Bingo Boy - post 7
Ricky sits in his living room. It's cold. The heat's set on sixty degrees. There's one of those little swirly low watt light bulbs in a small lamp by the sofa. But the room is dark. A thirteen inch Daewoo color television sits rigged up to one of those little converters. That's how he gets TV. Not cable, this is free TV, the equivalent of free, government cheese. If it wasn't for PBS, it'd be torture. OK, so he likes The Voice too. But most of it is shit. Plinko is OK. Look, I'm just one of the narrators. I'm just a ghost. My name is Evelyn. How ya doin', kid? Nice to meet you. I used to live right off the 'avenue.' Frankford Avenue. You know, where the bingo place is. My street was all right. Neat, little houses. Nice porches. Row houses, but better. We kept up. Didn't have like a lawn. But there was a little place for flowers and a rose bush. Them lousy dogs used to pee all over it. And every month it got worse and worse. You know you can't say nothing. One word and they'll kill ya. Pit bulls too. They got pit bulls. Mean ones. Big ones. Strong ones. And swattin' out big turds is like what they're known for. I tell the guy - Excuse me, but could you keep your dog off my plants?... OK, so I said 'your God damn lousy dog.' Is that any excuse for he and his brother-in-law to bust into my house and bash my skull in? Kids cried for a week. My daughter up in Levittown is still sick over it. And she got type two diabetes. My husband was already dead, so his head was OK. Boy, was he surprised when I showed up. I said - Well, are we still married?...... My mother-in-law, she was a real bitch, made a big stink. She says - Keep walkin', you sloppy bitch you. He ain't married to you no more!.... But then she remembers where she is and shuts up. Don't wanna get evicted. So she just sits there suckin' on her cigarette and givin' me dirty looks..... Are we back wit' each other? I don't know. I guess so. But what was I tellin' you?.. Oh, yeah, Ricky. Things is bad for him. Things is real bad. I tell him he should sell the house and get out a there. He don't know it's me. He don't know me as Evelyn. I'm just like a little voice. His mom don't like me. She says - Look you, loud mouthed bitch, where the hell is he supposed to go!? The husband sits quiet. He don't wanna fight..... And I know what she means. It's not like he's gonna get a lot. What, a hundred thousand or less? An' he ain't even gonna get that. Place needs at least twenty thousand dollars worth a work. Lemme tell ya, nobody helps anybody. Chrissie, the little one, wants a move too. And she ain't even got no house to sell. Place belongs to her grandmom. She ain't gone no where. She like a whore. You know that? Not guys off the street. A list. She had a list. Big guys. Big names, like bosses from the gas company, executives. You know, all in nice suits. They wore nice suits. Had a whole set up down in the cellar. Clean...it was real clean. Walls all white. Floor all shiny. Jail cell in a corner. Like an actress, a game player. you know, them tight leather outfits and bustiers. Did I say it right? One a those whip women. Like Madonna, or Lady GaGa, only wit' out no big record deal. Made money too. Most of it went bye bye at the casinos. But she still got some. Not much, but some.
Ricky wants a sell a few toys, last ones he got from the old days. Computer says they worth maybe twelve hundred dollars all together. But nobody gonna give him that. So he sittin. He thinkin'. He watchin' Charlie Rose. They talkin' 'bout the election. Country got problems... Everybody got problems. Ricky eats pre-packaged, supermarket cold cuts for dinner. Slimy 'smoked' turkey meat... Spongy, watery ham. Least it protein. Least it not peanut butter. He try callin' Jewish Family Service. They give him a name. He goes, talks to a guy what sells light bulbs to storekeepers. Don't that sound scrumptious? Guy say Ricky can help sell 'em. Guy say he make maybe thirty thousand...maybe. Bingo joint better'n that. Marty pay minimum. Yeah, he jus' pay minimum. But you gotta remember all them tips. Ten dollar payout, he gets a dollar. Twenty five dollar payout, gets him three dollar. And they got payouts every four or five minutes. Yeah, them other bingo kids get some a the tips. And them shill bitches don't tip nothin'. But still, if Ricky pocket like six or seven tip an hour, that come to least fourteen or fifteen dollars. Wit' his regular pay, that make twenty two dollar. One day give him over a hundred thirty. An' the tip part is under the table. You gotta be like substitute school teacher make money like that. Plus they pay more taxes. Payin' taxes is shit. In that way, Mister Never-You-Mind is a -'publican. Yeah, it been me the last few minutes. Can't you tell?
You know Jimmy, the old guy, the Ukrainian guy, slap Marty sometime? Call him names. Put down his beliefs. Spit in his face. But Jimmy got the money and Marty need him. Not so much no more. Needed him back when they started. Needed the money then. You know bingo license cost money. You gotta spread it 'round real good, if you want one a them. Jimmy like a silent partner now. Only lately he not so silent. Lately he getting worse, like a boss what on Doctor Phil. An' bingo girls not like how he pinch they ass cheeks and grab they breastesses. Not like he politely ask permission or nothin'. He jus' do it like he at a buffet. Old wimmens playin' laugh. Cough up snot wads and laugh. They go - Oh, Jimmy! You so bad! You so bad!....Then he call 'em lousy names and they laugh some more.
Marty want a kill him. He do. He really wanna kill him. Don't know how. He scared. Still believe in God and all, but he wanna kill him. Think 'bout all kind a things. Shovel to the head. Set him on fire. Push him off a bridge. Everybody gotta dream. Right? Got reason for it too. Got big reason. I tell you later.
Now he eatin' supper. Ricky wit' him too. So's Little Chrissie. They at some steak house. I like how steak house smell...salty and hot and good. They got a booth. It warm. Squeak when butt move over it. Got bread on the table.... Eye-talian style bread. Little candle in little red glass, candle house. It not a real candle. It like a battery flicker candle. But it look all right. Red table cloth clean too.
Marty chewin'. He eatin' real fast. Chompin' on salad (wiff blue cheese dressing). Shakin his leg. You know, that mile a minute tremblin' thing they do when they nervous?.. Then he start talkin'. Then he go - I mean it. I mean it. I mean it. I been meaning to do this for weeks, ever since you two first started. You're good kids, good workers and you deserve more than I can afford to pay you........... Then he get real quiet. Kids don't know why they there. But free steak is free steak. An' it do taste good.......... Marty think for a minute, gulp some wine and say - Jeeze, wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to put up with an asshole like that God damn Jimmy? What do you think about that guy? What do you really think about him? I mean is it me? Is it just me? Am I crazy, or what?
Ricky says - No, you're not. You're not crazy. I hate him too. He is not one of my favorite people. He curses us. He insults us. Jew this and Jew that. Zhid this and Zhid that. He knows I hear him. He don't even care. And this one (pointing to Little Chrissie) is 'the leetle whore.' God I hate his voice. No... he is not one of my favorite people.
Marty scootches over (it's a 'u' shaped booth), leans in and whispers - What do you mean 'not favorite? Like Adolph Hitler 'not favorite,' or Jerry Lewis 'not favorite'?
Ricky eats a real good, ripe, cherry tomato, slathered in dressing and goes - I don't know. Maybe like a Mussolini 'not favorite.'.............. Little Chrissie goes - Yeah, like Mussolini........ They been drinkin' a lot a wine. But that OK, 'cause Marty brung 'em in a taxi..... Don't want nobody seein' him drivin' them 'round in his car...... He don't want nobody see nothin'...