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Category Archives: By Jill

My Indiegogo Film — By Ben

My Indiegogo Film — By Ben

I know I haven’t updated this thing in ages. And that’s because I’ve been super uber busy. I started this blog about 3 years ago as an exercise to write and I wrote some posts that I am very proud of. I even had a story bumping around in my head that I did as a series of Jill posts (Marty’s 1/2 Dozen) which is very dear to me and I will finish, but probably in another format. Since moving out to LA I’ve had some tremendous opportunities.  I did some reality TV work, was a writer’s assistant on an AMAZING hidden camera magic show – The Carbonaro Effect (if you haven’t seen that show click right here right now!!!), got to work in the writer’s room of one of my favorite shows of all time – Robot Chicken, and I’ve gotten to write with some amazing writing partners to producer material I am incredibly proud of.

So what’s all this about then? Well, I’m taking one of my screenplay shorts and I’m filming it. Yes, this is an ask you to fund my project plea, but I gotta start somewhere. So if there is any of you out there that enjoyed MackJackandJill.com and what to see what else I can do or just want to see me grow as a writer and an artist, please click the links below and give me a couple of bucks. $5? $10? More? It’s all good. Just like the Facebook page for all I care. But please please, help support me. Just this once. And maybe once this baby is made, we’ll see some more from Mack Jack and Jill.  

This is the Indiegogo Campaign.

Click Here

The Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/WhatsTheHoldUpFilm

–Ben

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in By Jack, By Jill, By Mack, Writing

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 5: The Bigger They Are… by Jill

Ralph had done it. His warning had been haunting me for over a week now. When someone says something that you know or fear deep down is true, their words infect you. “He’s angry.”

I’d never seen Marty angry for a micro second. But he had this thing about him. My father was a full on Orthodox Jew when he was growing up in Brooklyn. He was so Jewish that his parents sent him to a Yeshiva in Israel when he was 18. And my dad used to tell me about these Rabbis that, within 2 minutes of talking to you would know your fears and dreams and strengths and insecurities. Their level of sensitivity and insight, only surpassed by their wisdom, allowed them to instantly see into a person’s soul.

I knew Marty had this. Night after night random strangers would sit next to him and with in minutes they’d completely open up, pouring out their deepest problems and darkest secrets. Without missing a beat, Marty would pay them a compliment would light them up like a 5 year old getting the best Christmas gift of his childhood. I loved to watch him do it. Marty, giving someone the reassurance or compassion or whatever it was that person needed…like a psychologist with a cheat sheet. But always in the back of my mind, I wondered, what if he wanted to do the opposite. How easily he could decimate someone. 

Ralph didn’t mean angry like yelling at someone who cuts you off in traffic or even a bad temper.He meant the type of anger that’s vindictive and out of control. And that’s what terrified me. I had opened up to Marty so much. Where with most people, mere minutes gave Marty all he needed to bolster them, with me he had enough ammunition for an arsenal. I felt dangerously vulnerable. 

Every night since then, I prayed that Marty wouldn’t come in to Wild Child Wings. And for the week I was lucky. Until Thursday night. He had such a smile on his face. I hopped he would sit down in a booth where Jess could serve him. Or maybe next to Carolyn or Eddie as they debated the Republican agenda. 

But instead he walked right over to me, smacked the bar counter and asked,

“Jill, tonight I’m doing a full dozen! What’s Gus offering on the specials?”  

The golf ball in my throat thwarted my efforts to play it cool. There was no way I’d was going to get out the nightly wings specials, so I coughed. Then I coughed again. Then decided to go with it.

“Are you okay?”

I squinted and smiled and let out two more suppressed coughs, then held up my finger to signal “one moment” and walked into the bathroom hallway to get a hold myself. But what then? What was I going to do? Quit? It took me 6 months to get this job. Then another 3 months to learn all the ins and outs so I wasn’t a deer in the headlights every night.

I leaned against the wall and sank down to my knees. I wanted to be so much stronger than I was. The whole reason I moved to New York was to toughen up. I left with my tail between my legs, a failure, more lost than when I got there. But here I finally felt like I had done it. Found my voice, doing something I was good at and actually enjoyed. And one man, who I can’t stand up to, takes that all away…makes me realize that everything I had built was all an illusion. And he didn’t even have to try to take it from me. But then, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder.

Jill…I think it’s time you told me what your problem is with me.”

 To be continued…

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 4: Part 2 — by Jill

Let's Dance!

