Thursday, April 15, 2021

“Love Is a Beautiful Thing”

It was Bosco and Janey’s first anniversary, and they celebrated by doing what they did every day, which was getting their loads on at Bob’s Bowery Bar.

How well they remembered their first meeting, right here at Bob’s, when they had bonded one afternoon over Janey’s tokay and Bosco’s bock and bourbon. Janey had been buying, because Bosco was unemployed and Janey had a job working at the 24-hour automat over on Bedford Street, shoving sandwiches and pies into the little windows.

They tied the knot down at City Hall a month later, and Bosco moved into Janey’s room at the Sunshine Hotel.

Now they had been married a year, and they both knew everything there was to know about each other.

“We ain’t got much, Janey,” said Bosco. “But we got each other.”

“If I was still able to have a baby I would let you knock me up, Bosco, that’s how much I love you.”

“Yeah, but how would we bring it up?” said Bosco. “Me being a bum that can’t keep a job, and you just working at the automat and all.”

“We would find a way, Bosco. Love always finds a way, you big bum.”

“We could adopt a kid if you want.”

“Nobody would let us adopt a kid, you knucklehead.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” said Bosco.

“Just do me one favor,” said Janey.

“Anything, babe.”

“When you croak, croak quick. I don’t want to see you dying slow in the charity ward.”

“Okay, Janey. I will do that. If I feel my croaking coming on, you know what I’m gonna do?”

“What’s that, Bosco?”

“I will walk right out to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge and jump off.”

“Thank you, Bosco.”

“You’re welcome, Janey.”

“Just one thing.”


“Don’t tell me about it first,” she said. “Just walk down to the bridge and jump off, but I don’t want to know ahead of time.”

“Okay,” said Bosco. “That’s what I’ll do. Maybe while you’re working at the automat, I’ll just go down the bridge and jump off, but I won’t tell you about it ahead of time.”

They sat silently, drinking, and then Janey spoke.

“Just leave me a note when you do it,” she said.

“A note.”

“Yeah, just a brief note, so I don’t worry where you are.”

“I get it,” said Bosco. “Just a brief note. But you know I ain’t much of a writer.”

“It don’t got to be Shakespeare, Bosco. Just a brief note, like, ‘Went down to the bridge. You know why. Love, and best of luck, Bosco.’”

“Short and sweet.”

“Short and sweet,” she said. “Just so I don’t worry you got run over by a truck or something.”

“I will leave a note,” said Bosco.

“But let’s hope that day don’t come soon,” said Janey.

“Yeah, we still got some good times left,” said Bosco.

“I hope the hell we do, Bosco,” said Janey.

“Look at them two,” said Angie the retired whore to Gilbey the Geek. “Lovebirds.”

“They’re in love, Angie,” said Gilbey. “And love is a beautiful thing.”

“What would you know about it, Gilbey?” said Angie.

“My mom loved me,” said Gilbey. “God rest her soul.”

Angie stared into her Rheingold, thinking of her own sainted mother.

{Please go here to read the “adult comix” version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq…}

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