“Why so blue fella? You got something on your mind? Why don’t you tell old Barney?”
“Listen Barn— ” Barney cuts me off.
“Now I know sometimes things look down don’t they? And sometimes a man takes to kicking at himself don’t he?” Barney takes in a fat gulp of his cocktail, “But we can’t be too hard on ourselves…after all we’re all just a few blotches of ink in the grand newsreel aren’t we?”
I jumped from my chair and almost knocked the big galoot and the chatty chickadee to the floor. All these damn questions, all the damn time. What kind of joint allows this sort of shit to go on? How can a place like this survive in a society where a man should be able to take a bloody nip and not have to be interrogated? How does anyone talk to anyone? The whole mess has me doing the question mambo myself.
I felt the big paw of old Barney the ink blot grab the sleeve of my coat and pull me back into my chair.
“Now you see these people laughing it up and doing there best they can? This is what we should all be doing, don’t you think? I mean…” He finishes his drink, ice cubes and all, “we can’t just be expected to be all straight and narrow now can we? A man has to have time to get his head around matters…ain’t it so bub?”
I tried to get myself out of there. I wanted to get out, but I can see Lucy keeping an eye on the table. This old boy is just going to have to play nice. Don’t want to raise a stink in a spot like this. I barely get my mouth open to reply to Barney when he continues on.
“Yeah you understand me…he understands the old drunk Molly, you hear that?” He shakes his empty glass at the waitress passing by, “So you got a name to go with that quiet stare?”
I want to jump this bastard right here and now, I don’t want to talk to him at all. These damn newsies, they all want the info, but they can’t shut up to listen long enough. That’s why I hate these damn creeps like Jimmy Roach and this Barney fella, and hell Molly for that matter too. They all want the dope…the skinny…the hot tip…they got to find that headline, but they don’t have time to listen to the story. Not that I got anything to tell these nosey people…but all the same.