The Hotel Revenir in Old Town is one of the finest places you will ever see. The faux early 19th century architecture blends seamlessly with cutting-edge tech and modern sense of aesthetic. It’s a hidden gem of the East Coast, oft-overlooked because of its location. Contrary to what certain residents and most outsiders would have you believe Llanwerth is not that bad of a city. Ignoring the north side, it’s a perfectly clean, respectable city and is, in spite of its startlingly high crime rate, a very safe place. In fact one of the many praises that can be sung of the city is the fact that it possesses a unique personality inherent in the very air itself, something which is noticeably absent from most North American cities. My visit today, however, is not to enlighten the masses to this nestled gem of sixty-eight and a quarter square miles, but to speak with an acquaintance for purposes of an interview.
I met Daniel Cross in the pub which adjoins the casino on the ground floor of the west wing of the hotel. He clearly thought nothing of the location. Whereas I arrived wearing one of my finer pinstriped suits, he was present wearing simply a vintage Green Lantern tee, battered old jeans, purple Converse, and had a vintage bomber-style jacket draped over the back of his chair. Daniel was also quite willing to take me up on the offer to cover any food or drink he ordered. In hindsight, I’m glad he stuck to pints of Guinness, though he was a little less kind in the ways of food. I spoke to him between bites of filet mignon.
You’re a police officer, correct?
Detective-Investigator, with the Investigative Department.
And what did you do before that?
Worked in a grocery store when I was a teenager. Shit job, shit manager, shit pay, but I was a kid, and you take shit when you’re a kid because shit is all you can get. I wanted to go to college, but that fell through, so I just kind of hung around at home for a year. Mom and dad kicked me out when they moved out to the suburbs. After that I got a job selling junk for some fat bastard in this big flea market over on the other side of Old Town, but it turned out that fucker was smuggling drugs. Picked up a few odds and ends after that.
So being a detective wasn’t your first choice?
Christ, no. I just needed a steady job. I’m not good at a whole hell of a lot, but what I am good at could make me a decent cop or a decent actor, and I figured it’s a lot easier to become a cop, so here I am.
You still live in the north side, if I remember correctly. The north side is noted for being—
—an all around shit hole?
Well…to put it bluntly…
(laughs) It is. But I was broke, just like everyone else up north. Fortunately I’ll be able to move into a middle class neighborhood after a year or two of this. I’ve been thinking about buying one of the row homes in New Town or a terraced house in Wadefeld, but then at the same time, I like it up north. It’s a shitty place, but it’s a damn great place, once you get the hang of things. New Town is full of people like my brother. Self-centered, self-important pricks who care more about the size of their TV than another person.
You and your brother don’t really get along then.
Never have, probably never will. Zeke always loved dad’s work and wanted to follow in his footsteps. He’s a bit more serious with his work now, but he’s still a prick.
What does your brother do?
He likes to tell you he went from being a stage magician to an actor. I’m sitting here like, “No, you went from being a fucking actor to being a fucking actor”. Only difference is he’s knocked off the annoying card tricks and is doing actual plays now. Last time I spoke to him he had an audition for a production of Waiting for Godot. Kept making a big deal about how he was going to be up in New York. No idea if he made it. Haven’t spoken to him since Thanksgiving.
It sounds like your family is very theatrically inclined.
You could say that.
What about sports?
What about them?
Are you or is anyone in your family a fan of anyone?
Personally I’m a Ravens fan. I watch a bit of baseball every now and again, but I could never get into it. Mom and dad have always been Steelers fans. My brother never really liked football. He likes to tell you, very proudly, that soccer – “footy” he calls it – is the superior sport. He’s an Everton fan.
You know I’m a fan of football – the soccer kind. Liverpool supporter.
Really? What the hell are you talking to me for then? Go find Zeke! (laughs)
Cheese-tastic question, but bear with me, please. If there were a soundtrack to your life, what would one song be?
Fuck if I know. (laughs) I’d probably hire someone to do a completely original score. If I had to pick a song, though…I was born in ’85, so you know, I really love “classic” music. Any music from my childhood, really, I just love, so I’d probably go with something by Tenpole Tudor or David Bowie. Maybe an artist from the seventies, like Sweet or Roxy Music. That would be pretty cool, actually. Hire a band like Roxy Music to write entirely new songs just to score your life.
That would kick ass.
Exactly! (he laughs as we bump fists) One song, though? Keeping with the whole Roxy Music thing, I’d probably go with Street Life.
Nice. What does Paul think of your taste in music?
Well, Paul was born not too long before me. I think he was born in 77 or 78 or something like that, so we have really similar tastes in music. He tends to prefer the more popular stuff like Led Zeppelin, but we get along pretty fine, musically speaking.
I take it that means you two don’t get along very well otherwise.
We’re a lot better now than we used to be. We came back from a drug bust the other day and Dave – the guy whose desk is across from mine – started whistling the theme from The Odd Couple. Paul threatened to kick him in the head about halfway through, but you probably get the idea of what it’s usually like with us.
You’re a living buddy cop movie!
(laughs) Probably. I don’t really think about it.
Do you drive?
No, I don't really drive. I do have my license, but I don't use it that often. I used to drive my dad's old Ford Cortina, back when I was in high school, but one day my friends and I decided to go racing on the turnpike. Lost control on the way up through the mountains and barely got out before my car went soaring up into the woods. Still not entirely sure dad's forgiven me for that. But, you know, you don't really need to drive here anyway. You can walk most anywhere you need to in a bit of time, and there are cabs and the subway and things if you're feeling kind of lazy. Personally I like walking.
It certainly sounds like you love it here.
Love it? No, I don’t love it. But it’s where I grew up, and I really just can’t picture myself living anywhere else.
Well, thanks for the interview.
No problem. And remember, I’m always game for free drinks. (laughs)
I’ll keep that in mind.