The Mustache Man

Chapter One




            “You are Peter Vargas.”


            “And you have a nickname. I see here it says”

            “The Mustache Man.”

            “And you got that nick name because”

               “When I lived in San Francisco some friends said they saw me disappear. Before I dematerialized this pencil thin mustache I used to have would quiver in the air. “Good-bye mustache man,” they would sing in drunken unison.” See you when I see you.” They knew I would return. For awhile they knew that.”

            “Can I talk to these friends of yours?”

            “They were just homeless guys with names like Big Bob, Dirty Ed, Sucky Sally. No name guys with washed out identities on the streets.”

            “So Pete, can I call you Pete?”


            “You can’t show me how you do this disappearing act of yours, can you?”

            “ It just happens when…”


            “When I’m overwhelmed, everything is too much around me. Everything comes at me too fast and I get this sensation.”

            “Are you all right?”

            “It’s just that you’re the first person I’ve ever talked to about this. I know what you’re thinking.”

            “What am I thinking?”

            “That I’m crazy.”

            Carlton looked up from her laptop. Her eyes were dark blue. She didn’t blink.

            “I don’t think you’re a nut case. What I think”


            “You know what I’m thinking, don’t you?”


            “That you’re a very confused man who has…”

            “Tell me.”

            Carlton shook her head gently, took out a box of chocolate mints and sucked on one of them. She offered a mint to Pete. He waved his hand to dismiss the offer.

            “You’ve seen doctors?”

            “In and out of hospitals all my life. Hospitals are my second home. I learned to play guitar in a hospital in Phoenix. Neuro surgeons, psychiatrists, wellness specialists, sexy cheerleaders in pale blue uniforms with too much lipstick and dogs to soothe me.”

            “And they all told you what?”

            “Black outs of course. I never really disappear I just think I do. I just black out and wake up hours, days, weeks later in a bus, on a train or a plane.”

            “A plane. How do these experts explain you’re getting past security?”

            “Somebody messed up. Remember that boy who ran away from his parents and got all the way to Rome?”

            “Yes. I heard about that. He was a very smart boy.”

            “I’ve just got some part of my brain that’s missing. I can’t establish continuity from moment to moment and from place to place.”

            “So you’ve had chronic alzheimers since you were a baby.”

            Pete rocked back in his beautifully comfortable black recliner and laughed. It was a deep rich laugh.

            “Yeah that’s me. An absent minded professor who forgets where he is and where he’s going. He forgets who he is and winds up just traveling.”

            Pete got up, stretched and yawned.

            “Trouble sleeping?”

            “Most of the time.”

            “Do you time jump?”

            Pete laughed. “Don’t have the time. Just space jump. It gets very embarrassing.”

            The young women who called herself Detective Carlton Jamis (Carlton for short) typed softly on the keys for awhile.

            “I’m recording your voice, is that all right?”

            “Go ahead.”

            Carlton fiddled with something.

            “Look. I don’t know how you found me or why you bothered to look me up, I don’t know why you even thought it was important to find me. How did you find me? I’m never in one place long enough to keep an address.”

            “Read this.”

            Carlton printed out a few pages from a site she’d been skimming then handed the print out to Vargas. He leaned back in the recliner, his six foot six frame sticking out and his frayed black boots showing a few holes.

            “Chance Montclair is looking for me?”

            Carlton nodded.

            “She said there was a pattern to your disappearances. She found out my interest in these disappearances then connected on this site.”

            Vargas laughed softly. “Disappearing acts. Sounds like I’m part of a traveling circus. An old time freak show except it’s on line.”

            “You’re not the only one.”

            Pete sat up and stared at Carlton.

“I’d like to meet these others.”

            “You’re looking at one of them.”

            Carlton smiled. Then she vanished.


Joomla Templates - by