"I pulled the needle out of my gluteal muscle and said out loud, “Never again.” My cat turned his gaze towards me and stared. “What?” Even the damn cat knew I was lying to myself. I caught myself in the mirror across the room but I no longer felt shame looking into my own eyes. Sometimes I felt dirty and guilty, other times I felt completely justified and righteous. Mostly these days I didn’t feel anything at all; it was just a job and I was a professional. I tested the tip of the needle against my index finger and immediately remembered a syringe I had seen balanced on a hub cap next to the road to Modena. Who would leave their needle out like that? Some drug addict, probably. I caught myself in the mirror again. 'Like you. Fuck.'"
“It was clearly a rental car and it had followed me for exactly four turns. I tried to do a quick calculus; what were the odds that someone visiting this part of town would make those exact four turns? I wished it were daytime so I could get an idea for who was behind the wheel. What they didn’t know was that I had a full clip of equalizing force tucked away in the glove box. I knew something about level playing fields whether it was within the law or not. I’ve never minded losing but only if it was an even fight. In its own way, the honor of thieves is purer than one enforced from an external authority.
I realized I’d gotten lost in another Socratic dialogue with myself (never knowing which speaker was the real me) and had forgotten about my pursuers. I looked in the mirror but didn’t see anyone. My neck started throbbing and I realized how tense I’d been. I turned my head from side to side to get the blood flowing and pulled up to my family’s house. The rental car was parked across the street…”