The rain falls like needles, glinting and flashing beyond the window. Silver streaks all around, and I wonder how rain always falls so quickly. Rain knows where it's headed, and gets there as quick as it can.
I'm jealous of the rain. Jealous of its certainty, its assurance in its cold purpose. I've been in the business for too many years now, and still I can't tell which way is up. Being a private investigator was supposed to be glamorous, different, and challenging. Little did I know. Hell, I was just a kid when I fell into my first case. Like a rabbit caught in a trap: By the time I realised where I was, the only means of escape was to chew my own leg off. Four cold years and I'm still chewing.
The Brighton rooftops are slick with the rain. The office is in the crowded lanes, where too-many buildings fight for not-enough space like peices on a Mahjong board. Gazing from the window, I can see the rooftops clearly. Things are different from up here. Down on the street, everything is cleaned, smartened, and glossed up. Even the damned paths are made to look charming. But the rooftops are honest. The hours when I can stare out at the tiled, mossy rooves are hours when I know what I'm looking at. There's no hiding the filth here. No hiding the seaguls, the rubbish, the forgotton corners or the rough edges. On the rooftops, life is as life seems.
Damn, but it's cold and wet today. Even the seagulls are miserable.
So, four years into the game. Fours years of finding cats, stalking women on behalf of jealous and balding executives; four years of lost teenagers and corner-shop power struggles. It wasn't what I signed on for, of course. But nothing ever is. Life isn't a rooftop. We live life on the streets and in the gutters, gazing into windows in awe and wonder, only to be disappointed when we taste the stifled air and cheap goods inside. Only some of us get stuck in the wrong shop.
I've got a difficult case coming up in the next few days. Results will be expected soon or I may lose the contract.
But I can spare half an hour to stare at the rain.