1989 “Damn!” my cousin Angie said, for the fifth time. “It’s hot.” “So jump in the pool.” It was July 4th weekend. Sticky, like a giant snow cone had dripped all over us. Her folks’ pool we had to ourselves: an above-ground piece of shit. No more shore house. “Thanks to you, Sue,” Angie sneered. […]
Yeah, it was me. And so what? He deserved it. Three Christmases, RJ ran off with our gifts. Missy’s doll house, Patty’s Legos. This time, it was the baby’s stuff. Year-old Lulu. His own kid. With the same cold, almost black eyes. Like bullet holes on those shows where the bad guys always win. I […]
It was Parade Day. Our local one, for St. Paddy’s, a week late. Sunny and mild, it was. Like March had already gone out like a lamb. People drunk in the streets. Our mayor, Dino Rizzo, dressed as a leprechaun. A redheaded Sici. “God love the Irish!” he’d screamed, years back, when he drank with […]
“Please?” I said. “It can’t wait till you get here?” Lew almost hung up on me. “I gotta do everything? You got a full bar?” “Not open, yet.”” “So go in the room, get the decorations, and hang ‘em the fuck up.” When I groaned, he added, “Some shit’s up with my son, OK?” “Which […]
Figures: on your first day as supers, Bingo Joe finds someone dead. That crazy bitch in 1-E.
“A bad smell.” One tenant calls, at 6 A.M. “Can you check it out?”
“Yeah,” Bingo Joe mutters. And rolls over in bed.
“I’m not going,” you say.
The garbage, you think. Looney Tunes lives right by it. Raw chicken, diapers, cat litter. On your floor alone are eight cats.
But if it’s just garbage, you think, Looney Tunes would be the first to call.
“José,” she would whine, using Bingo Joe’s real name. “There’s this . . . smell. A real bad one. Like maybe a rat died in the wall.”
No rats in this building, bitch.
June. An OK month. Not sweltering hot, but you know that’s coming.
And roses . . . For like a week, they spring up in neighbor’s bushes. Like that tight-assed bitch’s, who lives next to Scratch’s. Bitched to Lew ‘cos Snake picked one for Nina, the crack-whore.
“Can you believe that shit?” Lew switches on Scratch’s ceiling fans. “Over one fuckin’ rose?”
Behind the bar, you slice limes. “Getting territorial.” You’re the queen of two-dollar words.
“Four o’clock, on a Sunday. Should be layin’ in the sun, enjoyin’ retirement. But no, she’s worried about. . . .”
At 3 P.M., Cherie walked the streets, wild-eyed. Like she used to, most nights, when Danny was drinking. Tol’ja, he’d said, I gave that shit up . . . For Lent. It was Good Friday. In three days, Lent would be over. But she bet he’d already slipped. Once again, he’d stood her up. But […]
“Lew?” You tie your sweaty hair in a ponytail. “Can’t we put on the a/c?” “No!” he says. “Wait for the crowd.” Crowd, my ass, you think. The ceiling fans do shit. With both doors open, Scratch’s has scared its drunks away. You picture Snake cracking cold ones in his kids’ pool, skanky Nina sucking […]