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Busy Night
by Bohdan Yuri
2017-02-05 11:47:54
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Busy Night

Tony and Mikey were waiting in Danny's apartment.  It was early so they occupied themselves with the usual.

"I tell ya they're real," Mikey declared.

"Naw man," Tony argued. "I seen them last month and they were plums. Now, they're grapefruits, man." And a moment for Mikey to digest the facts, "Get the picture, numb nuts?"

"You're full of it," Mikey pointed out. "Those are the most real looking things I ever seen."

"Yeah, about as real as your cyber babes," Tony laughed his thoughts, then added, "You gotta stop playing with your computers, man, and get a life. You wanna come on the road with me? I'll show you the real stuff. We can hit all the good stops. Man, they got some nasty ones out there. When was the last time you felt one, huh Mikey? When you were a baby?"

Mikey grabbed a couch pillow and threw it at Tony. "Up yours, asshole." He followed with a lunge and a knuckler. Tony feigned a mortal blow and covered himself with laughter on the pounce. Just then the door opened. Danny walked in.

Danny paused, glanced at the freeze frame, then at the two caught in horseplay, "Assholes at play," he commented, as he took off his overcoat and placed it on an empty chair.

"See, even he agrees," Mikey justified, "You're an asshole, asshole"

"Oh yeah, moron," Tony responded, "Hey, Danny, didn't she used to have smaller ones in that other video?" Danny conceded a moment, and then agreed. "See, I told ya, ya stupid moron."

Mikey felt betrayed, by the girl. "But they looked so real," he lamented. "Aw man, ain't nothin' real anymore?"

yury01_400"Ya think that's unreal,"  Tony informed Mikey, then engaging Danny in the tale, before continuing.  "Last week, Frankie Mattola tells me he went out with this gorgeous chick. I mean I saw her, she woulda made your eyes blow up." Danny already suspected, "You guessed it. It was a guy. Frankie says he found out before they got started but I don't know. Turned out the guy'd also had a complete sex change. So,...?"

"Aw  man, that sucks too, that really sucks," Mikey voiced his disgust. "Sometimes science really sucks. Things should be the way they should be. Ya gotta think too, that she, uh he, musta at least gone down on Frankie."

" Yeah Frankie's a sucker, a real sucker for one of those," they were thinking of the next line, ready to burst out with the real laughter.

"Well, I gotta change," Danny broke off into his own agenda. "I'm meeting Teresa's father..."

"Ooooooo, Big Angie!" Tony mimicked a scare.

"...You've been on the road too long Tony, ya gotta be around normal people more often." Mikey was amused by Danny's assessment.  "And yeah, I'm meeting 'Big Angie'", a mocked stare of terror at Tony, before continuing, "in about half an hour," glancing at his watch and loosening his tie as he went into the bedroom.

"So when'd this come about?" asked Tony.

"He called me at work. Said he wanted to talk over some things." Danny replied. "What?" he insisted. "I couldn't say no to my future father-in-law. Besides, Teresa'd kill me..."

"Well, well," Tony tried again. "These Jersey girls must be puttin' the fear of God, into our Brockton bad boy, oooooooh..." No one bit, So Tony returned on a plainer side, asking, "So what are the two of you gonna talk about? You gonna do it here? I mean,..?"

"No, we’re goin' to some restaurant, 'Arturo's', I think."

"Oooo, Artuuurooo's," still no takers for Tony.

"Yeah,” Mikey mused, "You gotta be the luckiest guy in the world. Night out with the guys, break a leg, meet your future wife in the emergency room, the future Mrs., Dr. Teresa Murphy. How come I don't get luck like that?"

"Because you're a moron, asshole," Tony reaffirmed. "And beautiful doctors don’t fall in luuuuv with geeky morons like you."

"Up yours."

"So are we still on for tonight?" Tony asked just as Danny emerged with a fresh set of clothes, a black turtleneck and dark jeans. "Dressed to kill, my man. Dressed to kill."

"Yeah, I should get back in time," Danny confirmed. "We're still leaving at midnight, right? I mean, you'll be here right?

"No problemo, my good man," replied Tony. "Mikey and I didn't come down here just to watch your videos, man. We came here because we want to be with you, our fearless, leader, and party all night." Then looking at Mikey he offered, "Whataya say Mikey, my boy," putting an arm around Mikey's shoulder, "the 'Pussy Parlor' or the 'Foxy Moxy'?"

Mikey smiled, "Let's do both."

