Oh, he was smooth enough. Good looking in a generic kind of way, mellifluous words especially when he got caught in a lie of his own weaving. Enough money to make unpleasantness go away. It was said he had a wife stashed in an asylum somewhere, Majorca or Antibes or St. Moritz. Just filed her away as easily as he deposits money in his Swiss bank account.
I ran into him once in Tangier, where I was shopping for rugs and top-grade hashish. I’d stopped for a glass of tea and a sticky slice of chebakya when he came round a corner in the maze of the souk. He had a brunette on one arm and a redhead on the other. He’d acquired a tan since that weekend in Bruges when we bought each other presents at the Christmas market and went ice skating at the nearby outdoor rink.
But that was a few passports and aliases ago, and I have had other places to be. I got tired of waiting for his demands and coded messages, the dead drops and dead phone lines. All the dead ends where we got lost in the confusing intersection of work and pleasure. Our two-person global marketplace where we peddled our own flesh and paid in regret.
To be honest, I never really liked him much anyway.