Monday, October 4, 2010
Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 6 Enter the 9th Circle
Jerry-Poo looks at me, looks at the buzzer and then back at me. The frequency and insistency of the buzzer begins to increase; sweat now forms on his upper lip.
“Jesus Jerry” one of barflies yells out “He don’t sound like he’s in a good mood.” Jerry-Poo waves me away with his hand. “I’ll see you on your shift and don’t be late he adds jabbing one boney finger in the air. I turn and stumble down the front stairs and onto the street. An old woman walking a dog passes me, the dog looks at me and continues on. One thing that I honestly love about New York City is that you can have the most bizarre experience, turn around and step back into normalcy. It’s like being on Star Trek and walking through their doors. One moment calm and the next minute the doors open and chaos ensues.
No one passing me on the sidewalk crosses to the other side with a crucifix clutched in their hand while they look up at The 9th Circle bar. I feel that I was truly in a den of evil. I am both repulsed to return and a little interested and excited. “Hmmmmmm” I say aloud to no one.
That night, I walk into Uncle Charlie’s and find the waiter who asked me to work his shift at The 9th Circle. “Are you out of your mind?” I ask. “Why?” he answers with a giggle. “I’m not going; you can find someone else to cover for you.” He looks at me and summons up his best impression of Bambi, his eyes get all big and he talks in a baby voice. “Oh please” he begs “You promised and it’s only for a week.” “No Way!” I respond. He stands up, walks towards me and puts his arm around my neck. His face is two inches from mine. “Come on, you promised, a deals a deal,” he whispers. “First,” I say “Why are you so close?” I take my hand, place it on his chest and move him back, and “second, why do you want me to do this for you?”
“Because I trust you.” He looks directly into my eyes. “You’re not like the other people here, my job is safe with you, I know you’ll give it back.” Years later I have learned to identify bullshit but like I said, back then I was just starting out.
“Ok, you win.” I say feeling touched and defeated. “Hurray” he yells “Can I buy you a drink?” “Drinks are free,” I remind him, “Well not free” I finish with. We have adapted the “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy” long before President Clinton gave it to us. I have three nights before I have to officially return to The 9th Circle. I begin to silently pray………
To be continued........
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