Hawkeye seemed to bounce back from the vicious verbal assault he'd received from the trio of young, sexually ambiguous characters that had called him a Republican and a homophobe the previous evening. He amused us all with a wonderful joke: "Why do Scotsman wear kilts? Because a sheep can hear a zipper a mile away!" This clever joke came after a detailed discussion about having sex with sheep.
In Uppers Grove , where I was raised, there was a fancy private school which had a little farm yard for the rich kids to learn about animals. Among the animals were two sheep. One day I ran into a precocious kid I knew named, Dick Gasten, while walking through Denburn Woods. Dick was carrying a pair of hip boots at the time. When I asked him why he was carrying the hip boots he said he needed them to screw the female sheep at the Avery Coonley School. He explained that not only did the hip boots make entering the sheep enclosure more sanitary, they were crucial to having sex with a sheep. According to Dick it was necessary to put the sheep's hind legs inside the hip boots to keep her from running away. When Dick offered to show me the ropes I declined in spite of the fact that he said sheep had better vagina's than girls.
When Touhy moved down the bar to where we were chatting the subject turned to Sara The One Legged midget. Touhy said that she was very drunk one night and came home with him, "after I put her to bed she invited me to join her."
"Well," D-Train asked, "did you?"
"Of course not."
"In theory," I said, "there's nothing wrong with doing either a one legged midget, or a two legged midget, it's just that Sara was not exactly the most proposing girl in the world."
Touhy and I put our heads together and tried to name as many people as we could that had banged Sara over the years. We managed to come up with five or six. D-Train said he was surprised that the guy who shoved Sara's wheel chair down the boat ramp next to the Yacht Club last year never was charged with anything, "especially considering that she drowned."
Everyone agreed with me when I said that Sara had a particularly nasty temperament.
Touhy has been out of sorts for the last two or three weeks. He told me that he was worried about yours truly. Now this got my attention because Touhy never worries about anyone. He's one of the most self involved men I have ever known. When I asked him why he was worried about me , he said, his hands flailing wildly, "I think you seem nervous."
"Really, and how do I manifest this nervousness?"
"It's just a feeling I have." Touhy was now doing his avuncular , folksy routine.
"Could you just be a tiny bit more specific?"
"Well," his hands were again flailing aimlessly, " maybe you're doing too much painting."
"I've only done four or five paintings in the last year."
"Maybe the bar's too much for you, you're spending too much time here?"
"I spend less time here than when I was a customer."
Touhy changed tactics, "I know you're getting a lot of flack from the people who don't come in here anymore."
"Other than the people who we've barred, the only person who doesn't come in here anymore that I like is Trib, and I understand why he won't come in."
"I just heard that a lot of people think you've kind of taken the fun out of the place."
After a little coaxing Touhy managed to come up with one name, another old guy from Sterch's who came in the bar almost daily. "He said there's too much Bruce," he was pointing at the political porn art hung above the bar , "and Grace is bar tending....."
"He doesn't like Grace bar tending?"
Now his hands were really flailing, "no, it's just that maybe it's too much Elliott, that's all."
"So what are your views on the subject?"
"I don't have any views ...."
Just then somebody walked over to where we were talking and asked about when my play, Cavity Search, was being read? When I pointed at the beautifully designed black board that Becca had created with all the pertinent information, the person thanked me. Touhy then said, "when is this happening?"
Once again I pointed at the blackboard. Touhy was now in his full bumpkin mode, "it's not clear."
"Let me help you, see the words, May 23rd at eight, that will help you know when it is."
"And where is it?"
"The clue to where it is is," pointing at the black board once again, "are the words, Red Orchid Theater."
"And where is the Red Orchid Theater located?"
"Around the corner on Wells St."
For the second night in less than a week Touhy exited leaving a half full beer behind him. Nobody could ever remember Touhy, who has been drinking on the street for over forty years , ever to have left a half full beer , and now twice in a week. What could be bothering the old guy, his life seems almost perfect since he inherited his late wife's city pension. Something is troubling Touhy there's no doubt about it. I just hope it's nothing I have said or done.
Matt asked me how long Clown , who was seated at the TV end of the bar, had been drinking?
"Pretty much all day, I left him with Faggypants.
When Clown, at long last, finally got up to leave, he said, "Clown is leaving, Clown is going to work tomorrow."
After Clown left Matt said, "Clown has now developed a third person alter ego."
Fortunately this morning Street Jimmy arrived right after I did. I was hungry and immediately sent him to the store for my bagel and papers. When he got back , after he handed me my change he said, "some bad shit happened yesterday." His face was ultra serious, and when it gets like that it makes him seem much older by emphasizing all of the deep lines that criss cross his dark skin. "I left my wallet with fourteen dollars at the hardware store an' when I comes back the young kid say he put it aside but now it's gone. I know he took it an' I almost snapped, I'm gonna tell Joe...."
"Jimmy, listen to me, you better not piss off anyone at the hardware store or you'll never go in there again. "
"But it ain't right."
"Let's take this one step at a time, you were a stupid fuck to leave your wallet on the counter...."
"But nothing, yes, the kid was wrong to take your wallet, but you would have done the same thing."
"What you mean?"
"If you saw a wallet just sitting somewhere, you'd take it."
"True, but that be different."
"How is that different?"
"I'm an addict."
"I find it interesting that whenever I point out to you how crack is fucking up your life you say it isn't , but then when you do something stupid you say you did it because you're an addict."
"That's fucked up, but I'm still talkin' to Joe."
"Jimmy, Joe doesn't need to hear your problems. Here's what I suggest, talk to Nick, and tell Nick that you know you were at fault, but you think he should know that the young kid let something happen to your wallet, and then leave it alone."
"Tha's why two heads is better than one."
Faggypants arrived a good forty minutes late, he was wearing some beige hush puppies that were quite stylish. After he described how messed up the trains were he made Jimmy the rest of the beef stew.
After Jimmy finished eating he said he's concerned about the upcoming NATO Summit meeting, "a guy say it be dangerous and there gonna be riots an' all sorts of shit happen'."
"I don't think it will be as bad as people think. The organizers are morons, the whole focus should be on getting out of Afghanistan, then get as many people as you can in Lincoln Park just like we did in 68, and decide where to march, fuck permits and all of that bullshit."
"What you gonna do?"
"I'm definitely going to check it out, but I can't run very fast anymore so I've got to be extra careful."
Jimmy said he could remember the race riots in Harvey when he was a little kid, "it was fucked up, blacks beatin' the shit out of whites, whites beatin' the shit out of blacks. It was some serious shit. I heard Mayor Daley's neighborhood is bad, I know a boy said he had to run his ass off, he said Jimmy, they chasin' me but I couldn't stop even though I was outa breath."
"Yeah, Bridgeport, there's a lot of skin head asshole's that still live there. The funny thing is that they're so busy keeping black people out that now there's a ton of Chinese people coming in from one side, and Mexican from the other."
"Why the Chinese comin' in?"
"Bridgeport is right next to China Town and China Town is getting overcrowded."
Jimmy seemed overwhelmed by all of this information and so he stretched out on the wooden bench and went to sleep.