Zeke and Mickey were parked under a maple tree at Carver’s Pond. Zeke had his Red Sox ball cap pulled low over his sunglasses. Mickey was wearing an orange ski mask. He had plastic red rimmed sunglasses on over the eye slits in the ski mask.
“You think Tony Gallino knows about this place?” Mickey asked.
“Everybody knows about this place. You come here as soon as the sun goes down, every guy with a car is making out with a girl in the backseat.”
“You’re kidding me. Gus has a car. You think he has a girlfriend on the side we don’t know about and they come out here and make out. Maybe Gus’s wife is with some guy making out and they’re both here in two different cars and don’t know it.”
“I think there’s a rule, you got to be under 18 to make out at night here, Mickey.”
“That leaves Gus out. It leaves us out too, we got to get out of here before sundown. I don’t want anybody thinking you and me was making out. I only make out with girls, but I don’t have a girl now. What are we going to do for cover? Tony wants his package and we don’t got it. He’s gonna kill us. I’m not even talking about the cops killing us, they gonna pin Sal’s murder on us,” said Mickey.
“Who says Sal was murdered? Maybe he just dropped dead of heart attack. Maybe he had a stroke. Maybe he was poisoned only we didn’t give him any poison. There’s lots of reasons that keep you and me in the clear,” said Zeke.
“So, what are we going to do?” asked Mickey.
“We got to go back to Nonna and ask for her help. I got to tell her my predicament. Maybe she’ll have pity on me. But we got to bring her a good gift. I was thinking about two cannoli’s. Who doesn’t love cannoli, am I right?”
“I love cannoli’s, Zeke. But how we gonna pay for them. I’m flat broke and now you only got two singles. You think Tony Gallino will give us a loan to get by for the week?”
“Tony? Are you kidding me? He’ll ask us why we want the loan and then he’ll charge us a vig that is more than I make a week. You nuts or something?”
“You got a better idea?” asked Mickey.
Zeke started his piece of crap, put it in gear, spun the wheels in the sand and turned toward the dirt road leading into Carver’s pond. He took a left onto Plymouth Street and headed back toward the center of town. He half turned toward Mickey and said, “I got three good ideas, one, take off those sunglasses over your ski mask. They clash. Two, take off the ski mask, it’s not winter and it’s not Halloween. Three, if we ever get out of this I promised the Blessed Lady I’m giving up drinking.”
“Huh? She’s gonna deliver. You made a big promise. You can’t break the promises you make to her. That means you gotta stop going to Lombardi’s. What will I do without you sitting next to me at the bar? You’re the only friend I got, Zeke. Everybody else thinks I’m dumb, but you think I’m smart.”
Zeke was happy he was wearing sunglasses, because his eyes were watering. He knew he was Mickey’s best friend. He didn’t know he was his only friend. He said, “Yah, you’re smart Mickey. You just think different. See, I know how you think.”
“That’s what I’m saying, Zeke. Gus, he thinks I’m dumb. Nonna doesn’t like me because of my last name. You think if I change my name, she’ll like me?”
“What do you have in mind for a different name, Mickey?”
“I was watching an old movie last name. I saw this Italian guy. I liked his style. I can’t dress as fancy as him, maybe I’m not as good looking as him, but I like his name?”
“You thinking of James Franco? Robert De Niro? Maybe, Leonard DiCaprio?”
“Those are all good ones, Zeke. I was think of Al Capone. Think Nonna will like it if you said I changed my name from Mickey Palitroni to Al Capone?”
Zeke’s first thought was, I think she’d think you’re nuts. After the moment passed, he said, “It’s another good idea, keep working on it. Maybe you want to think of an Italian in another line of work.”
“I got one. A perfect first name and last name,” said Mickey.
Zeke took a deep breath, he had no clue what Mickey was going to say, but he was sure, the name wasn’t going to work, “What do you have, Mickey?”
“I was thinking of Pope Francis. You like that name. Everybody can call me Pope.”
“You’re getting warmer, Mickey. Keep working on it,” said Zeke. “There’s Nonna’s house, nobody’s got the hydrant. Maybe our luck is changing. I forgot about the cannoli’s. I didn’t want to steal them. We’ll just have to wing it.”
Will Nonna give the boys Tony Gallino’s package? What is so important about the package? Will Mickey change his name to Al Capone?