🐤 The Lucky Canary ~ Tony’s in Love



A five-foot-seven-inch, jean wearing, dark brown pixie cut hairdo, tornado steps inside The Lucky Canary, walks over to the bar and sits on a stool. Legos glances down the bar toward her, “When did you get back in town, Roxie?”

“I got back two days ago. I see you never left. You had more hair last time I seen yah. How’s life treating you, Legos?” says Roxie.

“It’s okay. It could be better. It could be worse. I can’t complain. What do you want?” says Legos.

“I was gonna ask for a can of the cheap beer. They don’t sell the cheap beer brand in Vegas. Too bad. Once you get a taste for it, the more expensive stuff can’t touch it. I think I need something stronger. I’ll take shot of Johnnie Walker. Bring a can of the cheap beer with the Johnnie Walker.”

Nick taps Tony, “When did Roxie get back in town?”

Tony’s staring at her, “I ain’t seen her in ten years. How’d she fit into those jeans? How’s she gonna get them off? I’m love, Nick. I wanna marry Roxie. You think she’s got a guy?”

Tina taps the Tuna on the forearms, “Who’s the broad? She looks like she’s been around the block more than a dozen times. She a one-time hooker trying to stay in the action with the shirt that I think don’t got no buttons? She already got Nick, Tony, and Joey drooling.”

The Tuna glances at Roxie and nods. Roxie nods back. The Tuna turns to Tina and says, “Roxie’s got a lot of wear on her. If you look close, you can see the tire marks. Life leaves tire marks on everybody. Some you see, most you don’t see. Roxie’s okay, she got a good heart. She’s not a nun for sure, but she’s not pushing it on the streets if you know what I mean.”

Tina says, “Tuna, you pulling the strings? I got a feeling I see your handwriting on what’s happening.”

The Tuna refills Tina’s shot glass, “Beautiful broad, give your intuition a rest, knock the shot down, and enjoy the movie.”

The Tuna calls to Legos, “Give Roxie whatever she wants. It’s on me. Roxie wants to sing the blues, let her.”

Roxie says, “Thanks, Tuna. In that case forget the shot glass, give me a bottle of Johnnie Walker.”

Legos turns to the shelf behind the bar, takes a three-quarter full bottle of Johnnie Walker, turns and sets it in front of Roxie. Roxie brings the bottle to her nose, sniffs it, glances at Legos and says, “You’re the only one in the neighborhood not watering the good stuff down. I appreciate this.”

Legos shrugs and opens the Boston Herald to the sports section.

Roxie brings the bottle to her lips, tilts her head back, closes her eyes, and lets the warm liquid run straight through. When she finishes, she sets the bottle down, takes her iPhone out of her purse and searches Spotify for background music. She finds the background blues music she wants, turns the volume up, and sets the iPhone on the bar. She hits play, nods her head through the first three measures, then starts singing.

I gave him all my love

But he wanted more.

I gave him everything I could give

But he wanted more

I gave him my body

He wanted my soul

He wanted more than I could give

He didn’t wave when he walked out the door.

“Give me his name, Roxie, I’ll turn him into fish bait,” says Tony pushing away from the table and standing up.

“The broad’s got a voice for the blues, it’s kind of smokey, deep and you can feel it,” says Tina wiping her eyes with a house napkin with a yellow canary embossed on it.

The Tuna keeps his eyes on Roxie. He whispers, “She’s been in Vegas, never could make the strip. She played in nightclubs and casinos around the town and in Henderson. The poor kid never got a break. She come back to the neighborhood when Lena called her and asked if she wanted a job singing Thursday through Sunday in her bar.”

Roxie stops singing and stares at Tony, “Who are you? You and the guy next to you look familiar, but I can’t place you.”

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