A Standing Bet

“You owe me a dollar.”

“What time is it?”

“Five to six. Pay up.”

He joined her at the window. The old man was out there working his snow shovel.

“I haven’t got any money.”

“I’ll add it to your tab,” she smiled.

He kissed her. “I love your teeth in this light. Whiter than the snow”

She hugged him. They stood watching the man. “He’s a hard worker. People now don’t work like that.”

“They use snow blowers. Make a goddamn racket.”

“I wonder what it’s like. To be that old.”

“We’ll know someday.”

“I hope we’ll know together.”

 

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Red Faces, Loud Mouths

The hotel floor creaked with the weight of them as they barreled up to the bar. They spoke no Spanish, but instead a simplified English that would have been comical if it wasn’t so insulting.

“Hey, Peedro! What’s a fella got to do to get a fucking drink around here?” bellowed the fatter of the two.

Oliv├ír made the snap decision to take the high road. He turned slowly and placed his hands on the tiled surface. “What would you like, sir?” he said in his perfect English.

“I’ll be dipped in dogshit!” said the other. “This wetback speaks American!”

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