"All right Mikey," Tony cheered. "We can even compare notes: real or fake. I'll be looking at the really big ones and you'll be looking at the really real ones.”

"Yeah well," Danny broke in. "Just remember, sober this time."

"You got it, man" Tony replied as he and Mikey led themselves to the door, with arms on each other's shoulder. "You know," Tony's head peeked in for one final thought, "they serve buffet at the 'Foxy Moxy'." Just bring daddy along for some hot appetizers...” And they were gone.

Danny got a beer from the fridge and settled into his shortened space. His thoughts ran through tonight's plan. Everything had to go right...  Just then, the buzzer rang. Danny answered. "Danny, it's me Angelo Scarpatti. Are you ready?"

Danny checked his watch. A little early but he was ready. "You wanna come up?"

"Nah, I'm running a little late and I'm double parked. So just come on down."

 One last gulp of beer, before grabbing his leather jacket and locking the door behind him. Angelo was waiting by the car. He opened the passenger door for Danny. There was another man in the back seat. "Oh, Danny," Angelo explained as he closed the door behind Danny, "this is my cousin Marco. He's also an associate of mine, we work together" Danny turned to address the encounter. "Danny - Marco," Angelo connected the two with a pointing finger, "Marco - Danny."

Marco's image trailed into Danny's thoughts as Angelo drove off into the cool evening shroud. Marco looked big, a mass of muscle that carried a face, which looked like it had retired from the ring two rounds too late. Danny felt uneasy.

"So, Danny, Angelo tells me you're from Boston and you work for that big insurance company downtown," the hulk asked, as he leaned forward, resting his arms on the back of the front seat.

"Uh, yeah," Danny replied.

"Hey, Angelo," Marco asked. "We know any body in Boston?"

"No, never been there. Mostly Irish I hear. Some Italianos on the north side."

"How about Philly?" he asked Danny. "You got any family in Philly, we know some people there"

"Nope, the only family I got is the one I'm marrying."

"Yeah," Angelo explained to Marco, "his parents and uncles died in a fire." Then turning towards Danny, “Must‘a been hard, you were what eighteen, right?" Danny nodded. "Is that why you left Boston, and came here?"

"Yeah, it was a mess. I just needed to get away from all that shit. So I chose Jersey and Rutgers."

"Oooooh, a college boy," Marco proclaimed. "Use your insurance money, to pay for it?"

"No, and don't ask me why but there wasn't any. So no, I paid for it myself, worked two jobs."

"Yeah, it costs a lot to get smart.” Marco explained. "Yeah that's why Angelo and I went independent and started our own business instead. We both had kids going to college, damn expensive. Besides, we were getting too old to keep doing the legwork anymore..., right Angelo?” There was agreement. "So, what kinda jobs did you have? Maybe we know the places. D'ya ever get tempted to steal from them?"

"Geez, Marco. Leave the kid alone. It's not like he's marrying one of your daughters.”

"Sorry kid, just a habit I guess,” Marco apologized with a soft tap on Danny's shoulder before leaning back into his seat. “So, Danny, seen any good movies lately?" Danny smiled as he felt an understanding of the man's pattern.

"No I don't go to movies much. I usually watch what's on TV. Love the classics, you know, Grant, Tracy, Bogart..., that crowd.  Mysteries are my favorite, though, and some thrillers."

"Oh yeah," Marco agreed. “I love a good mystery especially the ones that have some comedy in them. That Abbott and Costello, I love them. You know Costello grew up in Paterson. A friend of mine knew his daughter. Sweet guy, always made everybody laugh...,” then a somber thought followed, “yeah, but the poor guy never had a chance to make himself happy.... Tragic."

Danny relaxed, the man was a teddy bear.

"Oh yeah," Angelo asked, tending more with the present,” who were those two guys that came outta your apartment? You know them?"

It caught Danny by surprise, he answered truthfully, "Uh, yeah. They’re uh, they're good friends of mine. We grew up together."

"Yeah, what do they do, they work with you at the insurance place?"

"Uh, no. One's a trucker, the other's a computer guy, They both live in Boston. They're just here for the weekend, visiting the city."

"What does this computer guy do, sell them, or something? Because I love computers," Marco remarked.

"Uh, no, he works for a security firm, cameras and stuff."

"Hey Angelo, cameras," Marco pondered, before continuing, "We'll have to check it out. You'll have to introduce me to your friend. I could always use better security on mine. Yeah, we'll have to talk sometime."

"Marco's the business manager of our company. He's always on the computer."

