My hedonistic life flashed before my eyes

I broke left when I hit the porch.  To the railing.  Shylock’s mid-life crisis shimmered below: fire engine red, black leather interior.  I gave it the Jackson treatment—bumper to bumper.  A shout from inside (‘GROSS!’) brought all eyes to what had happened.  The music quit; the co-eds climbed off the table.  Revelers flooded the porch, Shylock and mannequins among them.  Plastic eyes looked on in judgment at the poor sap sitting in a pool of his own vomit.  A thin trail, like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs, lead to the railing.  The view of Shylock’s Corvette was spectacular and impossible to duplicate—like a bucket of orange paint hurled at a Rembrandt.  The crowd—so boisterous before—grew quiet and still.  A low growl broke the silence.

‘You little shit.  You little shit!’  Shylock began swimming through the crowd, eager to throttle me.

Helen reached me first.

‘I’ll tear your nuts off if you touch him,’ she said, blocking the way.  She looked the part in her work suit and heels. Her fists were balled; her jaw set.  The crowd tensed, sensing a man/girl fight (and there are few things better than that).

‘Step aside, lady, or I’ll make you step aside.’  Shylock had five inches and eighty pounds on Helen, and he was agitated and ready to take it out on me.  Still, Helen didn’t waver.

‘You’ll have to take me first, asshole.’

‘That’s a $40,000 car.  Get out of my way.’

‘You don’t want to mess with me, Old Man.’

‘God dammit all!  Move it!’

A quiet sob broke the tension.  Marty.  He’d just emerged from the house.  Monty rushed to his side (where he’d been all night, I don’t know).

‘It’s all right,’ Monty said.  ‘Marty, it’s all right.’

Marty sobbed louder.

‘Marty, stop crying, it’s all right.’

Another sob.

‘It’s not all right,’ Marty choked.  ‘We’re gonna lose our home.  He’ll take it away.’

‘No he won’t, don’t talk like that.’  Monty held the sobbing Marty, stroking his hair.

‘Yes he will.  Watch.’

Then a female voice broke in—


Shylock turned, in shock, hearing his daughter’s voice.  I was forgotten.   I suppose it was already a foregone conclusion that we’d be evicted, but when he learned of his innocent daughter’s tryst with Marty—that was the death blow to our tenancy.  Shylock took Candy by the arm and led her away.

‘You’re all three history,’ he said as a parting shot.  ‘You’ll never rent in this town again.’  He escorted young Candy down to his defiled Corvette, took one look, and didn’t even bother with it.  Instead he pulled out a cell phone—dialing a cab, I suppose—and started up the sidewalk, dragging Candy by the arm.  The party was over.  Within twenty-four hours we were out on the street and I’d purchased myself a one-way ticket for Mississippi.


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