Meanwhile . . . The next day at Lena’s.
Lena is sitting at the bar, nursing a Coors in a tall chilled beer glass while she works a stack of scratch off tickets. Al, the bartender, stands behind the bar, his back turned to Lena while he watches international weather on the weather channel.
Lena glances at Al’s back, then up to the TV screen. She says, “Al, why are you wasting your life watching the weather in Japan?”
Al turns his head over his left shoulder toward Lena. He says, “I’m seeing what the weather is in Tokyo. Maybe me and Josie will go there when we’re finally free of the kids. How about you spending your money on scratch off tickets and Powerball?”
Lena keeps scratching the tickets, “I hit a ticket last week for a hundred.”
“How much you spend on scratch off’s last week?” asks Al.
“Roughly five hundred. I’m getting closer, it’s the law of averages,” says Lena.
“The law of averages is a myth. I saw a show on it on the Discovery Channel,” says Al.
Lena keeps scratching, “The show was probably done by some guy who is in gambler’s anonymous.”
“Matter of fact, you’re right,” says Al.
Lena glances toward the rear booth, “For a week, Stella’s been coming in and drinking Jim Bean. It’s like she’s waiting for someone who’s not showing up. She’s got real problems.”
At that moment, Bogey walks into Lena’s. He stops, looks around, sees Lena and says, “Scratch off queen, Bogey’s got something for you if you got information for Bogey.”
Lena glances up at Al, “Is it a crime if you take the sawed-off shotgun from under the bar and blast him.”
“Uh huh,” says Al.
Lena keeps scratching, “What kind of information does Bogey want?”
“Bogey wants to know who owns the dark blue Buick parked outside your dive?” says Bogey.
“I got an idea, if it’s the same dark blue Buick that was there yesterday,” says Lena.
“Why don’t you ask me?” says Stella from the rear booth.
Bogey glances over at Stella, “Bogey didn’t see you, bad broad. You still waiting for your train to come in, maybe a bus to stop, or Prince Charming to walk through the door?”
Stella says, “I’ll take any of the three.
Bogey walks over to the bar, reaches into his tweed coat pocket and pulls out a scratch off ticket. He lays it on the bar. He says, “This scratch off could be a winner and it’s all yours if you tell me who owns the car.”
Lena reaches for the scratch off ticket. Bogey slides it out of arm’s reach from Lena. “Easy scratch off broad. Bogey wants to hear what you got to say, first.”
Lena looks at Bogey, “What did the ticket cost you, a buck? Give me a break. You wanna stay in here without buying, give me the ticket and you can have a half hour with the bad broad.”
Bogey says, “Bogey wants to know who owns the car because Bogey thinks it’s the missing piece to puzzle.”
Lena says, “What puzzle? You talking jig saw puzzle, Rubric’s Cube, word jumble. Bogey’s confusing me.”
Bogey says, “An old, small guy, with a twenty year old golfing hat, at The Lucky Canary says the head of the Dollar Store bandits owns it.”
Lena glances at Al who turns his back to Lena. Lena says, “If he said it, it’s got to be true.”
“Here’s the ticket, scratch off broad. Bogey’s still thinking the scratch off broad knows more than she is telling.”
Lena studies Bogey. She says, “Why are you wearing a fedora and fake black plastic glasses with a fake nose?”
Bogey says, “Bogey says if you want to catch a fish you got to look like a fish. Bogey’s gonna check out the bad broad and find out if she likes bad boys and Bogey’s good at being bad.”
“Uh huh,” says Lena, then mumbles, “I gotta get out of this neighborhood before I go nuts.”