Cecilia Farron arts editor of Seattle’s Weekly Saboteur interviews Mr. Max who made his character debut in Tomorrow Will Take Care of Itself. They had agreed to meet at a cafe in Pioneer Square not far from her office. The bar was ancient and comfortable with an ornate tin ceiling and high-backed banquettes allowing for a lot of privacy. Both being control freaks and as punctual as stopwatches they almost collided in the doorway. Introductions made, drinks ordered (dirty martini, her; Irish coffee, him) they got right down to business.
Cecilia: In real life you are the super of an apartment house in San Francisco, where the story, for the most part, takes place.
Max: Number 14 Don Quixote Circle, yes. Only we aren’t called supers like they are in New York, Cecilia. We’re called managers. The people who run the city are called supervisors, although I’m not sure why.
Cecilia: You knew all of the people in the book, up close and personal. That so?
Max: Not exactly. There were a number of people who came and went in the night.
Cecilia: As in who?
Max: The twins that used to show up in a stretch limo on Friday night dressed to kill, and then left on Sunday afternoon in a chauffeured sedan wearing jeans and white shirts. One Asian woman they called the Underwear Girl and several others. You know what I mean (winks).
Cecilia: Call girls.
Max: I think they’re known as escorts now.
Cecilia: I read the book and remember the Underwear Girl. The others have slipped my mind.
Max: I think they’re only mentioned once.
Cecilia: As I recall you did most of your sleuthing in the building’s garbage cans.
Max: One of my jobs is to keep the common areas of the place tidy and that involves the garbage area. You would just be amazed at what people discard. In the case of the vandal who was making my job a horror, the garbage cans were very useful in supplying clues.
Cecilia: This is all just wallpaper, isn’t it? The real story involves money and credit cards and keeping up with Redge Thompson.
Max: Instead of the Joneses, yes. Arty Corker was in way over his head listening to Redge Thompson. But in that part of town it isn’t unusual to spend more than you earn. Everybody does it. Appearances are all that count. And Redge being a Montgomery Street banker was in a position to be sure that Arty had lots of credit and credit cards.
Cecilia: But then the ghost of Extravagance Past makes an appearance.
Max: You mean…?
Cecilia: The fellow who left the hundred empty vodka bottles on the kitchen table and slogged off to the bus stop with two bulging suitcases.
Max: I don’t know what goes on in other peoples’ heads, but he certainly might have had something to do with everything that happened. His story was infamous in the neighborhood. Certainly Redge knew about him, living in that particular apartment. If nothing else, Mrs. Hinkle would have been sure to clue him in. She probably had her ear to the door a lot of the time. And she’d complain about him. That woman had complaints. I took the view, let her complain. If it wasn’t him it would be something else.
Cecilia: There’s a rumor that there will be a sequel to this book.
Max: I haven’t a clue. Besides, I’m going to be retiring and somebody else can worry about those fools. I’ve had plenty.
NOTES AND VIEWS
MONEY IS NO OBJECT
When Arty Corker landed a good job in San Francisco his old college roomy took him under his wing, teaching him the finer points of getting ahead and getting laid in the big city. Arty learned that dating women was expensive and took planning, as did his new apartment, his new decorator and his new car. It seemed as if every penny spent landed on his new credit card, the one with a five-figure limit. No problem because his buddy’s motto was: Tomorrow Will Take Care of Itself.
Arty figured that everybody in town had an angle including the high-end call girl his buddy hired as a welcome, the landlord at the right address in the right part of town, the girls who worked out at the gym and even Mrs. Hinkle from upstairs. For some people things work out. For others things don’t.
Tomorrow can be a real bummer.
Tomorrow Will Take Care of Itself is available on Kindle at .99 for a limited time.
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Also on Kindle:
*4 Spooky Short Stories
*A Thorn of the Crown
*Timothy Holbrook and the Zombie Curse
Copyright 2011 by Spencer Schankel. All Rights Reserved.