Now that’s how I remember the first bit. But I don’t remember what I wanted to do when I left the hotel in the state I was in, or how I ended up in a phone box, surrounded by stickers advertising escorts of every kind, and dialling 9-9-9 for the police until I realise that here it’s 9-1-1 instead.
A deep, firm voice answers my call. “Hello, New York Emergency Services here. What do you need?”
“Pleece,” I say.
“Did you say the Police?”
“Yeah. Look, it’s an emergency, I have to talk to them now.”
“All right.” The line is changed as I’m redirected. In the time it takes for an even deeper, older man’s voice to ask me what I want to talk to them about, my hands have gone clammy and I’m feeling like I’m not really here.
“I think I murdered my girlfriend,” I tell them.
“Uh, right. What’s your name?”
“…Sid. I need you to come here.”
“OK, then, Sid,” says the policeman. There’s an edge to his voice, like he’s scared or something. “Where are you?”
“In a phone box.”
I need to slow down. I’m shaking and my hands, wrapped in white-knuckled fists around the phone, are covered in feverish sweat. Slowly, I give the address of the hotel, and then hang up on him. He can make his own way there.
I can’t think as I make my way back to the hotel. I pass people who stare at my studded jacket, bloody jeans and swastika top, but I’m filled with this horrible numb feeling and I only see things in bits.
The Police are everywhere when I get back. Once I’m in the room again, there are a couple of forensic detectives and two or three policemen. Meekly I show my face.
“Are you Sid of the telephone call?”
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to come back with us to answer a couple questions.”
Well, it wouldn’t be a change. It just seems a shame that I’ve mucked up relations with American police as well as English, and so soon. “Look, mate…” I begin.
“Sergeant,” corrects the policeman.
“Yeah. Is Nancy going to be all right?”
“The answer, I’m afraid, is no. Confirmed dead.” he tells me bluntly.
“Well how did she die?” I snap at him.
“We don’t currently know.” The look in his eye suggests that I might. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to come with me, now,” he adds, looking me up and down, a grimace on his face, and he stares straight at my top.
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to place you under arrest…”