from The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall
Henry groaned but he made a trip out to see Juney's affronts to public decency. It was true that the figures of females in his collection were scantily clad but there was just enough drapery to conceal the most significant parts of their anatomy. In addition, Henry thought, they were actually quite good. There was one of a mermaid-like creature rising up out of graceful waves, her long hair just barely covering full breasts from which he had a hard time averting his eyes.
“She's a beauty, isn't she?” Juney said running his hand along her gleaming shoulder. “If you're interested I'll make you a good deal.”
Henry raised his eyebrows. “It's tempting,” he said. “Listen, she's going to keep calling me. Do you think you could move the ladies out of her line of sight? Maybe on the other side of those trees?”
Juney nodded though he was obviously less than thrilled. “Yeah, I suppose so. But the miserable old bat will just find something else to complain about.”
“I know.” Henry sighed.
“You know, she's no joy to have as a neighbor either.” Juney pushed his plastic goggles up on top of his bald head, folded his hands over his ample stomach, and frowned. “A couple weeks ago we had a little party in the yard out back, me and my wife. Sort of a house warming party. It was a nice night and some friends came over with beer and stuff. We were just sitting around talking, not making much noise. It was early, too, and the old bat opened up her windows and played her Lawrence Welk records as loud as she could. What a way to kill a party. 'Ana one, ana two...'”
Henry nearly doubled over laughing.
|Yes, this is Charlie Hunnam but if I could|
pick anyone to play Joe Quinn
he would be it.
Since returning from Cape Cod I'd been thinking about Mattie and Stan. Mattie made a good choice in Stan. He's not at all like the boys we grew up with and I started to think someone like Stan was what I needed. I've always been attracted to men like him – men with callused hands and easy smiles, who don't over-think things. Maybe that's why I noticed the big guy with the beard who appeared to be bench-pressing three hundred pounds while I watched. Normally, I'd never let a guy catch me watching him in the gym. That would just be too uncool. But there was something about this guy. He noticed me and grinned.
“I've seen you around here before,” he said. “You fight like an animal.” He pushed himself up from the bench and he was taller than me by half a head. “Name's Joe Quinn.” He wiped his hands on a towel and then held one out. I took it and was pleased when I felt calluses.
“Viv Lang,” I said. “You're pretty impressive yourself. You sound like a Southie.”
He laughed. “I guess none of us can hide that. I grew up on Gold Street near St. Peter's Academy. Me and all five of my brothers.”
I liked the way he laughed. His eyes all but disappeared under heavy blond eyebrows and he had deep dimples above the closely trimmed blond beard. He had a broad face with a lot of laugh lines and a neck that was nearly as thick as his head. I thought he looked like someone who worked hard outdoors.
“Five brothers.” I said. “That's hard to imagine.” I remembered that Mattie said Stan came from a big family.
“Yeah, Irish Catholics.” He laughed again.
Thanks for reading.