» The Benny Poda Years «
Kevin McGowin
Chapter 5 - Boston

I'd ended my ass up in Boston, cue in hand, and fucked if that ain't a muff-divin' expensive overrated dive of a shithole, let me put it to you. Stayed at the Ritz overlooking Louie's Pool and Beer Hall on West 44th, sleepin' durin' the day, rackin' the balls at night. I think I'd have shot myself at that point during those years were it not for Marcus Reuhl.
        Marcus was the barkeep, and he liked to drink grenadine straight while listening to Mahler. Hardcore fellow. And he'd break up a barfight faster than he'd served you the liquor that started it. We saw a lot of George Peppard in that joint, and don't you know it.
        I had me a woman named Marcie Algaroth. There are certain types of women who like men who live their life like they've lost it, and Marcie was such a woman.
        But I could just see the bulge in that asshole Alfonso Saylor's goddamn pleated white trousers every time he walked past her. Never try to take another man's pussy, son. It says that in the Bible.
        I was playing him and I was cleaning up. He got pissed and broke off his cue and said we'd play THIS game for my woman's cunt, but I was quick to the draw with my .32 and walked across the green felt and put it in his mouth.
        —Piss yourself, wop, I said.
        He wasn't pissing.
        THE MAN SAID PISS YOURSELF, said Marcus from behind the bar, and emerged with a bazooka like they used in the War. He'd seen the entire thing unfold and, like a true friend, was angry on my behalf. I'M NOT STANDIN' HERE SINGIN' LITTLE BUNNY FOO-FOO TO YOUR FAT ASS! screamed Marcus. WE'RE GONNA SEE SOME GODDAMN URINE ON THE FLOOR PRON-TOE! OR YOU'RE DEAD! DEAD! he screamed.
        He started pissing. I want you to know it, hoe.
        Well, I pistol-whipped the sombitch a few good times and let him go with a little brain damage and his tongue on the floor. But I was not a man to be trifled with, when I was in Boston: my heart was in Wisconsin, and my heart wasn't HERE. My heart was Milwaukee, with fat girls and beer. But we'll get there soon enough.
        Well, Marcus had done right enough by ME that I let Marcie suck him, and then it was closing time and he and I wiped down the bar while she was barfing out his come in the bathroom. He invited me up to his room to hear Mahler's 3rd, an offer you're not about to refuse a man who just bailed out your shit with a fucking bazooka.
        It was 4 am and we were on our 5th bottle of vanilla extract when he told me. Seems his great-grandaddy's arm had been amputated in the Civil War and the family'd kept it in the freezer ever since. You know, he told me, like when people keep a flame lit 'till the captain or whateverthefuck he is comes home? Well, they kept it in the icebox and now it's in my Kenmore, right over there.
        I'll be fucked up the ass by Satan if it WASN'T, too! You could even smell the battlefield on it, I told Marcus. A tear leapt over his eye.
        And just when I thought I was becoming a jaded motherfucker one leapt into my eye, too. All the shitty injustices of the world! Me and Marcus, reeking of vanilla, holding each other holding great-granddaddy's arm and crying like infants, our sobs glistening the streets of the Boston night.
        I have never felt more love for another man. But I didn't fuck him—Nassir, now HE was a fag, but that's all right. All Iranians are fags, and you know deep down inside that's what the fuck you think, too. And the night went on forever and the bitches still muff-dived in Boston.
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