Bound for Glory: Chapter One Mama Gone
What ya' having?
Dudley Gippis sloped against the wooden, dusty bar top. The man is light brown skinned, possesses a bald pate, and looked zonked as though he'd just seen it all...
As a matter of fact, Dudley had seen it all. The Yankees had just lost game seven of the ALCS to Houston Astros. A 4-0 defeat, painful, though Dudley wasn't the fella shouting obscenities... that was the fella sitting just two bar stools across from him, Jimmy 'Jano' Slims, the liberal from South Bronx who insisted on expressing the unscrupulous exchange by the Democratic and Republican party. The man voted for Jill Stein, he like most New Yorkers, wanted the Sandman, Bernie, to win the votes, so the loss of another hopeful avenger for the free world provoked Jimmy to swaying himself back to carousing in the The Fat Chatter Tavern.
"We almost had 'em, lemme tell ya. We could've actually made it, ya understand? We fuckin'... we fuckin' had it, baby," uttered a drunken Jimmy, it was Sunday, the man had an early shift driving cargo trucks for housing storages, "Seamen's Storage," with a logo that serves an unbefitting resemblance.
Dudley has been a Yankee fan since he was eight in 1987, his old man, Ozmandyian Jolen Gippis, would always drive them to the Yankee stadium on his '77 vista cruiser. The years have passed, and there's not an exaggerated glimpse of disappointment from the bartender, but deep down, he feels the bitter sting.
It wasn't really just the Yankee's loss that set Dudley off, tonight. A certain time has passed in slow page turners, the tavern hasn't looked well ordered or restored in sometime. The same customers have taken the same stools and seats in the last twenty seven years. Jimmy 'Jano' Slim, the old Russian washed up boxer, Desya Ippolit, the gold digger, Salanche Pescowley, the journalist major, Zena Morgante, and the retired correction's officer, Howl Uptance. These people have known Dudley for quite sometime, and they all symbolize some sort of stature of disappointment and resentment.
"Its about time, can we change the channel, Duds?" ask Zena.
"A material chick's only gonna find absorption from the Hallmark channel or oh-wait, sorry, journalistic idealist will succumb to fuckin' mendacity coverage for stories only CNN wants to tell!"
"What the hell did you call me, you drunk bigot?"
"Bigot? Bitch, please, I voted for Jill Stein."
Dudley chimes in, "Hey, Jimmy, you can't be calling Zena bitch."
Salanche, who is settled in the back, left corner of the bar, smoking Black Bear chesterfields like they were going out of style, says:
"Just Zena? I didn't know we forgot there was a woman in this joint, too."
Dudley glances at Salanche, in the shadows, what can only be seen are her wrinkly gams, bearing tight black vertical, mesh leggings. The smoke puffing out of her mouth basically lingering in the air.
"Where did you get that from?" Dudley asks.
"You treat her as though she was the only woman, here."
"Well, look — Jimmy called her a name, and it didn't sit well with me, so I told — why am I even explaining this to you, what I did is common courtesy."
"Change the fuckin' channel, Dud, I can't take this shit, anymore," Jimmy said.
"You gonna apologize to Zena?"
Jimmy turns his head behind, looking down at Zena, who sits on a chair looking up at him. "I'm sorry, alright? You know more than CNN and you're not bitch in my book."
"In your book, huh..." Zena remarks.
"Zena you ain't a peach but sure as hell a good pear," Jimmy says, just one of the things an inebriated fella like Jimmy would say, and would kind of actually make somewhat sense.
Zena doesn't even bother, she rises and joins Jimmy and Dudley at the bar. Looking up at the television hooked above.
"I'm not looking for updates on the world, just put on something good, you got Showtime or Starz or something?"
Dudley just hands her the remote, leaving both Zena and Jimmy at the bar, while he grabs a smock and a bottle of water spray. He goes from table to table, spraying and wiping away.
As he cleans, the Russian washed up boxer, Desya, takes his third shot out of his seven shot grind of hard bourbon. The edgy and quiet robust he is, drinks Eagle Rare. Howl Uptance, a seventy something year old black man, plays pool all by himself, while the jukebox beside him plays "These Dreams" by Jim Croce.
Zena and Jimmy, watching 300 Leagues in Search of Mother, though they wouldn't know this. An anime show in the seventies, centering a boy searching for his mother in Argentina. The theme song plays, they watch, with melancholic eyes, not even realizing the mass affect.
"The hell is this?" Jimmy says midway watching.
"An anime, but I'm not sure what it is either," Zena says.
"A boy searching for his mama... I never thought of looking for my mama."
"Isn't that because, given your nature, you don't like your mom?"
"Given my nature, I'm prone to not giving as much of a thought about her." He drinks his mug of Pale Ale.
Zena chuckles, drinking her mug of Stella. "Okay, well, what? She left you?"
"I lost her. I don't remember like how, though. We were at Adventureland in Illinois, was with my cousin Rocco and my aunt Maya, and she went on the merry go 'round with 'em fuckin' horses 'n ponies, whatever the fuck — and that was it... I didn't see her. Kinda like magic, the thing was going round 'n round, and each passing, I notice she ain't even there."
"Shut up, are you serious?"
