wild irish rose.

the barkeep glanced up briefly from the racing

form on the rich mahogany bartop to view a few

people rush towards the stairs to the subway above.

it was 3:30 in the afternoon, and aside from the

three or four patrons who sat inside and shrunk from

the light like B-movie vampires coming in from

the window, Abel Geraghty was the only one in

the place. but he would rather have been at the

track. he’d been tending bar here at Flannery’s

for close to 30 years. he’d seen the neighborhood

change in tone from Irish brogue to southern drawl

to even a touch of Hindi and Spanish. but Boyd

Avenue still held the same charm. and for this

son of The Marble County, it was good enough.

Abel poured himself a pint of Guinness and peered

over at one soul who was slumped over onto a table.

“Hey!! You wanna sleep, go home!!” he bellowed.

The gentleman stirred, blinking eyes set deep

within pale skin as wrinkled as a lizard’s feet.

He tugged at his jacket and rose slowly to his

feet. As he walked close to the bar on his way

out, he mumbled, ‘No..no way to treat a body…’

pathetically shaking a bony fist. “Gwan home you

old salt miner.” Abel countered, bringing laughs

from the other three at the table nearest to the

pool table. As the old drunk walked out into the

sunlight, a blur moved past him into the bar.

Abel caught wind of the person before they stopped.

He couldn’t help it; their aroma was a mixture

between cheap wine and perfume. “Hiya Abel!! Set

me up a martini willya?!!” she yelled. A low

groan went out from the group at the table. Abel

sighed with all the wearniess his 50 years could

muster. “Rose, Rose..are ye daft? I’m not givin’

you any booze. You’ve probably got no more’n a

dollar to your name.” he replied simply.

Rose was a neighborhood fixture. A broken one at

that. She had grown up a few blocks from the bar.

Half Italian, half Irish, and all wild. Whatever

beauty she had once was slowly dwindling away. Her

dark hair bounced around her shoulders with each

turn of her head. She had greenish eyes, not unlike

the color of copper exposed to water. She wore

a denim jacket over a thin gray sweater blouse

that matched her tight jeans. She swayed on high

heels that had been repaired twice over. “C’mon

man, I’ve got money.” she said, pulling out a wad

of crumpled bills. “Here, money. Gimme my martini

you codfish!! HAHAHAHA!!” Abel sighed, and took the

bills into his pudgy, hairy hands. He counted until

he had about 5 dollars. “Y’know, I ougtha wash my

hands after this.” he said bluntly. “Whaddya mean

by that? I WORKED for that. Don’t TELL me it’s dirty.

WHO d’ya think you ARE?!” Rose yelled as she stepped

closer to the bar. “All right, all right.” Abel said

as he fixed the martini. Rose took the rest of the

money up as she sat down clumsily.

Her lips kept forming a half-smile. Rose had about

6 pills of Valium in her breast pocket. She had

downed 3 prior to coming into Flannery’s. After

this she was off to go earn money at a video store

peep show in Brooklyn. it was a desperate but viable

hustle for a woman down on her luck with no real

skills. she felt her stomach bubble, but paid it

no real mind. Abel walked over, all 6 feet 3 inches

of him. “Here,” he said as he nudged the martini

over to her. Rose grabbed the glass and took a sip.

“AHHHHHH…’ she exhaled loudly. “Do you KNOW how

long I’ve been WAITING for that?! THREE HOURS!”

Abel said nothing and leaned back against the shelf

near the register. “You know, I need a new gig. This

one is too much for too little…I mean I SHOW my

TITS for CRUMBS…” Rose began, and she rambled on

for a couple of minutes, her loud voice rising on

every third word as she drank the martini. All the

while, Abel nodded. and Rose kept talking. but as

she talked, the bubbling in her stomach kept getting

worse. she began to belch, and Abel stood in shock.

without a word, he ran around the bar towards Rose

in a hurry.

just as he reached Rose, she began to vomit. she

lurched forward and the waste spewed onto the bar.

it was as if she spat up watery cornmeal. “FOR

CHRISSAKES!!!” Abel yelled. Rose simply wiped the

front of her face and sat back down. “Lemme get

another drink, hic, and an olive.” Rose said in a

calmer voice. “GET UP FROM THERE!!!” Abel yelled,

and grabbed her by the arm. She had managed to not

get any vomit on her clothes, but it had hit the

bar and dropped onto the floor. “Wait – what about-

waitasecond-” Rose said as Abel brusquely guided

her to the door. In one swift motion, he opened

the door and flung her out onto the sidewalk. “AND

THIS TIME STAY THE HELL OUT!!!!” he bellowed before

slamming it shut. The other patrons, who were up

in arms laughing before, had gotten silent quick as

Abel stomped back inside. Rose could be heard crying

outside. “You sonuvabitch!! You dirty, potato-fucking

sonuvabitch!!!” she yelled. Abel went to the back to

grab the bucket and mop.

One of the group shook his head. “Wild Irish Rose, that

one is.” he said before taking a swig of Glenfidditch.

The other two nodded as they sipped from their mugs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s