If you solve a multiple murder case while you’re still a waitress, people expect miracles from you as a private investigator. At least, for a while.
I thought I would like the congratulations and a bit of hometown applause, but thumbs-up signs and “way to go, Hermione” wore on me. I never could think of much to say in response.
Fortunately, it wore on the hometown as well. San Tobino is too practical to let local-girl-makes-good last too long. Like an elaborate sand castle on the beach, my local fame yielded to the tide of life in San Tobino: farmer’s market on Thursday, football weekends at the local polytech university and church on Sunday. Even if you don’t participate in any of these local events, your life in San Tobino will be marked by their rhythm.
The lasting part of my success was my business card:
DENNING AND DAGGERT
Hermione Daggert, Partner
Sometimes I pull my business card out of my purse or pocket, half afraid that my name has washed away like my local fame. But, no. Every time I look, the letters are as crisp as ever.
When I got my first job, waitressing at Milady’s Manor, I was thrilled. First time on my own, a job at a famous hotel, and I was in love with life. But I never had a business card.
Private investigation is about people: finding them, finding things for them, spying on them, and sometimes consoling them. A few years’ experience gave me confidence and I thought I knew human behavior.
Then I encountered a man I can only describe as an outlier, an anomaly. His considerable accomplishments drew no applause, his wit no appreciation. Perhaps there are many like him, but I hope not. It’s just too hard to go through life as he did, successful and alone.
What are you supposed to do when, no matter your accomplishments, behavior, or communication skills, people just don’t like you?