"Yeah I tell ya, once the kids showed me how to use it, I fell in love with it. It was perfect for our business, you know, setting up deals and all. D'ya ever play that "Doom" game. That's a ball buster. Angelo, here, he won't go near them. Pinball, that’s his game."

Danny had had a brief outline from Teresa in the three months they'd been dating, but he had to ask anyway. "So what does your company do?"

Angelo gave Marco a quick glance and explained with a slight smile, "We're like an efficiency firm for other companies and organizations."

"Yeah, we do like an in-house cleaning," Marco added. "We're like business planners. You know, get rid of dead weight. --- A.I.M. Incorporated, we AIM to please."

"So you're a consulting firm."

"Yeah we do that kind of business," Angelo agreed. "We consult with our clients."

"So, you like Italian food, Danny?"  Marco asked. "You know, being Irish and all..."

"Yeah I like it, pizzas and all that Italian stuff," Danny replied, beginning to feel like a pinball himself.

"Yeah, I'm getting hungry too," Marco declared his needs before continuing, "...Corned beef and cabbage. That's what you Irish like, right. Yeah, cabbage..., and probably beans. I once knew this Mick from Harrison. Boy, I tell ya, that guy farted up a storm up until the moment that he died, and then for a full hour after that. I mean Angelo and me, we just had to stay there for the ending. It was so damn funny; we just laughed our asses off. You remember him, Angelo, - Bump Donehan."

"Yeah," Angelo replied, accompanied with a deep laugh, "what a fart."

The evening darkened into night. Danny checked out the terrain, lit by strip shops along the highway. "So where is this place anyway?" he asked his hosts.

"It's just outside of Livingston, on Rt. 10. It's not far," Angelo replied." But first Marco and I gotta make a stop in Florham. A client asked us to settle an affair before the weekend."

"Boy, I can't wait to have the veal parmesan.  Arturo's makes the best, the way it should be," Marco declared. "So if you like Italian food Danny, Arturo's is the place."

With that, the conversation died. Plans and spans of thought were being carried in the nest of Angelo's black town car. Until finally, the car pulled into the parking lot of a moderate sized office complex. It was deserted except for a white Mercedes parked next to the back entrance. Danny checked his watch again, still time.

Angelo and Marco got out of the car. "Don't worry, we won't be long,” Angelo reassured Danny. It already seemed too long. He watched the two overcoated, hatless men stride with separate flairs that boldly mimicked an old movie scene, Wallace Beery and Edward G..

After about twenty minutes the two men emerged. Between them was an office type, about Danny's age, with his mouth and wrists duct taped. Marco and Angelo each had a hold of an arm, directing the man's forward movement.

Danny immediately got out of the car. "What's going on?" he asked, even though it all seemed obvious.

"Don't worry about it. This is Marvin Johnson and we’re just having some disagreement," Angelo reassured him, as the two men loaded their catch into the trunk. Danny returned to his seat and readjusted his own part as the two entered the car and drove off.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime of silence, they'd reached a deserted bank off a fire road near the swamps. Angelo pulled over and parked the car. "Come on, Danny," he directed. "Time to do some business."

Danny got out and watched the two men pull their quarry out of the trunk and drag him near the water's edge, placing him into a kneeling position. Marco made sure he stayed put.

Angelo reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a revolver. "Ever kill a man, Danny?" he asked. Danny said no. "Would you like to try it?"

"What, are you crazy?" Danny replied, still trying to shake himself out of this bad scene that came out of nowhere.

"It's our business, son," Angelo paused as he said it. “Yeah,... son. You know, I could get used to saying that." Then returning to his purpose, he said, "We kill people who cheat, steal, or betray their bosses. You know...their Families, if you get my drift."

"Drift! What drift, you guys are mobsters,...killers."

"That's not true," Marco argued, "We use to be in a mob, bone crushers mostly, but then we got this idea. I mean, there's always someone in each organization whom the boss wants rubbed out, like this scum. So we provide the service."

Danny looked at the Marvin's desperate plea, muffled cries drowned by painful eyes. Danny didn’t want to connect. He didn’t dare.

"Yeah," Angelo tried to explain,  "the beauty of it is, that we never cross the line. You know, hit another family's guy. That way we don’t have to watch our backs so much. It’s all kept in house with the boss’s approval. We don’t get paid as much but it’s a safer deal all the way around."

"Yeah," Marco affirmed. "So, are we gonna do it or what? I’m getting hungry."

