In all the heist movies, someone always gets pinched or sick or whatever at the very last minute and everyone else has to scramble to find a replacement. I was the replacement. I was “that guy”. And whenever “that guy” exists in the group there’s always someone else in the crew who has to vouches for the newbie. Hey, don’t worry, man. He’s cool. That’d be Dempster. He is the one vouching for me. Except in all the heist movies, I am not cool. I’m a narc or a coward or a psychopath. I am the one who fucks the whole plan to hell. Looking around, I kind of think I deserve the title of “that guy”. I walked into this little dress rehearsal in a slate three-piece suit of acceptable quality with a dark duffel bag holding a ski mask, gloves, and a shoulder rig for a 9mm. The standard apparel of the room is punk rock rags, ski masks, and semi-automatic rifles.
Yeah, I really am “that guy.”
They all have that look on their faces. They’ve all brushed up on Bank Jobs 101. They know I’m going to be the one to fuck everything to hell. How am I supposed to hold up my end of things if I’m worried about wrinkling my suit and I’m packing a piece of European plastic?
But Dempster knows how it is. I’m a professional who wants to get paid. I like the image the suit conveys and the simplicity of a Glock 9mm. He knows I’m cool.
Dress rehearsal goes down and the unspoken hostility continues. Sure, I got all the steps down, but I could still crack under pressure and I’ve just got that look about me. Yeah, I’m smart and can think on my feet, but I could also get to thinking that screwing these guys over would benefit me more, I am an outsider after all. Course Dempster vouched for me, but I’m still the weirdo in the three-piece suit. All of this is more than enough to bury to me, but fortunately there’s not enough time to buy me a plot or fit me for cement sneakers. They’re stuck with me if they don’t want to scrap the plan and they hate it.
T-minus two weeks faded to t-minus two hours and four punks and a three-piece suit go over one last verbal run through the ringer before they each reenact their favorite heist film.
The job’s a quick one. “Get in, get the money, and haul your ass the fuck out” as Dempster described it to me. The cops are inevitably going to get called. No good heist works under the assumption that you can stop the police from crashing the party, so good jobs rely on delaying that 911 call or that silent alarm until you’ve started getting money shoveled into your pockets. After that, and even more important, is getting the fuck out before the cops laid out the red carpet for you.
We did just that. Mostly.
Our escape coincided with the first surge of police activities. This was not a wholly unforeseen event and the plan was still a simple one: scatter, ditch any black-and-white tag-alongs and meet at the designated safe point. Anyone who cannot perform such a task within an hour of exiting the bank was then left to fend for him or herself. Those who did were treated to a slow ride home in a cramped white cable van.
An hour ticked by on my watch and the van rumbled gamely to life. I made sure my duffel was secured on the passenger-side floor and those who had not performed the required task were left to fend for themselves.
The color television set was probably the only thing that had changed in the hotel room since its construction over fifty years ago. The big report on the news is still the bank robbery earlier today. Four of the five suspects were apprehended. The fifth, a man of medium height and build, was last seen in a dark suit and was said to still be at large.