Friday, February 22, 2013

“Railroad Train to Heaven”, Part 335: bar bores

Our hero Arnold Schnabel has agreed to buy a lady named Brett a drink, here in this crowded and noisy subterranean bar in Greenwich Village, on a hot wet night in August of 1957...

(Please click here to read our previous chapter; in case you need your head examined then go here to return to the faraway mist-shrouded beginnings of this Gold View Award™-winning 82-volume autobiography.)

“I confess that when I idly picked up off a drugstore rack that Ace ‘paperback original’ of the first volume of Arnold Schnabel’s magnum opus with its rather lurid cover painting I thought it was about a private eye who’s a burnt-out recovering alcoholic former Navy SEAL who has gone through a nasty divorce and whose teenage daughter doesn’t like him and whose old buddy calls him up for a favor. Oh, how wrong I was.” — Harold Bloom, in the
AARP Literary Supplement.

She pulled me right over to the bar, shoving aside with her left elbow a tall man in a black frock coat and a top hat.

“Hey, watch it, sister,” said the man. It was that bearded guy that Ben had been talking to earlier. I couldn’t remember his name. Arab or Scarab or something like that. “You almost made me spill my grog.”

“Oh, dear, did I?” said Brett.

“You most certainly did,” he said. Besides drinking what I guessed was grog out of some sort of metal stein or tankard he was smoking a long thin pipe. “But I shall give you a pass as you are a lady.”

“Thanks, Ahab,” said Brett. (Ahab, not Arab, definitely not Scarab.) “I say, do you know Mr. Porter.”

“I saw him earlier,” said Ahab. “But the fellow he was with didn’t bother introducing us. I suppose his friend thought I didn’t matter.”

“Oh, but you do matter!” said Brett. She was still hanging onto my arm, and we were squeezed into this little space at the bar, with Ahab standing on one side of us, and some big guy sitting on a stool to the right of me. “Ahab,” she yelled, because, again, everybody was yelling in this place, anyone who wanted to be heard, anyway — “meet Mr. Porter!”

(For a fraction of a second I considered correcting her, by pointing out that Porter was my current first name, my last name being Walker, but then I didn’t bother, as I really didn’t care very much what I was called.)

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir,” said Ahab, but he didn’t seem very excited, and he didn’t offer to shake my hand.

“Hello,” I said.

“How about those drinks, dear Mr. Porter?” Brett said, to me.

“Oh, right,” I said, and I reached into my back pocket with my free hand and got out my wallet, Porter’s wallet. Brett didn’t let go of my other arm, I guess she was afraid I might make a run for it, and so I opened the wallet awkwardly, perforce holding it near my chest, and took a look: a five and two ones — seven bucks, so I figured I was good for a round and I’d still have at least a few dollars left over.

The bartender was there.

“French 75, Brett?”

“No, Pudd’nhead, I’d like to try a Planter’s Punch with a float of ‘151’. Do you think you could make one of those?”

“No problem,” said the bartender.

“That’s a gay drink,” said Ahab.

“Well, we can’t all drink grog all the time,” said Brett.

“Drink what you like,” he said, “I’m only saying it’s a gay drink.”

“Thank you for allowing me to drink what I want, dear Ahab,” said Brett, and then to the bartender, “Two Planter’s Punches, with floats of ‘151’, please.”

“Oh, wait,” I said. “I’ll just take a beer.”

“Beer,” said Ahab.

“What?” said Brett.

“Beer,” he said again.

“What?” said Brett. “There’s something wrong with beer?”

“There’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.

“Oh, I’m glad to hear that,” said Brett.

“But it’s not a real drink,” he said.

“Oh, no?” said Brett. “What kind of drink is it then? An ersatz drink? A faux drink?”

“It’s a step above tea,” he said. “But only a step. Maybe a half-step.”

“Well, thank you so much for your opinion,” she said.

“Sometimes I have a beer in the morning,” he said. “But only after I’ve had a good strong beaker of grog.”

“Well, that’s just simply fabulous,” said Brett.

She turned back to the bartender, who had been standing there through all this; I had noticed him making a raised-finger gesture to some other customers, as if to say, “Sorry, I’ll be with you as soon as I can.”

“Planter’s Punch with a float of ‘151’,” she said. “And a beer for my friend here.”

She tugged on my arm, which she still held firmly in hers.

