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  • Ferguson was now a liability. A soldier with one asset, blind loyalty, was losing that in his unraveling of paranoia. Who would think the guy who would, with no hesitation, would snap the tibia of that contractor? Sure McGill was getting itchy on making his payments. He would never think of not paying again. The guy who managed to unload an entire tractor trailer of stolen steek beams? The guy who would hang a councilwoman's cat from a tree in her own yard, with her own neglige for a noose? He was cold.


    But it was every day now, several times a day, the text messages from Ferguson. "I've been made" "The feds have clipped my tax records" "A yellow taxi is following me" "I keep getting anonymous hangup calls at night".

    Liability. 100%.

    This would have to end. Just the time spent assuaging Feguson's unfounded fears was not worth it. Not that was without rationale Ferguson shouldbe paranoid. He was made. His tax records were in the feds hand. The yellow taxi was in my employ. A smarter man would have put it all together.

    I have an operation to run, one that has no affordances for liabilities.

    Ferguson texts again. "Meet today?"

    "K. Stephen's Ave & 2nd. 4:30pm"

    "Srsly? Kind of open"

    "Just be there"

    I'm there early. I'm the middle age guy no one notices. Brown hair. Average body, one that looked like it was since athletic (high school football was true) now gone a little soft, but not too soft. I blend in. That's not by accident. That is my skill I have honed. I am a ghost in public.

    If you see my photo in public, you see the back of my head.

    Ferguson is prompt, walking too fast n his cowboy boots. Totally draws attention to himself. Sweating profusely, No wonder, he is wearing that heavy leather hat and has his hair long. A face perfect for a lineup.

    "I'm being followed!" he says, furtively looking around.

    "Nonsense, " I say. "This is a public place. Lots of people walking your way. Calm down. Did you pick up the packet from Wallace?"

    "Yes, I dropped in the trash can on the corner, just like usual."

    At least he is not far gone that he remembers protocol. My man dressed as a street cleaner would have picked up the payment stash already. The lady juggling across the streets nods twice at me, the confirmation.

    Ferguson is focussed on two guys drinking beer at the Unicorn Pub.

    "THAT GUY JUST TOOK MY PHOTO! Black hair, telephoto lens, blue backpack..."

    Ferguson is now at the agitation point fo total panic. Just because some tourist at a bar is taking street photos. I won't even look I do not have to.

    He is in the right place, edge of the curb. The trash truck is barreling down the street. One quick whip with my right leg, Ferguson goes down, a tragic accident in the city.

    My plan could not be more perfect.

    Ten seconds.


    How would I know this idiot would violate my cardinal rule? No body contact. He had been in the Company long enough. But now, his back to the street, Ferguson grabbed me by the lapel of my windbreaker. the sudden movement setting us both off balance, his greater weight exerting more than expected leverage, hime thinking he was still protecting me, not knowing his mark had been made long ago,

    A total liab--------

    I am using Cowbird to share the story of a 15,000 mile road odyssey I took in 2011, which started with me quitting my job in March and setting out in June for a loop around the US and Canada. It's less of a day by day narrative and more of an attempt to tell a story of the story, with some amounts of imagined bits that emerge on looking at the media from the trip, including the more than 1400 images, videos, and audio files collected in my digital time capsule, the Storybox.
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