"Just serve the drinks and keep the plave tidy...and I'll see you later," his boss said by rote as he tossed over a rag. Like this it was everyday. His boss being an old navy buddy of his dad's had hired Eddie three months ago as a personal favour and maybe change his path.
Eddie's dad didn't care for his boxing aspirations, hoping that a move to the big city would distract the big eighteen year old. Like in get a woman, a steady job, and stop dreaming. Eddie didn't mind the job as such. It had a lot of perks: flexible
hours, plus a one-bedroom pad on top of the pub for his accomodations. But, he felt the make-a-success-of-yourself-
The pub had five grubby tables and twenty faded wooden chairs. It was in reality a dive. The kind of place where business is only done in the daytime. It had greasy tapestry, and a cement wall with with a drain at the bottom for a toilet.
Roland, Arnold and Ronald sat at the bar like they always did every afternoon. They were retired and they were the usual day crowd. And so, on this day, a day in February, the humdrum was settling back into its casing. Talk of the past Christmas holidays had long waned; much to Eddie's liking, as he had to spend it alone and work. It was his first Christmas away from home. In a polite address to the room, Roland spoke, "Who do you suppose, who do you suppose the smartest people are?...
Doctors, lawyers or scientists...Now, I'm not even gonna mention lawyers..."
"Neither," replied Arnold with a nonchalance that almost bothered him.
"It's farmers. They're the most intelligent. They are well-rounded...they gots to know a little of everything, don't they?"
"Well, I'm sure doctors know a bit of everything," said Roland spreading his arms as though he was being blessed by the Lord.
"Yes, but they don't practice it," Roland quickly quipped, trying to stem Roland's inevitable bragtalk about his son, a surgeon in the big city. Instantly he gave a transparent look of disbelief to Arnold and to any who happened to catch his line of sight, and staggered onward to the men's room while shaking his head in minuscule motions.
" I can't believe he gets like that everyday," Arnold said to Ronald, the retired city of Richmond worker, who just kept quiet and thought to himself that he needs a new hangout.
"I mean suppose we are left to our own devices, who do you think will adjust the easiest?" Arnold asked Ronald, but had not seen Roland return with a fresh pint of beer.
"Oh that's not gonna happen!"
"Oh and what would your son do? Feed himself his stethoscope...I tell ya, he better be a good doctor 'cause he's gonna to find a cure for his starvation!"
"Yes! It could happen!" Arnold cried, pronouncing the word could with a terse verbal outing, along with a disproportionate rise of his left brow. Many uneasy seconds went by as all could see him resisting the urge to speak, quivering was his lower lip.
"You know what Mr.Smith," Eddie broke the silence, as he seldom did, by addressing Arnold. "It very well could happen."