Let’s Dance!

“Last call was fifteen minutes ago.” I told Ralph.

“That’s a shame. My waitress didn’t inform me. I’d hate to have to tell my good friend The Pearl about that.”

I glared. Ralph was mocking me about tattling to the owner. But I didn’t care. I wasn’t the scared newbie bartender he managed to intimidate into a panic from a few months ago.

“Awww c’mon. You still ain’t sore about that? Tell you what, I’ll buy you one. And good ol’ Solo Man can have one too!”

“I d-d-don’t want one.” Solomon insisted.

“Just shut up and take the free drink, fuck-stick.”

“I said get out.” I said, pulling Ralph’s bullying away from Solomon.

“No you didn’t.”

“Then I’m saying it now. Pay your tab and get out of here.”

“See the way she treats me Solo Man?” Ralph slapped Solomon on the shoulder. “Eh, you’re no fun. Fine I’ll get out of here.” Finally, he threw down his credit card. I ran it and slapped down his receipt and tossed the pen on top.

He picked up the pen, “But know you ain’t ever gonna be good with Marty ever again, right?”

His accurate perception of my distance from Marty made me pause. Either Ralph had gotten lucky and coincidentally stumbled upon my recent turn of events in his efforts to fuck with me. Or he was right.

As he signed the check, ” I mean, I’ll give it to the guy. He’s got a knack for cutting right to the heart of anyone sad enough to listen to him. And right there on the spot. Like a shrink with super powers. Solve the problems of your soul in seconds flat. I ain’t never seen anything like Marty in my whole life.”

“Glad you’re a fan” I said with arms folded.

“Yea, well that’s the rub. That’s a lot of power for someone to have over you. It’s scary if you think about it. I mean, it’s seems like a neat trick at first. Instant insight, like that. It’s why chumps go to fortune tellers and read horoscopes.  But when someone gets as close as he does? And that quickly? Feels like somethin’ ain’t quite right. Being that vulnerable that quick. 

“What do you want Ralph? You’re keeping me, to bitch about some old guy who got you thrown out of here months ag–?”

“He’s angry.” He said cutting me off.

There was a long breath.

I had expected any accusation Ralph would make to Marty’s character would be said with glee. But the way Ralph said it was…heavy. His eyes were terribly sad and his throat was both full and empty. 

But despite Ralph’s gloom, his comment offended every part of my body. Ralph and I locked eyes sharply, partly to access the truth, and partly from a searing need stare him down. To get him to take it back. The tension in the room was almost tangible. Solomon looked at the both of us, not making a move for fear it would trigger an explosion. But Ralphs eyes weren’t fighting me. There was an exhausted futility. Almost a frustrated surrender.  He was the one to break the eye lock by finishing his drink.

“I’m just sayin’ you–“

“Get out.”

“Hey I just think–“

“Get. Out!”

“Look, I’m sorry if–

“GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!”

“Jeeze calm down, will ya?”

I turned around and grabbed a fifth of Smirnoff Vokda and lobbed it at his forehead. It only hit him in the shoulder as he turned to shelter himself. As soon as he turned was met by two rocks glasses as my response.

“OKAY OKAY! I’m going, you crazy bitch.”

He put on his coat and walked to the door. I immediately locked the door behind him.

There was a long silence as I picked up and broken glass pieces. Solomon came over to help me. I wanted to tell him, he didn’t need to help, but I couldn’t speak. Not yet. Finally after sweeping the area, (with Solomon holding the dust pan), he broke the silence.

“Jill?”

“Yes, Solomon?”

“You okay?”

“Yea, I’m fine.”

Solomon reached into his wallet to pay for his one cider.

“Don’t worry about it. You helped me clean the place. That’s certainly worth a Strongbow.”

“Th-thanks.”

I walked him over to the door to let him out.

“Have a good night, Solomon.”

“Thanks, Jill…” But I could tell he had more to say.

“Wh–” he glanced down, then over, then down again, then finally back to me, “Wh-what did that g-guy mean? About Marty being an–angry?”

There was another beat of silence.

“I mean, we all get angry sometimes right?”

“Sure. That guy’s just a jerk.”

“Okay, good night.” He didn’t have the courage to press the question further.