"Yeah, no one knew. And I witnessed this... I asked myself, whether my mother actually kinda died, but in one of those Twilight Zone kinda ways, you're just never suppose to know."
"You're not messing with me, this is really a thing?" Zena looks at the other patrons and Dudley, as they overhear this, but continue whatever it is they're doing.
Zena looks back at Jimmy, who is watching the screen. "I never understood what happened to her, I thought either she died or she pulled off some inventive magic trick, and if she did pull of some inventive magic trick, then I most certainly thought the clichéd theory... she left me. But if she did die, I didn't get to really know her... either way, I didn't get to really know her if it were the other way, so... yeah, this kid is out here looking for his mama, but without even watching the show, I can tell ya, his mama died, or she magically disappeared or just disappeared, and he didn't really get to know her."
Zena then turns her head to Dudley, as he continues cleaning the tables. "Say, Duds, two sweet tea's and bourbon for Jano Slims and I."
Jimmy, nodding his head of approval as she says this, but then realizes her choice of drink seems all the more foreign. "Sweet tea and bourbon?"
"A complimentary drink. Or, look at it as a respectable salute to you with my favorite choice of drink. I don't share my favorites of anything with men, usually."
"Why is it 'cause you're a dike?"
"No, asshole its because most guys are kind of almost exactly like you. Socially incorrect."
"I think you mean politically, but I know my shit."
"No, I know you know your politics. You just don't know how to socialize with a woman, let alone with anyone. Take the drink or I'll forget all about your mama-mystery-tragedy."
Dudley returns to the bar, in the process of making two sweet teas and bourbons.
Zena, now more in her own state of mind. She ponders, then instantly gets a phone call. She picks up her cell:
"Yes, this is Zena Morgante... I'm with Liberty Says it So, yes... Oh, okay, I didn't know Andrew was even in talks with another publicists... No, that isn't a problem, just caught me by surprise, is all... Well, I'm certainly glad you asked Phyllis — if that's quite alright with you?..."
Jimmy just stares at her, mocking her without saying a word. But at the same time, quite impressed and maybe almost... aroused?
Salanche continues smoking, looking over her phone, reading messages which seem to be days and weeks old. Stories that never went anywhere, she's slouched, most likely pondering what different road she could've gone with these messages. Most of them were men, while others were probably family relatives.
She glances at the Russian, he sits, relaxed, at peace.
"I see you here every day, and I never once thought of introducing myself. You have a striking face, you're curious to me... You understand? My name is Salanche Pescowley —", she offers her hand to the man, "—I'm quite good friends with Dudley's father, he once owned the tavern... I'm an actress."
Desya looks over to her, staring at her hand, he shakes it. Her hands, wrinkly aged, yet rubbery, like a Madis water bottle. His hand, white edges, prickly and hardened, years of pounding.
She notices his fourth of seventh shot being taken, a very slow rise from table to mouth. "I never notice if you only come here to dramatically gesture your tolerance for hard liquor. Or is tonight just an occasion? Something didn't go quite the way you had hoped for? I'm nearly as old as you, or maybe even older, my tendency to start a dialogue with no censor is literally my métier."
But he doesn't say a word, he just kind of nods, and looks away.
"What I mean is, I don't give a shit about 'so where you from?' and 'what do you do?' and 'so and so'. I just need to talk to someone who isn't a blatant narcissist."
"You're saying I'm a narcissist?" asks Zena.
"I'm not a narcissist, I'm fuckin' well opinionated, bitch!" says Jimmy.
"Hey, you can't be calling Salanche that, alright?" Dudley says.
"There we go," Salanche says.
Howl hits the eight ball by mistake as it enters the right side hold of the right end corner of the pool table.
"Muthafucker!" Howl swings the pool table next to the jukebox and snaps it in half. Then downing the rest of his pabst.
Everyone jumps, Dudley has already just handed Zena and Jimmy, though now he's taken aback.
"Howl, what the — Jesus Christ..." Dudley sighs and walks over to Howl.
Desya looks at Salanche and then looks over to his fifth shot, and gulps it down. He offers the sixth.
Annoyed, the sixty something year old starlet who may have been or may have never been, at all, takes a hit of her chesterfield and glances back at her phone. Desya, for a brief moment, glances at her aging gams. But then he goes back to his meditative state, with only two more shots left.
Zena and Jimmy toast with their sweet teas and bourbons, gulp, and once they put it down, Jimmy chuckles:
"I was fuckin' with you, my mom gave me up for adoption."
Jimmy laughs. Zena watches, then grabs his sweet tea and SPLASHES it on his face.
"I thought you actually meant that, you fuckin' asshole."
"What the fu—oh man, whoa. Girl, you really think my mom disappeared in a merry go round going round 'n round? And you're a fucking journalist?"
Dudley picking up the snapped pool stick, now looking at Zena and Jimmy.
"Okay, the two of you, get out."
"He fuckin' lied about his mom!"
"I lied about my mom, Duds, its understandable isn't it?" he looks at Zena "no hard feelings, right?" and she looks at Dudley "yes, no hard feelings, see? We're okay?"
Dudley sighs. Howl observing the pool table, then looking at Dudley. "Wanna play a game?"