My name is Vladimir Sackov. I am a private detective, better known as a private dick. Naturally, in your mind's eye, you can picture me. I am tall, athletic, with a handsome face. I wear designer clothes. I am clearly well off, witty, smart, suave, and a hit with the ladies.
Your mind's eye needs glasses. Really strong ones. It could not be more wrong if it tried. I am 5 feet, eleven inches ... Not short, to be sure, but not exactly tall either. Although I am an unusually strong man, I weigh around 300 lbs. That is largely fat, too. Hard rubbery fat, but fat. A good description is I look like a football player who barely failed to make the professional scene, and spent the years crying over a mountain of beer cans about it. I didn't, but it gives you an idea.
I look harried. My hair is a dark blonde, long and bushy, very full. Beatle's type. Except it is usually unkempt. I never comb it. I have a beard that is the product of not shaving. I trim it, but not often enough for it to look anything but rough. I never shape it. Sometimes there is food in it, but I try to avoid that, albeit with limited degrees of success.
Despite my size, my head still looks large on my body. I have a broad face; I tend to smile a lot off the job. I have the laughter wrinkles that come with that. I have a smallish stubby nose that has been broken several times and looks it. I have brown/green eyes, somewhat small. Despite their dark shade, I am extremely light sensitive and keep them half closed during the day. It makes me look stupid. I look like a retard if I let my mouth hang open. It really creates a good effect for my job, too.
Nor am I a fashionable dresser. In the warm months, I wear a t-shirt, as often as not a tatty one, and often-faded swim-type shorts. You know the kind I mean, they look like swim shorts but aren't lined. In the winter I wear a similar t-shirt, sweat pants or athletic pants in equally tatty condition, and one of a number of old and rarely washed jackets and sweatshirts. I shower a scant few times a week and often smell.
I am not gonna try and rationalize this. The main reason I do it is I am not, by nature, a neat person. I do not exist to impress people, and in the rare event that I try to, it is with my mind, not my clothing. New clothes, especially "good" new clothes, cost money I'd rather not spend, especially on something I don't care much about. My wife has an aversion to being under running water, and ever since we started showering together, I hated showering alone. So we shower together a few times a week.
I am not, however, going to tell you that it does not help my job. It definitely does. I admit that my appearance and ... obnoxiousness has turned off a few clients. But I generally pose as a bum on the job, and wearing cheap clothes, smelling, and looking unkempt goes very well with that cover.
Naturally, I love the excitement of my job. I love the hard work, the gunfights, the thrill of solving a murder, of getting a crook behind bars. I solve difficult cases the police are too incompetent to handle. I get all the damsels in distress; I right the wrongs of society. Countless evildoers are behind bars because of my selfless heroic actions.
Yeah, you can mark that down as bullshit, too. That isn't what private dicks do. I do a worthless job, and do it for a very low rate an hour. It is low-pay, and frankly a bottom of the barrel worthless job. I tail women. That's what I do. That's what most private dicks do. I tail them for their husbands, looking for proof of infidelity. I get pictures. I testify at divorce proceedings. It is the most boring thing you can imagine.
I hate my job. No, I wasn't under the common misconception that my job would be an exciting life of crime solving, hot women, car chases, and gunfights. I knew the basic elements of the job. What I wanted to do was prove husbands wrong. I was hoping to mend relationships, help people, restore trust and love into a marriage. When the wife was cheating, well, she deserved what she got, I figured.
I really had no idea the sick depths to which people go. It really lowered my opinion of people, doing these jobs for the past 20 years or so. So many men thought it was great to brag about what they were doing. See, they had a vague feeling their wife might be cheating on them. They themselves had a woman they loved on the side. They wanted to find evidence of adultery to make the divorce "cost less".
It sickened me, to know that was the motive. But that wasn't the worst part. Oh no, the worst part was that some, perhaps 20%, did or didn't think their wife was cheating, but that didn't matter. They wanted me to catch them cheating. They wanted me to toss them into a compromising situation. They either wanted me to drag them there somehow, or had hired someone to bring them to that point. At first I turned down the jobs, but the income of a private dick is not such that you can reject work.
The fucking bastards. Some of these cases, the wives were being faithful. They'd never cheat on their husbands. They loved them. They were led into these situations. In one case, the man hired actually raped them! It was often at least somewhat against their will. They wanted pictures, forged evidence, whatever they could get, to try and make sure the woman, their wife for God's sake, would get nothing in the divorce proceedings.
My feelings on human beings were ... they were sick. How could you do that? Cheating is wrong. It is the worst thing you can ever do, to my mind, perhaps worse than murder. "I love you, I want to marry you." Sacred words. "I love you..." I want you, I need you, you are special to me, you are the best person in the world for me. I trust you, trust me too. Be with me forever.
I'm married. I love my wife with all my heart. First off, other women simply don't interest me. Love, for me, is central to the pleasure of sex. It is pleasure derived from shared love, shared pleasure, shared need. I don't love other women. They don't interest me in bed- what's the point? I can get myself to an orgasm with my left hand. Fucking someone I don't love or care about is about the same level of value. Fall in love with someone else? It's not happened, but it could I guess. But to have sex with them would break promises and greatly hurt the person I love more than anything else. No. Fucking. Way.
