Of course, I'm driving a hustler. She's blonde, leather miniskirt and red blouse, thick make-up with heavy-duty blush and black eyeliner.
"Hey, lady, take us to Holsterhausen, the hospital, okay?"
The guy seems to be a little fuzzy: almost fell into my ca when I picked up the two of them in Segeroth Street. You know the neigherborhood: Nordhof Street, Stahl Street, right next to Krupp. Used to be the biggest whorehouse in the Republic.
While Rolf is at home in bed, I get to drive around all night long. Taxi No. 19, Angelika Weber doing night shift because her loverboy only just got out of jail. The asphalt is humming under zhe Benz's tires. Half past two in the morning.
"Hey, lady, stop here a moment."
And I've hardly come to a stop when the blonde's already out and gone.
The way she's running she's not coming back. Seems funny that the guy in the back of the car isn't saying anything. I turn around to ask him what the deal is, when he sudenly falls towards me.
Glassy eyes, dead-looking face, and a little blood on the shirt. Shit, he's really dead, he croaked right here in the car, after all, he got in on his own.
That looks like a stab wound in his stomach.
It must have been the blonde...although - why would she pick a taxi of all places for bumping him off?
The cops. If I call the emergency number on my taxi radio they'll be here in ten minutes. Squad car, round-the-clock detectives.
A handbag's lying next to the dead man on the seat. Must be the blonde's. Dark red leather, and the lock's snapped open. Sure, you're not supposed to touch anything, but still... Lipstick, compact, keys, tampons, chewing gum, a few green pills and some papers in a plastic holder. Hustler pass, made out to Helga Werz; lottery coupon - also Helga Werz, Nordhof Street 24; a prescription and a photo.
The lighting in here is pretty bad, but still - the one in the picture, that's gotta be Rolf. Arm in Arm with the blonde, somewhere on a beach. He doesn't have the moustache yet, but that's his long black hair, curls down to his shoulders, like an angel; he looks younger, too. The blonde in a bikini with bedroom eyes and pouting lips.
What's Rolf got to do with the blonde? Why did I get involved with him anyway? And just what is going on here?
Some colleague races by and blinks his high-beam at me. I definitly can't stay here.
So I drive off for now, keep the meter running so that the dingbat on the roof doesn't light up. Good lord, that's 37 Marks and 40: I'm gonna have to put that in out of my own pocket.
Drive towards Frohnhausen. Qiet residential area, no excitement.
"Please, no problems!" Rolf said when he moved in with me. First, get back on the level, then figure out what next.
If I call the cops, they'll search the blonde. I'm sure they'll be interested in the photo, too. The photo's gotta disappear, that much is clear.
I take it out of the holder and put it in my cash pouch. Although - if the cops get the blonde, maybe she'll talk. About Rolf and so on. No, that's no good. I gotta forget the blonde altogether. But what do I tell the cops about how this dead guy got into my car?
Rüdesheimer Place. First the allotment area.
Pull up to the curb and think hard. No problems - that means: no corpse in my car, no questions, no blonde.
I've gotta throw this guy out. And then drive on. I don't think anybody saw me pick up these two on Segeroth Street.
How long have I been standing here? Two minutes, three minutes? 48 Marks 60 on the meter. I put her in gear and roll past the allotments. It's dark here. Okay, put her in neutral, get out, open the right back door. The guy almost falls out. He's not that heavy, maybe five eleven tall, around 150 pounds. Leather jacket, gold finger-rings, and a Rolex with diamonds on his wrist. That's worth at least 30,000 - if I took...
As if I didn't have enough problems. I put him under a few bushes and get out of there.
The blonde's handbag is lying on the passenger seat. I get to Frohnhauser and realize only then that the meter ist still on. 56 Marks 80, I make it up.
Helga Werz, Nordhof Street 24 is the adress on the lottery coupon and her Public Health Department certification. She's a hustler alright. And the stiff with the Rolex... her pimp? Probably. And what's Rolf got to do with whole shebang? Did the blonde date him once or something?
Now I want to know. So back again to Segeroth. The blonde's gotta talk to me. Anyway, she was there then when the guy died. Actually - that guy almost fell into my car, he was staggering, and the blonnde wanted me to go to the hospital - of course, he already had the stab wound then.
Nordhof Street is on the left.
Blue lights flicker in front of the houses, and I don't need to check to know that it's Number 24. Ambulance, squad car, the feds' minivan.
People are standing around, a guy in uniform guards the front door; noboddy will notice if I join the crowd. Someone from the newspaper is next to me, doing his thing, asking questions.
"A guy was bumped off in Werz's apartment," someone says.
"Some jealousy thing," I heard.
"They were fighting," says one of the whores. "I guess the client had known Helga before and was getting out of line. So Harry comes in, her pimp...yeah, with a knife..."
Now the paramedics come out with the stretcher. Someone's lying on it, a sheet over his face. I guess he's dead, and when the sheet slips down the press guy starts taking pictures like crazy. Everyone crowds around and all I can see is a plaid shirt and black curls, like those of an angel.
"Helga was married to him once," someone says.
I've gotta get home. Rolf will be there for sure. Fur sure.
(Translated by Ulrike Emigh).