Morning light edging in, New York City streets shine wet while Allison and Amy dance, sing and laugh through them. Honey sweet and seventeen, blissfully exhausted, folded umbrellas, top hats and tails, safe in their neighborhood.
Jasper now liberated from his tasks at downtown Ruby’s where he/she serves drinks and slow-boogies all night long. When dancing he is so sexy, young and alluring, beautiful. Folks at Ruby’s Dance and Dive Bar ceaselessly wonder; dream, yearn, lust for Jasper girl. Tonight, the Brooklyn street smells of dew and sea water. The playful girls spot Jasper smiling his way up the block. He makes them happy every time they meet. “He’s my pumpkin, my little Jasper,” sings Amy while Allison nods her head in agreement.
“My pretty city ladies,” Jasper hollers in his dancing girl voice.
“Hey down-home, country girl,” friendly, happy, innocent. Amy and Allison often speak simultaneously.
“Hey yawl, sweet heartbreakers,” Jasper adds to the joyous mayhem.
“Who us? My, my, my” the three of them laugh together.
High school girls surely know how to make the most of summer nights. This night was both happy and sad. It began with Scotty and Bryan, a movie, a little grass and tacos, but ended without them. “Ships in the night,” is what Allison called them. Amy smiled. Ships in the night.
“You sugars look so fine tonight!” Jasper is always kind and affectionate toward the girls.
“Look who’s talking in her frilly purple pretties.”
“Love my honey babies.”
“Love you sweetie, more and more every time we see ya.”
The Brooklyn night is old, while morning is busy being born. A New York City sunrise is a beautiful thing, anyway you look at it.
“Breakfast real soon, my pretty babies.” Amy makes most decisions and usually her decisions are correct.
Walking toward Harbor’s Edge Fountain that opens at five-thirty every morning, in just twenty minutes, there is Simon, a stack of beer cans at his feet, broken bottles of booze on the pavement and his darlin little dog Lola nipping at his pant leg. He’s sitting, almost lying on a curb at Clinton and Lorrain Street. “Look, it’s fruitcake and the bimbos. Stay the hell away from me freaks,” he grumbles, drunk and out of his mind, twisting the words falling from his dripping mouth.
Allison and Amy never let an opportunity to berate a drunken fool go to waste. “Simon, you dumb, degenerate, asshole. Leave us alone or we’ll kick your sorry butt.” Amy is fearless, but still a little stoned.
“That’s not gonna happen bitches,” but Simon’s too damned drunk to stand.
“What the hell is wrong with you Simon?” Allison gets in her two cents.
“Nothing bimbo-sluts, not a damned thing. I’m just what you said I am, a damned degenerate asshole, but my pretty Lola loves me, so screw all of you.” He stares at his dog with attempted affection, but his eyes roll back and begin to close. Simon, still on the ground, yawns then falls to one elbow.
“I’ve always been a bad ass,” continues Simon barely awake. “I smacked fruity, queer-ass Jasper in the head the first time I laid eyes on him dressed like a little bitch, and I’m not sorry, not a bit.” Simon seems a little less drunk than he was a moment ago, but still off balance and slurring his words.
“You’re just a stupid ass, that’s all,” submits Allison, now a little afraid of awakening Simon.
“No problem for me at all bitch. I am what I am.”
“Then you’re doing a really great job of being just what you are.”
Simon is now on his feet. He looks at the exhausted Allison and says, “You’re just a little whore, just like your mom,” but he wisely avoids making eye-contact with Amy.
“Hey Simon, you shit, our Allison is the sweetest and most perfect girl ever,” Jasper courageously offers, “a credit to this hood.”
Simon immediately smacks Jasper once very hard across the face, laughs then staggers down Clinton Street followed by Lola. He can hardly walk but manages to disappear around the first corner. All are glad to see him go.
Allison hugs Amy and Jasper for strength and support. Jasper is bleeding only a little from the corner of his lipsticked mouth. The three of them together laugh a little, while Jasper’s eyes begin to fill with tears, deeply hurt, but hardly damaged. “Simon is a shit,” Amy contends. “He always has been a shit.”
Amy, stronger than most, is the least affected by this morning’s carnage. The threesome embrace for a long while, then wipe the last of Jasper’s blood and tears, as the neon lights of Harbor’s Edge flicker on. It’s officially Sunday.
“Jasper is my pumpkin,” Amy whispers as she holds open the front door of Harbor’s Edge Fountain, then shepherds in her two dearest friends.
Donald Zagardo is a former Professor of Modern History at St. John’ University. He has a life-long passion for literature of all kinds. In the past few years he has directed his writing efforts toward short stories – searching for unusual topics. He is presently assembling a collection of his own work. Donald lives and writes in New York City and enjoys international travel, foreign languages and photography.