Part Three: Home Candied Home
A Soldier Goes Home
Shannon O`Day, alternate to the United States in the summer of 1919 twenty-years old now. He had spent chargeless time forth the Rhine with some French soldiers, and German girls afore the anatomical bent his address aback home; not beautiful, added apparent than pretty. In the few pictures he took, you got just a glimpse of the Rhine. By the time Shannon O`Day alternate home, all the celebrations had appear and passed. He was too late, agitation had abounding the cities, now accord had set in, and reactions of the humans were aback to normal-just to be accounting for posterity`s sake. Shannon bare someone, anybody would do, to allocution to, to accept listened to him, so he could get it all out, unbolted.
As humans listened to Shannon it appeared they capital his belief to be added fictionalized, and he accommodated them, so they`d abide to listen, yet it was drowning him. He didn`t like getting vulnerable, a ancillary show, with his lies; unimportant lies to him, alone ball for the listeners.
During this time , abatement had set into Minnesota, and acutely into the city-limits of St. Paul. He slept continued hours, bistro at a bar and restaurant, called, "The Coney Island Bar," on St. Peter`s Street, amid 6th and 7th streets, it was a abbreviate airing from his accommodation on Wabasha Street. In the evenings he`d dabble on an old amber and atramentous achromatic guitar, too baby for him but he had purchased it at one of the some assurance shops forth Wabasha.
When drunk, and bashed he was mostly during these months afterwards his acknowledgment from Europe, and if his bar accompany were drunk, he was a hero to many, and sober, alone to his brother Gus was he a hero, who had a little acreage a abbreviate means alfresco the city-limits limits, branch appear Stillwater township.
A little means abroad from the Coney Island Bar, that create adorable Coney Island Hot Dogs, create them with raw unions, and lots of hamburger with beans and an Italian sauce, and cheese, he`d arch assimilate the Gem Bar, a added bar blazon bar, with air-conditioned acrid smells and clamminess of a bar.
It was this one night afterwards Shannon O`Day had been home, three months, abreast winter of 1919, if he went into the Gem Bar, she was a waitress, and she smoothed her accessory out if she saw him.
"Do you wish a beer?" Sally-Anne Como asked, then anticipation of what she said, "I, mean, what would you like sir?"
"Yeah!" said Shannon, with annoyed and bittersweet eyes, which scanned her as if he was in a robot.
"I understand your brother Gus, he comes in her off and on, talks about you absolutely a lot, tells us girls actuality about your time s in Germany, you know, the Abundant War?" She was absolutely absorbed with him.
"I`ll bet he does," Shannon said with a chuckle.
"Yeah, he broadcast does," remarked Sally-Anne.
"After plan some day I`d like to yield you over to the Coney Island Bar and buy you a Coney Island, okay?"
"Yeah," commented Sally-Anne, then added, "Uncle Isaiah says he knows yaw!" Shannon looked at the big Blackman abaft he bar, he looked familiar, "Yeah, I understand him, all right," said Shannon, "it`s been a while back I saw him, he was old if I knew him some years ago, and he looks old now, I guess, I`m afraid to see him still kicking."
"Well, I accept I bigger get aback to work," she said.
Shannon looked at her, he admired her, he admired her actual much, and he looked at her for a continued time , "Have you got the newspaper?" he asked.
She brought the cardboard over to him, the Saint Paul Avant-garde Press. And as he apprehend it, he looked at Old Uncle Isaiah, canonizing the first time he saw him, met it:
(Daydreaming) It was on Nigger Roe, that`s what we all alleged it; we all knew area it was, on Rondo, I had never absolved that artery alone, matter-of-fact, I had never absolved that artery at all, rode by it, down it, rode about it with a few friends, through its neighborhoods. And this one night, a weekend night, backward afterwards the confined closed, I met Hank Lowery, and Seven Lundberg, and Charley Lund we all went down to Nigger Town, to this afterwards hours club. That was the night I met the man they alleged Uncle Isaiah, he had a crowbar lying on an old board table, alongside the aperture access to the after-hours joint. I accepted he was the bouncer.
"Youall ole-enough to alcohol whitey?" he asked. He had already let my accompany through, put an ink brand on their hand.
"All right, all right," he said "no cause to be abashed of this big atramentous nigger, you anytime been so abutting to one before?"
And I didn`t say a word, and to this day, I accept never apparent a man beam so hard, bedlam abaft his laughing, until he had to yield authority of his stomach, disengage a few buttons on his shirt, or they`d pop off. I was all of fourteen-years old then. Gus was to bolt up with us, but he hadn`t showed up yet.
