City-Line Part 3

By Clif Peeble

A few hours later and I’m perched on one of those big ashtrays (flowerpots) outside  Mahoney’s bar. Somewhere near Second Avenue regretting the crab rogue from the dive Chinese restaurant up the street. But the waitress had bowed when I walked through the door and there was free shrimp toast with every five dollar purchase so what the hell, right?

So I’m chain-smoking, watching the lunch crowd gather in one of those overpriced slop-shacks that boast over their cob salads like they invented blue cheese. All these folks in their business attire, all these suited queens setting there plump asses on those wire chairs pecking at there Ahi tuna with those tiny silver forks all the while barking pleasantries at one and other; tickling their own egos like little league coaches walk around bragging over the things they did thirty years ago. On the corner there a hunched fellow in coveralls his body all but gnarled from his labor. He slides a trial caked with mortar across the top row bricks and then feeds clean bricks over the fresh mortar simultaneously switching tools to finish that smother rounded edge of mortar between each row. He has a red igloo cooler next to the bucket of mortar. A master with his bologna sandwich working through lunch.

I must have been sitting here my whole life and I still haven’t the slightest which side of the street to stand on.

Back in bar I suck at a dangerously empty glass thinking about the Brick pointer. The bartender’s name is Christine I look up to her fingers rapping against the finish.  She asks… “How many times are you going to put that glass to your face before you realize there’s only ice?”

I take out my phone and call Sidouski; he answers on the third ring: “Hey it’s me, who did I leave the bar with last night she still has my keys.”


About Joe
I collect crazy, and catch kitchens on fire.

One Response to City-Line Part 3

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