But that wasn’t what Ralph meant at all. I couldn’t admit it to myself at that moment. It was too terrifying, but Ralph had nailed the very fear that was pushing me away from Marty. That the happy-go-lucky, live in the moment, appreciation for everything old man that had managed to penetrate past all my walls and see me at my weakest might, just maybe have it in him to exploit that vulnerability. “Angry” could have meant anything. But somehow, in the last few weeks I had found myself worried that Marty might have it in him to lash out and use it. I don’t know why I thought that he would. I’d never seen him lash out at anyone. And for weeks I would wonder why I would have such a reaction. It wouldn’t be for a few more months that I would learn the truth that I was so afraid of. 

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 4: Part 1 — By Jill

Think I'm getting the hang of it.

Think I’m getting the hang of it.

The crash, as it turned out, was ruled the woman’s fault. Time had passed and I was starting to feel like myself for the first time since moving back to Seattle.  At Wild Child Wings, I could now handle the main bar on a Saturday night by myself without writing a single order down. And if anyone gave me shit, I had a line of regulars ready to throw the bum out.

There was Eddie a lanky Irish banquet server from up the street. Carolyn, an actress who was in the “inner circle” of Seattle Equity actors. She had the cutest Hello Kitty backpack even though she must have been 34. Thomas and Stanley, two newly weds. I always thought it was funny that they came all the way down to drink at Wild Child in Pioneer Square rather than staying in the much more gay-centric Capital Hill. And Solomon. Solomon had a sheepish quality. He didn’t like to come when the place was busy and he often stuttered when it was.  Someone told me that he took care of his mother, but others said that he lived with her because he had had a nervous breakdown. I didn’t know which and I didn’t care. He also used to tip me in half dollars. And I love half dollars. They’re the perfect size.

The only one I didn’t see often was Marty. Something was different now. He had been there for me in the bleakest of moments and instead of that making us closer, I had started to avoid him. Marty always used to come in on Tuesdays and I had told Gus I couldn’t work them anymore. When Marty did come in, I put up a wall.

When he came in on a Friday, I did my best to play it cool.

“And how is the night treating you?”

“Good.” I replied as I turned away to restock the lowboy.

When I came back a few moments later, I dryly asked “So what’ll it be? The usual?”

He looked at me, maybe deciphering, maybe interpreting, and maybe just thinking. Then he answered, “Sure. Sounds good,” Giving me a smile as if to say, ‘It’s okay, do what you’ve got to do.’

He ate his wings with a contented smile as he turned to Solomon.

Meanwhile, Carolyn argued Stanley about Pride week.

“How can you say that?” Carolyn exclaimed.

“I’m sorry, I’m just over it.” Stanley matter-of-factly retorted.

Thomas, with his arms hugging Stanley’s waist silently mouthed “He’s not.”

Stanley instantly responded with a playful slap to Thomas’s face. “I am, it’s become too commercial. I mean, there’s corporate sponsorship.”

Carolyn interjected, “Jill! Tell Stanley he’s full of it, then cut him off!”

“What makes you think I give two shits about Stanley’s Pride participation? All I care about is if he wants another Goose on the rocks.”

“As it should be! And I do!”

On the other side of the bar, Solomon looked deep into his Strongbow. “Are…yo–you sure?” Marty wiped his hands and took cash out of his wallet placing it on the counter. “Solomon, I’m not 100% sure of anything. But you have needs too and there comes a point when you’ve done all you can for someone.”

“You’re going? B–but what if–“

“Solomon, if it does…there’s nothing I can say to stop it from happening. And I would hate to think that your anticipation of it stopped you from living the life I know you deserve.” With that Solomon gazed back into his Strongbow. Marty put his hand on his shoulder. “Have a good night, Sol.

Marty put on his coat and headed towards the door. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched to see if Marty would look back and give me some sort glance or wave goodbye.  

“But it’s not. It’s about expression, right Eddie!”

“Carolyn, are you talking about football?”

“No, we’re talking abo–“

“Then I don’t give a flying fauck!”

With that the entire group erupted with laughter. The clamor obstructed my view of the door.  When the group died down, Marty was long gone.

The night died down and one by one Wild Child Wings emptied out and I started to get ready to close. The only one at the bar top was Solomon, still staring into his Strongbow Cider.

“Hey Jill, I have one table left. Just one guy over in booth 3. Can I transfer him to you and get out of here?” On weekend nights we have a server or two to take some of the tables. Lindsey was always antsy about making the last bus.

“Yea, just let him know, it’s last call in 15 minutes.”

“Thanks, Jill.”

I went over to Solomon. “You’ve been nursing that cider for like 2 hours now. You okay?”

