Shit, this job sucks.
For starters, the address that Cyndi gave me was a non-starter.
Supposedly Jessie Byrd is living at this non-descript and fairly new apartment complex just north of I-10 and south of the Heights. If you know Houston, it’s the apartment complex across the highway from that pair of porn shops by the Shell station. I had never been to this apartment complex before. I have been to one of the porn shops (the DVD’s are way over priced but they got a huge dildo selection).
I drove over there and then wandered around until a I found a gate that hadn’t closed properly.
The complex is a total mess. The layout of the buildings and their labeling make absolutely no sense. It’s sort of like the people who live there do not want anyone to ever visit.
I found Jessie’s apartment and knocked on the door. Of course no one answered. So I started knocking on the neighbors’ doors.
There is an art to randomly knocking on the doors of apartments in Texas. You have to do so in a friendly way and then step at least 4 feet away from the door. Make sure your knees are slightly bent so you can get the hell out of there if someone starts shooting at you. Also, make sure you’ve got a friendly demeanor so that if they open the door you won’t scare them. If you look too friendly, they will assume you are selling something or introduce them to your particular flavor of Jesus and never open the door.
In general, all women will assume you are planning to rape them.
After doing my best not to look like a rapist, burglar, sales man or someone trying to help them find Jesus, I stuck a note on Jessie’s door explaining I was sent by her father and urgently needed to talk to her.
Why didn’t I just call her?
Hahahahaha. That would have been too easy.
I did call her, but in a sign of things to come, her voice mail was full.
I’ve never understood that. How hard is it to check your voice mail and then either call the person back or ignore them. Either way, DELETE YOUR OLD MESSAGES.
I swung back by her place at noon. I could tell a neighbor was looking at me through their peephole while I did the random neighbor door knock routine. They got really quiet and just stood there, obviously peering through their peephole at the me, positive that I was going to evangelize to them as I raped them, stole their TV and signed them up to a year’s subscription of Marie Claire.
The note was still on Jessie’s door.
I came back around 6 p.m. and discovered the note was gone. A normal person would have thought the note had blown away. I’m a little more optimistic than most.
The door knock routine began again and, as luck would have it, the first door I tried was answered.
The guy was Indian and obviously too new to Houston to realize that I might rape, rob, sell and convert him before the cops arrived.
The bad news? Jessie had moved
The good news? Indian guy told me she had moved in with her boyfriend. He did not know the guy’s name.
He was helpful and friendly and spoke broken English.
I decided not to rape, rob, sell or convert him.
I thought about stopping by that other porn shack, but went home instead.