"Jes` alarm me Uncle Isaiah, this her` crowbar aint fer you son, it fer those agrarian ones that is a-comin`, they jes` is not her yet...! I knowen you aint no agitation maker, cuz you is too afraid to be one, so, you go-on in dhere, and be my guest."
After traveling to the after-hours collective several times Uncle Isaiah would say to me, chidingly, and then jokingly, "Youall`s goin` in dhere to try and see dhe atramentous girl`s behinds, pumping up and down central those dresses until somebody stops dhem," then he`d attending at me afresh and say, "Yippee!"
"Sally-Anne," yelled Shannon, and she appear over and stood by him, "Sally-Anne, amuse don`t chaos up the cardboard next time, no one can apprehend it proper."
She stood there a moment, watched him disentangle the cardboard again, aggravating to adamant out the wrinkles on the table with the award his hands, he admired account the paper.
"You are an odd one," she said with a appropriate attending on her face, "but I like heroes, I`ll accommodated you at the Coney Island Bar whenever you want!"
"Good," said Shannon, "how old are you?"
"I`ll acquaint you, but you accept to accumulate it hushed up, I`m seventeen-years old."
"Yeah," said Shannon, "I anticipation as much."
"Couldn`t you get in agitation for lying?"
"I don`t know."
"Sure you know. You can be my beau, okay?"
"Sure. I`m your babe now."
"Sure you`re sure?" asked Shannon putting on a austere face.
"If you`re sure, I`m sure, and if you`re abiding you adulation me, I can even be surer!"
"Will you adulation me forever?"
"Sure, why not!"
"You run forth now, I got plan to do," said Sally-Anne, blessed as a peacock, aerial its bright wings.
She put his abandoned beer canteen on her try and brought it up to the bartender, Uncle Isaiah, and he alone it aback into a box, beneath him, and he started wiping down the counter, which he did absolutely often.
It was in 1921, Shannon O`Day was at the Gem Bar account the paper, account about two soldiers that had been captured the endure day of the action for Verdun, they had accustomed their adventure to a magazine, and the newspapers best up on it, nationally; if he apprehend the names of the two soldiers, it was the actual two Shannon had absent annual of.
The abstract read:
...two sentinels stood bouncer on assignment afore the bankrupt aperture of the baby prison...; in the backward hours of the night a German soldier would appear with a lantern in his hand, axle the halls, from corpuscle to cell, create himself accepted to all the sentries, and ordered all the guards to angle at absorption for inspection. He then entered anniversary prison`s cell, abrogation the aperture ajar, to acquiesce beginning air to enter. The alcove was clammy and dark, and silent. -it was anguish and shadows, mostly sleeping men; about peaceful, until he`d appearance up. We`d had been laying on a array of straw, some men slept deeply, no one approved to escape.
The man they alleged captain, confused abutting to anniversary one of us, continuing alpine by the frames of our bastille doors, noiselessly standing. He`d columnist his clinched easily adjoin our throats, his eyes gave a action of apoplectic terror-dots for pupils, he`d acquaint us to kneel and pray, he`d columnist his blaster to our lips, the whites of his eyes would accessible up wide, a dim ablaze in them.
"Ah," said he, "it is you tonight," and he`d yield one of us out of the cell, out and down the hallway, out through the metal doors of the prison, there beyond, never to return, or be seen, or heard of again. Then one day the doors opened and a French Officer, an American and English administrator stood by and one of them said, and I can`t bethink which one, said it, "Your free, what do you accept by that?"
I anticipation this at the time, but didn`t say it, but I`ll say it now what I thought, because now I absolutely accept it: anniversary of us, and all owe to each, a accomplished life, in some affectionate of peaceful, amusing order, above this, simple law, there is annihilation but war. No amends no disinterestedness to body for the future, no binding account to mankind. I wish peace, that endure chat is what I told him, "We begin peace!"
"What are you reading, you`re so intense?" asked Sally-Anne, Como, to Shannon.
"Nothing much, just a cast of manure, he throws the cardboard assimilate Sally-Anne`s tray, "it belongs in the sewer."
Gem Bar, Isaiah Christianson
It was old Isaiah Christianson, Uncle Isaiah to alotof association he knew, fifteen-years he formed at the Gem Bar, Sally-Anne admired alive there, it was apathetic during the day, and she had her nights free. The bar was air-conditioned but dim, as alotof confined are, but the Gem was dimmer, and Shannon O`Day admired the bar for that actual cause also, a quiet affectionate of bar.
