February 21, 2009

The Palisander Conspiracy, Part II: The Mystery Of M7

By Daniel

I write this with still-shaking hands, the events described below are no more than ten minutes old.

Saturday was a day for rest and relaxation, or so they say.  I was lounging on the couch in nothing more than a pair of underwear when the serenity was abruptly ended.

THUD! THUD! THUD THUD THUD THUD!, went the door, loud, determined, forceful, even angry knocks over and over. I quietly got up and went into the bathroom where the clothes from last night still lay and put them on, listening intently at some scattered conversation at the door. I could pick out the words “Office Depot”, and could hear two voices, which meant there were two guys outside and they were looking for me. Oh hell, what have I gotten myself into. For a full two minutes the door was assaulted with closed fist, and then I heard another sound. A police radio. My fear turned into confusion as I didn’t believe I’d done anything to get me on the wrong side of the police.

I must’ve been a sight to see, wrinkled red shirt, wrinkled blue jeans, wild unkempt hair from sitting on the couch watching MythBusters episodes. I unlocked the door and stepped onto the porch in bare feet. The officer whose eyes I met did not look amused.

“Good morning.” obviously said in sarcasm as it was 3 in the afternoon and I looked to all intents and purposes like I’d just gotten out of bed.
“Good morning, sir.”
“Are you…Brian?”


“No sir, I’ve seen some mail for him but my name’s Daniel.”
“I see, and you obviously do not live with Brian.”

Now, I’m so frequently mistaken for being gay that I was almost offended that he assumed I was straight. As ludicrous as that sounds.

“Correct, sir.”
“You’ve got a lot of mail here. A bunch of names on them.”
“Yes sir, that seems to be the nature of the beast with this apartment, everyone’s mail shows up here even after they move. Nobody does change of address forms anymore, I don’t guess.”
“Why don’t you go ahead and get your mail?”

Uh, okay? I wondered where this was leading. I grabbed the stack of mail out of the box and sorted through it, finding only one letter to me that appeared to be junk. I took it and dumped the rest back in the box.

“Aren’t you going to get your other envelope?” the policeman asked, watching me intently.

Strange, I didn’t feel anything else but I was expecting one. I dug my hand in deeper into the box and felt a bubble mailer. I knew what it was before I even pulled it out of the box, Jack (silverbullet) had sent me 10 mL of M7 by Yves Saint Larent.

“Thanks,” I told the officer, “I didn’t feel it the first time.”
“I see.” he replied obviously unconvinced, and there was a question in the air so obvious as to be nearly palpable.
“It’s cologne,” I said, pointing at the envelope.
“Are you sure? Are you sure it’s not narcotics?”
Briefly I pondered the situation, of what if Jack had slipped a little something in the envelope how amazingly screwed I’d be.
“Pretty sure, sir. I’m a cologne writer, I’ve got about 40 bottles inside.”

He looked at me for a second, scanning my face, and then said…

“No way! That’s too cool!” I breathed an inward sigh of relief. The surreality of the experience, combined with the fact that there was a heavy wind and snow shower going on, meant I started shaking, my hands especially. I knew this was gonna be trouble.

“This one’s called M7 by Yves Saint Laurent, their 7th men’s creation which explains the name. I believe, if you smell it, you’re going to smell cherry cough syrup.”

I unscrewed the cap on one of the two 5mL roller bottles and offered it to the officer. He did not accept it, instead looking at my shaking hand.

“Do you normally shake like this when you’re talking to the police?” he asked.

“No sir, you kind of rattled me with banging on the door and it’s a little cold out here, I’m not quite dressed for it.”

He finally took the bottle, raised it to his nose and stifled a laugh.

“Here, you smell it,” the officer said to his colleague, sticking it violently towards his nose. The other officer laughed and smelled it as well. The first officer took it back and then handed it back to me.

“And you’re sure it’s not GHB or something like that?”

For those that don’t know, I’m about 5’2″ and 130 pounds.

“Sir, as much as I’m flattered you think I look like a candidate for human growth hormone, I can safely say it’s just cologne.”

The officer just laughed this time, and I started to settle down, I pointed at the bottle of M7 and said secretively, “I’ve been trying to convince myself for almost a year now that this stuff isn’t terrible.”

There was no delay, not even a little pause, as the two officers said in union…

“It’s terrible.”