|The Furies (standard:drama, 2444 words)|
|Author: Bobby Zaman||Added: Oct 27 2002||Views/Reads: 1923/1252||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Actions never stop haunting a person.|
THE FURIES – Bobby Zaman Two types of men came in to Whistler’s. The winners and the losers. In days of old it was different. High rollers, celebrities, and businessmen flocked like bees to honey. The place was jumping every night of the week, and lines wrapped around the block three times over. The winners came in early, around seven, right after their six-figure office jobs were done. The losers walked in, usually after drinking somewhere else, to spend the rest of the night here, paying with bills crumpled up like prunes and grousing about being born. Goodwin Parks could care less for either faction. The winners ordered Miller Lites and stiffed him on every round. The losers wanted the pricey liquor, Maker’s Mark and Bacardi, mumbling they’re good for it, when they weren’t. Goodwin would pour them the cheap well stuff and heavily water it down. They’d grumble about the first round or two. After the third and fourth, they wouldn’t know the difference. Neither party made little to no contribution to his earnings. It didn’t matter to Goodwin if the winners got run over by trucks after leaving Whistler’s. Their insurance premiums cost more than his rent, and whomever they’d leave behind would be set for life. All right - despite irritation, he held a soft corner for the losers. It was the lack of hope in their eyes. At least the winners had something to cheer about – a decent place to crash, meals, cash flow, security. Sure, it’s the job description of human nature to keep all of its subjects perpetually complaining, but Goodwin seldom found it easy to relate to the sob stories of a winner. The losers couldn’t boast assets beyond the pruned dollar bills stuck in the bowels of their coat pockets. Sheila felt for them. Sheila would talk to them for hours on nights she’d stop by to keep Goodwin company during the slow hours. She was a nurse at Northwestern and kept eclectic hours. Goodwin’s tolerance was an extension of Sheila’s affection for the losers, who were anything but losers to her tender, beautiful heart. Excuses? Sometimes there just are none. It was a mistake. His judgment was clouded. There was stress, there was the lingering horror that Sheila might be pregnant, a year ago, the Spring night, when Goodwin could think of nothing else, his head was clogged with questions, some of them repeating like a stuck record. How would they afford a kid? Give up life for the next twenty years? It was a bad judgment call. The man was a winner. He came in later than the others, alone, morose, already tipsy, in need of the strongest stuff Goodwin could serve him. He’d put down a hundred and instructed Goodwin to keep it coming. Goodwin did. Too much of it. When the man left Whistler’s he could barely stand. In such cases Goodwin usually offers to call a cab and insists that the person doesn’t drive, to the point where he threatens to call the cops. It was a darn foolish move to over serve an already tight patron, one that was as down and blue like that winner. The winner, who had mentioned at some point that his name was Sheldon, because he was imitating someone calling him that as part of some random story he was babbling, didn’t bother to take his change, which came to a hefty eighty dollars, staggered out of Whistler’s, got into a black Durango across the street and sped off. He heard the news in the morning. Sheila’s habit was to turn on the TV to the morning news. It was more of a reflex than habit. She’d reach for the control with her eyes still shut, switch on the set and set it to Channel Nine. It did have a soothing effect. Goodwin didn’t have to wake up till noon and the chatter of the anchor’s lulled him into a deeper sleep. Sheila was quiet. She did her thing, got ready, and left without making a sound. The morning after Sheldon zigzagged out of Whistler’s, the news zapped Goodwin out of sleep like a bucket of cold water. “Moments after leaving this bar on the city’s north side,” said the fresh-faced anchor with a Polar wind interrupting her speech, “Fifty year old Sheldon Ramsey got into his Durango set for home. He didn’t Click here to read the rest of this story (283 more lines)
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