“Yeah. I think so. But…” Solomon lingered with his thought, as if he was about to ask a question that would ruin his whole outlook on life. Like a kid asking this parents if Santa Claus is real or a wife asking her husband why his office didn’t know he was going on his “business trip.”

“But what?”

“You and Marty used to be really close right?” I was afraid that I was going to have to confront Marty and my estrangement sooner or later. I just didn’t expect it to be with Solomon.

“Yes. Yes we were.”

“Then you were in that accident. And then…nothing. What happened?”

That very question I had spent dozens of 3 am mornings trying to figure out. Notions of my own sense of vulnerability that Marty had managed to penetrate deeper than anyone before. He was there when I was my weakest and most desperate and I couldn’t stand that. There were questions I was afraid to ask. What was he doing there the night I had crashed? Had he been watching me? Had I simply out grown him? Too many feelings and I just found it easier not to address.

“Nothing happened, Solomon. We just grew apart.”  

“Hmm…” He took another moment. “Do you trust him?”

Now it was my turn to take a moment.  I wanted to say yes. To say no would call into question all the wonderful things he had done for me, and all the other people I’ve seen him help night after night. Sorting though their problems with an uncanny sage-like wisdom. His ability to pierce though a person’s exterior and almost instantly know their inner thoughts and fears…helping these people see what they’ve been running from. A gift like that, it must come from an altruistic and giving person. Because otherwise…it would mean that…well that was something I simply couldn’t think about. And so, in avoidance of that possibility I started to answer.

“The thing you have to understand about Marty–“

“She doesn’t.” A voice from booth 3 interrupted.

“Excuse me?” I inquired.

“She doesn’t trust him.” The voice continued.

Then the patron stood up from the booth. It was Ralph. “And I’ll tell you why…how about a Negroni?”

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 3: Part 2 — By Jill

I sit silently in the emergency room chair. Marty talks to the cop. The woman I hit was wheeled in a hospital bed to a curtain drawn space twenty feet from me. I don’t know any details so my imagination goes all over the place. What if, because of me, she’ll never walk again? What if, because of me, she never gets married? What if she has nerve damage and can never feel an orgasm again. I make no effort to censor my thoughts. I take a deep breath and an incredible sharp pain pierces my lungs. This send me into a coughing fit that hurts even more. The X-ray showed two ribs were fractured, but not broken.

Marty comes back over to me. I still have no idea why he’s here. Part of me is afraid to ask. But the bigger part is glad he’s here. My parents are out of town and being alone right now would be so beyond terrifying I’m pretty sure I’d shut the whole world out.

“Try not to take so deep of breaths. Want me to get you more water?” Marty inquires.

I look down. My cup has three ice chips. No matter how much I push at them with the straw, all they will do is slide along the bottom rim of the plastic.

“No. That’s okay… What did the officer say?”

Marty sits down next to me.

“Don’t worry about that now.”

“People don’t say ‘don’t worry’ about good news.”

“No, it’s just that–“

“Fuck you, and fuck your stupid hospital!” A woman who can’t be much younger than me,  wearing all black and dyed pink hair with blond roots showing, screams as she stumbles out of her curtained room.

“I’ve been here for four fuckin’ hours and I know you fuck heads are laughin’ at me.”

The police officer approaches her and directs her to sit down.

“You can’t keep me! I know my rights.”

She stumbles off. On her way out she knocks over a suture cart. The metallic crash echos in the hallway.

“Things could be worse.” Marty points out.

“Not knowing is worse.” I choke up while saying.

“Hey. Listen. You weren’t drinking, were you?”

I don’t reply.

“Jill? ”

I look down at my shoes.

“Okay, well I’m a lawyer. I can–“

“You’re a tax lawyer, Marty.” I say sharply.

“I have friends.”

“I wasn’t drinking.” But I still shouldn’t have been driving.

“Well, good. So you don’t have to worry about that. Even if it is your fault–“

“That what the cop said?”

“No. They don’t know yet. It’s snowing. It’s probably going to be a no fault accident.”

“But if they do find that it was my fault?”

“Well…you’re insured right?”

“Right now I am.”

“What does that mean?”

I look down at my shoes, again.

“I uh…” I rub my hands over my forehead then brush the hair out of my face. I feel doomed. But until the words come out of my mouth, I can still linger in that denial. I think I understand, for the first time in my life, what it means to ‘face reality.’