Angelo held the gun out one last time, "Are you sure,...?" Danny declined again, backpedaling from the offer. None of this was making any sense but Danny knew he couldn’t change the script. He had no choice but to stay for the final shooting.

"Wait Angelo. The ring, you forgot the ring," Marco reminded him.

"Oh yeah," Angelo addressed his remarks to the victim. "It seems that Mr. Bucceli wants to give his, I guess former mistress, a message in the mail, you know for you sticking your finger where it shouldn’t have been." With that Angelo put the gun back into his coat pocket and pulled out a folding knife from his other pocket. Then holding the man’s finger outward, Angelo sliced the man’s pinky finger and placed it in a zippered plastic bag.

Trapped in horrific pain Marvin screamed inside his mouth, "There now, that should make the rest seem less painful, Mr. Johnson." He tossed the bag to Danny who instinctively caught it. "Check out the gem on the pinky ring," he told Danny. "Bet that'd make a great engagement ring stone."

Danny checked it out, while Angelo aimed the gun at the man’s head. Marco stepped aside. Another moment of play made Angelo ask again, "...Sure?" Danny declined again, so Angelo fired a shot into the victim's crotch. Mr. Johnson jerked forward then twisted sideways. Angelo emptied the remaining rounds into Mr. Johnson’s face as he finally looked up.

The present now made sense to Danny, it was the future that made less. "So this is what you wanted to talk to me about?" Danny surmised.

"Yeah well,” Angelo confessed. "I figured it’s a lot easier if I just show you, you know, the real thing."

"Does Teresa know about this?" Danny asked.

"Well," Angelo hesitated, "No....And neither does her mother, Connie."

"But, how...?" Danny wondered.

"Hey Danny," Marco interrupted, "They know, but they don’t know. Ya know what I mean. They think we kinda retired on our investments."

Danny didn’t know what to think, finally asking, "So are we still goin' to Arturo's?"

"Sure thing, Danny," Angelo replied, then tending to details, “Marco, any blood on the coats?" They checked. Danny did as well., no blood. Then a quick look around to cover any remaining tracks. "So, we’re off then," Angelo gestured to leave.

"What about the body," Danny asked. "Aren't you gonna hide it or somethin'?"

"Nah," Marco informed him. "The client wants it to be found. You know, keeps everyone in line." And so they left.

Danny took the back seat this time, still playing out each scene into sharper focus. It was the script that was still absurd. Finally, Danny settled for what made sense. He had six months until the wedding.

After the meal, the two men dropped off Danny at his apartment building; Angelo walked Danny to the door. "This all stays between us men, right?" Angelo said. Danny agreed. "So listen," Angelo went on to explain, “none of my work will ever carry into your lives. But, if you should ever hurt Teresa after the wedding, or anytime, I’ll come after you. What father wouldn’t, you understand. And you seen what I’m capable of. Think, you can live with that?" a pause for no answer. "So, if you want to change your mind..., I'll understand, son.”

 He told Angelo he’d think about it. So, as the party split up, they said their goodbyes. Marco leaning out the window, "See ya around Danny Boy. It was nice meetin' ya." 

What movie was that from, Danny wondered. He walked up to his apartment. But it all seemed to be in another place. Still breathing on his thoughts, he unlocked the door and walked in.

Tony and Mikey were waiting inside, same seats. "Whoa, cool man, you made it back in time," Tony's relieved greeting.

"Busy night, huh Danny?" added Mikey.

"Yeah, we were kind a wondering if Big Angie'd taken you for a ride or somethin'," Tony implied, adding, "Yeah, like a real shotgun wedding kinda talk."

"So how was it?"  Mikey asked.

"Well, the veal was really good," Danny replied, then needing a sudden clarification, he asked Tony. "Listen that uncle of yours, can you trust him. I mean, I don’t want our names popping up all over the place after we do it."

"Are you kidding," Tony replied, "my mother would kill him if he ever got me or my friends in any trouble. Naw man, that's one safe secret."

"Good, that's good," Danny was relieved, but not fully.

"So, anyway," Tony grew an itch, "are we set for tonight, or what?  Mikey and I got the tools and the mule. All we need is the fools to ride it.”

"Yeah," Mikey added, "can't wait to get my hands on those jewels. How much did you say they were insured for, --- ten million."

"Ooooooooeee," Tony let out, "Let's do it."

 On the way out Danny wondered, who was the actual owner of Benson Carter Jewelers...and did Angelo know him........?


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