Jenny had the same experience she had every time she was under fire, where everything froze in place long enough for her to make out who was where and what they were doing.
She hated it every time that happened; rarely did it end up well following the moment when everything froze…
Right there at the end of the bar was DeWayne Parker, ordering a drink but only half paying attention to the bartender. His eyes were on two ladies a few seats down, interested eyes, eyes that threatened trouble if he wanted to go for number four tonight…
The two ladies didn’t notice him. One was a woman with short brown hair and glasses, not familiar to her, but the other was a semi-regular here she’d seen a few times before. Neither woman looked like they’d have much luck if DeWayne was acting on the attention he was giving them.
“You OK, Jenny?” Dutch asked.
She wasn’t sure how many times he had to ask her before she heard him. Not wanting to betray what was on her mind, she replied, “Sorry, this guy’s playing is distracting. Where the hell’s the waitress?”
“That her talking to the guy at the table over there?”
“You mean the one who’s now sitting at the table with him?” Charlie added.
“If that just don’t- Screw it, I’m going in,” said Jenny as she got up and went to the bar.
The bartender working Bonny’s that night looked less enthused at being there than the derelict waitress was. He gave Jenny half his attention as he read his pad stowed under the bar with one eye.
He repeated back Jenny’s order to her twice, all the while moving like a diver underwater on drugs as he put it together. He was halfway through getting the round together when the guitarist finished and started on the next piece.
“Oh crap, not this…” said Jenny as he started to sing:
Were you there when Brooklyn died?
When she fell into the sea?
Tell me what you did when Brooklyn died;
Tell me, what’d you see?
“Oh sweet Mother of-” Jenny muttered, trying to stay focused.
I watched Coney Island sink
Under Alejandro’s waves
Pulling out all the cool people
Who were at their raves
I saw the Russians on Brighton Beach
Float back to the Bering Straight
At least someone cried for them,
Unlike the folks in Seagate
“You okay?” the bartender asked
“Just give me my damn drinks already,” Jenny snapped
Canarsie, Mill Basin, both were gone
And so was Howard Beach
When the winds finally died,
They were too far out of reach
Thank God that Dyker Heights was high
And Park Slope on a hill
The BQE could not stay dry
And to this day never will
“Look,” said Jenny, leaning in on the bartender, “I hate this damn song, and the sooner I have my round and am back at the table, the better, got it?”
He stood dumb for a second before he finally filled the glass with ginger ale and put it on a tray with the whiskey sour.
“And three bags of chips, too.”
The Naval Yard was out to sea
And Williamsburg was an isle
They finally were their own borough
At least for a little while
All of Brooklyn took it hard
Of every stripe and means
The only comfort they could take
Was how bad the storm hit Queens
Jenny nearly spilled everything as she flew with the tray to the table. The West Seneca Crew shied away from her as she served each of them his or her drink with a snarl.
“What set you off?” Charlie asked.
“Hate that damn song,” she said as she took her seat and almost put her beer to her lips. She sighed as she stopped herself and raised her bottle, toasting, “To a good week.”
Tomo and Dutch let the mouths of their beer bottles kiss a few small clicks after the main toast. Charlie sipped his whiskey sour, while Georgie took a straight drink from her ginger ale.
“Sorry the drinks took so long,” Jenny apologized after she finally had some of her beer.
“Count your blessings,” said Dutch. “It was better than Charlie and Georgie making plans for the couple at the bar.”
“Yeah,” said Tomo, “like, I don’t care which one you want, settle that later.”
Jenny turned to see if it was the same couple of women she’d seen earlier that they had been arguing over-
All content Copyright © 2011 James Ryan