You could tell the bartender was in a hurry. He looked at me.

“What kind of beer, pal? Rheingold, Schlitz, Schmidt’s, Blatt’s, or Falstaff?”

“It doesn’t matter,” I said.

“That’s true enough,” said Ahab.

“How about a draft Rheingold then?” said the bartender.

“Fine,” I said.

The bartender went away.

“Rheingold’s a crap beer,” said Ahab.

“Oh, dry up, Ahab,” said Brett. 

She finally let go of my arm and put her purse on the bar and opened it. I think I forgot to mention that she was carrying a purse. I suppose this oversight doesn’t matter too much. Women often carry purses. Must we always mention the fact, or can it just go understood, like the fact that they are wearing some sort of shoes, or lipstick? Well, better later than never, let it be known she had a purse, which I frankly hadn’t noticed before. It was black, and it was the kind that didn’t have a strap or a handle. It was made of a shiny black leather, and that’s all I’ll say about it except that she opened it up and took a silver or silver-colored cigarette case out of it.

“You want a good beer you won’t get one in this joint,” said Ahab, and, speaking of noticing things belatedly, I finally became cognizant of the fact that he evidently had a peg leg, I could see its base sticking out under the cuffs of one of his black trouser-legs. “You want a good beer you’ve got to go to Liverpool, or London,” he went on, “or the port of Hamburg in Germany —”

“Oh, Ahab, will you please just shut the hell up,” said Brett, as she took a cigarette out of the case, clicked the case shut, and tapped one end of the cigarette against the case’s lid. “Why don’t you go chase a whale or something, because you’re really being a dreadful bore.”

“Amsterdam,” he said. “There’s burg you can get some good beer in.”

“Oh, Christ,” said Brett, and she turned her back on Ahab, so that she was facing me.

“Finland’s got some good beers, too,” yelled Ahab. “Porters and stouts mostly.”

Brett had been carrying her black cigarette holder in one hand all this time, and she now screwed the cigarette into the holder.

“Don’t mind him, dear Porter,” she said to me. “He’s quite insane you know. Do you have a light for a lady?”

“Oh, gee,” I said, and I started patting all my pockets, even though I knew, or I thought I knew, that I had neither matches nor a lighter.

“Here ya go, little lady,” said this big guy who was sitting on a stool to my right — I was squeezed right up against him, actually — and he reached across in front of me and clicked a Zippo lighter. It didn’t light right away, but by the fifth click it did, after he had shaken it a few times.

Brett let him light her cigarette, then she exhaled out of the side of her mouth and said, “Thanks ever so much.”

“Don’t thank me,” he said, and he clicked the lighter shut and stood it on the bar top. “Thank the poor downtrodden mother who gave birth to me,” he said, “the seventh of twelve kids on a hardscrabble pig farm in Nebraska. Thank the drunken brute of a father who beat me with a razor strop. Thank the good sense I had to enlist in the navy the day I turned eighteen. Thank the raw guts and determination that got me through SEAL training. Thank the men — and, yes, I am sad to say, the women and the children — whom I had to kill in service to my country, a country that turned its back on me when I was dishonorably discharged after taking matters into my own hands in Beirut after my team got wiped out because of the betrayal of some goddam politicians. Thank that dirty trollop of a wife of mine who ran off with a traveling evangelist, leaving me to raise our daughter alone, a daughter who hates my guts I might add, and you might as well thank her too. Thank all the mercenary gun-for-hire jobs I’ve done since getting thrown out of the navy, each one of those jobs supposedly being that ‘one last job’, that one last job just to pay for my ungrateful bitch daughter’s college education and get me set up with a little chicken ranch out in the hills somewhere. And don’t forget to thank my alcoholism, which I still battle daily, and let me tell you it’s not easy when I find myself in a bar like this, although so far, as you can see, I’ve been limiting myself to black coffee, which is not bad by the way, considering this is a bar and not a coffee shop. So thank the coffee, too.”

