That winter; the two friends Pë and Ep came into falling apart, more so because Ep the Engineer owed forty thousand Somalis to his ex whom he called cockroach. He still came around on snowy nights drunk as a skunk out of his logic. And I had to shoo him out gently into the cold. To where he gone, God knows. The angel rarely went to a bar to drink because he couldn’t afford it. But in rare occasions he went to the Depot Hotel bar situated by the tracks. He was cut off from Murphy’s for life by the bartender Fizzwater, who kept a Met’s bat under the counter. But at the Depot Hotel bar occasionally when he found himself rich in surplus twenty dollars… in them times one could get drunk on twenty dollars and so he would saddle a stool and work up a gradual philosophical meanness. The Hotel Depot bar was famous for two things: Maddie the bartendress with her furtive tongue, and the house cockroach. Maddie and the Angel of course, as you may have guessed, didn’t get along well but, the cockroach had developed an affinity to the Angel. Thus it’ll appear out from the wall-crack cross the counter and crawl with an attitude towards the Angel. The Angel will then pour some of his beer into a saucer and let the cockroach drink. Maddie will comment: “you deserve a drink buddy like Yang”. She had named the house-roach yang. After the roach being sated it’ll crawl up the sleeve of the Angel onto his shoulder, up his scrawny neck and whisper into his ear. Maybe he thanked him for the beer or maybe he divulged the secret of survival.
One snowy night, for reasons unknown to me, or maybe even now forgotten, after consuming his twelve-pack the Angel Pë took umbrage at me, shouting disparaging invectives demanding for me to come out to fight “like a man”. Of course he didn’t fight fairly and by the rules either and I knew that if I came out I’d have to finish him off or die myself. That serious! Thus restraining myself to cowardice I refrained from answering and kept mute. That even infuriated him more and he continued his diatribe and an hour longer until his furor abated from the effects of alcohol and the freeze of the night. The next day he apologized and begged my sincere pardon and I pretend to acquiesce.
Kyria-Marigo evicted the Angel and brought in the Navy, the Sea-Bees to be exact. Three Texan good-boys who built a front and rear porch illegally and had the most god awful ugly girlfriends this side of Dolly Parton and Madonna combined. My heart at the garage was regulated by a thermostat upstairs but the adjoining door was nailed by the busy bees. I was so cold and pissed off that I broke the door and went into their apartment to turn on the heat. Well, the navy got indignant and came down in a huff and I didn’t care one way or another and stood up for a fight. Lucky that I am, they piped down and retreated. Kyria-Marigo reprimanded me for breaking the door in no certain way. The illegal wooden decks built by the expert hands of the Sea-Bees held, that is the front one held, the rear one that overlooked the sea, set on high beams swayed one afternoon having supported the overweight of merry-making uglies and savory Home-Depot contractors started to collapse. In deed it only gave enough warning to the swaying minds to evict the premises and then collapsed like the house of matchsticks, to my infinite glee.
By then even the Cherokee had left and things weren’t what they used to be. I left to start my third life down by the water around the bend. Now twenty years later I occasionally pass by taking a short cut from Walbaums. The porches are gone. Evidently a family bought the house and painted it pink. Amityvilla is gone. The fate of the Angel, unknown. Maybe somebody shot him, maybe he is in delirium treatments, and maybe the Lord embraced him. The other day while reading the business section of Newsday I saw in the promotions department a smiling freckled young face of a newly appointed VP for Ceramics Inc. with Angel’s last name. Could it be Junior? Or somebody else with the same name?
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