The Tuna sips his wine. He turns toward the bar, “Legos, you got a biscotti, maybe some fresh mozzarella and crusty Italian bread? My blood sugar is low and my brain needs protein.”
Legos pushes himself up from leaning on the bar. He folds the newspaper page he’s reading in half to hold his place. He says, “Take me a few minutes. I got to make a call to Astudos.”
“Thanks, Legos. Maybe you should put it on the menu in case somebody asks for it. When you call Astudo’s, tell Freddy it’s for me and to rush order,” says the Tuna.
“Got it,” says Legos thinking I gotta get out of this forty percent ownership. What would I do? Where would I go? I’m on a treadmill and going nowhere. I’m like everybody here, only bigger and bald. I’m starting to think and talk like them. I’m talking to myself. I need help. Legos picks up his cell phone and calls Astudos deli.
The Tuna stares at Tony for a moment, then says, “You need a job more than you need a woman.”
Tony says, “I got a job, Tune. I’m your exclusive driver. The way I see it, I got to be available twenty-six eight or maybe thirty-one nine. I’m not sure which one. Anyways, I can do both.”
Legos says, twenty-four seven.”
“I can do that one too,” says Tony.
Tina says, “Tuna, can I be your driver? I come with benefits. It’s my other dream job, being alone with you in a car.”
The Tuna glances at Tina, “What’s your other dream job?”
“I want to be you live in maid and mistress,” says Tina. “I’ll work cheap.”
The Tuna starts laughing, “You think you’re good with the ice pick, you got nothing on Maria. She’s like the Picasso of ice picks. You won’t last a day.”
“Please, Tuna, please tell me I’m next in line,” begs Tina.
The Tuna smiles and turns back to Tony. “Tone, I’m gonna get you a job where you work half-days but it pays like you work full days. This way, you can earn enough money to get an apartment and move out of your mom’s place.”
“Won’t work, Tune. My mom got her heart set on me being a priest. I’ll break her heart if I leave the priesthood. I need a woman to take me in so I can tell my mom I’m giving up celebrity to be with my true love,” says Tony.
Legos interrupts, “You mean celibacy.”
“What’s that?” asks Tony.
“Nothing you have to worry about,” says Legos.
“Tone, you are not a priest, so you are not leaving the priesthood, says Tuna.
“I’m not?” says Tony.
“No, Tone, you are not. When we leave here, you gonna go home and tell your mom you are moving out. I’m gonna give you an address for a basement apartment. It’s not much, one room, it’s cold as hell in the winter, but July it is very nice. Micky Manassi owes me a favor, he’s gonna give you first month’s rent free.”
“I need a woman, Tune. I’m incomplete without a woman. I’m like a man with only nine fingers. A horse without a tail, a beer can without a flip tab, a day without coming to The Lucky Canary.”
The Tuna holds his hand up, “Enough, Tone.” He turns to Tina, “What we got to do is to find a bigger fool than Tony who’s fool enough to fall in love with him.”
Tony dives in head first, “She’s got to have a good job to support me when I’m not working. She’s got to be sexy. She can’t mind if I leave my clothes on the floor. She can’t mind if I leave the toilet seat up . . .”
Tina interrupts, “Is this the stuff you put on your bio on the dating sites?”
“Almost word for word, but there’s more,” says Tony.
“Let me guess how many hits you got on all the dating sites you belong to. I’m gonna guess zero,” says Tina holding up her hand with her thumb and forefinger forming a zero.
“How’d you know?” asks Tony.
“A wild guess,” says Tina.
At that moment, the door to The Lucky Canary swings open.