Posted by: jockmackenzie | May 9, 2009

“Dealing with Dymans” Chapter 11, Pt. 3

Click the “start arrow” below to hear the audio of this chapter:

Tommy sighed in relief. “Had me worried for a minute there Jacobi. What you’re tellin’ me is that this Dymans character can’t look at say surveillance tapes, and figure out who you are? Cuz if he can, you are gonna hafta spend a lot of time not just watchin’ your back but looking every which way.”

Jack screwed up his face in concern. “I’m pretty sure I’ve dodged that bullet. Remember Jeet? He works with Leo as a security guard at the mall. I’m no cross dresser but I did borrow a turban and used a little spray tan to disguise myself before I played ‘sign maintenance man.’ I knew where the mall cameras were, and a quick call will likely make the tapes of when I did the deed sort of accidentally disappear. I’m sure that Dymans has his own system but I think I avoided it.”

Jack continued, “I can see that I may have underestimated this guy . . . but you can’t unring a bell. What else do I need to know?”

The two chatted, had Tommy’s homemade take-out, and downed the rest of the St. George’s. By the time they’d finished, neither was in any shape to do much other than tumble into bed. Morning would provide enough time for catching up on their personal lives.

• • •

Over breakfast, Jack and Tommy did the promised updating of life outside of the Dymans’ business. Nothing spectacular had been happening with either friend so it remained idle banter until Jack decided to mention his recent liason. Taking the indirect route, he mentioned a bit too casually that there was someone new in his life. Tommy was all over this admission like a coat of paint.

“Jacobi, you old hound dog. If tight-lipped Jack Schmidt says there’s someone new, then there’s more to it than just a casual date or a passing fancy. I can see by your smile that there’s quite a story here. C’mon, what’s the scoop?”

Jack felt like he’d just walked out onto some Hollywood stage and a bank of high intensity spotlights had all been turned on – and shone directly at him. Trying to deflect some of Tommy’s obvious interest, and to have a little fun, he asked, “Did I say someone, like singular? I know I can share this with a pal as close as you . . . Tommy Gun. Isn’t that what some of those sorority girls used to call you? I should have said someones. Maybe it’s grammatically incorrect but it’s probably incorrect in other ways too. No, I’ve discovered that one woman isn’t quite enough to satisfy a guy like me. I’ve discovered you can double your pleasure, double your fun, cuz double the women are more fun than one. Do the names Jennifer and Patrice ring any bells?” He hoped the suggestion of a ménage a trois might do the trick. It didn’t.

Tommy sat back in his stool. “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, Jack. Two women? In your dreams! Geez, you’re tryin’ the old snowball trick again. Sorry, pal, but I can see through that old ruse. Trouble is, every liar slips up – and often, right in the middle of his own little lie. You mentioned Jennifer and Patrice. Turns out I do know a Jennifer and Patrice – Jennifer Anastassakis and Patrice Pananikolaou. Patrice is now a Perkins, still loves to break plates, but gets tired of telling the boys how to pronounce her last name.”

It was Jack’s turn to slump back in his stool. Normally, he could put on a good poker face but he was pretty sure he had been found out once again. But Tommy hardly missed a beat.
“Yep, those two cut quite a swath through this town in their day. This burg may have over 2 million people in it, but it’s still a pretty small town – especially small when you’re talking the Greek part of it. With Mom being an Apostolakos, as soon as we moved here, we got hooked up with the whole Opa Oozo crowd.”

Tommy paused but Jack was too deep in thought to say anything. Enjoying his role as master storyteller, Tommy kept going.

“Trouble with those two was they were too damn good-looking for their own good. Never had to do anything on their own cuz guys were fallin’ all over themselves to do whatever it was for ‘em. Like a coupla spoiled babies, they picked up on that scene from the get go. I mean, why do something for yourself, when there’s a line-up of capable men folk just dying to lend a helping hand? Mind you, I’ll bet that every single one of those good Samaritans had a certain payment in mind, if you catch my meaning.”

Despite his prattling on, Tommy was not totally unaware of the effect of his words. Too late, he realized he had probably struck too close to home. And who would have known any better than he? He’d had a little trouble pronouncing Pananikolaou himself.

The continued silence and look in Jack’s eyes confirmed his suspicions.

“Hey man, I’m sorry. Guess I hit too close to the mark. So tell me, which one of these two divas is the someone you were referring to?”

Jack’s eyes bore into Tommy. “Jennifer. Yeah, Jennifer.” He looked away. “Geez, I thought it was real. Damn, I fell hook, line, and sinker.” He got up and moved over to the window. He stared out over the city. Tommy turned toward him but didn’t move, wasn’t sure what to say.

Jack, arms folded, shifted back and forth a bit and then shuffled back to his stool. Tommy wasn’t sure what to expect. Things had gotten very quiet. When Jack looked up, his face was a blank, no emotion. Then he smiled a wry smile. He reached out and touched Tommy gently on the arm. Then he sat back, crossed his right leg over his left, folded his arms, and sighed, “What’s a fella to do?” Finally, he broke into a big grin, and he shook his head.

Tommy offered, “Maybe it’s time for a little payback.”

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