A short, thinning gray-haired guy, wearing a twenty-year old golfing cap, worn dark brown leather bomber jacket shuffles in. His first words, “Turn up the lights, I need sunshine, even if the lights you got are the best I can get. When’s the last time we saw the sun?”
“I think it was before Thanksgiving, Tune. I member saying to Nick, ‘I think I seen the sun this morning,” says Tony getting up and pulling the Tuna’s chair out.
Nick says, “That was Halloween. We ain’t seen the sun in more than two months. I heard it was something to do with gobble warnings.”
Roxie glances at Legos, “What’s he talking about?”
Legos says, “I don’t have the energy to correct him, I need all my energy to stay warm. I think he means global warming.”
“Oh,” says Roxie taking a pull from Johnnie Walker.
The Tuna slides into his chair and Tony helps him move toward the table, “You want me to help you take off your coat, Tune?” asks Tony.
The Tuna glances at Legos, “What’s the temperature in here?”
Legos goes to the wall and checks the thermostat, “It’s sixty-one. It will be okay in a half hour.”
The Tuna unzips his bomber jacket, holds his arms out and Tony helps him slip it off. Tony puts in on the back of Tuna’s chair.
Nick, Tina, and Joey stare at the Tuna’s woolen knit sweater. They look but keep quiet. The Tuna catches the looks, “Every year, the week before Christmas, I got to wear this sweater. Maria knitted it for me when we was first married. She put a Christmas tree on it to put me in the Christmas spirit. I hate wool. It makes me itch. I keep hoping the mice get into it and make enough holes so I can’t wear it. Maria thinks the sweater keeps me warm and if I’m warm, I’m happy,” says the Tuna watching Legos filling his wine glass exactly one-quarter full.
“What’s that smell?” asks Joey.
“Don’t start, Joey,” says the Tuna. “It’s mothballs.”
Tony glances at Nick, “I didn’t know moths had balls.”
Nick says, “I think you are mistaken. It’s grasshoppers that have balls.”
Tony says, “Where’d you hear that? You sure it’s grasshoppers that have balls? Maybe it’s flies that got balls.”
Roxie glances at Legos. Legos is biting on a dish towel. Tina is searching for the ice pick in her handbag.
Joey says, “I think I seen something about that on the Disney Channel. They showed grasshoppers hooking up on the Disney Channel. It was like watching an adult movie.”
“I didn’t know grasshoppers hooked up? Maybe that’s why there’s a drink called the grasshopper,” says Tony.
Nick says, “You get the Disney Channel in Bridgewater?”
Joey says, “We all got satellite TV in our rooms. Last week they took a privilege away for three days because somebody keeps stealing the warden’s car and they didn’t let us get delivery pizza for a week. It’s been rough. If it is what hell is like, I got to go see Father Pat and get myself right.”
Legos can’t help himself, “Joey, you are the prisoner who keeps stealing the warden’s car. You took it again today.”
A puzzled look crosses Joey’s face, he says, “You sure of that?”
“Sure of what?” says Legos.
“About me being a prisoner? I come and go as I want. I get free food and medical. I don’t pay rent. I get free cable TV and Internet. I don’t think I’m a prisoner,” says Joey.
“What are you doing in Bridgewater?” asks Legos.
“Oh. I guess technically I am a prisoner,” says Joey.
Tina touches the Tuna’s forearm, “You think it’s the weather, the Christmas season, or are the three of them nuts?”
The Tuna sips his wine, sets it down and says, “Beautiful broad, it’s a touch of all three.”
Tina fills her shot glass and tosses it back. She refills the shot glass, closes her eyes, brings the shot glass to her lips, tilts her head back and lets the liquid slowly work its way through. “That felt good. I can handle another hour with these three.”