Second, there is a level of trust between us. I care about her. I could never do anything that might hurt her. And breaking someone's heart, as me cheating would surely do, is the worst hurt you can inflict on them. I'd chop my dick off first. Third, nobody could possibly be better for me than my wife. We have a mixture of problems and unusual assets that just mesh together like a jigsaw puzzle.
But what if the impossible happened, what if I fell for someone else? My love for her died. Well, what the fuck. Just by nature of the love and affection and need we had once had, and the fact that we had spent the past 25 years of our life together, would I feel obligated to give what I could. She would be the innocent person hurt. She deserves her fair share of our assets and money. She deserves to be kept in the minds of the world as the pure and honest person she had always been. Even if the love died, my sense of obligation would make sure of that.
Who the fuck do these bastards think they are? How dare they do this to their wives? It would make me cry, I'd tell Annie about what had happened, and we'd cry each other to sleep. One day, I knew, I'd get back at them. I'd make one of these assholes pay through every fucking orifice of their rotten, overweight body.
I did make decent money for my profession. I had a technique that made my tailing almost untraceable. Its called the lamp post effect. Do you notice the lamp posts outside your home? I didn't think you really did. It's always there, so you stop seeing it. I worked in Philadelphia. There are a lot of bums in Philly. When it came to tailing the subject, I'd take a week of prep first. I'd sit myself outside their normal haunt, sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against a building.
I'd let the local police know of my purpose; life was easier that way. I'd sit there for a week with a cheap gin bottle, filled with water. I'd use it as a cologne in the morning, real gin. I'd become a fixture of that area, a local drunk bum. After a week, the subject would stop seeing me. Then I would start shadowing them. They would never notice me. Shadows don't stumble around drunk, singing in an awful, drunken lilt. I do.
Sometimes I'd make sure they knew I was there, and perhaps make them know I was following them. It's hiding in plain sight. Yeah, I'm following you. But I am not keeping an eye on you for your husband. Fuck no. No way. They'd go running straight to their place of assignation, right into their lover's arms, scared shitless of me.
Usually, the place of assignation remains the same, I have found. Once I knew where it was, I'd stake myself out nearby. Sometimes it was easy to get evidence. It was as simple as photographing through a window. Sometimes, it was not so easy. I'd use technology for it.
Infrared imaging, photographing them and then shooting an IR video of them walking up the stairs, into the bedroom, and of their lovemaking. Sometimes, the building wouldn't be good for that kind of work. I'd try to do it from the hall. Several times, I climbed the fire escape and broke in through the balcony, or such, when the set up made it ideal to do so without discovery. The important thing was having the evidence fall down on the cheater in court like a ton of bricks.
I did good work, and I am paid by the hour, and I took a lot of hours to do it. I was pretty well known. I liked that I did my job well- who wouldn't? But I hated the work. I hated it with a passion I just couldn't explain. I went into this to fix marriages. I found myself destroying them 9 times out of 10. The only good times were those rare times when I found no evidence of cheating.
It was such a pleasure to have someone tell me to cut off the job, they were satisfied that their wife was faithful to them. I revel in the few times that I found notes or gifts, with profuse thanks for helping them save their marriage. They had to know for sure, and now they did.
I finally did get to have my sweet revenge, though. I was an author on the side; I had a few things published but nothing big, I wasn't making good money with it or anything. I had just finished writing what I felt was the best book I had ever written when the fucktard came in. He was the worst schmuck I had ever met. And trust me, in this line of work, that is saying a hell of a lot, 'cause I have met some really rotten scum in my travels.
He was a "respectable businessman". Yeah, sure. I knew him, you'd know him if I mentioned his name. He ran a large Fortune 500 company. He was a big man, somewhat fat, looked respectable. White hair, and all that jazz. He came in with the proposal that I help him prove his wife had been cheating. We had the usual conversation, at first.
"Vladi, can I call you Vladi? I'd like you to catch my wife cheating."
I have an obscure doctorate in an oddball subject that has no meaning. Usually, I prefer people call me Vlad, or Mr. Sackov. But technically, its Dr. Sackov. I disliked the man immediately. I fucking HATE being called Vladi.
"It's Dr. Sackov, Mr. Vestor. I didn't write a dissertation to be called mister, and I don't know you well enough for first names. Now, what makes you think she is cheating?"
"Oh, I know she isn't. I just prefer a woman who fights back more," he said. "She refuses to do some things that I want her to do and I am getting bored of her."
" ... Uh, what do you mean?"
"I like water sports, scatting and other things like that," Vestor explained, "and she refuses to perform them. I'm tired of it. I want someone more exciting."
I was taken aback. First of all, such things are fucking disgusting. But that's a matter of personal preference. But to ... walk out on someone, and frame them for cheating ... fucking asshole.
"If she isn't cheating, Mr. Vestor," I asked, "how do you expect me to catch her at it."