The following story
might could is a bit of a dadblamerous conversation. (This new strikethrough thing that I’ve found is pretty really cool.)
“Oh you know,” Frankie began, “back at the club, in the old days, they used to let me sing well into the night. And you know, they were the good days. Now, nobody knows—”
“The night is a scary time,” Smiles observed.
“Yeah, me too, but you know, I’ve always loved the night.”
“Was the night ever mean to you?” Smiles asked, turning towards Frankie. “It can be wicked like a worm.”
“Oh you know, back in the old days, I used to have my booze at night. They were sweet nights.”
“Booze…” Smiles mumbled. “You can’t hide behind it, but some say you can hide in it.”
“I’ve tried both. I like inside the best.”
“What should we do next, Frankie?” Smiles asked.
“Well, back in the old days, I’d go rob a bank.”
Smile seemed surprised. “That’s dangerous, I hear. Would it make you scream out at night?”
“No, but I used to sing at night.” Frankie smiled, remembering.
“Did you sing scary songs at night?”
“No, but I used to sing all night.”
“Have you ever slept on a park bench in the dead of winter with a newspaper on your lap?” Smiles asked.
“Oh you know,” Frankie said, “back at the club, in the old days, they used to let me sing well into the night. And you know, they were the good days. Now, nobody knows—”
“Conversation is such a circle, isn’t it? It goes round and round, barely making any sense. That’s what makes it so interesting, though.”
And that’s when Manly-Man walked up. He sat directly between Smiles and Frankie, and wrapped his arms around them.
“How’s my two little babies doin’?” Manly-Man smiled like he does.
Smiles answered. “Both babies died. They were young. They were taken from their cribs. It was horrible. It was ugly. They sat on park benches in the night, in the dead of winter…with a newspaper…” Smiles trailed off.
“That was in the days when babies were allowed to sing through the night.” Frankie laughed. “Ooo!”
Manly-Man didn’t say anything for a long moment. He was thinking about what to do.
Finally, he settled on it.
“Hey, get off my bench.”
And with one deft motion, Manly-Man knocked both Smiles and Frankie from the bench.
“Then that happened,” Smiles said.
Frankie laughed. “Back in the day…”