Meanwhile, back at Lena’s . . .
Lena hollers, “Hey Al, what are the ages of your kids?”
“By which marriage,” says Al from the other end of the bar. “I got four from the first marriage and two from the second marriage. The second marriage is a technicality because they are not really my kids but they got my name so I guess you can call them my kids. What do you wanna know the ages for?”
“The state lottery is worth twenty million tonight, I need six numbers. I’m trying to think out of the box,” says Lena.
Al says, “Tommy is twenty-three. Jeannie is Twenty-four. Carl is Twenty-five. Al junior is twenty-six. They was all with my first marriage.”
Lena says, “Your poor wife. How long was you guys married?”
Al says, “Three years.”
Lena says, “Who’s got the kids?”
“Nobody. They got themselves since they is all out on their own. Nobody got tossed in jail as far as I know. What I don’t know don’t hurt me, know what I mean?”
Lena thinks this is more information than she needs for the lottery pick six numbers sheet. “What are the ages of the other two kids?”
Al says, “Louie is seventeen and Sunset is sixteen.”
“You got a daughter named Sunset?” says Lena.
“Yah, Louise says Sunset got conceived when she was on the beach at Duxbury with her boyfriend at sunset,” says Al.
Lena says, “I got all I need.” Lena moves her head toward the rear booth, “Stella and the loser she’s with still here?”
Al says, “She was twisting his ears a minute ago. She is a tough broad. I wouldn’t turn my back on her. I’ll give her this, she got something that attracts the guys like flies to a 4th of July picnic.”
Meanwhile, in the back booth . . .
“This better be good, Lenny, or we are through, done, splitsville, adios, goodbye, see you later. You hear what I’m saying,” says Stella.
“Huh. I’m glad I didn’t hear you say break up. Those are two words that’s gonna break my heart, babe,” says Lenny.
Stella is wondering if she should get professional help after this over. What made her think Lenny is brighter than Tony? Stella pushes her thoughts aside and say, “What’s the great idea, Lenny?”
“You are gonna think I am the smartest dude in the world when you hear this idea. It come to me while you was twisting my ears. I’m thinking the ears are connected to the brain and when you twist them, they make the brain go to work.”
“When am I gonna hear this idea, sometime tonight?” says Stella tapping her professionally done acrylic nails on the table.
Lenny puts his lips to Stella’s ear. Stella twists and pushes him away. “You get nothing, not even an earlobe until I hear a good idea.”
Lenny backs off, a red flush covers his face, “You always like it when I nibble on your earlobe.”
“What’s nibbling on my earlobe got to do with your great idea?” says Stella.
“I think I was celebrating too early. You know how Tony goes to The Lucky Canary in the afternoon and back at night when you have to work late at my apartment?” says Lenny.
“Go on,” says Stella.
“You buy some poison and slip it in his beer. Tony dies and you can sue The Lucky Canary for selling Tony poison beer and you can sue the company that makes cheap beer,” says Lenny folding his arms across his puffed up chest.
Stella glares at Lenny, “I don’t do murder. That’s your job. This gotta be your idea. You don’t want to get rid of Tony, then I’m dumping you. We got no future together.”
“I don’t want to kill nobody. I’m like you, I don’t do murder. You won’t sleep with Nunzio, what are we gonna do?” says Lenny.
Stella thinks about her choices, do nothing, dump Lenny and go home to Tony. In her mind’s eye she sees herself ten years from now going to The Lucky Canary every afternoon. She leaves The Lucky Canary to pick up their kid from St. Michaels Elementary School. She goes home and stares at the stretch marks on her belly. She thinks about her other choice, get rid of Tony and live with Lenny. She decides she’d as soon jump off the Prudential Tower. A wave of depression sweeps over her like an avalanche.
Lenny slaps the table with his palm knocking over the two beer bottles.
“You fool. I got beer all over my jeans,” shouts Stella.
Al nods to Lena, “Lovers quarrel. Want me to wipe it up?”
Lena shakes her head, “See if they can figure it out.”
“My brain is working overtime, Stella. I know how we get rid of Tony. You get me your bottle of sleeping pills. I’ll go to The Lucky Canary early tomorrow and buy two cheap beers. I’ll dump all the sleeping pills you got left in the in a cheap beer. When Tony comes in I’ll offer him a free beer. Boom he drinks it, he’s gone. But it’s not murder since he goes to sleep. Can we help it if he don’t wake up? We was only trying to help him take a nap.”
Stella thinks about it. She wonders what could go wrong. Lenny could drink a beer with the sleeping pills, I win. Tony drinks a beer with the sleeping pills. I win.
Stella says, “It’s a good plan. One thing I’m gonna add to your brilliant plan, I’m gonna break up with Tony tonight. He’ll get depressed and everybody will think he killed himself.”
“Stella?” says Lenny. “If you’re gonna break up with Tony, why do we have to kill him?”
At that moment, Nunzio walks in to Lena’s.