Wednesday, March 13, 2013

round booth in the corner; coffee, jello salad

B: What do you remember about when Uncle moved in?
A: Ain't nothin' to remember. Old lady who own the house died, it was on the market for a while, then this fellow and his wife move in. Happened like that all the time.
B: You know the old lady?
A: Everyone knew old Mrs. Ellis. She made it her business to know everyone. She had a bridge game once a week in her living room, and all the ladies had to attend. Just like the Queen on TV, wore jewelry and hats and Mrs. Ellis made sure they were all kept in line.
B: Did you ever join the bridge group?
A: Just the ladies. Never invited. Don't play bridge, anyhow.
B: But you went over to Mrs. Ellis' house at other times?
A: Nah. Saw her sometimes in town, but only the women were invited over. This about Mrs. Ellis or Uncle? I know even less about Mrs. Ellis than I do about Uncle.
B: How'd she die, again?
A: Dunno. She died of being an old woman. Maybe doctors have another word for it.
B: Anyone upset when she died?
A: What type of a question is that?
B: Was anyone upset when she died?
A: We had a decent funeral for her. Graveside, sent some type of flower.
B: Did lots of people look at the house, or just Uncle?
A: I dunno. I wasn't that interested. Not my business.
B: But was there an estate sale, an auction, was the house sold furnished?
A: How the hell would I know? That's just nosy, not anybody's business.
B: Maybe you should make it your business.
A: What, all out of the blue, me go around asking about a mint green velvet couch from a woman dead thirty years ago?
B: So you remember the couch.
A: I don't know. I made that up. Or I guessed. Every old lady had a mint green couch.
B: So you're going to find out for us?
A: How the hell do you expect me to do that?
B: You're an old-timer. You'll figure it out, ask some questions.
A: What is this about? I don't want to get involved, this is none of my business. This is none of your business, either.
B: We'll let you think about it and we'll be back in touch. You can find your own way back?
A: You leave me alone. I can't help you.

He leaves.

C: You think he's bluffing?
B: I think this coffee is watered-down asphalt.
C: Yeah, but does it fit?
B: Of course it fits. It's got to.
C: You gonna tail him?
B: Nah, nowhere for him to go. He's kept his secrets this long, he won't crack easy.
C: How'd you think of Mrs. Ellis?
B: Shot in the dark, kiddo, shot in the dark.