Not too many tourists get around these parts, and that goes double for the summer months. It’s always real slow and quiet. People are polite to one another, thoughtful and kind. They say things like “I’ll keep you in my thoughts” and “ooh, that’s a shame” when you share bad news with them. Actually, most people can generally tell when something is amiss simply by the look on your face.
I don’t say it to brag or point a figure at some city dwellers who clearly are leading another style and pace of life. Here, what draws us out of our homes mostly is sports. Used to be that me and some of my buddies would claim a night or two to ourselves in the course of a heavy week and head down to Pete’s to shoot pool and knock around. Next day, we’d always be the worse for wear.
Pete closed shop last August in the midst of a particularly nasty hot spell. He’d had enough. One night we headed over to Pete’s and found the front door locked. No explanation. No goodbyes. He was just gone. What became of him no one knows.
That’s the first mystery. Last week his kin came by to poke around and what have you. I tagged along. Truth is I missed the place something fierce. It’s not the same knocking around Fred’s basement even though he went to the bother of buying a pool table. His wife was furious. She don’t want us turning her basement into a club house. Trust me, we all got the message. Fred still blushes straight to his ears every time he invites us over to shoot a game.
While Pete’s relatives were combing through his old files, probably looking for the code to his safe, I went on back to the poolroom. I had in mind to shoot a game or two and see whether or not I still remembered the particular dips in the table. I used to be able to work them to my advantage, which gave me a leg up on the other guys. But before I could rack it up, my eye happened to wander to the crawl space to the right of the fridge. There, in the dirt, I spied a hole, a mighty big hole, big enough to hide a body, or part of a body or a lifetime’s supply of cash. I have no idea why that notion jumped into my head. Pete gave no indication that he was the murdering type or the hording type for that matter. Like I said, people know each other around here real well. So what was in that hole?
I never did find out. I could say life is just full of mysteries but that’ll just piss you off.