Nick sees Joey taking his right thumb toward his mouth. He pulls Joey’s right hand away from his mouth knowing Joey was getting ready to suck his thumb. Nick says, “Cut Joey some slack, revenge broad. You can do a lot worse. The way I hear it, Tooch was no winner. That being said, you did the right thing in doing away with Tooch.”
Linda puts her hands on her hips, “Okay, I dig it. Mind if I sit with you guys? I need some, going nowhere, bar talk. All you get in women’s prison is how somebody is gonna knife a guard, cut body parts off an ex, or talk about how they’re gonna find a sugar daddy.”
Joey stands up and pulls out a chair. Linda gives Joey a smile as Joey slides her into the table.
Joeys says, “I’ll never be a sugar daddy, but I got the hots for you.”
“Is that you talking, or not being with a woman for a year talking?” ask Linda.
“Does it matter?” asks Joey.
“I suppose not,” says Linda sipping Joey’s cheap beer.
Joey says, “You heisted the warden’s car? I heisted the warden’s car in Bridgewater. What kind of car was your warden driving? My warden was driving a Nissan.”
Joey gets up and hustles over to the bar to get Linda’s cheap beer. “I got your cheap beer, Linda.”
Linda says, “You can call me Babe if you want.”
Legos whispers to Roxie and Tina, “Romance can happen on the flip of a coin in the neighborhood.”
Joey says, “Thanks, Babe. It’s hell in minimum security, they can’t get cheap beer and they won’t put a Starbucks inside. I got to come here every day.”
Linda says, “I don’t know what kind of car I got. I think it’s a hyper. The warden left the keys on the dash. I’ll bring it back tonight. They won’t check on me until ten. Nice jump suit, Joey. It looks good on you.”
Legos interrupts, “I think you mean a hybrid.”
Joey turns toward Legos, “What’s a high bird? That some kind of bird on drugs?”
Roxie taps Legos forearm, “Let it go. It’s not gonna get better.”
“Why do I try? I think it was Sister Joan, my eighth grade math teacher. She told us to never give up trying to help people.”
Roxie says, “I remember Sister Joan, she never spent time in The Lucky Canary.”
Clink, clink, clink.
Joey says, “Babe, this is not BS, you belong on the cover of Glamour, prison is doing you good.”
Roxie pulls out her iPhone, scrolls through her music, selects background music. She sets the iPhone on the bar and touches the play icon counting in three measures.
It’s all a dream
Where strange is real
I don’t have a feel
It’s all a dream
For what is up is down
Falling, falling, tumbling around.
I’m free falling
It’s all a dream.
Linda clinks cans of cheap beer with Joey and Nick, “I was taking Pilates in prison. It helped me get toned. One broad thought she was bad and gave me some trouble. But I took care of that.”
Nick says, “You have a cat fight?”
Tina looks at Roxie, “Why do cat fights turn guys on? I can’t figure it out.”
Linda says, “No, we didn’t fight. I poisoned her.”
“She die?” asks Nick.
Linda shrugs, “I dunno, I don’t read the papers.”
Joey says, “I like your style. When we get out, we can make it big together. I got a can’t miss, can’t miss idea I’m working on.”
“I was thinking of a can’t miss, can’t miss idea. This is too cool how our brains are working together,” says Linda.
“A match made in heaven,” says Legos.
“How’s Bridgewater? Is it hard time?” asks Linda.
Joey says, “I can’t say, I’m more in the neighborhood than I am in Bridgewater. I’m gonna hate to leave when I get paroled. I get free rent, cable, free food. We get Door Dash. The only thing they don’t allow is conjugal. But I can do a work around if you’re interested.”
Linda says, “You talking conjugal or conjugated? I think you mean conjugated visits?”
Roxie touches Legos forearm, “Don’t go there. They’re beyond help.”
Linda says, “What kind of work they got you doing?”
Joey says, “I’m not sure. I check in the morning and tell them I’m off to work. Nobody ever asks me where I’m going or what I’m doing.”
Linda says, “I had to fill out a form telling them about my strengths and weaknesses and what I want to do when I get out of prison.”
Joey says, “Did you tell the truth.”
Linda says, “No way. I told them I was gonna apply for the Peace Corp and if I didn’t get accepted I was gonna be a nun.”
Joey says, “You was always smarter than most of us.”
Tina taps Roxie’s arm, “Linda is from the neighborhood?”
Tina says, “What’s wrong? They inbreed or something in the neighborhood?”
Legos says, “It just kind of happens. The whole world started changing and the neighborhood decided not to change. It’s the same as it was twenty years ago. You ask the Tuna when he comes back, he’ll tell you it was like this fifty years ago.”
“Will Nick and me become like everybody in the neighborhood? Will our kids be normal?” asks Tina.
Legos says, “There’s always a first time.”