HomoTech :: The Foursquare Valentine’s Day Murder
The day Adam joined Foursquare was the day he signed his life away. He was originally lured to check out the popular check-in app after his friends told him tales of meeting up, finding each other throughout the city, getting badges, winning deals and making new friends.
"What's the worse that could happen?" He thought. A week later, on Valentine's, his body was found in the empty basement of parking garage, strangled inside his own vehicle. The following is a list of the last five places he checked into before he died.
Adam liked to work out late. It decompressed him before bed, and he never had to wait longer than fifteen minutes for a treadmill. On this particular evening, the gym cleared out earlier than usual. "The boys must all be at the Robyn concert," he figured and stayed pretty much up to closing time.
Pumped after finishing his work out, he grabbed his water bottle and strutted towards the locker room. He heard the showers going, so he figured he wasn’t alone. He went up to his locker and began to undress.
He heard the shower go off. Then, a couple of seconds later, he heard it come back on again. Two people must have just gotten off from a rendezvous in the sauna, he thought. Welcome to Gay Gym U.S.A.
Holding a towel around his waist, he made his way to the showers in the back of the locker room, expecting to see the casual lovebirds washing off after their quick fix. But there was no one there. The showers and the sauna: empty. The shower was left running.
The next day was Valentine’s, and he had a date with Johnny, a guy he had met a couple of months ago while browsing the LGBT section of his local bookstore. They both shared an appreciation for Edmund White. Together, they checked in to the hippest new restaurant in town, an Asian-fusion place from some Top Chef reject.
Conversation was kept casual. The restaurant was crowded with large parties, and Adam didn’t want to get too drunk.
"You seem off tonight," Johnny asked folding his white napkin across his lap. "Everything ok?"
"I feel like somebody’s been following me," Adam confessed, looking suspiciously around the large dining room, with oriental rugs on the wall.
"Who? You want to go talk to the police?"
"No, but maybe you can come spend the night, and keep me company?"
Adam wriggled to try and get his keys out of his tight jeans. "It’s open," Johnny turned the knob and walked in.
Something wasn’t right. Adam noticed immediately that his large glass coffee table had been turned over and shattered. He ran to his bedroom, as Johnny began dialing 911.
Adam’s room had been turned upside down. All the drawers hung brutally open, hurling bright underwear towards the floor, where more clothes laid still. Adam dashed back to the living room. Johnny was giving out information over the phone.
"Vienna?" Adam shouted and went into the kitchen. "Vienna!" One more shout. Nothing. Adam felt violated. Scared and confused.
"The cops are on their way," Johnny placed his arm around Adam.
"They didn’t take anything," he said. "But Vienna’s missing."
The hot cop talked to the couple sitting down on the couch. Adam gave him all the details, but couldn’t recall a single name of someone who, as the cop put it, "may have had a vendetta" against him. Aside from bitter ex-boyfriends, he didn’t have any real enemies, did he? He wanted to mention what had happened at the gym the night before, what started his recent and irrational paranoia of being followed, but decided against it. "Should I be worried?"
"It looks like a random act," the cop stood up. "But do call if anything else happens. Whatever it is, you can never be too careful. It’s strange they only took your cat. Remember: once is luck, twice is coincidence, and a third time, enemy action. You were unlucky tonight."
"We should go to bed," Johnny suggested.
"No." Adam looked towards the ground, his shit spilt all over. "I don’t want to be here."
"We’ll go to my place."
"No. I can’t be inside right now. Let’s go out."
[Follow Adam to Nightclub Stalkr, where he runs into a stranger...]
The "Thriller/Heads Will Roll" Glee mash-up was playing at the gay club when they stepped in. Johnny bought him an amaretto sour, and they walked towards the back, closer to the DJ. As Adam sipped his drinks, a hazy lens was filtered over his vision, and the music got louder.
Johnny dragged him to the dancefloor, and they started dancing. After another song came on, Johnny leaned in to peck his neck.
"What are you doing?" Adam flung back. "My apartment just got broken into!" Johnny didn’t know what to say.
"I’ll be right back," Adam said after not getting a response. "I need to use the restroom." Before Johnny could grab his arm and stop him, Adam stormed off through the boys, packed tightly onto one another.
A stranger briskly walked out of the men’s restroom, bumping right against Adam, making his heart pound loudly. "Jesus fucking Christ! You scared the shit out of me!" Adam could smell the sugary amaretto on his shirt.
"I’m sorry about that," the stranger apologized. "Hey, are you Adam Torrent? I think we’re friends on Facebook."
"Yeah, you and everybody at this fucking bar," Adam pushed past and into the restroom. On his way back, he noticed Johnny talking intimately with a tall boy with thin-framed glasses. They smiled.
"Happy Valentine’s Day," Adam shoved his empty cup against Johnny, smiled up towards the tall boy, and walked off.
"Adam, wait!" Johnny followed him through the crowds. Adam turned around, "What?"
"I have your car keys," Johnny jingled them out of his pocket.
13th Street Parking Garage
The sound of his shoes clattering across the concrete echoed in the empty parking garage. There were only three cars parked on his floor, no one in sight. Once he was a few feet away, Adam beeped his car unlocked, and all four doors latched open. As he was about to open the driver’s door, he heard a meow.
He turned around, trying to listen carefully. The sound was familiar. "Vienna?" He paced towards the sound. Another meow. It was coming from behind one of the cars far off on the other side of the garage.
Adam ran, and came to find, as he circled the dark car on the other side, Vienna, looking up at him.
"How did you get here?" Adam was instantly overjoyed to see his cat in this unlikely of a place. He picked her up and walked back towards his car. "Let’s go home."
Gently flinging Vienna to the passenger seat, Adam got behind the wheel and began backing out of his parking spot. He readjusted his rearview mirror and that’s when he noticed a man sitting in the back seat.
Before he could scream, the man jumped up and wrapped a thick strip of string around Adam’s neck, pinning him back, unable to breathe.
"Drive down to the lowest floor," the man said, spitting on Adam’s cheek, already wet with tears. "Drive down," he repeated. And Adam drove.
To this day, The Foursquare Valentine’s Day Murder remains under investigation.
He blogs here.
This story is part of our special report titled "HomoTech." Want to read more? Here's the full list.