I informed the gentleman that Frank used to be on the same ship in the Navy, so I was surprised to see him working in garbage. He was much too smart for anything like that, and I can't believe he has to do that for a living. I think there is more to his story than you're telling me, I said to his boss.
He got up from the desk, came around like he was getting ready to toss me out of the his office, but walked to the door and closed it. He turned back around and said, "You're right, there is more, a lot more, so what I'm going to tell you is just between you and me, understand? I'll deny I ever said anything about it, if anyone asks, and I hope you'll do the same." He gave me a stern, steady stare until I said, "Of course. I wouldn't say anything to anybody about private matters. What goes on between us never happened."
He took his seat behind the desk again and relaxed, leaned forward with his forearms resting on the desktop, and practically whispered, "Frank is not a garbage man. He's investigating some suspected drug smuggling going on between a couple of the workers. It's very dangerous work, but he's handling it well. He has a lot of experience in that business and knows exactly what he's doing. He hasn't told anytbody what's going on, not even me. He says he has his people he needs to tell, so, his work here is completely independent of our office and we accommodate him in every way. We don't need any of that stuff going on around here, the drugs I mean, he said with emphasis. And that's all I can say about Frankie."
I sat back in my chair, wondering if all this was true, but it sounded perfectly logical to me. I thanked him for talking to me and left.
I never saw Frankie in our neighborhood again, but have always wondered what the real truth was about him. And I never heard anything or read in the papers about any drug bust among city workers. But, to me, it was perfectly lopgical that Marinelli would be doing something like that, law enforcement or such. And I wished him good luck.