A thick coffee cup, half-filled with what one might presume was black coffee, sat in a thick saucer on the bar in front of the guy. He gestured at the cup, with his big hand. Well, both his hands were big, but he gestured to the cup with his right big hand, which held a lit cigarette. I suppose I should mention that he was wearing a black baseball cap with a yellow-and-black badge on the front of it, an eagle sitting on an anchor and holding a trident and a flintlock pistol. He wore a tight black t-shirt, and blue jeans that seemed artificially faded in some way. His nose looked like it had been broken and he had a bushy salt-and-pepper moustache. I couldn’t tell for sure because of the cap, but it looked like his head was shaven, either that, or he had just gotten a very short buzz cut. He looked very muscular, although he did have a basketball-sized pot belly. A tattoo on his left upper arm consisted of the word Mom, in a human heart, although only the bottom half of the letters were visible under the sleeve of his t-shirt. So you can see I’m making an effort to describe people. I only hope I have been reasonably accurate, although already I am not so sure.

“Oh, yeah,” said the man, holding up the cigarette for us to see. “Thank the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company, too. These damn things will kill me someday. So thank the slow and painful death that awaits me unless I die a violent death first. And you know what else you can thank?”

“I have no idea,” said Brett. “But I’m dying to know.”

“What about you, buddy?” the man said to me. “You know what else the lady can thank?”

“Well, I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe the fact that you own a cigarette lighter?”

He stared at me. He took a drag on his cigarette, continuing to stare at me. Then he said:

“You’re good.”

“Well, uh,” I said.

“No, seriously,” he said. “You’re very good. But that’s not what I had in mind. Do you want to know what it is?”

“Yes?” I said.

“You don’t sound too sure,” he said.

“To be honest,” I said, “I’m not sure.”

He stared at me again. The band continued to play, the people all around us continued to laugh and yell. My sore leg ached, I tried to keep my weight on the other one. Finally the man spoke again:

“Like I said, you are very, very good.” He paused for a second or two, and then he added: “Maybe too good.”

“Thank you?” I said.

“Hey, you know where you can get a good beer?” shouted Ahab.

I turned and looked at him. He was leaning forward over the bar a bit, his face turned toward Brett and myself and the big man.

“Singapore,” yelled Ahab. “The port of Singapore. You’re ever in Singapore try a Tiger beer.”

“Tiger beer’s okay,” said the big man to my right.

“I’m just saying,” said Ahab. “You can get a decent beer in Singapore.”

“Thanks for the tip,” said the big man.

Ahab turned away, and I think he started talking to the people on his left.

“You know what I call people like that?” said the big man.

“Insane?” said Brett.

“I call them bar bores,” said the man. “Not happy unless they’re boring the ass off of somebody. Anyway, where was I?”

“I haven’t the faintest,” said Brett.

“Where was I, buddy?” said the big man, to me.

“I think it was something about who or what the lady should thank, for getting her cigarette lit, or —”

“Oh, right. Thanks. So, anyway, I’m going to tell you, both of you, what the little lady here can be thankful for.”

“I’m not so little,” said Brett.

“The tall lady,” said the man. “I’m going to tell you, miss, what else you can thank.”

“My breath is absolutely bated,” said Brett.

“You can thank the time warp that brought me here,” said the big guy, “from the year 2013, a warp I stepped into when I was investigating a secret cult of vampire zombies who were attempting to take over the entire world.”

The guy took a drag on his cigarette and then tapped its ash into a tin ashtray that was in front of him.

“Thank the time warp,” he said.

“The time warp?” said Brett.

“Yeah, time warp,” said the man. “More accurately put, a tear in the time/space continuum.”

“I see,” said Brett.

“But you might just as well call it a time warp, that’s what everyone else does.”

“Splendid,” said Brett. “Well, let me just say then, thank goodness for the time warp.”

“Don’t thank goodness, lady. Goodness or God or Heaven or Christ got nothing to do with it. Just thank the time warp.”

“Splendid then,” said Brett, “thank you, time warp!”

At long last the bartender was there with Brett’s drink and a mug of draft beer for me, at least I hoped it was draft beer.

“Planter’s Punch with a float of ‘151’ and a mug of Rheingold,” the bartender said. “A buck and a quarter, please.”

Oh well, I thought, as I opened up my wallet, at least the drinks were reasonably priced.

Ahab turned away from the people he had been talking to, or talking at, and looked at my mug of beer and then at me.

“Rheingold’s a crap beer,” he said.

(Continued here, the doctors say it’s good therapy.)

