An hour later, Frank untied a small white kitchen trash bag in the station’s parking garage and recoiled. “Oh my God, I’m gonna puke.”
“If you puke on my evidence, I will kick you in the knee,” Vic said. “Put your gloves on and don’t breathe in when you open the bag.”
“There cannot possibly be anything we need in here. It’s full of…ulk…dirty diapers… I’m gonna yak.”
Vic grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back. “Hey, calm down. We’ll take the bag out into the fresh air. Listen, you’re going to smell things a whole lot worse than this if you stay in detectives. Trust me.”
Frank wiped his face on his shirt sleeve and groaned. “What the hell are we doing this for anyway?”
Vic slid his hands into a pair of leather gloves, then pulled a pair of latex gloves over the top of them. “I can touch anything in the world if I’m set up like this, okay?” He picked up the trash bag and took it outside, making sure to set it down beneath the overhead light. He pulled out a knife from his pocket and flicked it open with one hand, then slit the bag lengthwise. “Bring another bag over here and hold it open.”
Frank put on his gloves the same way that Vic had and held the bag open, keeping his face as far from the bag as possible. Vic reached into the first trash bag and pulled out a rolled up diaper that was leaking brown fluid on the asphalt.
“Nobody in their right mind would open this. Drug dealers count on that.” Vic peeled off the sticky tape holding the diaper together and unrolled it. “Oh boy. What did they feed this kid. That’s disgusting.”
Frank looked down and gagged. “Hurry up, roll it back up and put it in here.”
Vic dropped the diaper in and reached back for another. “Only four more to go.”
Frank buried his face into his bicep and tried crushing his nostrils against the fabric. His eyes were starting to water from the fumes and odor of liquid feces. The sticky side of the tape got caught on Vic’s rubber glove and he struggled to get it open without spilling the contents of the diaper onto the two of them. He slowly unrolled the diaper and said, “There. You see that?”
Frank opened one eye and looked sideways down at the diaper without moving his face away from his arm. “What is that?”
“It’s a plastic bag.” Vic laid the diaper down and spread it out on the ground. He picked up a stick and poked the brown liquid inside, using the tip of the stick to hoist a glassine sandwich bag out of the soup. “Here, take a look at this.”
Frank pinched his nose and squatted down beside him.
“This is a source bag,” Vic said. “It’s the one the cocaine comes in. If you look close, you can still see chunks of it at the bottom.”
“The only chunks I see are baby corn shit.”
Vic squeezed the bag flat between his gloved fingers to show him the small pieces that settled at the bottom of the bag. “This is big enough for an ounce of raw coke. The dealer probably stepped on it enough to turn that into two or maybe two and a half.”
“What does stepping on it do, squish it?”
Vic turned to look at him. “Are you serious? Didn’t you ever watch The Wire?”
Frank shrugged. “I don’t watch TV.”
“It’s the single greatest cop show since Homicide or NYPD Blue.”
“Never saw them either.”
Vic flinched like he’d been jolted with an electrical shock. “How the hell can you be a cop and not have watched them? It’s basic training.”
“What do they have to do with what I do out here?”
Vic shook the bag and said, “Maybe if you watched them, you’d know what this…” he stopped speaking and his voice turned into a small squeak in his throat. His eyes widened in horror.
“What?” Frank said.
“Dude, don’t move.”
“It’s nothing. Just don’t move.” Vic set the bag down and said, “I’ll be RIGHT back. Just stay there.”
Frank grabbed him by the arm, “Tell me what’s happening!”
“Get your hand off my shirt! You were just digging through trash!”
“Tell me and I’ll let go.”
Vic lowered his voice and said, “You have a small, teeny, tiny piece of baby poop on your cheek. Real close to your lip. For the love of God, don’t move. I’ll get a towel and we’ll wipe it off.”
Frank’s eyes widened and his jaw started to quiver slightly. The quiver turned into a full blown spasm as he leapt to his feet and screamed, “You son of a bitch! You got shit on me!” Frank grabbed the wet diaper off of the ground with his hand and cocked it over his shoulder like a football.
“It was an accident!” Vic shouted as he jumped back and threw his hands over his face. “Hey! Hey! That diaper is evidence! Do not throw it, Frank. It has evidence and I am giving you a direct order to put it down.”
“You are so dead,” Frank hissed.
“Put it down, Frank. Let’s both calm down.”
“That is easy for the guy with no shit on his face to say!”
“The more you talk the closer that shit gets to falling right into your…oh Jesus. Where did it go?”
“What?” Frank said.
“I don’t see it anymore. Christ…I think with all your moving and yelling it might have…we’d better get you inside.”
“In my mouth?” Frank shrieked. He dropped the diaper and stuck his tongue out and wagged it like a dog, spitting everywhere.
Vic watched Frank take off running around the parking lot, screaming. “Frank? You okay buddy?”
Frank bent over and clutched his stomach, ready to dump its contents on the parking lot floor. “Get the hell away from me!”“Ok,” Vic said, patting him on the back. “Just let it out. There you go. That’s better, buddy. That’s right.”