Fortune Speaks

“Dan Fortune is the sort of guy you’d like to strike up a conversation with late at night or in a bus station.” — Ed Lynskey, The Mystery File

“I lost my left arm. I’m right-handed. There is some good in everything, if you look at it correctly.”

Dennis“A detective who expects his clients to tell all wouldn’t work much.”

“Ninety-nine out of a hundred people who run away and disappear are married. Male or female. It makes you wonder.”

“Like most men who despise money, I always need some.”

“Maybe she made a lot of her own troubles, but don’t we all when you come down to it?”

“Four o’clock in the morning is that final moment of truth – the time when there is nowhere else to go but home. If a man has a home.”

“Most men work at what they happened to learn how to do, not at what they wish they had learned how to do.”

“He sat on a bar stool with the air of a man who has learned that a bar stool is man’s best friend.”

“Everything we say or do is really about ourselves.”

“A cop doesn’t get mugged in broad daylight very often. Yet cops are killed every day and make headlines for months. A mugging is hot news at first, but fades fast. People are more interested in death.”

“It’s not so important to win a fight, but it is important to not let the other man win.”

“The best way to make a man stop knocking you down is to get back up every time. That tells him it won’t get him what he wants.”

“You can’t really feel better by hitting a man weaker than you. At least, I never could. Maybe that’s why I never made my mark in the world.”

“We don’t admit it, but we consider a successful man a better man. A prince of success, an inevitable winner.”

“No one should ever have to live scared.”

“With the shabby office, my rough clothes, and my missing arm, I don’t look affluent, and we are a world based on cash and prospects.”

“Perfection doesn’t exist. Most of us accept that, but alone in the long nights we dream fantasies of perfection as unreal as the dream world of any psychotic.”

“I think about how free I am – no mortgages, no upkeep, no status to live up to and worry about. I chose my path, and I’m glad. You can’t be really free and really successful in our world.”

“The maid who opened the door looked at my missing left arm as if she were about to say that they’d given at the office. She didn’t say it. Maybe my eyes warned her that I could be more than just another cripple looking for a handout.”

“Each year we make it easier to do more faster with less time to think about what we do or why we do it. Maybe we want it that way. Or someone does.”

“Suspicion goes with my work. A cop doesn’t meet the most honest people, not even a private cop. Especially a private cop.”

“He gave me a single glance that weighed me, measured me, judged me, chewed me, and spit me out as neither threat nor profit to him.”

“The main drawback to the detective business, aside from a little violence now and then, is that you make your living from people’s trouble, and people in trouble tend to forget their manners. Then, maybe it’s better to make your living from other people’s trouble than from other people.”

“I make enough money for my needs. Real work is for something else. Real work has to be for more than a full belly or a paid-up woman. Real work has its own reasons for being done; reasons that are part of the work itself.”
“A man doesn’t need much money to eat, sleep dry, and get enough to drink to quiet the voices in his head or the pain in an arm that isn’t even there. How can something hurt that isn’t there? A stupid question. I’ve read my Freud. What’s missing hurts more than anything else, especially when you are alone at night. Sometimes I find myself lying awake and wondering if the arm is still alive somewhere and missing me. I wonder where the arm is now, and if it is lonely. Those are thoughts that can keep a man awake for a long time.”