(Please turn to the right-hand column of this page to find what on a good day is an up-to-date listing of links to all other available chapters of Arnold Schnabel’s Railroad Train To Heaven©. Now appearing also in the
Collingswood Patch™: “South Jersey’s answer to the New Yorker, but with fewer ads.”)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

tales of the hotel st crispian: chapter 97

"done wrong"

by horace p sternwall and manfred skyline

illustrated by konrad kraus, roy dismas and eddie el greco

a rhoda penmarq™ studios production

(click here to read the entire thrilling chapter!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

“Railroad Train to Heaven”, Part 334: Lady Brett

Let’s rejoin our hero Arnold Schnabel and his hearty comrade Big Ben Blagwell here in a rather unusual sub-basement bar in Greenwich Village, on this fateful August night in 1957...

(Please click here to read our previous chapter; in case you need your head examined then go here to return to the first tentative beginnings of this Gold View Award™-winning 68-volume memoir.)

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I consider Arnold Schnabel’s mammoth masterwork to be the
ne plus ultra of American literature.” — Harold Bloom, opening remarks at the yearly convention of the Arnold Schnabel Society at the Pvt. Raymond T. Osmond VFW Post at Chew and Lawrence; Philadelphia PA.

“Well, Lady Brett,” said Ben (or, again, “shouted Ben”, because as I said this place was very noisy, so please just assume that everyone is shouting until our narrative takes us elsewhere, if it ever does), ”we certainly wouldn’t want a lady to die of thirst, now would we, Arnie, I mean Porter?”

“No,” I said, with a sinking feeling that my personal narrative might never take me from this place unless I took some strong measures not to be the passive protagonist I had pretty much played my whole life, or lives.

“You don’t seem enthusiastic, Mr. Porter, at the prospect of having cocktails with three I daresay reasonably attractive ladies,” said Brett, looking into my eyes through the smoke trailing up from her cigarette. Although her hair was dark her skin was very pale, almost as pale as her jersey and her skirt. Her eyes were a smoky blue. (I’m trying to remember to describe these people I kept meeting, but it’s not always easy for me, as sometimes I get so wrapped up in myself that I fail to notice even the most basic features of someone until I’ve been around them for a year or two.)

“He’s enthusiastic,” said Ben (filling in the conversational void which I had inadvertently created as a byproduct of my private lucubrations). “Arnie I mean Porter’s just like reserved, like, ain’t you, Arnie, Porter, whatever?”

He gave me another elbow in the ribs, well, it was the same elbow, a little harder this time, but not quite hard enough to cause me to gasp in pain.

“How very curious,” said Brett. “A reserved American. You intrigue me, Mr. Porter.”

“We was just about to try and find you ladies,” said Ben, “so’s we could buy you them drinks we promised.”

“Oh, splendid,” said Brett. “We’re just over at the other end of the bar.”

“We are on our way, ma’am,” said Ben. “Let’s weigh anchor. I gotta say I got me a powerful thirst my own self.”

“Yes but I’ll tell you what, dear Ben is it?”

“Ben it is,” said Ben. “Big Ben Blagwell they call me. On account of the size of me.”

“Yes you are a big boy,” said Brett. “And just full of beans, aren’t you?”
“I was born full of beans,” said Ben. “Not to mention piss and vinegar. Oh, shit, sorry, I didn’t mean to say that.”
“Say what?” said Brett.

“Piss,” said Ben. “Shit, now I’ve said it again.”

“Plus the word shit,” said Brett.

“Damn,” said Ben. “Please forgive me and my like uncouth ways. But it’s like I said, too many years before the mast and down in the fo’c’sle and the engine room, and in low dockside taverns from Boston to Bangkok and back again.”

“You are forgiven,” said Brett.

“Swell,” said Ben. “Now let’s get them drinks. Say, let me ask you something, Lady Brett, you ever have a Planter’s Punch with a float of ‘151’?”

“I never have, actually,” said Brett. “Is it as good as a Sidecar, or a French 75?”

“Better,” said Ben.

“Well, I must have one then.”

“Good, let’s cast off, baby.”

“Yes but as I was attempting to say before we somehow got sidetracked, Big Ben,” she said, “why don’t you run along ahead, or rather heave prow-first into that sea of humanity full steam ahead in your parlance, as I want just a brief private word with Mr. Porter. But do please order me one of those Planter’s Punches, they sound delightful.”

“With a float of ‘151’,” said Ben.

“Righto,” said Brett.

“You gotta have the float of ‘151’, otherwise it’s just a plain ordinary Planter’s Punch,” said Ben.

