If this doesn't make sense to you, don't worry about it. Just read this. I'll add more if the mood strikes again, maybe when I'm coming up dry on other blog topics.
It was just after on a
Tuesday that was muggier than most Tuesdays. It seemed like the city itself was
sweating. The oscillating fan on my desk wasn't; it was turned away from me
with the haughty air of a woman pretending that she was above such foolishness.
But I knew better. I could have reached out and turned her toward me, but that
would have been a victory for her. I could wait. Sooner or later she'd turn
back; I was willing to sweat it out.
My last bottle of rye lay empty on my desk, squeezed of its last drop, and not even Vishnu was going to fill it back up. Not with whiskey, anyway. I brushed the cobwebs off the phone and buzzed
"You're out of liquor already?"
"Just answer the question," I grumbled.
"There's twelve bucks, not counting what you owe me in back pay." She kept bringing that up. There's no satisfying some dames.
Twelve clams. Good thing I'd been drinking the cheap stuff. I hung up the phone and stood, my knee protesting. It had never been the same since Iron Hand Flannigan and his goons had introduced it to Mr. Lead Pipe. I have to agree with the doctors about heavy metal poisoning. I wasn't sorry when they pulled Flannigan out of the river with assorted plumbing augmenting his own. I picked my hat up off the floor by the hat rack and mashed it onto my head.
By the time I opened the door
"What is it, Sweetheart?"
It came out in a big blubbering gush. "I can't go on this way, not getting paid with Ma in the hospital and they're about to throw us out of our apartment and oh God I don't know—"
"Jesus, Sister, settle down." Dames. They just can't deal with their problems calmly and rationally. After that display, I couldn't get to Jake's for a highball fast enough. Fortunately she buttoned up before I had to slap her. "Listen," I said, talking fast so I could get down to the bar, "everything will be OK. We've been through worse, you and me."
"No, we haven't."
"That must have been one of my other secretaries then. But it still applies. Come on, Doll. Buck up."
Of course she turned on the waterworks then. "I don't know why I've stayed with you so long!"
Honestly, I couldn't help her on that one. Secretaries for me are like bottles of whiskey; they never last as long as I want them to. It wouldn't be long before
It was getting stuffy in there. "We'll talk about this more when I get back," I lied. I beat it for the street and the cool secrets of Jake's.
Tune in next time for: Encounter at Jake's!