Tina’s two mitten covered hands wrap around a bottle of Jack Daniels. Her beanie is tightly pulled over her ears. Tina says, “I hate the cold. I hate the cold. I hate the cold. I don’t know nobody who likes the cold. Nick, we are gonna move out of here. I can’t take it no more.”
Nick says, “That’s Jack Daniels talking, not you Tinzi. Anybody with common sense doesn’t want to leave the neighborhood. When July 30 comes, you’ll be happy here. It never snows in July. Maybe a few flurries in August.”
“Jack Daniels is making sense to me. He never lies like the guy I’m living with who hasn’t bought me a Christmas present or set a wedding date.
The Tuna knows where this conversation is headed, and most likely Tina ends up in prison for manslaughter. The Tuna interrupts and says, “This is the coldest winter I seen in a lot of years. And, I been around a lot of years.”
Nick says, “It feels like a cold winter, but I member five years ago when it was so cold you couldn’t see the cold. I was staring out the window and the window was all iced up. I couldn’t see nothing. The Bruins coulda practiced hockey on the windows.”
“I never heard of that. Nobody plays hockey on windows,” says Joey.
Nick says, “Just because nobody ever tried to play hockey on frozen windows don’t mean it can’t be done. If that was case, Zeke Balboni woulda never started holding dog fights in the alley behind Nino’s fake bakery shop.”
Legos says, “What happened to Zeke?”
Nick says, “He got eight to twelve years at Cedar Junction and can never have a pet when he gets out, which is besides the pointer. Same was true of my uncle Freddy. Everybody in the neighborhood said it was impossible to streak naked across Fenway Park while a ballgame was on. He was the first one to do it. He won a fifty-dollar bet. So, all I’m saying is maybe you can play ice hockey on a window if the window is big enough to fit the two teams.”
Legos says, “What happened to Freddy?”
“He got six months at Bridgewater, which is easy time. Joey can testify to that,” says Nick.
“It’s hell, Nick. They shut the lights off at ten. And, they won’t let Door Dash deliver after eight,” says Joey.
Legos reaches under the bar and grabs a bottle of Seagram’s and pours himself a shot.
“Hit me,” says Roxie.
Legos fills Roxie’s shot glass. She knocks it back.
Tony says, “Nick, I member that winter, but you are forgetting the winter where we had the great wind blew straight down from Montreal. It was like the end of the world was happening. Everybody in the neighborhood was thinking it was Amelia Salerno come back from the grave to haunt Guiseppe for marrying Adeline Luci five days after she was buried.”
Joey says, “I think they was married before Amelia died. The way I hear it, Amelia come home from a tortellini making party and finds Guiseppe in bed with Adeline. She grabs her heart and dies on the spot. Guiseppe and Adeline put Amelia in the bed and Guiseppe told the police Amelia died while they was making love. It’s how Guiseppe became a neighborhood legend.”
Tina touches the Tuna’s forearm, “Is there anything I can do to not end up like one of these three?”