“I’m not supposed to be driving. I’m an epileptic.”

Marty’s reassuring demeanor vanishes as he takes in the new information. His mind is chewing it. Thinking. He is determined to find an answer. To save me. Then he lets out a breath and, for a split second, I can see defeat in him. It’s a deflation in his character. In the way he holds himself. Then a mask goes up.

“Well, that doesn’t mean…”

He wants to make it okay. He wants me so badly to be safe that he’ll lie to me.

“Please Marty, don’t. I’ve lived my whole life of people lying to me. Not you too.”

He starts to refute my accusation but then stops.

“I’m sorry.”

For the first time, the ER is quiet. Then two women in high heels and very short leopard print skirts walk in. The first one sings ♫”I got glass in my foot”♪ and her friend sings back up ♫”She’s got glass in her… foot!” ♪

“Did you have a seizure?”

“I don’t know. I really can’t remember…which makes me think…” I can’t finish the sentence. A golf ball swells in my throat. It feels like cancer. I wish it was.

“It’s impossible to know what to do or what to think when you’re in that oblivion of guilt. You’re not a bad person, you didn’t want to hurt anyone, but here you are with someone hooked up to a beeping machine.

It’s hard enough to trust yourself with your own problems. But now someone else’s fate is on you because of a mistake, not even consciously made. How could you ever live with yourself?

You’re not the only one to walk away from an accident terrified that someone’s blood might be on your hands. Twenty-three years ago, I sat in a waiting room. Only it was an ICU, not an ER.  And it wasn’t a stranger. Those moments of not knowing…they’re the seventh circle of hell. But they’re nothing compared to the torture you endure from a guilty imagination.”

I look over at Marty. Until now, he had always struck me as a man free of worry, embodying a perpetual calm. But here was a man sentenced to a remorse so profound, so crippling it was as if the despair wore him like a cheap suit and a weathered mask.

He doesn’t say anything for a moment. I almost ask him something, but before I can–

“My son pulled through. I thank God every day for that. Two things never happened after that night. I never drank again. And my wife never spoke to me as her husband.”

Another long silence. Maybe the two girls were still singing and maybe the man in the room down the hall is still demanding more Percoset. Maybe the girl in black is being cuffed and dragged back. I wouldn’t know. Everything was so beyond my awareness at that moment. Everything but me and Marty.

“But I smiled again. It did happen. And good days followed once I did.” 

I sat back in my chair and took stock of everything I was until this moment, bracing for all that was about to change.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen: Chapter 3 part 1 — By Jill

The funniest things...

There was a tree I used to climb when I was a kid. I haven’t thought about that tree in years.

I wallowed in a bubble of nothing. My eyes closed, I focused on the cold air of my breath and leather-like-plastic of the steering wheel. There are moments one has to remain ignorant of…for at least a few minutes. Because once you peek around the corner of the unknown, you’ll understand the reality of the situation. A reality where your whole life will change. So instead I lingered in ignorance.

After what seems like hours, the wallowing becomes uncomfortably hot. Like a furnace left on all night, but you’re just too exhausted to get out of bed. There’s a knocking. Not the patterned *knock, knock, knock* *knock, knock, knock* but an incessant rapidity and increasing intensity. “tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, pound, pound, pound, pound, pound, pound” I never realized it, but those are all onomatopoetic.

“JILL!” I hear, muffled, but emphatic. “JILL!”

What…who knows I’m here. I don’t even know where my glasses are. I manage to swat my arm completely missing the door handle. My knuckles land somewhere between the locking pin and the window. The glass is so cold. Too tired to swat again, I work my finger tips around the locking pin. It’s so hard to get a grip, even once my fingers wrap around it, I can’t press them into a grasp.

“JILL, YOU CAN DO IT.”

I swallow. That’s painful too. I have to take a breath or two before I try it again. I try to pull the pin one more time, but instead I give up on manual labor and it occurs to me to drag my hand to the automatic door lock. Rounded and grooved at the ends, of course the first time I press it I relock the car. I then try the other direction on the switch. Immediately a gush of freezing wind and the smell of fireplace overwhelms my senses.

“Jill, you’re going to be okay.”

A warm hand cups my chin. Then moves to my forehead. Finally I feel a forefinger and a thumb pry open my eyelids.

“Jill, can you see me?”

I squeeze my eyes shut. It can’t be…what’s…Marty doing here?

Too be continued…(more regularly)

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Uncategorized

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen: Chapter 2 — By Jill

Slow night.

