🐤 The Lucky Canary ~ Tina Asks Nick If He’s Scared of Marriage

10

Tony looks at Nick, Nick looks at the TV. Tony looks at Joey. Joey’s trying to make pleats on his orange jump suit pants. Tony glances at Tina who’s working her nails with a nail file. Tony looks at Dog who’s lying by Nick’s feet. Dog’s sleeping.

“Well?” says Tuna.

Tony wipes the perspiration beading on his forehead with the sleeve from his Patriot’s sweatshirt. “Tune, I got the best reason in the world for doing what I did.”

“This I gotta hear,” says the Tuna.

“Me too,” says Tina.

Tony says, “I’m in love. When a guy’s in love he does crazy stuff.”

“Who you in love with? Stella, Lorraine, Yvonne, Amy, Carmella, Josie? I think you been with all of them in the past year,” says Tuna.

“Please, Tuna, don’t tell Stella, she’ll kill me,” says Tony. “The neighborhood broads won’t let me alone. You know how it is, I got this subtraction for broads, they can’t restricts me.”

Legos says, “You mean attraction and resist you.”

Tuna shakes his crooked forefinger at Tony. He says, “Don’t say anything unless you are answering me. I don’t know how it is, now about the Donut King’s ring.”

Tina knocks down a shot and jumps in, “What is it with you, Tony? You can’t be faithful to the one you’re living with?”

Tony says, “I think I got a diction.”

Legos calls over, “It’s addiction.”

“What I say?” says Tony. “Tune, I saw the photo of the Donut King and his wife on the table. The Donut King and his wife looked so happy. I thinks they was down in barracuda. That’s what I want. I made up my mind to ask Stella to marry me, but I didn’t have a ring. When you opened the safe, I saw the ring and snagged it when you wasn’t looking. I’ll make Stella promise not to Stella tell nobody.”

Legos calls over, “Bermuda not barracuda.”

Nick jumps in, “You’re wrong, Legos. I ate Bermuda at the Lenten fish fry at St. Joe’s. Barracuda in a country in Mexico.”

Legos says, “Mexico is a country. And, It’s Bermuda. Why do I waste my time with fools like you?”

“Because you like us?” asks Nick.

Tina starts laughing. “I always knew you to be a fool, Tony. I didn’t know you was a bigger fool than any fool I ever met, including Nick. Do you think a woman who gets a ring is gonna hide it from her friends?”

“Uh huh? Tune, if I give the ring back, will Nunzio leave me alone?”

Legos says, “I’ll make a note to order less cheap beer next month.”

“What am I gonna do, Tune? I don’t want to die, at least for while,” says Tony.

Joey says, “Wanna go fifty-fifty with the ring and we head out for Vegas. I can steal a car in every city we hit. That way the cops can’t follow us. We change our names and start a new life.”

Legos says, “Is this a can’t miss idea, that can’t miss? The cops will get you guys before you hit the turnpike.”

Tony reaches in his pocket and fetches the ring. He holds it up to his eyes with the thumb and forefinger on each of his hands. “I’m in love, Tune. Stella will never say yes if I don’t give her a rock.”

Tuna sips his wine. He turns toward Tina, “Beautiful broad, Stella got this thing makes her like heroin. She sticks her fingernails in a guy and he becomes addicted. Guys can’t help themselves. They go crazy and do things even an insane guy won’t do. She’s gonna use Tone until he got no more use to her then she’s wrap him up in old newspapers and toss him in the dumpster and go off with a new guy who she’s been road testing.”

Tina says, “Tuna, the way you are talking, you do not hold Stella above the bottom notch on your ladder. You telling me Stella’s got no shot at you if Maria, God forbid, dies? I always thought she was a gold digger but I didn’t want to say nothing.”

“What about us?” says Nick.

“What about us?” says Tina. “You ever thought of asking me to marry you? Your fool friend who don’t know what day it is, wants to propose to Stella who don’t really love him.”

“It’s Tuesday,” says Tony.

“Case closed,” says Tina. “It’s Thursday.”

“I was close,” says Tony. Tony continues, “Stella don’t really love me? What I ever do to Stella? I gave her the best weeks of my life. I been faithful for ten days. I don’t got no DTS’s.”

“You mean STDs,” says Legos.

“What are those? They worse than some of the stuff you can get at Nantasket on Saturday nights?” says Tony.

Tuna shakes his head at Legos. Legos goes back to reading the sports section.

“Tone. I’m gonna give you advice. If you don’t take my advice, you ain’t gonna drive no more for me. Even if you take my advice, I got you on probation for taking something I did not want you to take. I like to keep a low profile now the Dollar Store bandits are high profile. Crime Stoppers is turning up the heat. They got a seven grand reward on us.”

Nick calls to Legos, “Legos, turn on the air conditioner, the Tuna is hot.”

Tina refills the Tuna’s shot glass, refills her own. They toss the shots down.

Tina says, “Nick, why don’t you ask me to marry you? You scared of marriage?”

Nick says, “I was waiting for the right time.”

The Tuna turns to Tina, “Maybe in ten years.”

Joey interrupts the conversation, “You think I’d make a good hit man?”

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