CHAPTER THREE – At the bar “Odalisque”
It was no big secret that Danny was a drunk. He was a regular at the bar “Odalisque” where Jimmy, the bartender was working night shifts.
Danny also worked. As a freelance translator. You see Danny was half American, half Italian and was pretty fluent in both languages. He was translating studies about Italian opera and folk music of Sicily from Italian to American language. He was a true music lover, appassionato with opera, Italian folk, French chanson and Jazz music.
Jimmy was a music appassionato also. And the biggest fan of Danny’s short column in the monthly local paper, named “Addicted to sound”.
Every evening around eight or nine, Danny would go to the bar to have his usual and to discuss with Jimmy about music. If he couldn’t make it one night, Jimmy would phone at his home to check that he was ok. They were friends, very close friends, but apart from the bar sessions as Danny called them, they never met anywhere else, never at their day offs or on holidays.
For eight whole years, they would meet almost every night and discuss with passion about music, drinking their asses out and sharing some good laughs. Jimmy had always a comment about the last column article, and Danny would always discuss with Jimmy what he was preparing for the next issue. They shared the same passion for opera, but Jimmy, as a true child of the American countryside, loved American folk also. He could listen to Garth Brooks for the whole night, but Danny after two or three songs and some fair rounds of regulars was reaching his limits for American folk in a single night. And then they would start arguing and maybe Carol, the ex country singer would jump right in, defending Jimmy and also Stanley the ex convict would highlight the point that American folk was just another way of propaganda for the American dream, and support his passion for Jazz and blues, and this would go on all night long, until the last rounds of tequila shots were served and Jimmy had to start the closing ritual.
One Wednesday morning Jimmy’s boss, fat Archie called Jimmy on the phone and asked to meet him in the bar. As it turned out, fat Archie had lost a very big bet at the horses and he had to fire Jimmy. He would work the night shifts, trying to avoid the gambling and also trying to save some money for cutting the loses.
Apart for this sad turn of life, fat Archie had no intense of ever firing Jimmy, thanked him for taking such a good care of the bar and grabbed Jimmy’s hand in a strong handshake showing his respect to his face. He also gave him an address of a bar, telling him to try there, saying that fat Archie sends him over.
Jimmy took a last look at the bar and closed the green metallic door with the worn out vitro of a (once) young Odalisque with long blue eyelids.
This very evening he was crossing the big wooden door of the bar “All the lonely people”, in order to start the night shift behind the bar. Just a few blocks away from “Odalisque”.
Never saw Danny or fat Archie again.