An old blue car covered with dust and dirt drove slowly down the street. It cruised past the nineteen fifties houses with their covered porches and flower boxes. Children played here and there, but not very many. This was a mixed neighborhood, not like the new neighborhoods a mile down the road where all the houses belonged to young families and the kids were everywhere. Here, only one in five houses had a child occupant in residence. Most of these houses belonged to older couples whose children had moved on to college or started families of their own someplace else.
That was the way of things. Time passed, neighborhoods changed. Once, this had been a young neighborhood. Once, there had been children in the alleys, and in the vacant lots, and jumping off the rooftops holding umbrellas. Once there had been gangs of them killing each other in bloody mobs behind convenience stores, and selling drugs out of vans. Once, young women had sold themselves along these very sidewalks for money to buy the drugs they needed to keep them from suicide. But not anymore. The kids had grown up. Or they had died. Now there were only a few lonely clusters of kids who watched carefully every where they went. No, there weren’t many kids here at all.
But there was a dirty blue car.
It stopped in front of an old craftsman with a fishing boat decaying on a trailer in the driveway. On the back of the boat were the words “Foo-Bar.” It was a civilian take on the military acronym FUBAR, which stood for “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.” Considering the condition of the boat, it was fitting. The boat was indeed foobar.
Both doors on the dirty blue car opened simultaneously, and two men got out. They were wearing sunglasses, jeans and dark navy sports jackets – the cheap polyester kind. All in all, this was an odd look. They’d easily be identified as punks if it weren’t for the jackets. Punks wouldn’t be caught dead wearing polyester sport jackets. Hell, MOST people wouldn’t be caught dead wearing polyester sport jackets.
The two approached the front door. Each of them carried a thick black book under their arms. They moved slowly, but did not shuffle. Creaking from the wood on the porch was extremely loud. Not because the young men were heavy, but because the wood was old.
One of them opened the screen door and held it while the other pounded on the door. Several minutes past by, and then the muffled voice of an old man came from the other side. “Who is it?” the voice demanded.
“My name is Jacobs,” said the young man who had knocked. “I am here with an associate of mine, Forbush. We would like to have a word with you about a few things that you might find interesting.”
“Like what?” shouted the old man.
“Open your door,” said Jacobs, “and I’ll explain.”
Forbush put his foot in front of the screen to hold it open, freeing his hand which he then used to reach inside of his jacket. “Please, come out Sir,” he added. “Or at least open the door. We can’t hear you very well, and this would be much easier face to face.”
“That’s right,” agreed Jacobs. “Face to face would be easier.”