Page 64 - Vol. VI #2
P. 64

Heart Attack (continued from page 34)
“and the newspaper clipping about the laun- dries in Ireland—terrible places—women locked up, newborn babies given away. That ring has pre-destined my life, without my consent or participation.”
Dally said something surprising then, something that Enda would think about the rest of her life, especially when what happened later, happened. He said, “Loneliness, Enda, is a very real thing, like homesickness. And people do get sick from it. They do get sick from it.”
 Young Sully brought Bobbi’s beer and she ordered hamburgers for both of them. “What scheme are you two ladies hatching over here?” he asked. Young Sully had come to the United States from Ireland seventy years ago. It was his father who had been known as Old Sully.
Bobbi said, “Enda here is planning a benefit din- ner for Dally-Boy’s young cousin. We’d like to use the place if you’ll have us.”
“Hell of a mess I’m in,” Russ said in a rasping voice.
“The cousin won the Irish green card lottery,” Enda offered.
Bobbi had warned Dally-Boy that Russ’s cancer had run amuck in his body, taking its toll, gob- bling up his insides and reducing his limbs to fragile sticks. But when had his friend become this frail scarecrow before him now, all angled and knobby beneath the bed sheet? How does a person’s body sneak away on them so suddenly?
“Jesus the genius!” Young Sully boomed. “That’s the only way to do it these days, isn’t it?”
Russ weakly lifted one hand. “Will you tell Ann I’m sorry about all of this?”
When Sully had left them alone again, Enda brushed at the salt scattered on the table. “What will you do now?” she asked Bobbi.
“Shall I bring her for a visit?” asked Dally.
Bobbi drained her beer glass and set it down with a thunk. “I’m going to help you with your benefit dinner and see what the doctors have in mind for Russ and his cancer. After that, I don’t know. My life is suddenly very strange to me.”
Russ shook his head. “Bobbi...” he said, and Dally understood that either Bobbi wouldn’t allow it, or Russ himself thought it wasn’t a good idea. Russ took a shallow breath and said, “All my cards are on the table, my dirty laundry aired.”
“Well,” said Dally. “You know,” he started and then stopped and started again. “You know, I’m going to tell you something unbelievable about myself, put my cards on the table too.”
That evening, Enda brought home a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for dinner. She was standing at the kitchen sink staring out the win- dow when he wandered in, looking for his supper. “Are you feeling ill?” he asked.
Russ looked at Dally with curiosity shining in his eyes, a bit of the old Russ.
“What I’d like to know,” Enda said, still looking out the window, “is if you knew about Ann and Russ, all these years?”
“I’ll just say it outright,” Dally said, “I’m a god- damned illegal alien.”
Dally pulled a chair out at the kitchen table. “So you’ve talked with Bobbi.”
Russ scrunched his forehead. He had known Dally-Boy forty years or more and had never wondered about Dally’s citizenship, even when the old gang had talked about it at Mabel’s just a month ago, the same day the Mexican kid got
Enda said, “You know about the cancer too?” 55
The next week, Dally-Boy visited Russ Russo at the hospital.

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