You might not guess that I am a bird watcher at first glance, because I don’t wear binoculars around my neck like Miss Jane on The Beverly Hillbillies.
But that is only because binoculars make me nauseous, unless they are hanging around my neck. But if I look through the holes and try to focus I have to close one eye, which takes the bi right out of the word.
Then they are just noculars.
And noculars are shitty for looking at birds.
Or anything, really.
And secondly, even if binoculars are just hanging around my neck, not making me nauseous, they are not my style.
You’ve heard of The Thomas Crown Affair and The Maltese Falcon.
You’ve seen Ocean’s 12, Once a Thief and Entrapment.
Who doesn’t talk about D.B. Cooper?
But why the silence surrounding The Big Heist?
No book. No movie. No Nothing.
Well, I am here to tell you the whole story.
I was right there.
It was 3:00 PM.
I’d just gotten off work and smelled of French Fries, rubber soled shoes and panty-hose.
My friend and I were in the break room of the soda fountain shop, stripping out of our rayon dresses, the brown ones with the white stripes and the zippers down the front and sliding into our blue-jeans, with barely enough room for all four of our elbows.
We were racking up the pool balls by 3:15.
Cindy was good at billiard games.
I was not.
I didn’t know her very well at the time and now I don’t know her at all. We had one of those summer friendships because we were waiting on tables for a living and we both had a couple of hours to kill, so we’d walked on over to a place down the way and met up with my younger sister, Louisa.
I was lining up the cue stick with the cue ball and I was aiming at a nervous red and white striped victim that I was supposedly going to knock into the corner pocket.
That is when I saw something strange over in the corner.
I paid for my gas at the pump on that cold morning in November before the sun was up, and went inside to buy a cup of coffee.
That is when it all began.
“Hello,” she says.
“Hi,” I answer, pushing the button on the dark roast carafe, getting high on the aroma.
It wasn’t my fault that I was addicted to the stuff.
While so many had made New Year’s Resolutions that they would never keep, I’d decided eleven months prior that I was going to stop in every Friday morning at that particular gas station and buy myself a cup of that really good coffee, instead of brewing my own at home.
I wanted to be able to keep my resolution.