The 19 Steps
These are the stairs that lead to Zoom Street. The spider web shadow from the wrought iron railing is courtesy of a street lamp below. The two-storey building is downtrodden Deco and overlooks Balboa Park, Dashiell Hammett would’ve felt right at home here. During the day the office is flooded with lush light. At night it’s pure Sam Spade. San Diego cloaks itself in San Francisco’s trench coat. Menacing shadows slip through the slatted blinds, while lights in the courtyard out back echo the sweep of palm fronds fanning the walls . The movements are orchestrated by the monotonous blades of a ceiling fan spinning relentlessly above my desk.
I sit at the top of the stairs and have a smoke. I count the steps. Twenty more and I’d have a decent title.