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April 9, 2022

Detective Noir

Kym Deyn

Remember that old joke about detectives
being hired to follow each other? Sitting
out in their cars, parked in an abandoned
lot, windows rolled up, unlit cigarettes
in their mouths? They’ve got a diamond
ring in their pocket from some other
case, a receipt for a three dollar
coffee. This could only be America,
where there’s enough space to play
pretend, and they’ve got whole towns
to film movies in. The detectives—get this
—don’t know they’re both private eyes
so keep finding each other in mirrors,
the seedy corners of bars. The detectives
have a montage, set ironically to a cover
of the Buzzcock’s “Ever Fallen In Love”
where they keep turning corners and locking
eyes. They give chase through a shopping
mall, running through a sunglasses kiosk
shedding black lenses. At the climax,
the detectives compare notes, lean closer
to light each other’s cigarettes. Together
they say “This ain't love, kiddo.
It's just the next best thing.”