It is due; Now or Never; Time to Die; and finally, “Never say ‘Never.” It was nearly noon, I looked over at my bike, I could have sworn that it just looked right back. Did it have something to say? I wasn’t quite in the mood to have an ongoing, pointless conversation with a hunk of metal. Okay, she meant more to me than that. But, sometimes, sometimes “Why, I outhta!” And the award. For the best, most outrageous bus driver goes to Jackie Gleason, Ralph Kramden and the entire Port Authority of New York City…let’s hear a round of applause! Get this guy a “Chowhound” on me, or any one of those beers bus drivers drink. “Wait,” says, Ralph. “How about one of ‘dem; a, fancy, shmancy vodka tonics, no tonic. Make it a double. Oh, some of that Russian stuff, if you got it. What is it? Schmir…nops, Schmirnaps vodka? I’ll even pay ‘da difference. That must be the ol’ Gatsby in me, you know us Long Islanders and our Vodka, ha.” (Jackie was like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with that legendary:
“Just pick me up and point me in the right direction;” ways about him,” she said. He kinda looked over at the tipsy bus driver, “And to think,” she commented, “He used to be such an endearing drunk.” Wanting to change the tenor of the conversation he said, “So? How about them ‘Honeymooners?” (Damn, he thought to himself, he meant to say Yankees! He meant Yankees, but for some reason he blurted out Honeymooners! Well, it was like un ringing a bell. The damage had been done. He knew she was a baseball fanatic and surely knew that she knew more about all this than he. He kinda asked if she knew about the Black Sox/White Sox fixing the World Series in 1919. “Did our beloved Steinbrenner or Ruth have any part in that?” Anything he thought, to get off this drunken Gleason, Rudolph, Port Authority topic. It, that topic just didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Besides, I didn’t want to admit; it was a part of my past, but I am a recovered…I was an alcoholic. It has been, nearly 10 years now. That “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” was me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t endearing. “How did Jackie die?” I asked, as if she had an idea, as if she cared. “Was it liver something, liver failure, or something like that?” I really had no idea, she didn’t either. She said, “I think it was his liver.” I said, “They used to call him ‘The Great One’ too, just like Jay Gatsby, another famous Vodka fiend.” God only know’s where I’d picked up that little nugget of knowledge, probably some trivia game.
Oh, my point, my original point was about Jackie Gleason and his, “Why, I oughta!” and that death stare I got back from the old “Iron Horse.” My bike, my bike’s name is Iron Horse. Okay, call me childish. But, it has been a long cold winter here in Rockport and I haven’t taken him out except for a ride here and there, just to keep us both in working order. It hasn’t worked. I look over at my bike, it is a so-so kinda day and I peak down around my belly. It says nothing. I wished I had an excuse. The belly just did the old guilt thing, the bell rang, as if the whole town was saying, “Get up off your lazy ass, and just get your act together.” The town; my belly, and anybody who had the nerve to look in my general direction are on target. Procrastination is rather easy when you have an Iron Horse and are in a sleepy little town. The other shoe has dropped. She could be my Bond girl “Never Say Never,” Okay, okay, I’m going!