“Yes, of course,” said Brett. “Now just you set sail right through this mob of drunks, and down at the other end of the bar, dear Ben, you’ll find the lovely Misses Becky and Hester. Panting with thirst.”

“I am already gone,” said Ben, and his face, which was always red, or at least inflamed, suddenly grew more red, almost like an overripe tomato just before it starts to bubble and burst its skin. He leaned in toward me and whispered, that is yelled in a somewhat lower voice, into my ear.

“Pal,” he said, “you are in like Flynn.”

He struck me once with his fist on my triceps but I managed not to fall down, and then he turned and shoved himself off into the crowd.

“Alone at last,” said Brett.

“Yes,” I said.

“Ah, he speaks.”

“Yes,” I said. “But listen —”


“I have to tell you something,” I said.

“Oh no. Don’t tell me,” she said.

“Pardon me?” I said.

“Don’t tell me you’re a pansy. Good-looking chap like you, and with a rather attractive stubble of beard.”

I felt my chin. It was true, I seemed to have a day or two’s growth of beard. But that was Porter, not me. I normally shave every morning, even when I’m hungover and the very thought of shaving makes me want to remove the blade from the safety razor and put an end to the need to shave forever.

She was looking at me with a sad expression.

“How very sad,” she said. “What a dreadful waste of manhood.”

“Well,” I said, I don’t know why, I guess my pride was challenged, “I’m actually not a pansy.”

“Oh, splendid!”

“But —” I said.

“Oh, dear,” she said. “That most awful of all conjunctions. But. Damn you and your but. What is it.”

“Pardon me?”

“What is your but. Don’t tell me you were wounded in the war. Please don’t tell me that.”

“No,” I said. 

“Oh, thank God,” she said. “I couldn’t go through that again. Being madly, horribly in love with a man who is unable to perform because of a war wound.”

“I wasn’t wounded,” I said.

“So you are able to perform then.”

“If you mean what I think you mean —” I said.

“And I think you know what I mean,” she said.

“Yes, well, technically, I suppose I am able,” I said.

“That’s all I need to know,” she said. 

“But —”

“That word again,” she said. “That dreadful word. Can we agree never to use that word with each other again?”

“It’s a pretty common word,” I said.

“Promise me,” she said.

“Well, okay,” I said, “but — oh, gee, I said it again.”

“Please don’t say it again. Never again.”

“Okay,” I said. “But, oh, sorry —”

“Oh, never mind,” she said. “You can say it if you must.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“So what is it?”

“What is it?”

“This but of yours.”

“Oh,” I said. “Well, you see, the thing is, I really have to be somewhere.”

“Somewhere else you mean.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Why. Where. Why.”

I realized suddenly that these were hard questions for me to answer, especially under these circumstances, the noise, the music, the shouting and laughing people all around, and the fact that Brett was standing very close to me, so close that her breasts, which were not small, were just touching the front of my seersucker jacket. I hesitated, as I tried to assemble some appropriate words in a coherent order.

“What could possibly be so important, dear Porter?” she said. “Is it a rendezvous with a woman?”

“Not exactly,” I said.

“Then what is the pressing urgency.”

“Well, it’s not a really pressing urgency,” I said. “But —”

“That word again,” she said. “That damned word.”

“Sorry,” I said. “But — and again I apologize for using the word —”

“I told you you could use it,” she said. “Even though each time you do it’s as if you’re driving an upholsterer’s tack into my bosom.” And as she said this she pressed her bosom closer against me. “What is it you’re trying to tell me, dear Porter? Please just say it. I’ve been hurt before. I’ll be hurt again. Just spit it out dear boy. I can take it.”

“It’s just that I have a friend waiting for me upstairs,” I said.

“A friend.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Another friend.”

“Yes,” I said. “You see, I was with this friend of mine in the bar upstairs, and I left to find a men’s room.”

“At least you found a ladies’ room, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” I said. “Anyway, I left him some time ago to try and find the men’s room, and he’ll be wondering where I am.”

“Will he really?”

“Well —”

“I suppose he’s sitting all alone at the bar, glancing at his wristwatch every ten seconds.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” I said. “I mean, you know, he’s with a few other people.”


“Yes, a couple of girls, and —”

“A couple of girls you say. So already the lying, the prevarication begins. I should have known. Go. Go then to your friend and to these girls and I’m sure they’re so terribly and awfully charming.”