Dim conceivably because the owner-Jefferson Manning, never done the windows. Isaiah would acquaint the customers, the buyer admired it that way, and it kept out the adolescent noisy, crowd. Isaiah would say, "Nobody can see in, and no physique can see out, therefore, cipher knows anybody`s business, and that way cipher can get into trouble. And so he just had the old association appear in, mostly old folks, a few like Gus and Shannon O`Day, but actual few. And Old Isaiah was accepting actual old, and slow, and he no best formed at any after-hours joints, like he acclimated to some years back, he bare his sleep. He`d even play cards and dice with the chump that is how apathetic it got. And to be frank, Old Isaiah couldn`t see that bright anymore, anyways, a blubbery bare clay amidst his eyes.
Mr. Jefferson Manning, was a big man, abounding some 400-pounds. Wore baby glasses, ate all day long, eggs and pickles, and absurd hamburger, and absurd craven and watermelon, and cakes, and pies, and popcorn, then would go up to the Coney Island Bar, and eat a bisected dozen Coney Island hotdogs in a fat bun, with chili been sauce, and cheese, and raw onions. He`d sit by the big gas stove in the average of the attic of the bar, and ablution it all down with two or three beers, then acknowledgment to his accommodation on top of his Gem Bar, yield a two hour nap, and alpha the accepted all over again. But he was traveling broke; he bare added money, even admitting his bar was paid for, larboard to him by his parents. And he was thinking, if he came in afterwards demography that two-hour nape one bounce day, in 1922, and he looked at those bedraggled windows, and he looked and he looked, and he formed an idea.
Old Isaiah Christianson was fired, Mr. Manning, the buyer of the Gem Bar, had appear down from a nap, looked at his windows, looked at Sally-Anne, never even looked at Isaiah, and said "Sally-Anne, you`re the new bartender," Isaiah`s fired, "I achievement you understand his duties, and if you don`t I`m abiding it will not yield you all that continued to amount them out, get to it."
Isaiah was in shock, he didn`t say a word, he was just too dumbfounded, he was handed a analysis for the weeks pay, and $500-dollars in cash, for severance pay, adage "I got new affairs Isaiah, and you`re not in them, you just don`t fit, sorry!"
So he himself, took a brazier of hot water, and soap, and several rages, and done those windows clean, as apple-pie and bright as the ice on the Mississippi River, a few blocks away. And he helped acrylic it, corrective the accomplished bar, walls and all the woodwork, assassin Shannon and Gus and Sally-Anne afterwards hours, and they corrective it in two days. Then he bought a big assurance that read, "Live Music Nightly, Jazz!"
And the army started advancing in, about immediately, and in two months he was authoritative added money, than he had create in the accomplished antecedent year.
Well, this didn`t sit able-bodied with Isaiah, not one bit; he took a afraid for it all, and busy an accommodation beyond the street, by a new hamburger collective alleged "White Castle". And he`d sit alfresco on a chair, a canteen of whiskey in his easily and these little hamburgers, bistro one afterwards he other, and he`d back-bite all the barter that went into the bar, and he alleged Mr. Manning every fat name he could anticipate of and create a few up.
Some canicule he`d sit on the curb, until Mr. Manning alleged the police, and got a cloister adjustment for him to stop his monkey business, stop getting a affliction in the ass for everybody, to stop his nonsense. The adjudicator warned him that they had places for mentally ill folk, although anybody knew it was acrimony that got Uncle Isaiah`s goat.
And every week, if one of the waitresses would apple-pie the windows now, Isaiah would bandy clay at the window, he infact had a little accumulation of it in little white sacks, he cull one out of his coat, and it was accomplished sand, and he`d argument in it, to get it nice and gooey, then bandy it at the window. He even told Shannon one day if he was about to access the bar, "Youall acquaint um, I goin` to hit him ef`in I anytime sees him alone."
After a while old Isaiah alone came out of his accommodation on occasions, absent 100-pounds, of his 190-pounds he had at one time. His eyes looked like absurd eggs, in abysmal sockets, derma and face unkempt, unshaven, warts and pimples all over him. I`m not adage he forgot about what he said apropos animus on the fat man, he never did forget, he just never got about to accomplishing it, and if he did, if he did, it was too late, because if he got to that point, Mr. Manning had died and larboard him captivation the bag abounding of sand, which he never threw already he was six anxiety under, then three months afterwards Jefferson Manning died, he died.
Manning died at fifty-three years old, a affection attack. Uncle Isaiah, at 73, of cancer; It would assume afterwards he got accursed he never recovered from the wound, worse than Shannon`s in combat, a added alarm I`d say.
It wasn`t continued afterwards both their deaths, those windows got bedraggled afresh anyhow, and one of Manning`s ancestors by the endure name of Ingway, took over the Gem Bar, that was in 1923, they had bankrupt the bar down for a spell I guess.
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