34th Street

“I’m just saying you haven’t been the same, since… since…”

“Cincinnati. Just say it.”

“Bench..”

“I know,” he interrupted again, knowing the story all too well.

“It was a lot of lumber!”

“He deserved it.” Silence for a bit, then: “I guess we’re going to talk about Rose next. The *ul-timate* Red.”

She shook her head. “No. No, I’m just saying…”

“It was the frigg’n Metz!” he exclaimed, finally raising his voice on the subject, as he almost always does. “How would I know, a MIRACLE would occur?”

“It,” she tried to calm him down, “was… a long time ago.”

“Not in my nogg’n.” He knocked on his head. It made a hollow sound. Lumber again. Bench would get his revenge. “The whole *team*, was jinxed. Just look at their names. Rose, pheh. Bench, *huff*. Perez… well that one was kind of normal. But *Morgan*.”

“Now dearest, why don’t we wrap up some more presents,” she distracted again. “Then afterwards, afterwards…” She dangled her leg seductively. No need to think about 69 any longer. *That* 69.  It was often the only way to get him to shut up about it once he started. Now the other leg joined the first: two danglers. Would he take the bait?

—–

“Tom… SEEVER!” he said to end. Always the same.

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