“But,” I said.

“Go, go to your little playthings.”

“But they’re not my playthings,” I said.

“And these ‘girls’, are they very pretty?”

“Well,” I said, sinking ever deeper and deeper, “yeah, I guess they’re pretty —”

“You guess.”

“Yeah, they’re pretty,” I said.

“Why didn’t you just tell me, Porter. I’m a big girl. As I said, I’ve been hurt before. I’ll be hurt again. And again.”

But,” I said.

“Please go, dear Porter. And enjoy what I believe you Yanks call your ‘double date’, and I hope it culminates in the most satisfying orgy."

“But we’re not on a double date with these girls,” I said, realizing even as the words left my mouth that once again I was falling victim to my own propensity for attempted honesty. “They’re just a couple of girls my friend and I ran into. They live down the hall from me, and —”

“They live down the hall from you.”

“Yes,” I said. “I really just don’t want my friend, you know,  worrying about me.”

“Worrying about you.”

“Well,” I said, and once again I felt a fresh new flood of perspiration oozing from all my thousands of pores all at once. “Uh —”

She looked at me, I suppose trying to divine if I were lying, and, truth be told, at this juncture even I didn’t know if I was lying or not.

Her cigarette in its black holder had burned down and gone out. She pulled out the stub and dropped it to the floor. Then she pointed the mouthpiece of the holder at my face.

“This ‘friend’ of yours,” she said. “He also is not a pansy?”

“No,” I said. “He’s not a pansy.”

“And he’s with these two attractive girls you say.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Two very attractive girls.”

“Pretty attractive,” I said.

“He’s with two extremely attractive girls,” she said. “Doing what? Sitting in a booth or at the bar?”

“Well, they were dancing, actually,” I said.

“Dancing you say? Perhaps the Charleston, or the Lindy Hop?”

“I think it was more of a free-form thing,” I said.

“The Boogaloo maybe?”

“Possibly,” I said.

“So, to sum up,” she said. “This pal of yours is dancing the Black Bottom with two ravishing young girls and you really think, you honestly believe he’s waiting with bated breath for your return?”

“Well, I don’t know about bated breath,” I said.

“Oh, dear Porter,” she said. “Do you honestly think he cares if you’re just a tiny bit late, or indeed if you ever show up?”

She moved closer to me, so that her breasts were now pressed firmly against my ribcage.

“Um, well,” I said, “I just, um —”

“And don’t you think he might — provided of course he is a true friend and not a begrudging viper — don’t you think he might be happy for you that you are in the company of a beautiful and ardent woman such as myself?”

She touched my cheek, the stubble on my cheek, with her fingertips. I noticed that her fingernails were painted red.

“I didn’t really think of that,” I said. “But, still, it seems kind of rude just to go off and not come back.”

“You must think me a frightfully importunate bitch,” she said.

“No,” I said.

To make matters worse I now began to feel the first faint quiverings of an erection.

“I’m such a fool,” she said. “Throwing myself at a man simply because he is a handsome brooding young poet. And I know I would only make you miserable. And myself too, it goes without saying. And yet we could possibly have some good moments, could we not?”

“Well, sure,” I said, and I moved back a half step, so that she might not notice my erection which was growing slowly but surely of its own free will. “I mean, anything is possible, but —”

“That damned word again.”

“Sorry,” I said.

“Porter,” she said.

She took a half-step closer to me.

“Yes?” I said.

“One damned drink,” she said. “Don’t make me beg. I will beg if you force me to, but I beg you not to force me to beg.”

“I won’t,” I said.

“Oh good, so you’ll at least have one drink with me.”

“All right,” I said. I knew I was beaten. And, after all, there really was no pressing urgency. She was right. Josh probably wouldn’t miss me. He was the son of God. He had a lot more to think about than me and my little problems.

She put her arm in mine. She gave me a yank, and pulled me toward the bar. My leg had not miraculously cured itself, and so I limped, and I was now further hobbled by the almost full erection I was now possessed of.

To be honest, I really felt as if I could use a drink at this point.

(Continued here, under a doctor’s supervision.)

(Kindly look to the right-hand column of this page for an up-to-date listing of links to all other published chapters of
Arnold Schnabel’s Railroad Train To Heaven©. Now appearing also in the Collingswood Patch™: “South Jersey’s widely-acknowledged cynosure of belles-lettres.”)