I GOT OVER CAROL,
but her dad can't get over me. When she up-and-leaves Livermore it's to the hippie kingdom across the bay, I know that much. But any lame efforts to contact her through parents prompted just shrugs of disgust: that's the feeling I get over the phone when, not identifying myself but hearing them hear the sullen drone for my low baritone, I get a grunted we haven't seen our daughter for some time. I knew they knew, otherwise they wouldn't have played it so cool. How was the unanswered question, until Dick Tracy came along. Now, all of a sudden the family panics and ol' Murdock is a suspect, or something. A PI (the way they had tailed her to the Haight and then, as it turns out, Anaheim area) shows up when Momma goes out. Carol gives him the slip and so he shakes me down, aware all along that the family blames the rupture of their little Livermore dreamlife on black, bad me. Hell, I was out of the picture for six weeks already before she showed up missing, but the minute they get confused of course it's going to be your black man who did the deed.
I can see where he's leading. Hasn't been doing his job, so he cooks up a conspiracy where I'm the sly abductor. Man, I haven't had what it takes to conspire to tie my shoe in a month or two.
And Carol. I hope she didn't get mixed up with one of those weirdos who've turned one or two months of utopia into an age of antagonism and subterfuge. Those kids who go to San Francisco, hairs all full of flowers, since '67 happen to be like an army of Little Red Riding Hoods right into the jaws of the wolf. But she is smart, damn smart.