Grit: Bling 1

This was his first time in New York and he liked it – liked the size of it; liked the loudness of it. He sensed that the place had some kind of kinship with London; wondered whether that wasn’t true of all these big places. He wasn’t sure yet about the flashiness of some parts – they struck him pretty much in the same way that the flashy parts of London did: necessary, sure, but not his cup of tea. At least the fucking trains here seemed to run on time, so that was something, wasn’t it?
He believed that you could travel anywhere and different classes and kinds of people were going to be pretty much the same – that thinking had served him pretty well so far. Not that he judged people too much – he was open to being surprised; he’d been surprised a lot, and sometimes those surprises were the thing which kept him alive.
He’d been brought over on an all expenses padi trip to off one of the biggest mob bosses on the East Coast. They would usually farm the job out to someone within their operation but this one was hard – the guy that they wanted to off seemed to have his fingers in every single pie going; he was that most impossible and annoying of things if you were a hitman or a soldier wanting to move up in the ranks – an untouchable.
Untouchable? Grit doubted it somehow, but that was how he had been sold. He generally found that the people who described someone as untouchable were to hidebound by the routines they had lived their lives within for the past however long it was – he would walk in and ten seconds after bringing a fresh pair of eyes to the situation he had answers that knew wouldn’t have occured to the people contracting him in a million years.
Part of him wanted to make this trip last as long as possible – he wanted to savour the atmosphere of the place; soak it up; but the whole thing of maximum deniability meant he couldn’t take any pictures or anything. He walked through Central Park early in the morning with the mist hanging in the air and there was truly something magical about it – he could understand why so many film directors wanted to find a way to work it into their scripts.
He did the Empire State Building, hit some of the museums, the Strand Book Store – he really enjoyed himself. How long was it since he had some downtime like this? Something that really seemed to recharge the batteries?
Well, it couldn’t last – that much he knew; he had come here to work and he was on someone else’s dime, as they said. Had to pay his way by shedding some blood – and once he had shifted gears and begun to think about that everything else seemed suddenly hollow. He knew that was a distancing mechanism, and a useful one, but some small part mourned the way he had felt when he first got here.

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