Sunday, November 11, 2012

11TH NANoWriMo Novel In A Month episode 11/10/12

Bingo Boy - post 11

Jimmy and Marty didn't talk. Marty stayed in the back room all day. His ribs hurt. His jaw hurt. His eye was black. You know the wimmen out there would a seen. They can sense what's going on. And we say 'wimmen' but it's not all wimmen. Some old men come in too. Retired guys. Widowers. A few hubbies meet their wives after work. They have pizzas delivered to their seats and THEN they eat the free dinner platters. Sometimes a few young kids in their twenties show up. Sure they'd rather be at a casino, but forty dollars don't pay for too much gamblin' time in them joints. Here they can play all night.  Know what this place is?... A baby sitting service for compulsives. They smoke. They eat. They gamble. Hot-cha-cha. 

But the new guys, the ones from Odessa walk around like they own the place. Hands in pockets. Chins thrust forward. They look. They look. They look. Sometimes they mutter away to each other in Doctor Zhivago talk. And they laugh. Oh, and they know where the money is. How could they not? Jimmy tells them. One palmed a stack a bills from the table. You know, when the kids are counting? Marty's there when they do it. He watches. But they don't steal. Muscles wanders in and out too. But the Odessa buy stole. And Jimmy saw it. The Odessa guy grins. Jimmy grins back. Who's gonna stop 'em? Marty don't do nothin'. Just keeps his head down and makes like he's lookin' over receipts. You know, like from the food supplier, or utility bills. You should see what he's driving now. A friend, or a cousin or somebody sells used cars and he borrows one from the lot. Every few days something different. No more big Caddy, or whatever it was he had. Now it's Carollas and old Ford Taurus'. Dirty ones too. Lucky he don't get bugs. 

And then, fast as they come, the Odessa guys leave. Jimmy too. Guess they skimmed enough for one day. Oh, and you wanna know where they're gone with it? Sugar House.... the Sugar House Casino, right on the edge a Center City. Jimmy plays craps. I don't know what them Ukrainians play. Boy how they must love stealing from 'the Jew.' That's what they call him. Only they say it 'Yid' or 'Zhid.' What can Marty do? Less money is better than no money.

The kids go back in to help him count part a the take. But records don't mean anything now. Not his books. Not the charity's books. Not the tax man's books. Not that they ever meant much. The accountant cobbles it all together anyway. But at least one set was accurate. 

Marty looks like he's gonna be sick. Ricky says - Marty, you OK?...... Little Chrissie looks up too. But Marty don't say nothin'. He just nods and stares. Then he mumbles under his breath. He goes - Please, help me get rid of him. Please, help me get rid of him...... And he looks. He just looks...... right at them. Nobody says anything. The shift comes to an end. Ricky still stayin' with Little Chrissie til he gets his new tires. They go eat something at a little diner...a real little, old fashioned diner. Slide into a cozy booth at the back. When life is tough, 'cozy' means a lot. 

Little Chrissie says - All right. So tell me. How bad do you have it?....... He says - Well, my house is fallin' apart. My car's a wreck. And I only got fifty dollars a week  for food..... She says - What do you get?..... He says - OK, here's the list. It don't change. Every week. The same thing. Store brand bread. Store brand peanut butter. It's all store brand, so let me just rattle it off.. cornflakes, milk, cheap, mushy, cat food style tuna, cheap, watery, salty spongy ham and trans-fat-acid-rich cookies. No soda. No coffee. No ice-cream. Once in a while some spaghetti sauce to pour over noodles or rice. And for 'health care,' a bag a carrots for a dollar and a bottle of imitation Tums for two dollars and ninety nine cents. Wintergreen, my favorite. Oooo, just like candy. Did I say the dollar a bottle unbuffered aspirins too? That's for my heart. They're my 'I hope these headaches aren't a stroke' medicine....And you, what do you get?

Little Chrissie goes - Same as you. Maybe a pack a hotdogs every once in a while. But that you already know. And don't forget, I have to buy baby food, baby formula, baby clothes, baby sneakers and baby diapers too.

Ricky goes - Don't your baby daddy help any?...... She goes - Nope. He don't do a God damned thing. And his low-life mother should burn in hell........ Ricky goes - I'm just sayin' now. I'm just talkin'.  What Marty says. What Marty wants. I mean about Jimmy and all... would you do it? Like in your head, do you ever think you could do it?......... Little Chrissie swallows a french fry and says - I don't know.... Ask me tomorrow when I run low on Kotex. I gotta but that too, you know...

And then the waitress smacks down the bill.....


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