Continued from Chapter 1.

Day 94

“Nothing ever changes, Jill.”

Marty’s lip trembles as he blinks to hold back his tears. I’m terrified. How could a person, so sensitive, so in touch with humanity, turn into this…monster? The bar is silent. Every single person’s eyes are fixed on me.  I have no idea what to do.

Marty breaks the silence. “I’m tired, Jill. Then he commands, “So pour me the drink.”

Day 5

It was a slow Tuesday at work. At first I was relieved as I was finally able to get comfortable behind the bar. But after about four hours I wanted to pull my hair out. There was me and a quiet and silly homeless man spending his “spare change?” money. I had nick-named him Sloppy Joe. I couldn’t help wishing Marty would come in. He and I didn’t really have a chance to talk the other night as I was perpetually in the weeds.

The front door opened and I sharply turned my head like a dog left home all day. But no Marty. Just a young couple. They immediately went to the back then started gratuitously making out. I could have gone over to them to ask them to order or get out, but when you’re working a painfully slow shift, you don’t really want to do anything. So I left them to their public privacy.

In your face!

Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore and rested my head on the bar top. After what felt like seconds, I was awakened with a startling thud. Indentations in my forearms and cheek mirroring the rivets of the bar top paired with the warm apprehensive tingling sensation of the chest and neck were indicative of an ill-timed nap. I surveyed the bar. PDA couple, Sloppy Joe and…was it…could it…yes! Marty.

He was sitting in the exact same stool from a few nights ago. Black trench coat, hat resting beside him and his briefcase propped open on the bar. That explains the thud. I approached him as he sorted through his papers.

“What’ll it be stranger?”

“1/2 dozen hot buffalo wings and a club soda with lime.”

He ordered matter-of-factly, not looking up from his papers.

“Sure, you don’t want a Negroni?”

“A club soda with lime will be fine, thank you.”

Nothing. Nada. He is a customer. I am an order taker. I was a little heart broken. Maybe he had gotten drunk the other night before he came into the bar. Hell, maybe I had imagined the whole thing to begin with.

“You want those less cooked, so their not crispy, right?”

He gazed up from his papers and took a good look at me.

“And if you don’t want a drink, Can I make it a ‘Marty’s Half Dozen?”

“Why that sounds magnificent, Jill.”

He smiled and went back to his papers.

***

When his food finally came up he put his papers away and we started talking. I told him about New York and my mistakes with Mack prompting me to move back to Seattle. We were interrupted by PDA guy.

“Excuse me. Can we get some service, please?” he demanded.

“Thought you two wanted your privacy.” I quipped.

He sneered then, “Two shots of Patron.”

After dealing with him I went back to Marty. “Can you believe those two? This isn’t a motel.”

“Well, I don’t take to his rudeness, but at least you can be happy for them.”

“What? Why? It’s disgusting.”

“I guess so. But I walk through this city, riding its buses, and with the constant overcast, I find myself surrounded by so much solitude, so many grimaces, and utter contempt. It’s nice to be around someone enjoying themselves.”

“Well it doesn’t make me feel any better. It makes me feel angry. It feels unfair.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. That’s hurt. That’s loneliness. You wonder why love has been kept from you. Rationalizing that luck simply just hasn’t gotten around to you yet. But when you see two lovers there, in front of you, it’s real. Like being picked last for baseball, there’s no denying the problem is probably you. And you sink deeper.

But that breeds something dark within you, Jill. I used to have a friend. She’d  say that we should always feel the joy of others. For the longest time, I rejected that. But I’ve found that she has a point. Something magical happens when you spread the good.

“Sounds like some cheesy after-school sentiment to me.”

“Maybe it is.”

With that he left me a 20 for his wings. “Hey Marty, one thing before you go. You always do the club soda thing. You ever drink?”

“No. Never.”

“Why not?”

“Let’s just say, I lost something very very special because of it. And I’ve been wandering ever since. But that’s a story for another time.”

“And you still, ‘spread the good'”?

“Yes, I have to.”

He put on his coat, packed up his briefcase, gave me a smile, and went over to Sloppy Joe.

“Have one on me.”

Day 94

I’m still terrified, but I stick to my guns. “Marty, if you want a drink, you’re going to have to go somewhere else.”

“No Jill. You’re going to pour the drink. Or you’re next.”

And that’s when it occurred to me. That when the best of us fall, they do the most damage.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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