Halfway through the investigation, Detective R. realized it wasn’t a very good mystery, and nobody cared. It was heavy on first-person pronouns and furthermore, weren’t detectives just people with no one to talk to? He forgot his notebook in a taxi. His roommate covered the clues on the bulletin board with restaurant reviews and cartoons. He left his gun in its holster with an ex-girlfriend he’d never go back to. Eventually Detective R. left himself in a Queens laundromat, though the man who emerged hours later bore his white folded undershirts and clean socks and detergent scented with Alps.
The mystery, however tiresome, kept on.
A detective is a person with exactly one person to talk to.
Then he really was wide-awake and the night air was pulled taffy; he could push through. He was following somebody’s footprints.