Ed. Note: I’m working on the announcement I mentioned in the previous post, and I’m still not ready to share exactly what I’m planning. However, it will involve a murder mystery of some kind, so to that end, I’ve decided to share an old mystery novel I wrote with you. Chapter by chapter, right here in this very space. I’m updating this old novel to make it more relevant, but I’m finding that it’s mostly fine as is. So, without further ado, here’s the prologue.
My name is Trip, Trip Wire. Don’t say it because I’ve heard it three-thousand seven hundred and forty-two times before. Forty-three if you count the idiot who said it twice, but he didn’t have much else to say after I popped him one in his fat gut. My real name is Delilah as my adoptive parents who never went to college wanted to give this orphaned girl from China a ‘classy’ name. They scoured the Bible until they found a name they liked. Delilah, if you remember, is the broad who cut off Samson’s hair which was his strength. I don’t blame her at all as he was an idiot for letting her get that close to his hair, but men are dogs for a bit of pussy.
If you happen to meet me, you may call me Del, though I prefer Trip, but don’t call me Live or Wired, not if you want to keep your testicles intact. Ms. Wire is fine, as well. Don’t stare at my tits, my ass, or talk to me as if I’m five years old. Don’t tell me how much you love Asian women or how Lucy Liu is so hot if you want to be able to walk away from me. What, me angry? So my therapist—mandated by the courts when I first was returned home after running away—told me before I stomped out of her office and never returned. I have every right to be angry growing up the only yellow face in Bumfuck, Iowa among the corn and the hicks who thought making the trip to Madison, Wisconsin was a big fucking deal. It wasn’t until I hightailed it to San Francisco on my sixteenth birthday that I realized I didn’t have to live in mediocrity or among the pale faces. Each time my parents came to fetch me home, I just ran away again until they finally gave up and let me be. I was seventeen.
Out here in San Francisco, I can breathe. I can walk on the streets and not be identified as the other—I am spared the second glance that always followed me around Bumfuck, Iowa. There, conversations would stop when I entered a place and whispers of ‘there goes that Wire child’ could distinctly be heard. Implied in their gossip was, ‘What was those Wires thinking of?’ The inevitable clucking of the tongue and shaking of the head accompanied each pronouncement. What my parents were fucking thinking of was they wanted a baby and couldn’t get afford a healthy white one from this country, so they scraped together the money to buy me from an orphanage in China where a girl’s life wasn’t worth the price of a chicken. All I know about my birth parents is that she was a whore and he was a Chinese American tourist who wanted to experience night life in China before returning to his real world.
In San Francisco, I walk the streets at night—alone. The Mission District which used to be considered ethnic until the tech geeks who have invaded our fair city took over is still my stamping grounds. I knew from the first time I set foot in the Mission that I wouldn’t live anywhere else. As gentrified as it’s become, I still consider it home and am not ready to give up on it. Yet. In the early years, I had to spend most of my nights on the streets when I wasn’t hooked up with a friend, but it was worth it in order to be able to breathe. With my trusty Bowie knife tucked in my sock just inside of my boot, I was ready to roll. I learned quickly who to trust, who to fuck, and who to fuck over.
This is my city—I own it now. Not Sam Davies, the mayor of San Francisco—a tall, skinny, middle-aged black man who used to have morals but now scratches the itch of anybody who can do the same for him. Not Colin-fucking-Kaepernick with his fake-street cred tatted-up body. Not Amy ‘the voice of the Chinese experience’ Tan who still manages to churns out the dreck after all this time. Not any of the dozen other pretenders who think they’re players. The only player who matters is me.