Tuesday, January 15, 2013

61ST Bingo Boy episode 1/15/13

Bingo Boy - post 61

The next day was damp and drizzly. The shore feels icy when it gets like that. It's the mist and the wet and the gray that does it. Oh, people still go out. They bundle up, put on a baseball cap. They got these scarves. They got these real big scarves. Everybody looks like movie directors on location in Britain, or Seattle, or Nova Scotia. I don't know if it rains a lot in Nova Scotia, but it must get cold. Maine gets cold and Nova Scotia (you know it means New Scotland?) is a little bit further north than that.

Marge looked out through the draperies. The street was all puddled. Looked like goldfish could swim through the air. Two old ladies minced by under a big golf umbrella. Probably going out for a good, hot breakfast. Old folks walk a lot at the shore. That way they get real old. Marge wanted to go out too. She liked that part of the shore routine. Had the hat and the scarf and everything. Looks at jimmy and goes - You wanna walk over and get corned beef hash, or something?...... That means - Run upstairs and put on the nice sweater I got you.... Now Jimmy could grab whatever was in the kitchen and be happy. But he knows they have to fit in. And if the neighbors don't see you out and about, you never fit in. Jimmy understands that and he does not want to be an outsider anymore. So they fix themselves up and go. Baby's already had his breakfast and Little Chrissie doesn't want him out on raw days like this. Look, he's happy in the kitchen throwing heavy, little, metal Hot Wheels cars against the wall. They try to stop him from doing that, but what can you do? He's a baby. 

Ricky went to talk to some guy at one of the big real estate agencies down near Washington Avenue. That's in what you might call 'downtown Margate, all of nine blocks away. They're gonna start him, so long as he sits for the test. Use him for open houses and easy stuff like that. All he has to do is hang in the kitchen and ask the lookey-loos to sign the register. Eighty percent give him a fake phone number, but that don't make any difference. Most houses sell by word of mouth anyway. People buy to be near their friends, or because grandma died. Dead grandmas pay for lots of houses around here. Lots of expensive houses too. Thank God the market's starting to turn around. Should be a good spring.  The big hurricane didn't cause too much damage 'round here. TV guy says people will pay extra for 'intact' locales like this, especially seasonal renters. They want their summer to look normal. 

Jimmy and Marge talk over breakfast. They got a nice, little booth in the back. Nobody hears. Jimmy says - Let them nosy neighbors go to hell. They ain't gonna bother us no more. Know what I'm gonna do?.... Marge, struggling to talk through a mouthful of toasted, cream cheese slathered bagel says - What?...... Jimmy goes - Give 'em money. Five thousand dollars. Each one gonna get five thousand dollars.... She just looks. He sounds crazy. But she's loved him since the first night they dragged him down the basement for her. That's why she fixed the cell up so nice. So Marge just sits there and listens..... Jimmy says - Give a check to the Catholic Church, the Jew Church, the Protestant Church. I don't know if they got no Greek Church 'round here, but I gotta see. You know, like subscribe. Like donation. Know what I am? An investor. A venture capitalist... semi-retired. What they gonna say about that? Nothing. Ricky gonna be real estate. Chrissie gonna probably be the same thing. That's it. No questions. It'll work..... What am I supposed to be? - says Marge...... You gonna teach Zumba lessons. You an artist. You make jewelry - he goes....... She says - Wow, how'd you come up with all this?...... He just shrugs and shovels in some hash....

But you know how he did it? Gloria told him. You know, the 'ghost,' if you want to call her that. The lady who's house they bought. She's back from her under the sea jaunt. Saw a merman. Saw a dead, human body inside a giant jellyfish. Saw lots a stuff. Gloria likes the Baby. Wants everything to be real nice for him. So she been advising Jimmy, whispering in his ear, telling him things. And he listens, especially when he's drifting off. 

That's how these things work. And them nosy neighbors got their own slew of dead folks hypnotizing them too. Dead folks, well meaning ones, are the glue that holds it all together. That's all I can tell you.

You either feel it, or you don't.

But you know that...



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