Saturday, April 30, 2005

a pretty dangerous profession

9:30 AM, Kiyash and I head out for the final two hours' drive through the desert to Coachella. Despite our sleep deprivation, we are amped for the heist.

Our meet with Myke, outside the main entrance to the Coachella music festival, goes exactly as planned.

He is easy to ID, wearing the bright red “Hustler” t-shirt that Nisha emailed us a photo of last night. Myke and I make each other at precisely the same moment. My cell phone rings with his (917) area code just as Kiyash snaps a surveillance photo of Myke from 500 yards away. Over the cell, Myke directs us to approach.

I initiate contact using the codeword Myke gave us on the call late last night: dangerous.

“Hustling can be a pretty dangerous profession, you know.”

Myke barely smiles and nods. He has a pretty steely game face on… hard to read

Myke, as it turns out, is a man of few words. He slips us our tickets to the festival without a word. He does not want to discuss any details of the heist. He will not divulge any information about his relationship with Nisha. He does, however, want us to meet him again later that night for further instructions.

We set up a second liaison for 10 PM at the Tesla Coil, which is a freestanding electro-hectic sculpture that intimidates me with its excellent impression of the third sign of the Apocalypse.

Kiyash and I set off to find our fellow retrievers, scout the massive festival grounds, and engage in some pre-mission training exercises.

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