June 29th, 2013
This was originally posted to the: Alexia Foundation’s blog on 6/27/2013.
He’s a big man, tall and broad in the shoulder, with large hands. They are no longer rough and calloused, like I imagine they were when he was a trucker. The deep huskiness of his voice, a smoker’s, lends itself to the cadence of his speech. Deliberate, thoughtful, and paced so a drag on the cigarette feels natural.
Except that night.
Tom was speaking fast, a fluid stream-of-consciousness monologue. The window to the rental car was cracked, drawing his smoke out into the evening air. Rap played loudly on the satellite radio.
“To be a hunter,” he said, “you need to think like your prey.”
“I hate this music,” he gestured toward the dash, “But I used to listen to it. It’s what they listen to.”
Tom was showing me what he used to do, every day, while his daughter was missing. He would start in Tacoma, amongst the seedy motels and clubs, then drive Highway 99 north until Everett. The old highway changes names along the way; Pacific Highway South, International Boulevard, Aurora. But for many it is just one thing: The Track. It’s where one goes to find prostitutes, and Tom knew his daughter was one.
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