybe that's the stuff Anthony had on his mind, Korean War.
Anyway, It was about two on Tuesday. This twelve year old kid comes into the office. Our office is on ground level right next to the Moji shop in J-town so I'm thinking, the kid's just lost, that's all. I mean what would a kid have to do with two PIs? Run of the mill cases have to do with husbands, wives, lovers, etc. you know the gambit.
"I want to hire you." he says.
"Really?" Anthony asks and gives me a look.
"Why are you looking likt that?"
"Like you're sharing something secret?"
"Don't look at him. Why look at him?
"You want money?" He pulls out a hundred just like that.
"Where'd you get that?"
"Where's your mama, kid?"
"Answer my question."
"You answer me first."
Anthony is trying pretty hard from showing any kind of amusement.
THE MORIOKA CLAN
They taught their children to sing. They believed in their children. Their home had been stockpiled with soupcans and bottled water which they replaced from time to time. They had a good life. Mrs. Morioka was a beautiful woman. She was from the family Morioka. She was teased as a youngster by boys. Beauty attracts the bees that sting for attention. She never seemed to change for years. They lived in the Oakland Hills. They had ten children. She had been home schooling them for years until she died. When she was dying she brought each of them to her hospital bedside and blessed them individually, whispering at the end of each prayer, "Sit with me", until she was surrounded by sitters on the edge of her mattress and the floor and at the entrance to the room.
"I'm two short", she whispered, closed her eyes and went. They thought she meant her stature. But she meant to say she would have wanted to have two more kids.
Who would think she'd wanted more mouths to feed. But she did. She wanted a township really. At least the beginnings of one. Twelve would have been nice. They would have been able to sing any song based on the twelve note scale. Now, is it true? How much can the loins issue? This would be her contribution to the world. Mrs. Morioka thought that way, about the world and about provision in general.
Once a fire swept through the hills. She was pregnant with the fifth at the time. She sunbathed on the rickety porch out back. She was staring at the blue sky that day. The patched lawn grass was dry. The sun shone along a path straight to her. She lay out on a fabric lounger. The sun on her skin made her turn her face upwards. There came cloud cover but the warmth persisted. Someone played on the keyboard, no doubt the teen two houses down. This was as tender a melody as could be claimed from Beethoven. Ashes came down on her as she slept. When she woke she arose and glimpsed her reflection in the patio doors. She was dusted from head to foot in wood ash as if the forrest had brought a gift by way of fire. It was her seventh son. All day long she could not come out of it, this feeling of having been bestowed. The inflamed pines continued through the morning. She never told anyone until on her death bed she mentioned it to her children.
One day she heard the school bell toll from the tower at Oakland Hills High . The vice principal of the school came for a visit at lunch time.
"Mrs. Morioka, think of your children's future. You cannot possibly give them the knowledge of the world from one standpoint, yours only. Now, I am sure you have prejudices as I have. When a child is taught by many teachers the viewpoints are mixed and diluted so that there is a more cosmopolitan sense of instruction. Don't you agree?"
Ben sat in the alcove of the room for speaking out of turn. He sat and waited with crossed arms. He faced the corner.
"My sisters are about to become wives. One of them will take you for a husband. You will have three children who will travel overseas."
" Is he talking to me?," the vice principal asked.
" Oh, don't mind Ben," she said. "He gets in a mood, you know."
One day the father saw shekinah glory. It had been sitting in the woods all this time afraid to come out. It had been in glory at the clear edge of the tree. woods. He worked as a fisherman down at the pier so, he was not familiar with the forest. "One needn't be to know the Lord."
"Samuel," she heard someone say. That's the name she gave her fifth. And she repeated the name for the 8th.